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Warfare & Tactics

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The rarest career path: The Fleet Commander

Trinkets friend
Sudden Buggery
Sending Thots And Players
#21 - 2012-04-02 05:17:56 UTC
Make sure your voice doesn't sound like a troll gargling rocks or a castrato pig in an ironworks, and you'll be fine.

Sobriety and plenty of sleep also helps.
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#22 - 2012-04-02 05:23:51 UTC
I am not a FC, but have lead some small fleets in the past and 'stepped up' in small gangs when the FC pops. That doesn't make me an FC though. I have also been the pvp leader in whatever group I am with in most other MMOs I have played - eve is far harder.

So, I can't give you any advice from a FC perspective - but I can from the grunt perspective. So here are some things that I am surprised no one has mentioned:

1. SPEAK FIRMLY AND LOUDLY AND OFTEN when in fights or close to them. It doesn't have to be salient, or true, or even correct - but you must speak. I don't recall ever being in a fleet flight where there was more than 5 seconds of dead air that wasn't immediately floowed by an instant derppittyderpdderp after. I caused one last night, and there were only 4 of us. I have listened to two more fleet destructions i the last days that were caused by silence. Speak. Say each target or order twice. Bob is primary, bob is primary - dweedle is secondary, dweedle is secondary. - if you speak really fast, you can get out a tertiary before you have to start repeating the cycle.

2. Pretend like you know what you are talking about and say it with conviction. In the long past, I flew with FCs who had trouble turning on ther computers or tying their shoes. But in fleets - its like Gregory Peck or the Duke inspiring you to victory.

3. Delegate. Even if you are dreck - hire people to make you look good. Chatterbox - you scout. Mr. Paramoid - you are our -1. Blondie with the big rack (of missiles!) get in that bait-drake and shake your thing. Shifty - you call recons, cynos and incoming blobs. That will leave you with the glory of target calling targets.

4. Dear god, don't do it if you are tired. Drunk is perfectly acceptable though. To keep with the theme above, drunks usually have no problem flapping their jaw and giving orders. Tired will get you dead air and dead air will get your gang wiped.

And hurry up will ya? We need some more FCs. ;)

spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!

Bengal Bob
Slymsloot Enterprises
#23 - 2012-04-02 09:30:45 UTC
Hrett wrote:
Bob is primary, bob is primary

I hate you!

Bob is NEVER primary, or there will be no cheesecake.
Black Omega Security
Test Alliance Please Ignore
#24 - 2012-04-02 11:03:09 UTC
Flurk Hellbron wrote:
No way just anyone can "learn" to be a good FC.
You are it or you ain't.

everyone can learn to FC, but only a few are good FC's
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#25 - 2012-04-02 11:44:59 UTC
Good luck. I'd love to learn to FC, but first I have to stop paying a subscription for chat-rooms and the occasional flying into a gate-camp.

"To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin" - The Scriptures, Book of Missions 13:21

Sparkle Motion.
#26 - 2012-04-02 11:59:03 UTC
Get over your nervousness by FCing in RvB, but leave before you start trying to learn tactics.

As fun as RvB is, FCing arranged fights is not really learning to FC - you will learn more about FCing when trying to find a fight. I would go further and say 75% of it is finding a fight (and methods therin) 20% is having a plan when it happens, and 5% is not ******* up.

"Do not touch anything unnecessarily. Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads -- they are not there accidentally." -Soviet infantry manual,

Red Venu Khardula
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#27 - 2012-04-02 17:21:41 UTC
As a former field commander in NBT:M I cannot add anymore than what has already been said. Learn to pvp ( learn weapons,what they can and cannot do, what modules do, what ship types can and cannot do and there speicallty ) then find as many fleets you can and LISTEN to the FC and how he talks and commands. Take the time and lead small roams, when I was an fc I let the mechs choose my tactics not the other way around i.e. let the pilots of you small fleet bring what they want and then work with that setup. That made me learn allot when I was in mech4 but in the end when I left NBT:M I had a 75% win ratio even out-tonned and out manned.

