FC Guide – HQ Fleets

Editors note: this guide was originally written by nomatech and Daiseycutter.

So you want to be an HQ Fleet FC?

Here is an outline of the skills, knowledge and process tracks that the current FC leadership believes you should start to focus on to be an HQ fleet FC.  It does not tell you how to FC.  The intent here is to start laying the groundwork for sources of information and provides a learning and experience and skill track for you to follow.

Skills:

There are three tiers of leadership skills that grant you certain abilities in the context of HQ fleets.  These are;

  1. Leadership 5
  2. Wing Command 4
  3. Fleet Command 2

Leadership 5 allows you to be a squad leader and put tags up on a site.  It is the absolute bare minimum to to start learning to FC.

Wing Command 4 allows you to fleet warp and pass bonuses for an 40-pilot fleet.  This is the minimum skill for HQ FC’s.

Fleet Command 2, allows you to fleet warp and pass bonuses for an 80-pilot Mothership fleet.  This is the recommended FC level for large-fleet FC’s.  Note that once you’re over the Wing Command 5 hump, it’s common to spend the extra week to go straight to Fleet Command 4.

Knowledge:

Editors note: you need a lot. Get comfortable, grab a beer and start reading.
Read and understand every word posted and linked on the incursion guide.  It’s not perfect, but it’s better than any other source of information available. Then send Hardin your thanks for the labor of love that keeps that thing running.
https://incursionguide.wordpress.com/

Here are some specific call-outs from the Incursion Guide that deserve extra mention.

incursions.nexsoft – a database of fittings with articles on fitting theory. You should read and understand all of the fitting strategy information. Review the fittings listed, and consider them from the perspective of if you want that ship in your fleet…why or why not?  What suggestions would you make to improve the viability of the posted fit? This is good practice for HQ fleet recruiting.
Eve-U – Cee Doublyew is updating the Eve-U site with some slightly updated thinking. It’s not terribly different from Incursion Guide…but is still good information.
Sansha Ships 101 – An updated and reformatted Incursion Guide’s Sansha Shiptypes document.  This is the heart and soul of being an FC.  You should have this memorized.  Until that happy day, you should also have it at hand whenever running a site for quick reference. Also available as a quick-reference sheet with a suggested kill-order.

Sites  – Again from the Incursion Guide website, these 3 links are the heart and soul of what you need to know to manage the 3 HQ sites.  Again, it’s recommend you memorize the information there, and print it out for quick reference.  Some of the tag recommendations and strategies may be a little out of date, but you cannot go wrong with them.  This information cost literally a hundred-billion isk in ships to research.  Read, memorize, understand.
True Power Provisional Headquarters
Nation Rebirth Facility
True Creations Research Center

FC Checklist – A comprehensive checklist of things you should be aware of and be on top of before you jump a fleet into a site.  The more experienced a fleet is, the less some of these things need to be reviewed for each site…but it’s all things that can impact the safety of your fleet.  You should be able to answer to each and every item on the list even if you don’t necessarily vocalize them for every site.

Tagging quick-reference sheet – This is the current thinking on HQ tag order recommendations.  Do remember that it’s all well and good to have a canned tag order given to you, but it’s a bit of a crutch.  You need to understand all of the above first before the tag list is meaningful.

The LC Guide – Noma’s LC guide for new LC’s is also a resource that can be helpful to anyone.

How to bug out of a site

Site broken?  Lose 4 Logi?  Mass Disconnects?  Griefers incoming?  Popped all the tag ‘J’ at once?

Sometimes a site is more dangerous to stay in than to try and get everyone out.   When an FC decides to bug out, how he handles himself doing so can make or break a fleet (and his reputation).  Don’t take the decision lightly, but also don’t spend all day trying to figure out all the what-ifs/whys/could-have-beens. Just decide and execute on your decision.

1.  Your first enemy is panic.  Make sure you take control of comms and keep calm.  This will help others to remain calm.
2.  Check the field, are there any Sansha scrammers?  If so they should be eliminated before trying to leave if possible.
3.  Remind the LC to ensure the cap chain is up.
4.  Have the fleet align to something….doesn’t matter what but get the fleet aligned.
5.  Have everyone ensure there are no collidables in their path.
6.  Move yourself into wing command or fleet command if you are not already so you can warp everyone at the same time.  Before doing so, check to make sure everyone is aligned.
7.  GTHO!  Do the Fleet/Wing warp while calling over comms for everyone to self-warp as well in case they miss the warp.
8.  Regroup, figure out what went wrong.  Use it as an opportunity to educate your fleet.
9.  Rebuild and carry on.

