The 2011 Year in Review

A Year on the Forums by a Forumite

by Guest Writer James “Ajay” Russell

 

As a demonically handsome and extremely likable fellow, I can hear you screaming at me, “Why Ajay?! why are you posting so much on the forums and wasting your time chasing pixels on a screen, charging infantry through trenches, wiping the Luftwaffe from the sky in an old scarred Hurricane, shooting from the hip and slaying aliens in New York?”  Well people, it’s simple. Everyone deserves a chance at the ladies and I feel I have have had more than my share, it is only fair to now hide away behind curtained windows and adjust my TrackIR or troubleshoot my sims for hours on end and leave the women chasing to my less capable brethren. Fair is fair. I’m full.

So here is a look through my eyes at the SimHQ 2011 forum year. It may not all make sense… but that’s the cool part!

Wandering in to SimHQ as I did most mornings, I would normally enter via the front door (homepage) to check out the latest reviews and news, see what is going on in general. I head in via the side-door straight to the main hallway. Get the once over look by the room admin… No bans. No warnings. And in I go down the well worn and ever colour changing carpet and walls. Normally they’re always a nice subdued red with gray accents. But constantly updating the decor is the custodian, old guod. He reckons it’s all for us. Secretly, I think he flunked home decorating and lives his dream vicariously through this place. His passion shows, and I brush the new paint thinking, “Hitler was a painter too, wasn’t he…?”

The year 2011 started pretty crazily for us Aussies with floods, cyclones, fires. Mother Nature unleashed. Other parts of the world had their fair share too with New Zealand earthquakes, Japanese tsunamis, tornados and hurricanes in the USA, crazy riots in London and the war against terror goes on in the Middle East.

All of that falls short compared to the madness that went on in the SimHQ forums within the year now almost gone. Bigfoot, manbearpigs, UFO’s, food poisoning, bikini waxes, forums disappearing and reappearing reorganized, George Lucas’ endless cutting and shutting of our favourite old school Star Wars movies, rehashing and destruction (mostly) of every other movie the industry can remake. Scantily clad scifi ladies, Cheetos girls in bathtubs, lesbians feeding each other fatty foods, and Iraq’s first elevator! Threats of the moon about to hit the earth. A hundred other ways the earth will finally end this year (or next). Why dogs are cool and cats suck. Why cats are even cooler and dogs drool.

Standing by our favourite sims and “avast ye boarders!” when someone tells us otherwise. The release disaster and pain that was IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover, while Rise of Flight jumped ahead by leaps and bounds. Some old favourites still knocking along like EAW,Battle of BritainEECH, and a re-energized Falcon 4.0 via BMS 4.32. The releases of DCS: A-10C Warthog and DCS: Black Shark 2.

Real Life

Get well 20mm!Amongst all of that there was some real life stuff that hit home on the forums that pulled forum life into real life. 20mm’s illness being one of the stand outs. But he knows we are all batting for him and share a deep concern that goes beyond the sims and trivial talk.

People from all across the globe who have never met a fellow SimHQ-er but reached out from within themselves posting, no not forum post’s… old school “Get Well Card” mailings in treeware! All sent to try and help a person with their words. I have no words for the emotion I know we all felt and feel for “one of our own”.

Chin up always Tom, and hey! ….who is that you’re holding?!

We saw the beloved B-17 Liberty Belle crash. Here is the SimHQ write-up on it from a few years ago.

It was a very difficult year for fans of airshows. And the future may not be much brighter. But we’ll still have the terrific VFAT!

The rigours of daily life being discussed and people jumping in with kind words and suggestions and great life advice. People sometimes pouring out their personal heart break and having somewhere to go and talk about issues that have cropped up or burdened them. It really is a great big warm place with ups and downs and the man cuddle factor can be quite scary at times — not that there is anything wrong with that! — but i am positively sure this has helped more than a few posters through a dark day or emotional time. For the biggest home of simulations on the Internet, we sure do a lot of non-sim talking.