Good luck because being an fc can be one of the most rewarding experiences and some of the best fights I have ever been in. Big smile
Tanaka Sekigahara
United Space Marine Corp
#28 - 2012-04-02 21:03:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Tanaka Sekigahara
Rick Galshin wrote:
So I've been playing at several different career paths, I've taken to the market and earnt more isk than I can spend with my current skills, and I'm pouring the non-invested cash into ships to help get rookies into PvP.

I've run myself up to level 4 missions (should I wish to hang around long enough to complete them), have briefly touched on mining, had some success ninja looting and salvaging, done some manufacturing and traded a few BPOs around. I've done a little solo nullsec PvP (with little success so far), and even some white-knight anti-piracy work

I have come across one profession in eve that I want to pursue long term: Fleet Commander

Having seen the various videos of small, well managed fleets turning the odds against much larger foes, and seeing firsthand the difference a well versed fleet commander has on even small gangs, I want to know what I have to do to get there

So far I'm working with Stellar Vix and msmall squads of rookies in lowsec/shallow nullsec, and some highsec shenanigans too. I'm not too keen to join a player Corp just yet as I still have a fair bit to learn from this position. Are there any Guides worth reading, any particular players/Corps I should be talking to, and generally any places I would go to get FC experience after SWA

All opinions/trolls welcome.

All the advice given is great. Take it all and learn it all.

I myself will not trouble you with ships and fittings and game strategy, others can tell you that, but in the end, you have to learn to command, to THINK like a general.Learning the idiosyncrasies of the game will not teach you this.
If f you REALLY want to be a good FC, learn how to wage war.That is a study in itself.I would start with the basics:

At the center of everything you do as an FC should be the decision cycle. Use the other advice in this thread for specific ways to get inside the enemies decision cycle

Boyds other work led to the USA desigining the F-15, F-16, F-18 and A 10 Thunderbolt based on his theories of warfare.

Study war, and its basic nature. This is the best your going to get akin to a crash course.80 services worldwide have their officers read " Warfighting"

Command style is unique to each FC.In the end, one must make the commanders intent clear to sub commanders, and then not micromanage. Micromanagement will not be necessary if there is a comman basis in training.You can get some further ideas here

All above can be read in an evening.


After that you can move on to the advanced, if you like:

If you want to get good, and apply modern military theory and have a thorough understanding of maneuver warfare
You can get the "Maneuver warfare handbook", By William Lind.

anything by Lind is good

Finally, last but not least

"Sherman" By B.H. Lidell Hart. Serious students of warfare know the name.

The Germans read it and came up with the Blitzkreig.

All the above is modern military theory.All of it applies to eve, or can be applied to EvE.They dont teach you this stuff in EvE ( although you will see the best FCS have some adaption of most of it somewhere in what they do.)

In short, what wins wars IRL wins them in EvE as well.Same command and decision making principles apply.
Crimson Dawn Enterprises
#29 - 2012-04-03 00:01:56 UTC
Start taking out gangs, familiarize yourself with ship types, and get experience through leading fleets. Start with cruiser sized ships and work your way up from there. Good luck!
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#30 - 2012-04-03 05:53:09 UTC
No offense intended of course, but I always thought that recommending military theory reading material was redundant when someone says they want to be an FC.

Chances are, they have some pretty good knowledge about military theory, or are capable enough thinkers to come to the same realizations as they could from reading that kind of material.

You know what's better than reading about military tactics? Actually FCing and working on internet spaceship tactics.

"To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin" - The Scriptures, Book of Missions 13:21

Sevena Black
The Black Redemption
#31 - 2012-04-03 08:29:24 UTC
Getting everybody to STFU and focus fire on the primary is WIN imho
Mr. Clean Corp..
Pandemic Horde
#32 - 2012-04-03 10:52:29 UTC
Be willing to herd cats. That is all.
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#33 - 2012-04-03 11:38:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Halete
Gotta say, from all the videos I've watched I'm amazed at how much some people struggle comprehending "All [ship class], your primary is [this guy]" even when it is repeated to them ten times.