TCRCs are somewhat special in this regard as scrammers will constantly re-spawn.  You should consider a TCRC to be an “all in” site and only leave if absolutely necessary.  If you feel you must leave, have the entire fleet align to a celestial that is behind your spawn point which means the entire fleet is moving away from the tower.  Get as much distance as you can from the tower; more than 100K is highly recommended.  That puts the fleet away from the scrammers re-spawn point and should give you an opportunity to bug out before a newly spawned scrammer can successfully lock and scram a fleet member.  Have the drone bunny or T3s kill the Schmaeels while your fleet kills the Deltoles.  When down to last Deltole, split some dps to the Auga.  Try your best to have the last Schmaeel, Deltole and Auga go down simultaneously and fleet or wing warp as they re-spawn.

Experience:

It is imperative that a prospective FC fully understand every role in a fleet that is needed to complete the sites.  That prospective FC should also have filled all of the roles in a fleet.  For example, in order to explain where an Anchor needs to go, the FC should have done it themselves.

It’s clear that it’s a long training cycle to get into a Logi, and it’s certainly not in everyone’s preferred play-style.  However it’s strongly recommend all FC’s have some experience in sites from a Logi’s perspective, as well as performing the Logi Commander role.  This would probably be weighted more to Basi than Scimi both for the cap chain complexity, as well as 99.9% of the time the LC is a Basi pilot.

So, those roles are:

  • Strongly recommend Logi/LC, esp Basi.
  • Anchor for all 4 sites (both mom anchors)
  • DDD for all 3 sites (no DDD on mom)
  • MTAC P & MTAC D  You have to be able to describe it…Which means it helps if you have done it.
  • JJJ would be nice, but optional.  We use Jammers primarily on the TCRC site.  Understanding the risk, benefit and role is good for a FC.

Where does a prospective FC start?

VG’s don’t seem to be a very helpful FC training ground as they are so specialized and require so little in terms of fleet management.

It is recommended a new FC start with Assaults.  Get to know all the sites.  Running an Assault fleet is quite similar to an HQ Fleet except that it’s half the size and easier to manage.  The ease of management comes from the necessary rigidity of fleet comp.  Assault fleets require a precise balance of ship types where HQ sites can be run with a large variety of different fleet compositions.  That said, there are fewer and fewer Assault fleets being run these days and it may be less practical than it once was to run AS fleets for an extended period of time to get training.  However if you do run some, it’s recommended that you run NCN’s.  The NCN’s have random spawns but no triggers which forces you to understand how to prioritize without added worry of accidentally bringing on a premature spawn.  That will give the maximum Fleet comp and on-the-fly strategy learning opportunities.

Starting with HQs is ok too if that is your only option so be prepared to learn a lot very quickly.

The Process:

What many prospective FC’s do is to take the individual FC tasks/roles separately and learn them before starting to build up to the full role.

Be the Tagger…  Tag all 3 HQ sites till you can tag them without thinking and without referring to the tag suggestions.  Get your muscle memory built up to use the tagging system in EVE.  You need to be able to talk the site through while tagging…if you have to concentrate on what to tag next, or what tag to put on it, you won’t respond well to unique situations.  The most important part of tagging is to know your triggers.  After that, understand the Sansha ship capabilities and the relative threat level they present to your fleet.  Also, know your fleet composition.  It is not unusual to make minor changes in prioritization based on your fleet’s capabilities and weaknesses.

Be the Recruiter…  How and when do you ask for -1’s in fleet.  How and when and where do you ask people to x-up with their fits for replacements.  Do you just replace the -1’s?  What site are you doing next, and how does that affect required fleet comp?  Does Sniper vs. DPS matter for the sites you’re doing?  Do you have enough Logistics?  Do you want to run Logi heavy?  Why do we not recruit or invite from local/incursion local?  TVP -vs- BTL recruiting and the merits and limitations of each.  All these things are important.   You also need to learn how to manage and understand the fleet comp window.

Be the Voice…  Once you’ve done those 2 tasks, A new FC should then leave them behind and just voice each of the sites till they are completely comfortable with them.  Have your back-seat FC do fleet comp and tagging for you.  Talk the fleet through the site.  How you manage your fleet can be far more important than many of the other more visible FC duties.

Finally, pull it all together…  Build your fleet, Tag your site, voice and manage your fleet.  When you can do this completely comfortably without having your backseat pointing out things that you miss that might put the fleet at risk for all three HQ sites, then you’re ready to solo.  You might still be considered a ‘training’ FC, but the fleet safety and site management are your total responsibility at this point.