We also have a lot of respect for great people that have passed, elevated themselves without any care for a position of power or shiny awards, selfless. One that springs immediately to mind as an example isRichard Winters…. not just because he was a military man as a lot of the guys here are. Well, maybe that ispartly the reason as even us civvies realise and understand the bonds of comradeship as much as we can without being in such situations and surrounded by people of the like. But I think such people need to be remembered and we know we have lost another of the great generation. Our tribute thread is here.

Cliffs of Dover

For us house fan flyboys, most of the early part of my year consisted of hanging out at the Storm of War (now Cliffs of Dover and unofficially “CloD”) forums. We debated it waiting for any tidbit of info about the new Battle of Britain flight sim. First stop in the AM was always the SoW forum. Remember when it was Storm of War? Yes, the Russians really pick great names!

It was typical pre-game maneuvers. Update pics were posted on the walls… questions coming from everyone “…what about? …what if? …will this? …wrong colour green? …fms / dms? Clouds! Yes, he said these would be the best clouds EVER!”

We wanted to know everything, even how 1C was pronounced. As usual this was also very easily debatable and ended-up being either “one-see”, “icy”, “one-c”, “ick”, or in Russian, “i am pooping lonely”. That’s some deep stuff right there. This is the reason I spend so much time here. The important things are never brushed under the carpet, but pushed and pulled around every which way until we know and understand what it really is.

One of the biggest topics of course beside’s food was WHEN. When was this sim seeing the light of day? This had gone on for years. And years. Aaannddd years. But people could smell it now. It was close. Very close. Then all of a sudden, the Russians had it! They had it! It was real! The self-assigned vapourware committee had had it’s day and was last seen filing out of the room under the boring eyes of the true believers. The faithful. No sooner had they left than a new crew walked in known as the “I told you so!” brigade.

As bug after bug was uncovered, and promised details were discovered to have been left out, the “I told you so!” crew began to gloat, but we who believed didn’t care. It was released — finally. So after a first mini-explosion and a few knocks on the door to “keep it down in there, dammit!” Everyone settled into waiting again, except for an adventurous few who stumbled around the Russian version. Yes it was buggy, but it looked good and we lived on in hope.

Comments were bandied about as to what sort of system one would need to run Cliffs of Dover efficiently. “He’s using Oleg’s tears to cool the CPU and the heat from burning rage of the tormented unbelievers to overclock the graphics card” said a smirking FearlessFrog. You should be able to run the game fine on that system to be honest. Just go to advanced setting and select the option to disable England.

I started wondering if there was a way I could hook-up my small block V8 to my rig and put an extra 400 horsepower into my mobo. Surely this was not to be a repeat of when I grabbed IL-2 Sturmovik, and my machine could not run it? That was an expensive chase with a new card, more RAM, another new board, and finally a rebuild! Was history to repeat? No, of course not! We all knew that what was written on the outside of the box was gospel regarding “System Requirements”.

Then it was out in the rest of Europe and Australia. YES! The forum exploded! Someone ran in with a copy and was instantly mauled and mangled! Over 700 people in the one forum day-after-day! It was a regular battlefield. Fanbois, haters, noobies, elitists, chips! Oleg’s tears! We watched as fellow simmers jumped off buildings and impaled themselves on their joysticks. Sheer madness!

New “I told you so!” threads sprang up…

“Where is Oleg?”

“What’s with the trees?”

“You call that a river?”

“I feel dirty, but the 109 turns me on!”

It was forum pr0n at its height of glory! Could it continue? It did for a while, and lines were drawn in the sand. It was like that movie with the kids trapped on the island after a plane crash. They took sides, one evil and one good, but both believing in their quest until fate stepped in, and it did… in the form of moderators.

One day the door crashed open and everyone squinted at the light being thrown into the previous smoke-filled, darkened room… then a scream rang out, “MODERATORS!!! RUN!!!”  Before you could say “OLEGFANBOI” the room was reorganized and split with a new wall down the middle. Civility was restored, and a few took a special holiday to non-forum land. The skies cleared, peace returned to the now multiple Cliffs of Dover forums. Once again it was safe to let new kids come and play without concern for being rabidly bitten and beaten when posting.

Weird things were happening elsewhere in the forums during this time of madness.

