We formed a gang of around 20 with Gila’s, Cerberus and logi as main ships. As support we had links, combat recons, scouts, bubbler totalling us at 30. So a very tight and good core fleet-comp. We were formed up but Bob was not pleased with our offerings it seemed. The dudes who lived in the wormhole were doing an excellent job of crashing the highsec holes or keeping them just from collapsing, which made it impossible for us to get our fleet inside the wormhole.
Our friends, a cool gang called Friends from Murnaus, had more friends who wanted a helping hand fighting some french’ies in another wormhole. We burned 20 jumps only to have the french gang stand down and not wanting to play. We camped their wormhole for about 20 minutes but still no luck. Finally, Bob decided to show some mercy and gave us a nullsec wormhole. It led into I1Y-IU in Querious so we took it.
In Querious I deliberately kept the fleet slow just in case Darkness actually would form up for a fight. After having given them plenty of time to form up we moved on towards Catch. My thought was that if we didn't get a fight before, HED-GP pretty much always offer combat opportunities. We could have hunted ratters on the way, but unless I am in a very small gang of 3-5, I find hunting ratters to be very boring. As FC it’s the proper fight I want. It’s true that hunting them can force a form-up, but the time spent hunting them is not proportionate with the chance of locals coming out to fight.
Nothing much happened before a bit into Catch. We got to HY-RWO and held on the V-3YG7 gate. Our scout, who was on his first time scouting, started checking out the system. On the station there were some tactical destroyers so i asked him to zip around and see if they would get off station. He got silent and then I asked him what the situation was. He responded “I am scrammed and webbed” followed 5 seconds later by “I am dead”. Called for the fleet to jump into system and warp to him. My hope was that we could initiate warp and land on the hostiles. Didn't work so I rallied the fleet and took it to station. Bubbled up undock hoping for someone to warp into our bubbles. Had a few warping in but most of them got enough speed so they could burn in and dock.
Soviet-Union and .-A-. had a fair few in system so I kept camping their undock. They immediately started playing docking games and had a Dominix undock and we obliged by shooting at it. We were really itching for a fight and this looked like a good opportunity. They would of course try to both counter and get superior numbers on us but I had confidence in my Logi and fleet comp. About 10 minutes into the station camping they undocked a Chimera, then an Ishtar and a Scimitar. I ordered the Ishtar primary and had the main fleet anchored. The Ishtar melted and so did the Scimi. I am not really sure why the Chimera didn't land reps in time but not complaining. Just after the Scimitar went down the rest of their fleet undocked which was around 25-30 dudes in Cerberus, Barghest, Lachesis, logi plus tackle. I called a Caracal primary since I was sure we could burn through his tank before their reps would land. A carrier out of triage doesn't have a great locking time, especially a Chimera. Although we could have scored some kills, the Chimera repping would have been difficult to out damage, so I aligned the fleet out and warped. Naddy, our Sabre pilot, did a tremendous job bubbling them and staying alive so they were hindered by not being able to warp directly after us. We had one Gila that got unlucky and was scrammed just as we warped off and he died Gloriously.
Not wanting to fight in that system I burned a few systems towards HED-GP. I was pleased with us killing their stuff right under their noses, and if they chased we could choose a fighting position. Their tackle was chasing us and I assumed that their dps was behind the tackle. That was a mistake and a fubar on me as FC. Got into 36N-HZ where I took a system bounce before hitting 9KOE-A gate. My scout had died and I hadn't designated a new one so we blind-jumped and right into their 25 man fleet with 15 Cerberus + support and tackle. Had to Crash the gate but lost a Curse and a Scythe in the process. Killed their stilletto on the other side of the gate and got off.
The chase was still on, and with the route to HED-GP blocked I decided to tactically retreat us towards Curse. Kept best speed on for a few jumps while their tackle was keeping up. In ZXIC-7 I only aligned us out and their tackle jumped through and started burning after us. We primaried a Jackdaw who was piloted by the same dude that lost an Ishtar on station, but he managed to burn back and got out with just a little structure left.Murdered the 2 interceptors. When they were pointed by Lachesis and webbed by Huginn it went quickly. -A-/Soviet-Union main force jumped in so I warped us off. One of the Gila’s had fitted an Afterburner for some strange reason so he got caught. If he had a mwd fitted we wouldn't have taken any losses on that last engagement.
After that we flew through Curse and got out in Doril/Sendaya. Allthough the waiting time at the beginning of the OP was a bit too long, the whole evening turned out real well. My logi anchor Siree, who had his first time doing that job, did a tremendous job. Still kicking myself a little bit about the losses due to my blind jump because those losses could have been avoided. Very pleased about getting the upper hand in the station fight. Will definitely do this again and the Gila/Cerb combo was great with the kind of support we had.