Monday, April 17, 2017

GR75s: We All Float Down Here

Let's start off our wave 3 "coverage" with the Rebel GR-75! Today's topic is covering what they do, and how to use them, and all that other stuff.  Fighting against them may turn into a future article, but for now: the first transport is away!

Hooray, John finally got to Wave 3!

Basics and How they Differ from Gozantis
"When the mother MC80 releases her young into the wild, they start out nearly unable to defend themselves..."
With the exception of points values and the Combat one having a blue dice in the front and Blue AA, the ships are identical.  I'm not going to cover the same ground Eric did in his Gozanti review, or his companion article about Fleet Supports, but I'll highlight the differences from the Gozantis, some special Rebel interactions, and anything else of note.  See Eric's Gozanti article for most of the easier breakdown on these.  I'll also usually be referring to the Medium Transport, the default, as the GR-75.  What I say for one applies to the other as well.

Using the basic one, you aren't going to get anti-ship dice.  Sorry.  Don't expect to be contributing to the battle with those, but you CAN use the squadrons you push to hit ships as needed.  You may not have ship dice to fire at their ship, but the 2 B-wings you push sure can throw damage out!

The other thing that is more of a "Rebels fighting Imperials" thing that Eric didn't mention in his review is that GR-75s are GREAT as Demolisher Insurance.  When you see the other guy has Demolisher across from you, GR-75 bodyguards on the outside love activating and denying Demo the chance to get into the side arcs of ships you don't want them in.  The traditional Gladiator-I only can roll accuracies out of its front, with the Red dice, and unless they start in short range, they won't get their black dice with them.  Using the GR bodyguards is a GREAT use of 18 points, especially if the next ship that activates can destroy the Demolisher!  Like so, below!

What's Whitney Houston's favorite coordination? Hannnnnnnnnnnnnd Eyyyyyyyyyyyyyye!
In the above pictured example, there's nowhere the Gladiator can go that doesn't result in landing on a GR-75 and pushing him back out of short range of the Nebulon.  When the Nebulon activates, guess who those B-wings are going to attack? Hopefully it has the Yavaris title so you can teach that mean ol' Demolisher not to pick on your little GR75 friends!

The main difference (beyond attacking power) that the GR-75s have over the Gozantis is that their speed charts are much better at faster speeds.  GR-75s can turn better naturally and get into other spots than expected much better than their Gozanti counterparts.  Whereas a Gozanti may NEED to turn to end up in a better arc of a ship (and not die), preventing it from commanding squadrons this turn, the GR-75 can throw squadrons and turn away just fine!  Both of them can end up potentially dead if they're in the front arc of a ship, so keep that in mind if you need to Navigate to not die, but both ships' NATURAL (Re: no additional clicks) max Left Turn is shown below.  The Gozanti can stay in closer, but the GR-75 can turn MORE in one motion.  It's not a HUGE difference, but it is worth noting. With 2 game rounds, the GR-75 can stay more in the fight and closer to the squadrons it wants to push.

Turn around, every now and then I push a little more squadrons now....

There's two, and I actually like both of them, so take that naysayers.
The two sweetest words in the English language, Dee Fault!
The Bright Hope title is the traditional default title, usually showing up as soon as you have 2 points to spare.  Reducing damage can be significant, especially if you're at Long or Medium range.  Please note that you don't get to CHOOSE which damage you cancel, which means if they have enough damage to get through your shields and hit you for at least 1, Crits are going to happen unless you can alter the dice coming in (Evade or Scatter! Remove/reroll that Crit dice!)

Titles I swear exist.  And he's a bigggggg jerk too!
The Quantum Storm is not often seen, but I love using it with Slicer Tools.  Starting from whatever your distance away is, you can move 3, use the title to move a 4th, and then be 3 away from whatever ship you're facing to Slicer Tools it away.  Slicer Tools is not often seen in our meta, but when it works, this little jerk is usually carrying it for me.  It may seem crazy to sacrifice/throw your GR-75 away, but let me tell you: Demolisher activating Squadrons at the right turn can be amazing! Especially when there's no squadrons in range.  ISDs using Engineering before they've taken any damage? Also great!  Eric is not as big a fan of Slicer Tools as I am, but I'll do whatever I need to in order to get an advantage over Imperial might.  And as the meta has shifted back away from needing anti-Slicer Tech, it's now a decent idea to try to make them work again.  BECAUSE the GR-75 is more generally maneuverable than a Gozanti, Slicer Tools works better on them (I feel) than their Imperial counterparts.  Our meta also generally doesn't have much anti-Slicer tech, so it works for me.

There's also a member of our local meta who uses the QS title as part of his Intel Sweep flotilla, and it's annoying and great.  It's a great spot for a Toryn/Bomber Command Center, too, just staying into the range when you need it.  Basically, I know everyone defaults to the Bright Hope, but the QS is definitely worth it too, especially if you only have 1 point.

Most of the builds Eric talked about work here too.  BCC/Boosted Comms or Comms Net work just like on Gozantis.  I can understand not taking Boosted Comms to try to get points in, just be aware that you're getting close to the action... where GR-75s DON'T fully want to be.  They want to be on the outskirts, but still able to affect the battlefield from where they're at (Through Comms Net or Boosted Comms/Bomber Command Center).