Other Weird Things and Happenings

All these many months the other forums had looked-on in wide-eyed amazement. Most not treading-in but staying in their comfort zone and only furtively peeking down the hallway at CloD with its shiny new moderators pacing outside the door, upon hearing the madness and din echoing out, they slammed their forum doors closed lest it be contagious. Up at the top of the hallway, Community Hall was moving along as always.

PanzerMeyer makes 60k!PanzerMeyer hit 60,000 posts. You tell me this guy doesn’t look suspect. I mean, who has a red x for starters? Over the whole year I managed to find him actually not at the forum once… yes, just once. And trust me, I searched every room, even the train sim one. Feeling the blood rush from my face I ran outside and looked for oncoming tidal waves or epileptic unicorns with Cheetos for eyes, such was my great fear. Staring up into the night and seeing no planetary alignment, I slowly calmed and posted the fact that… Panzer… was… offline. This was met with more fears of black holes and possible star wars remakes. Soon Panzer reappeared, proving that apparently he was human after all. He had been asleep.

Sauron imparting his maniacal wisdom on us, and it made good sense! Well, most of the time.

Strangely named beings like FearlessFrog becoming moderators.

Ming continuing in his usual unrivalled wordsmithery.

The death (again) of the Current Events forum and the re-emergence (again) as the PWEC.

The once yearly discussion of who was SimHQ’s first member.

Then some colourful uses of the word “member” in people’s titles first introduced by Sauron. If copying is the sincerest form of flattery, there were a lot of copycats as many others climbed on the new bandwagon to see who could “customize” their title the best… or worst… depending on your perception.

“Real” Aviators and Their Cars

Semmern, Dart, and BeachAV8R were flying all over the place like they were some crazy bunch of real aviators. After Dart acquired his pilots license, I started ducking-down instinctively when hearing a low flying Cessna.

While Beach was zapping all over the States in a real plane and constantly posting pics of his adventures. We showed him up (mostly) because we sim pilots were sure he did not really know as much about flying as he thought he did.

Semmern and Dart will face this obstacle soon I am sure. There is absolutely no one who can fly or understand the mechanics of flight like a PC simmer who has never piloted a real plane. You have been warned gentlemen! We have all the graphs, tables, and PC flying time to prove out his unsound real world flying hours, plus we have seen a picture of Beach’s car posted in the forums.

BeachAV8R's car - Not that there is anything wrong with it...

An Aviators car…? Pfffft. You be the judge. Anyone knows that real pilots do not drive cars like that, it is either sport motorbikes, muscle cars or europeans sports cars, depending on country and plane type.

Speaking of cars, in the garage down below a few of the boys have some really great looking rides. But the one that stood out (for me) was Moses’ new rig. V8-powered, curvy and black with a stripe kit. A shape reminiscent of an era when cars were made to look good, sound even better, go fast, and handle like porridge on a mirror when Beach was flying.

Moses' cool Camaro

The unthought of thing in owning such a nice ride like his late model Camaro being was to be targeted by nefarious parking lot key scratching idiots. It didn’t seem to matter where he parked or how, the unmentionables seemed to get to it, many suggestions but no absolute possible solution. Except maybe to do a swap for Beach’s car. Solves two birds with one stone! Beach finally gets to look like areal pilot, Moses never gets car scratched again, and he can go kayaking! The only loss for Moses is the ability to crest a small hill. But he saves on car buffing and polishing!

Food…

There were many suggestions of food and eating over the past year. We can be quite the cuisine experts here you know. We take itnearly as seriously as movies. Many times I have drooled whilst munching on a peanut butter sandwich and someone over the way is eating a half baked bird egg ..wait up..wha… or cockroach raised chicken eggs. Don’t worry, the thread starts off totally different. How unusual, huh?

Such was the eating habits of our SimHQ brethren. I preferred the chips in the CloD forum as Community Hall was now starting to smell a bit nasty and needed some urgent carpet cleaning. It happens. I once put up a pic of some chicken wings with some peri peri Portuguese BBQ sauce, then spent twenty dollars on room deodorizer sprays.

Females…

As usual, when you get a bunch of guys together for an extended period of time — usually more than 17 seconds — the talk gravitates towards nice looking women with preferably little bits of string pretended to be clothes wrapped around them. Being a family oriented site everyone pretty much kept themselves above board. Even Haggart who pleasantly surprised us with his lack of pic’s of ladies from his favourite show “Troll Idol” and the mini series “Look, I can nearly see my toes now!”. Well done Mr Haggert. Well done.