"To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin" - The Scriptures, Book of Missions 13:21

Crimson Dawn Enterprises
#34 - 2012-04-03 13:08:50 UTC
This is an internet spaceship game and it has no similarities to the military what so ever. There are no logistics repping your health in real world combat, there are no this is primary and that is secondary (maybe in the navy but who knows), internet spaceship fcing is internet spaceship fcing and the only way to get good at it is through practice.
Stonecold Steve
Tactical Narcotics Team
#35 - 2012-04-03 13:38:58 UTC
"Dare to be bold pilot" <-- Get a ship, get some friends, go into the unknown. Loose your ship, recognize what went wrong and how you can improve. Then come back and try again.

Rome wasn't build in a day and a good FC makes mistakes in his carriére.

“Hasta la muerte, todo es vida.”

The Scope
Gallente Federation
#36 - 2012-04-03 14:14:06 UTC
I'm not a FC but have a good idea on some of the qualities that make a good FC

1. Know the ships and roles of each ship inside and out - you have to know what your fleet can and can't do. You also have to know what the enemies ships can and can't do. Their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Know the pilots well in your group. If they are weak, you can't do any fancy tactics or anything.
3. Know the area in which you roam. Know all the corporations/alliances so you have a good idea of what they can field at any time. Also have to know if they have a good bat phone and if so, who they batphone so you can watch for them as well
4. experience, experience, experience - just start out with cheap ships and start learning
Ka Jolo
The Tuskers
#37 - 2012-04-03 17:25:54 UTC
There has been some great advice given in this thread, to which I would add:

Just as in solo PVP the fight is over before it begins (ship fitting, decision to engage, etc.), a good FC has developed a fleet of pilots who fly with discipline and respect battlecomms. Your pilots should be willing to fly to their certain deaths should you so order, so that they will brilliantly execute your plan when that's what you order. Fly under a good FC, and you'll know what it's like to think you're flying to your certain death, only to end up covered in glory and wealth.

You must be prepared to bear the responsibility for losing pilots their ships. Even good FC's lose fights and make occasional mistakes; and you don't get to be a good FC without first being a noob FC. In my opinion there are some pilots out there who would make fantastic FCs if only they weren't so afraid of making mistakes that their mates pay for.

Finally, not an addition to what has already been said but more of an embellishment: communicate, communicate, communicate. Assume your fleet isn't paying attention, didn't hear your correctly, or hope they can pretend they didn't hear long enough to let some other guy go first. Repeat your orders, focusing on specific names, actions, timing, etc. During those slow times when you're basically waiting for the scouts to find something or the enemy to move, give your troops some reassurance as you outline your plan, explain your thinking, etc. During combat, when the situation hasn't change for a while, remind everyone of where they should be and what they should be doing. Your pilots will also tend to go silent, so ask questions repeatedly; ask scouts for status updates, remind people to speak up on certain triggers, ask who needs to dock up, who needs a bio break, who is low on ammo, who needs paste, etc. Also, it's smart to get input from people in your fleet--they may have noticed something you haven't, thought of something you haven't, or figured something out you haven't--but don't tolerate anyone countermanding your orders; otherwise, you'll end up in tight situations where two or three people are yelling out conflicting advice, and your fleet splits in whom they follow.
Nocturnal Romance
Cynosural Field Theory.
#38 - 2012-04-03 20:46:32 UTC
Being a Fc is a difficult task indeed, You need to know much about pvp, the area your fleet is in, specific roles of almost every if not every ship in eve, you need to be quick at deciding what to do and most of all be able to communicate with your fleet


People who put passwords on char bazaar Eveboards are the worst.

Cedo Nulli
Royal Amarr Institute
Amarr Empire
#39 - 2012-04-04 03:45:29 UTC
I personally tend to shiver when people claim they want to be FCs (leaders) ... Because you either are one or you aint.

Everybody can learn the basic stuff required but to be a good one you need to have it in you to begin with.

And seriously ... somebody wants to learn to be an FC and you copypaste a massive load of military books for him :D ... Very little one could learn from those for the FC job. Tbh ... if I learned that my FC read a pile of real world military books to become an FC .. id bail the fleet asap.
Mfume Apocal
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#40 - 2012-04-04 05:39:18 UTC
Cedo Nulli wrote:
I personally tend to shiver when people claim they want to be FCs (leaders) ... Because you either are one or you aint.

Completely untrue. The best FCs I know got as good as they are because they spent weeks, months, years getting fights. Day in, day out.