The Combat GR-75 has dice in the front (why not in the sides? Because Ackbar exists and some joker would make a list with Ackbar and 20 of the stupid things, ruining Armada forever.  Even I admit that would be kinda busted.)

I promise, FFG cares about Fish People
In any case, with those Blue combat dice and Blue AA flak, you can hit a LOT of squadrons at medium range, and that's a pretty good use of their dice out the sides.  If you have Toryn Farr nearby, you've got a 75% (with the reroll included) chance of damaging a squadron with the flak.  That's as good as a black dice, at better range!  Otherwise, the Combat GR75 is built the same way as the "regular" one.

The Rebel version of Trollface is similarly built.  With the Bright Hope Title and Major Derlin, you're canceling out 2 damage a turn, and if you want to add in Slicer Tools? Go for it, it's great.  Put Cracken on another ship there and keep removing dice and damage as fast as you can.  You can also put Bright Hope and Lando on a ship to keep it alive, but you're still kinda asking for some trouble should you get stuck in a place you don't want to be (and you're paying several points to keep a flotilla alive for some reason, instead of a better ship for Lando).  It's still a valid tactic, though, if you're skirting the outside of the battlefield.  Which brings me to a small "How to Use" section....

There's been a lot of discussion recently about just skirting the battlefield with them, waiting in the back or the wings and commanding squadrons through Relay.  It's certainly something you CAN do, but as soon as those Relay squads die (and they will get targeted...) you're asking for issues.  Your GR75s on the outskirts are waiting out there doing nothing.  I find a lot more use with them wandering into the middle of the fight and denying movement/forcing attacks.  Move in closer to the Star Destroyers and force their attacks.
"That's right, I said move CLOSER to those Star Destroyers!"
"Why are you wearing Han's vest?"
Wait, forcing attacks? Yes.  When I've got an ISD bearing down on me with Gunnery Team and he has 2 MC30s at Short range but a GR-75 directly in front of him, he's going to NEED to try to kill that GR specifically because the other option is ramming and staying in Short range of 2 MC30s.  While the GR may die (assuming he rolls an accuracy, it's not guaranteed!), I'll at best only have one MC30 attacked, which I can then activate next and run away with.  I'll sacrifice my GR to get 2-4 MC30 attacks (based on hull positioning) on a Star Destroyer any day of the week.

GR75s are also great at throwing AA dice out.  Even the basic Black dice have 6/8 sides with a damage to a squadron.  Much like you don't want to waste your Scatter token on 1 damage from your opponent's attack, enemy ace squadrons don't want to do that either!  But if their only option is using the Scatter on 1 damage or taking 2 total from a double-arcing GR75....

As Eric did, I'll highlight some specific interactions here.  In reality, every Rebel list wants at least 1.  Heck, FFG advertised it in their materials as such!  (Technically the line is that "You will almost certainly benefit from one to three.")  But as for specific synergies:

Dodonna: Bomber Command Center, meet Luke Skywalker.  You guys are gonna do great work together!

Mon Mothma: Make that Evade token work at Medium Range and keep cancelling dice out!

Rieekan: That flotilla may be dead, but it can certainly block enemy ships from moving where you don't want them to!

Madine: Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle Slicer Tools.  Which is the dumber way of saying that you can Navigate them to almost ANYWHERE and Slicer Tools orders away.

Cracken: Major Derlin, Bright Hope.  Shrug off damage like there's no tomorrow!

Final Thoughts
Flotillas were a super great addition to Armada when Wave 3 dropped.  FFG basically assumed we'd all have at least 1 in all of our Rebel fleets, and they are great ways to get Activation Advantage turn 1 and 2, while still pushing tokens over or getting squadrons moving or hacking your opponent's ship and making the Yavaris do an Engineering order next turn.  I'm glad they're part of the game, as they improved the number of ships each side brought to the table, and they made Large Ships viable again.

"John, are you going to address any of the controversy about activation delay, the difficulty of attacking the scatter token, the cheapness of their cost, whether they're fair or not, the right way to "play" them, or anything like that beyond a basic breakdown of how flotillas work?"

Not on your life.
15th President James Buchanan, because responsibility is for others.


  1. Hello guys, great summary as always! I'd like to hear your opinion on using Disposable Capacitors on a GR-75 Combat Refit. Obviously it can use a Concentrate Fire Command to throw 2 blue dice at long range. But is Commander Sato actually able to switch the colors of them to black? That might be a nasty surprise, right?

    1. My main concern there is the cost, really. 27 points for a Combat GR75 with Disposable Capacitors compared to 18 for a regular ol' GR75 has me hesitant to endorse it but with a commander like Sato (for the dice switcheroo) or Leia (for concentrate fire + reroll) or the like, it could have merit.

      The main question you need to ask is "would these points be better spent here than investing them into a ship that attacks at long range naturally?", such as a CR90 or Hammerhead or the like.

    2. 9 points, yes. TRCs & Ahsoka Tano when we're talking about stuff you'd always like to have with you.
      I'll give it a try and let's see if my opponent is in for some surprise. You expect CR90s throwing dice at you, but do you expect 2 black dice from some sweet baby HMC80? :-)