Exiting Community Hall, I trudged off down the hallway to for my weekly visit to see how the science fiction (or scifi, or syfy) babes poll is going. Intended for scientific and poll purposes only, of course. I see Milla Jovovich is still winning. I’m not a massive fan of Milla’s work in film, but am not complaining about her in any way. Seeing all of these smooth skinned types, I am reminded of Skylark’s Monday babes posts and run down the very well trodden path to EAW-land.

EAW-land

EAW ironyAhhh yes, the old grubby handmarked door with the P51 picture on it, hanging askew, I give the picture frame a straighten up as I reach for the handle, like so many others before me. Straight away I am hit by the smell of the old linoleum floor with shag carpeting in places. Its a comforting smell, a bit like engine oil, old boot polish and aged wood. I step in and poke around seeing a few of the old hands still here… Moggy, Pobs and Knegel to mention a few. The old duck is going, still moving along in it’s modding way thanks to guys like this and many others that have come along since. One of the main interesting projects being the WWI aircraft mod here which shows she has aged nicely within her constraints. Of course things are a fair bit quieter over there than it was in it’s heyday, but every now and again some very interesting stuff pops up. The weird little things like this that have happened over the years because of our interest in aircraft, the people that flew them and the era they flew in, has always astounded me here at SimHQ.

The knowledge of the posters that SimHQ contains has made this place a veritable treasure chest of information and I love the tips, tricks, and information I have picked up from other users here be it computer savvy, historical, music, and movies.

Many times I have sat back in my chair, gobsmacked by some of the tales that come out of this place. Here for instance is another one, albeit on a totally different level.

Want to See Something REALLY Scary?

Leaving the EAW crew sitting in the corner working their magic on a Gotha, I run up to the Community Hall again and look for Sauron. I find him standing in the corner debating quantum mechanics with a rather large audience, a plate of scrambled eggs in front of him that he has pushed aside with a wry look. I ask him to regale me the tale of The Forest Thing. He looks at me and says, Okay Ajay. This one last time. Now gather around, grab a coffee or beer and be prepared to meet… manbearpig? jackalope? a giant Mallard head? forum moderator? Rorschach test? You decide. And now, Sauron Productions presents, THE FOREST THING.

Sauron Productions presents, THE FOREST THING

So, did you all get through that okay? It was a few fun days speculating and at this stage I am sitting on the fence with regards to what really happened.

But it did provoke a poll by myself and showed that we as SimHQ’ers are split between believing in alien craft, Bigfoot, and being full skeptics. The skeptic part as you can see may have been balanced by Ms Anderson’s hawtness factor so there may have been more probings here than is usual. Which is something I suspect has no need for a poll. I do not really want to know. As a group, we appreciate that UFO’s are more than likely real and women are hot. Yep, as much as i suspected, most simmer’s are male (although we do have some shining examples of ladies in our midst).

I leave the crowd who had gathered around Sauron, now split into small groups. Some snickering, some wide-eyed and telling their own tales. Other’s carrying on about advertising in games and why is STARS WARS in my DEUS EX face! I can see it slowly getting ugly and decide to sneak out.

Winter in Russia

I head over to see how Para_Bellum is doing with his winter assault on Russia. Opening the After Action Reports door, I feel a cold chill hit me and shouts immediately emerge from the Rise of Flightroom, “Close the ruddy door! it aint winter on the western front yet ya fool!” Maaaan, now that’s realism! I slam the door behind me and I see Para_Bellum hunched over his map, remembering where the great assault started: Barbarossa. A land campaign that everyone with any interest in ground warfare knows inside out, and fears.

Oldgrognard perches at his shoulder with a quizzical look in his eye. Onwards son, into the breech. 2Lt_Joch, Tankhunter, Airdrop01, Nixer, Wheelsup and many others stand nearby. Everyone is shivering and looking expectantly at Para_Bellum. He slowly moves his now beleaguered German armies into a defensive role as the Russian juggernaut begins it’s winter offensive.

