On Friday night I ran a corp fleet that was open to public interested in flying in low sec and faction warfare. This was a big deal for me because over the past year I've been trying to step into a Fleet Commander role after years of sitting back and letting others do it. And after 11 months, I can really see the difference the practice has made.
We rallied up in Fliet with mostly Tech 1 frigs and a couple destroyers and an assault ship. We started with plexing while people were still joining, making sure to get a few Navitas to make the fleet robust (dear god, what a difference T1 frig logistics have made to the frigate scale warfare!). While we were plexing a Caldari fleet came in and engaged us. They had heavier ships than we did, a couple assaults ships, some faction frigs, a destroyer... but we had a few more pilots and all important logistics. We crushed the first wave, and when a second wave with a couple cruisers showed up, we sent them packing too.
We continued to form up, taking out a few more enemy ships including a RLML Caracal looking for easy frig kills, but the targets dried up in Fliet so we took the fleet on the move into the dangerous and active Black Rise region. We visited Tama and picked up a destroyer and Keres kill before getting word from our allies in the Quantum Cats Syndicate that they were in a cruiser fleet and getting ready for round two with a Templis CALSF fleet. We moved at best speed towards Eha and in Aivonen we met the enemy cruiser fleet. We put the tackle on the Osprey and Scythe logi they had and moved in close. We lacked enough firepower to easily break the cruisers' reps on each other but the QCats showed up in their Vexors and put some hurt on the Scythe to break its reps which allowed us to kill the Osprey. We then chased the remaining enemy fleet a bit, catching two Ruptures in which we killed one and helped the QCats kill the other.
Hitting the 3 hour limit, I turned the happy fleet over to Marcel and docked up.
What a difference a year makes! Back in Feb of 2013 the thought of taking ~25 pilots out in a fleet and commanding them in dynamic fluid battles across multiple plexes and grids would have filled me with terror, and the notion to send them careening towards heavier ships with the intent to win would have paralyzed me in doubt.
That being said, its not all sunshine and roses. I started in a DPS ship which I find it a good platform for leading from, but shipped to an Interceptor halfway through to increase our long ranged tackling ability. It was fine until we got into the bigger fight where I found myself distracted from FCing by the act of trying to be a good tackle. Maybe in a small gang that would work, but I need more brainpower on leading right now rather than fiddling with my orbits. Fortunately, we didn't suffer any big losses and racked up some very respectable kills.
My next step is to continue to get practice and work up to larger ship classes and more diverse fleets.