This is going to be a kinda indirect article of my "So You Want To FC, Eh?" series as I pretty much have most of Part 2 written already :P. So we will call this...part 1.5 haha. Anyway...
If you recall, in part one I briefly touched on AAR's and their importance. Since it is a highly important part of PvP I decided it needed a dedicated article to go more in depth on the subject.
So what exactly is an AAR? Some corps and alliances have different terms for them, but for our purposes an AAR is an After Action Report. AAR's are extremely vital to the success of any form of PvPs overall success in a corp or alliance setting. They allow you to convey the events of a roam and any subsequent engagements, thus allowing others who weren't there to see what happened and provide input.
There are two types of AAR's; verbal and written. Verbal AAR's are usually done post roam right after docking up, but before disbanding or dismissing the fleet, This gives the FC the opportunity to go over the things that went wrong, things that went right, and things that can be improved upon in the future with the gang. It is important to remember to not take criticism in a bad light as it is usually all directed into making everyone a better pilot or FC. However, it is important to note that finger pointing or direct blame should be withheld. Criticism in that neighborhood should be left to 1 on 1 discussion. It is fine to say something as such, "We lost that fight due to jams not being applied". Not this; "Johnson314 didn't apply jams and therefore we couldn't suppress dps..what a noob". Crushing someones morale or cause conflict like that helps no one and, as said, should remain private between the parties.
Written AAR's are just that, written out and usually posted on the Corp or alliance forums board for all to read. This allows those not present on the roam to have in essence a play by play from start to finish of travel and engagements. Some things to remember are: Include what the plan was, who went along, ship types you were flying, anything intel related(ie enemy movements, someone cynoing in something etc etc), detailed explanation of engagements, where you went, and things that could have been improved upon(usually like a posted version of went went on in the verbal AAR).
So do not forget this valuable tool. It helps us learn from our mistakes, gives insight into FCing, and is a valuable communication tool. So the next time you take out a fleet remember this; Discuss and pass it on!