FC’s are the heart of your corp, with a few exceptions such as the committed solo guys at Hayabusa, much of your corp will not enjoy soloing as much as flying with a fleet. This is fair, it is more sociable, fun and you can take on a wider range of targets but it relies on having enough guys willing to step up and lead. If you only have a small number of them then burnout is a big problem.
This is such a complicated subject and everyone will approach it differently but I will try to jot down a few ideas to help out new FCs.
Firstly, do not get up tight about it. You may be worrying that you are going to lose everyone’s ships (and you will eventually) but they are all just happy to not have to do this. You are already the guy who is creating content so take some pride in it. The only way to learn is by doing so step up.
Know your targets, you can’t FC if you have not flown and fought a wide range of ships. Knowing how those vexors are fit and how they are flown will allow you to beat them.
Develop a style, some are overbearing micromanagers and some are easygoing – the ideal will be somewhere in between obviously and will depend on your fleet. My fleets are never expensive or formed for some huge strategic importance so we are focussed on having fun. If you are dropping a pile of titans you may wish to be more serious.
Can’t emphasize this one enough, repeat important instructions calmly, keep feeding info and adjust the way you say it slightly. We all play with people from a huge range of countries and occasionally confuse each other with accents. For example “primary Bob in the rifter, B-O-B, rifter is primary”. Spelling the first three letters of complicated gate names is a good trick too. Remember no-one wants to pipe up on comms to ask “who was primary again?” so keep feeding the info and it can make the difference between winning and loosing, the guys will also thank you for not having to ask again and look like a prat. Keep your voice calm and slow as much as possible.
Don’t sweat target calling, pick something high dps (or ewar) and get stuck into it, while that one is going down you can start looking for secondaries and lining them up in your head for destruction. If something is tanking like a beast don’t be afraid to primary something else. You MUST make sure everyone is hitting the primary too – new players will concentrate on people shooting them or closer but it is imperative everyone shoots the primary otherwise what’s the point of an FC, you might as well all yolo in there. Shout if the damage is split because this will loose you the fight.
Have an idea of what your fleet want to get out of the roam, if everyone has just shipped up into shinies then don’t take the first outnumbered fight you can. Try to get some fair fights before the potential wipeout. Piling into a big outnumbered fight is for the end of the evening when you’re going home with plenty of kills and loot already. Then it’s fun and will either be a glorious victory against the odds or ships which have paid for themselves anyway.
Start to get an idea of positioning, you should be zoomed right out with the overlay on in most fights and as you fly bigger stuff, the positioning of your fleet becomes more important. Always be zoomed right out and try to spot stragglers from your fleet or potential isolated targets from the enemy one.
The hardest bit of FCing is to basically have the fleet acting as one larger entity rather than a number of separate ships. You do this with timing, clear instructions and getting your idea across quickly and effectively. Ultimately how you do this is down to personal style and the type of fleets you run but the points above will apply to most situations.