The happy times are over. Moscow has been taken, but can it be held? Leningrad has succumbed and the Finns are holding the Northern line. The Romanians and other axis units in the south are spread thin, but holding. There is a grim look on Para’s face as he see’s the giant Russian bear beginning to rise and slowly lift it’s great heavy paws from the ground. This is going to be an intensefew months.

Can Para rewrite history and use the German machine as it could have been, and not throw it away in vanity? I am not built for these terrible conditions. The dead hollow eyes of the other guys in the room starts to unnerve me. I walk backwards slowly and quicker than you can say “Stalingradski!”, I am out and back into the warmth of SimHQs main forum corridor.

Its a brilliant thread. Well worth a read while having a brewski or two, but bundle-up well before trudging into the nasty weather!

Planks and Pits

I stare down the hallway noticing people exiting and reentering rooms. Some stay awhile and others flit madly from one to the next. One of the lads walking towards me has a handful of wood under one arm, and is holding a bag full of electrical tools in his other. He has a backpack on with a bunch of what looks like airplane dash instrumentation poking out. Hmmm, mildly weird and interesting. I follow him and sure enough he heads into the Pit Builders room. Everytime I step in there I come out with all of these ideas to build-up my own home style pit. “One day” I repeatedly say to myself. He heads over to a vacant area and starts assembling something. I look around and see pits in various stages and of various styles. Some tubular, some wood covered, with thin sheet metal and some just simple modified desks. But in the middle of the room is this gargantuan monster that dominates. It looks like an alien craft landed here! Has my poll been solved? It’s a home made collimated screen thingie deal whats-a-moth-in-ganmee. I just prefer the word “cool”. Now that is a top of the line creation.

Gene Buckle's amazing project!

Feeling a bit humbled by this monster, I walk up to the guy I followed in to see how he is is progressing. He has assembled what looks like a WIP and seems justifiably very happy with himself.

Cockpit in progress!

Now as sweet as Gene’s pit is, I am more at home with something like this. No, not Renic and his cheesy shirt! I mean the setup. Something nearly anyone can bang-up and prove once and for all to BeachAV8R and his crew that flying is easy and they are clearlyoverpaid.

Snotting some sawdust out of my nose and removing a chisel from my crack, I head on to see what goes on over the crater riddled Somme in the Rise of Flight room.

Old Leather Helmets and Goggles

I feel a bit out of my depth here. Wood and canvas, slow rate guns, speeds slower than a modern day family car, but a ton of honour and where it all started in air combat. I only poke in every now and again and stay in the shadows. I like to muss-up my hair and put on an old faded brown jacket that smells of gun smoke and sweat. I creak open the door and straight away its a breath of fresh air. Beautifully rendered machines in blazing colour. A bustling bunch of guys suited up in old leather helmets with goggles askew on their foreheads. Four chaps with soot covered faces re-enacting a dogfight with their hands in the middle of the room. A man approaches a podium set above the end of the room. There are maps of Europe plastered on a wall behind him. I look enquiringly at a guy next to me with a snoopy patch on his left breast. He bends towards me and whispers, “Its Jason”. He takes to the podium and begins, “Okay chaps, settle down, I have one word for you today.” He waits for the room to compose and looks around. You can feel the tension. Someone behind me is holding his breath so tensely I can hear his heart pounding. Jason continues, “That one word is… BRISFIT!”  The room explodes in excitement! YEEEEEEEAAAAHHHH! Clenched fists pound the air. Men are hoisted on shoulders crying and blubbering, totally overcome with the emotion of the moment. I am jammed to the side and start to claustrophobicly panic, but also feel caught up in the excitement. Jason has exited stage left pumping both hands above his head. Another victory for a brilliant flight sim. I think to myself, “Damn, I need to get my feet wet in here…”.

Rise of Flight really is WWI combat flight sim pr0n at it's finest.

