The hardest thing about being an Fleet Commander I've found is the very first step: starting a fleet and inviting people into it. Getting past that internal fear of stepping up and putting myself out there is such a big thing for me that once I get moving I'm finding the actual act of being an FC not as stressful as I get more practice.
Last night I planned ahead of time that I was going to run a fleet, and announced it in corp forums to keep me honest so I wouldn't back out. After a little bit of logistics work I formed the fleet and picked up a few corpies to go hunting with.
Attempt #1 - Atron, Punisher, 2 x Incursus
We head out and visit the highlights in Kedama and Tama but its a quiet night and the war targets are non existent. Monday nights are usually bad, but this is fanfest hangover bad. I hope the Caldari pick up their pieces again soon.
Finally in Deven we found some war targets actually active and I sent in our Bait Punisher to see if we could get a fight. A single hostile was identified, a Caldari Navy Hookbill, and he engaged. Unfortunately I underestimated the amount of damage the punisher could take before we got there and he died. But the Hookbill was hungry for more and warped back to engage us. We made a valiant effort but we were one web too short to properly apply our damage and the Hookbill pilot expertly kited us until finally even my double rep tank gave out as help from his friends arrived.
Continuing the trend of terrible fail!
Attempt #2 - Daredevil, Tristan, Incursus, Punisher, Atron
We went back to Nennamailia and reshipped. I was out of tech 1 frigates so I upgraded to my Daredevil in a fit of pique. I'm space rich and its my fleet dammit. We headed out with another pilot bringing us up to 5 and set course for Old Man Star. There were lots of pirates out but they tended to be flying bigger ships when they were undocked at all, and there were very few war targets.
We slipped back into Fliet to see if those Caldari were still in Deven and while setting up on the gate one of them jumped through to us. Say hello to my 90% webs. He tried to burn back but this time we were not denied and killed him but good.
OMG, a kill for my fleet. STOP EVERYTHING, DOCK UP. OP SUCCESS!
We picked up a couple more pilots at this time including the infamous Zealot Comadrin from the latest High Drag podcast episodes and his Imperial Navy Slicer. On our way back to Nenna through Tama we ganked one of a Rainbow Dash and Friends Thrasher duo (love to hate those guys!).
Then in Tama the wheels fell off the bus.
We jumped into Tama and were rushing a plex when my client decided to not load system. I shutdown and restarted and was back in business. The fleet was in the plex and I warped to gate with my overview tab for hostiles and neuts only on. I got on the gate and saw a neutral Buzzard about 60 klicks away and as I sat there (dumb) considering if I should make a run at him, I started taking damage.
I switched quickly to my All-Ships overview tab and saw a purple Cormorant shooting me. I tried to get moving and get my repper running but I was spazing and too slow and was dead.
I was pretty mad with myself for losing my Daredevil in such a weak manner. I don't mind going down fighting, but getting caught with my pants down is unacceptable.
The Cormorant pilot (Rory Kring of the Minmatar militia for the record) was long gone and we zoomed back to Nenna to call it a night.
Despite the bad ending I felt more natural being the FC and was happy to actually have a couple kills to report, so I ended up going to bed happy.