Today was quite a day for me. Things were a bit slow in Delve, so I logged on to find RvB had a small gang (10 or less), frigate, free-for-all weekend. For the first time, I decided to give it a go and take the helm as FC. I've been flying on and off with RvB for the better part of a year now, and the small gang FFA weekends are some of my favorites. Worst that could happen is that I lose 10 frigs, I was pretty sure that the RvBers would survive that atrocity.
I've got to say, its pretty thrilling to be the guy making the calls. On the first go, I took the fleet out towards Red HQ through Josameto. A gang lead by a Taranis and a Slicer spread us out a bit and picked off a few of our guys. That one was my fault. I shouldn't have let the Slicer draw us apart without good reason. A few guys died, a few got out. I went down under fire from the Taranis, and apparently he ended up slipping away in hull after I warped my pod off. Damn.
We reshipped and headed back out, this time with more success. First, we caught the notorious Patrick Kasper in his Hookbill on Blue HQ. Always good to get Patrick, a fantastic solo artist. Then we went out towards Otela again, hoping for better results. I had us set up a camp on the Josameto side of the Otela gate, waiting for prey. Our forward scout reported a Merlin engaging him on the other side of the gate, so we jumped through and locked him up. The Merlin had some mates join, and it was a decent clash. We traded some kills and got out of there ASAP.
One of the last things that we caught on the day was a Harpy who was sitting at a corp bookmark. Tisk, tisk. Great work by one of our scouts to realize and get point on him.
Overall, I'd grade myself at about a B/B- on the day. We got some kills, sustained some losses, but it wasn't anything too terrible. I think I managed the fleet well, including communicating back and forth with the scouts. Target calling seemed to go fairly well too. There are certainly things to improve upon though. The biggest example I had today was to not take bait from ships like the Slicer. There's no excuse for giving away easy kills. The other big thing was just learning to think more like an FC. Some calls were just a hair slow - I'm used to being on the listening end of the target calling and fleet movements. I think it'll all tighten up with experience.
My advice to potential FC's is to go out and try it. Take out a cheap fleet and see what you can do. Don't go in totally blind. Know the area, know your corporation and definitely know general pvp mechanics first, but once you've got that down, give it a shot. Its pretty rewarding to see what you can do at the controls. I'll be out again soon for sure.