As the room slowly gets back to normal and flight model and terrain discussion starts again, I wander over to a group warming the bar. There is a picture on the wall of what appears to me to be a church? A cathedral? A biplane is caught in the middle of the pic flying near it. I amble a little bit closer and strain my ears to follow the in-progress conversation… “Satanic it is I tells ya! Pure devil worshippery!”Another pipes in, “Awww, don’t be silly mate. Its a bloody windah!” I look at the pic again, focusing on the main glass of the cathedral. Okay, so its a star-shaped type thingie? Looks pretty “cathedrally churchy-like” to me. Very nicely detailed. “No mate, I am telling you! Pure devil spawn.” He looks in my direction… “Come here, new fella. Come and tells us what you think of this…” I take one look at his eyes and decide I want no part of this weirdness… “Ummm, i’m cool. Uhhh, ‘scuse me, I gotta get to the Cliffs of Dover room and catch up on the several dozen posts added in the last twelve minutes.” Three room regulars swing around and look at me in amazement. Then the first guy speaks again… “CloD?! Sacrilege! Hellspawn fighters with canopies and only one wing! How can you fly without the feel of the wind in your face! It will never catch on!” I notice a few of the old hands continue to look suspiciously at me as I am exiting. I pull my jacket up higher, popping the collar, and keep a frozen smile on my face. Back out in the hallway I can still feel his steely eyes boring into my back. Yikes! I might wait till that settles before I enter again.

What's this? Well, it's NOTHING!

As you have read previously, RoF has inspired some truly classic SimHQ quotes, none finer than “It’s as if WWI sim candy is falling out of the sky like Skittles” and even created a classic new word “simgasm”. It really is WWI combat flight sim pr0n at it’s finest.

Even the great sims seem to have classic moments like this.

Pretty Pictures

Up the hallway is one my fave places, the Screenshot & Video Gallery. Did you know it is the oldest forum on SimHQ? Yep, it is honored with the prestigious “Forum #1″ designation.

Some of the guys in here have an eye for that perfectly composed screenshot. I have spent a lot of time over the years just perusing others straight-up screen grabs and editing work. It also shows a lot of the stuff we do not like or are not very good at.

For example, here are some classic screenshot moments from 2011.

We don’t like cows…

We don't like cows...

We are not fans of congestion…

We are not fans of congestion...

Cockpit fires are always annoying…

Cockpit fires are always annoying...

As are engine fires…

As are engine fires...

Landings can sometimes be hard and painful, but still look sleek and purposeful…

Landings can sometimes be hard and painful, but still look sleek and purposeful...

We are fairly average drivers…

We are fairly average drivers...

But very cool if done in tandem…

But very cool if done in tandem...

We don’t like walls…and of course on purpose…

And of course on purpose...

We hate tank traps…

We hate tank traps...

Despise balloons…

Despise balloons...

Don’t like anyone mucking around with our PC settings…

Don't like anyone mucking around with our PC settings...

Make crazy looking machines…

Make crazy looking machines...

Play a variety of games…

Play a variety of games...

“Uhhhhmm ..where are we?
“I dunno. I am either drunk or in Obloom world.”
“You’re also balding. But only in the middle. Kinda weird, dude”
“No, I slipped on a blurry tree root and fell on a smudgey knife”
“Ummmm righto…”

*snicker*

The general rule of thumb for flying though is any landing you can walk away from…

The general rule of thumb for flying though is any landing you can walk away from...

But mainly, we simply just love airplanes…

But mainly, we simply just love airplanes...

And of course, the screenie room would not be complete without a representative image
that accurately displays our remarkable multiplayer abilities…

And of course, the screenie room would not be complete without a representative image that accurately displays our remarkable multiplayer abilities...

“I thought you’d driven stickshift before man!”
“I have dude, but it had a rotor on top.”
Hey, this tyre is flatter Paris Hilton!”

I leave the Screenshots & Video Gallery with a hundred excellent images running through my head and have another thought about Rise of Flight… “Why do I not have this yet?”

Other Travels

On the way up the hallway I enter the Red Baron forum. There is one guy sitting in the corner who looks at me wistfully and starts to rise wiping the dribble off the corner of his lip. I wave quickly and close the door. A classic ghost room from the past that still seems to be haunted by a rare few.

I pass the console room, never having entered, not being accustomed to the weird noises within. I put my ear against the door and hear someone saying, “See! Plug and play! How simple!”

