The hardest thing I've been finding about being a Fleet Commander of any sized fleet is reading the situation.
Last night was a perfect example. From my After Action Report:
We saw a spike in local and it was a mixed neutral / pirate battlecruiser group, Ninja Unicorns with Huge Horns alliance, and what we thought was giving chase was a Gal Mil fleet lead by well known FC [redacted]. I'm like "great, we can lend a hand and apply some tackle and DPS".
We follow the two groups and in Abune on the Oin gate we see them there and I order the fleet to engage... but I'm puzzled. Why are they not shooting? I counter my own order and say "hold fire!" but its too late and Yonko and Baynex get destroyed and Yonko podded. :( I order the fleet to jump and re-approach figuring that the Gal Mil fleet and pirates were staring each other down waiting for the other to make a move and we just stepped in too early. Maybe, I thought hopefully, we can catch something on this side as they run. The other fleets jump and I'm not sure of the order of events but I think I ordered us to tackle the pirates then not tackle and wait a second and then reapproach back to jump range... it was screwy, I was not sure what the hell was going on. Why is [redacted]'s fleet not shooting? What the hell.
Finally in local chat [redacted] yelled for us not to engage, the pirate/neutrals were in fleet with the other Gal Mil pilots. Well, shit, it all makes sense.Had I read the situation better and realized that the "two" fleets were not acting like two hostile fleets, I might have been able to avoid our losses.
I'm hoping that practice will give me better reaction time and reflexes to deal with this situations that are not simple "warp, order tackle, call primary".
(Another short post, still taking care of kids while Mrs Kodachi recuperates.)