Monday, December 14, 2020

Imperial commander review: Admiral Ozzel

Admiral Ozzel? Isn't he that guy who was as clumsy as he was stupid? Didn't Vader choke him out in a Zoom call?

Pictured: Piett is tired of Admiral Ozzel's workplace yodeling.

"Ozzel, cut it out with the yodeling! By the Sith it's all Piett ever tells me about and I'm sick of it!"

In 1.5, Admiral Ozzel's ability is much more straightforward: every time one of his ships is Determining Course (the step where you wobble the maneuver tool all over the place and consider your end destination and then commit to it), you may change that ship's speed by 1. This is in addition to other speed changes, most often due to resolving a navigate command. In effect, Admiral Ozzel is Entrapment Formation without the nav-token-eating requirement.

Just like Entrapment Formation, his effect kicks in every time a ship Determines Course, which normally means just the once each ship activation. If a ship can get an extra maneuver, typically with Engine Techs, you can resolve Ozzel's effect an additional time. This won't change the speed of the extra maneuver, but it will change the base speed of the ship. That can be very powerful for juggling your speed with an eye towards future activations.

As I mentioned, Admiral Ozzel is easier Entrapment Formation: the commander. Given Entrapment Formation is one of the best fleet commands, that's pretty great. He's also a mere 20 points, the cheapest you can get for a commander. That means squeezing him into a fleet is pretty easy. You should tailor your fleet a bit around the ability but I find it's not as much of a hassle to do so. The short version is Ozzel wants ships with a maximum speed of 3 or 4. He can still get work done with speed 2 ships but you'll find his ability gets used a lot more often when there are more options as there are with higher-speed ships.

Whether or not you should use Ozzel as a substitute for navigate commands or an augment to them depends on the ship but I'd still recommend getting at least a navigate token on your ships when you can, usually in the early game. Being able to change your speed by 2 or even 3 (Ozzel + nav dial + nav token) can be extremely good in the right circumstances and makes it very difficult to predict the end destinations of your zippy small ships in particular.

Again, literally every speed 3 or higher ship loves Ozzel. Changing speed when you need to is essential to good gameplay and Ozzel provides with no strings attached. Normally I'd provide a list of specific ships but it literally comes out to every single speed 3 or higher ship. I can group them a bit, though:

Ships that like to change speed by 2 or more. I'd include Raiders and Gladiators here primarily, but Onagers fit the bill too. There's nothing wrong with using Ozzel to change speed by 1 "for free" but combining his effect with a navigate dial and/or token allow for substantial speed changes that make your ships difficult to predict. This is especially great for "jumping over" the not-so-great speed 3 nav chart of Raiders and extra fun when combined with Engine Techs to rapidly change speed and add an additional speed-1 maneuver to the mix (both when increasing and decreasing speed).

Ships that want to change speed by 1 but they've got other jobs. That's pretty much everything else, but of special note I'd like to highlight Quasars and Gozantis that would prefer to keep commanding squadrons and/or using their fleet support upgrades as well as Arquitens who can pretty reliably mainline concentrate fire commands (with the occasional repair as necessary) when Ozzel's got the wheel.

Fleet building
Conventional Ozzel fleets tend towards MSU or LMSU (one large ship plus multiple small ships). With his ability freeing up carriers somewhat, he also does fine with fleets with more squadrons, although I feel like there are better commanders to run heavy squads builds with.


  1. I've never heard of speed 0, is this actually something every ship in the game can do?

    1. Yep, every ship can go down to speed 0 under any commander. It's there in the rules reference guide (page 11) under "speed" and the defense token restriction (i.e. you can't spend defense tokens against attacks when at speed 0) is in the defense token section. You can't start a ship at speed 0 but you can slow it down to speed 0.

      Normally it's not a great plan but it can be useful in the right circumstances and people often don't expect it because it's so often a bad plan that people just assume it's not something players would willingly do. Ozzel is particularly adept at suddenly going speed 0 due to his commander ability so I find I use it more often (still rarely) with him.