I dont want to know what they are plugging so I poke around in a few of the Land & Armor Combat rooms. I take some time perusing a lot of the goodness and shudder at the thought of death in a steel coffin. A bunch of cannon fodder looks my way and sniff’s at me down their noses. They know I am a ground pounder at heart in any version of the Stuka, Typhoon, 110 or Focke Wulfe, and occasionally a Frogfoot. Ham fisted in that one but I can generally get the plane up, drop eggs and get her down. I’m still a a bit freaked out by the lack of a prop.

Having tarnished my reputation with some “incorrect placement” of explosive material onto the wrong side of the lines over the years (I blame modern cockpit task overload and prefer my Mark I Eyeball). I don’t enter any further. One of the grunts puts his hand down to his knife on his belt. I grab a small black box out of my pocket and throw it in the corner, they all go prone and grab their comms, looking for leadership, they hesitate for a split-second. I sprint to their fridge, grab a sixpack, and just as quickly make it back to the door. One of them shouts “HACKER!” I blow a raspberry and quickly close the door behind me.

As I’m scurrying away, I see the grunts exit as a group. Some are hugging the walls while others crawl awkwardly. All are looking down the sights of their guns. Some skipping through their weapons like mad and coming up empty. I hear one of them yell, “Reload you fool before you swap weapons!” One of them gets twitchy and drops smoke, “YOU IDIOT!” is screamed by another and the smoke dropper disappears. The message “nEWn00B1 has been kicked” flashes on a screen beside the doorway.

At last, I am back to the safety of the Cliffs of Dover forum.

Ahhh, the tranquility of my main room. I see sssssssssssnake and snapper sitting with Heinkill and Ming. FearlessFrog has pulled up a chair near Ming and they are talking about spelunking into the unknown center of the code. I will only dive so far and where they are going is too deep and weird for me, but the outcome will be a boon for all. Trooper has just wandered in and heads to the bar to have a crack at a beer before Biggles empties the cask.

There is much discussion here about the colouring of the room, the light green has been superseded by a newer misty type and not all are happy. Nothing like a real Blighty atmosphere at all they say. Above me the fan churns along slowly and a few guys are saying it has an incorrect pitch setting. Two of them are fiddling with the control but cannot get it to stick. “It keeps resetting! What am i doing wrong?”says one. I know the pain of constant control setting problems and sympathise with him.

I wander towards the bar and plan to have a cold ale with Trooper and Biggles and see that Freycinet has now also sidled up beside them. I grab a stool and Piper bursts in shouting, “QUICK! There’s been another manbearpig spotted at Community Hall!” I grab a swig out of Biggles new ale and bolt for the door. This should be good.

I tip my hat (with the TrackIR dots) to the guys who moderate and look after the nearly 100 forums and all that goes with that mantle.

The reviews, the research, the no doubt endless time spent reading private messages, and the time taken out of normal life. A thanks to the custodian who keeps the place up and running so we have somewhere to park our butts and hang out. Somewhere we can all congregate and mostly have a great relaxing time sharing laughs, music, sims, memories, and whatever the heck else we want to cuss and discuss. Its a brilliant place and I for one would feel a huge loss if it and all the people within were to be ever lost and scattered.

I have been here nearly ten years now and still remember the first day I stumbled into the EAW forum. I was like, “wooooooh!, they all sit here and talk about planes and men stuff and make things you can put in your game.” By the next weekend i had a brand new PC, a copy of EAW, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Once I ventured out of the EAW forum, I thought, “wooooooh!, this place is really quite large!”

So began my gradual slide into SimHQ life. I have many people here that I consider mates, and a couple I have been lucky enough to meet face-to-face in that scary place of RL (that’s Real Life for you noobs). I have seen a lot of guys on hard times and ride it out to the other side, myself included. It’s a bloody top spot as we say downunder. And no, we never ever say, “throw another prawn on the barbie…” just in case if you were wondering.

Cheers from Oz, and bring in a safe, good, and fun New Year 2012! Remember, when you get angry at the forums, just remember what FearlessFrog says…

It's the Internet, man...

I will let NavyNuke99 have the last say. It may not seem to make sense but in a SimHQ way, it does to me…

Navy Nuke says...

P.S. guod just changed the forums again while you were reading this.

 


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