Work with the Noobs…  The life blood of BTL/TVP/CID or any PUG community is constantly having new people join and feel welcome enough to stay.  This is made especially true by the very nature of EVE itself. There is so much to do in EVE that people are constantly pulled in 30 different directions.  Pilots come for 2 weeks, then they go away and do something for 2 months.  We have to continually recruit and retain pilots if we are to successfully field fleets on a regular basis.  One of the most important things you do as an FC is to welcome those who are new to incursions and/or HQ’s to our fold and get them the knowledge and ability to feel safe and to contribute appropriately to our fleets.  For FCs, you can use 3 picture links over and over again to show a new pilot how to configure for tags, how to broadcast and what tags to shoot.  You can’t just link the pics and say ‘go look’ either.  You have to verbalize them through it.  These links are safe for the IGB as well.

Link 1  –  Broadcasting for Shield, Capacitor and “In Position.”  Direct their attention to the ‘arrows in all 4 directions’ at the lower right hand side of the Fleet window.  Most FC’s will have the new pilot hit all 3 buttons and have the Logi’s verify they can see the broadcasts to ensure comprehension and safety.
Link 2 – How to setup the Overview to see a Tag Column and how to set it to the left hand side.
Link 3  – Which tags to shoot and which ones to leave alone.

Other important things you should explain and things to keep in mind:

1.  Do not ridicule their fit.  Politely suggest improvements and explain why.
2.  Ensure they have tags enabled and understand their role in fleet (dps, sniper, logi).
3.  Go through tagging generalities, 0- Full fleet DPS, 1-9 DPS targets, A-H Sniper targets, J-trigger
4.  Explain what a trigger is  so they understand why they don’t shoot at it rather than just having it be a command.
5.  If they are flying a basilisk, explain basi chat, how the cap chain works and ask the LC to work with them.
6.  You and the logistics pilots should watch list them to ensure their safety.
7.  Review broadcast for shields immediately when yellow boxed.  Explain the yellow-red-yellow process and then when to broadcast “in position” and why.
8.  Have them BC for shields and in position before entering site to ensure they understand how to do it and to double check they are broadcasting to the entire fleet.
9.  Keep an eye on them in the fleet members tab while in site to make sure they are orbiting the anchor and keeping with the fleet.
10.  Check in on them once in awhile to ensure they are learning and having fun.
11.  Verify they understand how to orbit and that they orbit at 5-10k.  Review the anchor ‘AAA’ pilot.
12.  How to use the watch list is good knowledge for everyone

Leadership:

Leadership does not just mean you are the boss.  It is fun and rewarding to lead people in real life and in eve but leadership carries real responsibilities in both as well. As an HQ incursion FC, people will expect to be able to learn from you and be safe and have fun.  Treat these responsibilities seriously and act like a mature adult – you don’t even have to be one, just act like one.

As a leader, it is your job to coach and mentor pilots.  Teach them new roles, Delegate tasks when possible and more people will feel invested in your fleets.  Always compliment people in public when they do a good job.  If you asked for battle comms and had good comms discipline, thank the fleet and compliment everyone.  The reverse also happens…When people make mistakes or slack off, don’t embarrass them in front of everyone.  Open a private convo with them, explain what they did wrong and correct.  If there are repeat offenders, then quietly stop inviting them to fleet.  If they ask why, explain it to them and give them a chance to reform.  Everyone has bad days.

There is only one circumstance where you should ever kick a fleet member while in site or ask logistics to not rep them.  If they are a war target and didn’t declare then you should politely ask them to leave while telling logistics to not rep them.  In ALL other circumstances you should politely ask them to leave fleet.  If they refuse, create a new wing, make yourself squad commander and move them under you (you may also want to turn free move off temporarily).  Once that is done, warp them off grid to a planet or station and then kick them from fleet.  Whatever your dispute, unless they knowingly and intentionally endangered the entire fleet there is no reason to force them to lose their ship.

Whatever you do, we strongly recommend you don’t get in public arguments with fleet members whether on comms or in public channels.  It diminishes you and weakens overall morale and the spirit of community that BTL and its specialized sub groups (like TVP) have worked so hard to form.

Being a leader is good fun and congratulations for stepping up to be one.  Remember to always treat others with respect and to lead by example and you can be a great one.

Editors note:  As an FC, you will be looked too as a leader not just in sites but outside of sites and sometimes even outside of incursions. If you aren’t careful, you may end up playing politics more than killing Sansha. I have three tips for you – maintain perspective, sleep on big decisions, and always know where your towel is.

Thank you for reading this guide and stepping up into the role of leading fleets.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact DaiseyCutter and Nomatech ingame.

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