Thursday, December 17, 2020

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 is another 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 that applies to the Combat Retrofit as well.

Before I begin anything, I'm going to continue my usual plan of "profit off of Eric's hard work" and literally just copy what he wrote about how flotillas work in his Gozanti article.  His words are in red, below.
See, when my recording contract takes off, I'm gonna be sitting on Easy Street....

Let's talk about flotilla special rules before we get any further
Flotillas have been hit by the nerf bat twice now, which means they have 4 special rules that apply only to them:

  • When a flotilla overlaps or is overlapped by another ship, the other ship only takes a facedown damage card if it is also a flotilla.
  • Commanders cannot use flotillas as flagships. They need to use a real ship.
  • You cannot have more than 2 flotillas in a fleet.
  • If one fleet has all of its non-flotilla ships destroyed, that player loses at the end of the round.
Those final two rules technically only apply in tournament games, but it's been my experience that most players in casual games assume that tournament rules and restrictions apply to pick-up games unless the players involve agree otherwise beforehand. Keep these restrictions in mind throughout the article - flotillas are useful as support ships but you can't bring enough of them to really carry a fleet any more.

Thanks Eric!

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 beyond flakking squadrons, 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!

Basic Usage
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 Navigate 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....
It used to be (old man pants) that every Rebel fleet started with 2 flotillas because of the importance of activations.  And you can still do that; squadron fleets love having GR75s as carriers.  But I don't think you need to consider that as gospel for all lists anymore.  I've built several good builds with only one flotilla, and that was before pass tokens eliminated the need to game the system with activations.  If you're adding a flotilla into your fleet, you need a good reason for it to be there at this point.  Almost every fleet can use and appreciate a flotilla doing something for it.  The question you need to ask is what that SECOND one is doing for you.  If your playstyle demands both having Slicer Tools or you're pushing a bunch of squadrons, great.  I just personally don't think 2 Comms Net flotillas are the best use of your points, even with all the different token activation cards.  Just like every other ship in your fleet, have a reason for the ship to be there that isn't just "I activate it and it durdles in the back corner."

The last thing to add is that at some point in the game, your flotilla may decide to muster all of its bravery and run towards that ISD's face, forcing attacks and moving in closer.  Closer? Yes. When I've got an ISD bearing down on me with Gunnery Team and he has 2 MC30s at close 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 close 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.  Just make sure the sacrifice of your brave little toaster is worth it.
"That's right, I said move CLOSER to those Star Destroyers!"
"Why are you wearing Han's vest?"
There's two, and I actually like both of them in different roles.
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.  It keeps one flotilla alive a LOT longer than you'd think.  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 or reroll that critical dice!)
Quantum of Slicing
The Quantum Storm is often accompanied by 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 (either moving in or out of range as needed with REALLY good navigation ability).  Medium range and distance 3 are pretty similar, so if you're in one (to slice with!) you're VERY likely in the other (to be shot with blue and red dice.  Uh-oh...)  It may seem crazy to sacrifice/throw your GR-75 away to alter one command, but let me tell you: Demolisher activating squadrons at the right turn can be amazing! Especially when there's no squadrons in range.  ISDs pushing Squadrons on the turn they need to Navigate to stay on target? Also great!  I'll refer you to the Slicer Tools article for more information there.

Otherwise, the Quantum Storm works great at JUST getting things into range or out of range when running.  It's not going to do amazing things like that, but it's a point.

GR-75 Medium Transports
Ahh, wave 3 design space.
This is the basic GR75 I've been talking about above.  With only 3 spots (and a title), you're going to want to fill SOME of them.  The more points you sink into this, the more it hurts when it explodes, and the more you're not putting those upgrades on sturdier ships and improving what those ships need.

Fleet Commands:
Bomber Command Center if you're bringing bombers.  Comms Net if you have big ships and want them to have tokens to do things.  And Slicer Tools if you want to harass your opponent.  The other 2 as a Rebel really aren't great plans.  Jamming Field is niche, and Repair Crews requires you remain in distance 2, which is easy for an SSD and not for a lot of maneuverable Rebel ships.

What about the new ones, Parts and Munitions Resupply? If you have a plan for them? I don't hate the idea, but make sure passing out a bunch of con-fire or engineering tokens is worth it over just a general Comms Net instead.

Generally you only want to fill this if putting an officer there helps the flotilla do what it's going to do better; I'm not putting Ezra on here for IF it ends up in close range of an obstacle, I'd put one of the below builds together, or shove Hondo/Ahsoka here if you need them but lack an officer chair.

Offensive Retrofit:
Boosted Comms or Expanded Hangar Bays if you're pushing squadrons and can afford the points, Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams or Proximity Mines if you HAVE A PLAN based around it (aka several other copies of those cards).  Otherwise, probably leave it blank.  Every point spent on your flotilla is a point not spent elsewhere improving another ship.

"Do What I Say!" (23 points)
Leia Organa (officer)
Comms Net
This build is geared towards making sure your ship is doing the command you want this turn, and it's doing it WELL.  Leia can change the dial of a command-3 ship to be the right command this turn, and give it a token to do it even better.  Fun Fact! This costs as much as a naked Gozanti and is IMMENSELY better.  This seems fair.

"No Thanks" (26 points)
Quantum Storm
Slicer Tools 
This is the basic Slicer Tools build I talked about above with the title.  If you really want to have fun with this, you can add Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams to ensure you zap off a Nav token from whatever small ship you plan on going to hack.  It gets really annoying, fast.

"Squadrons for Days!" (27 points)
Bright Hope
Toryn Farr
This is generally the first flotilla added to a squadron fleet.  Toryn wants to be near the squadrons she's commanding but doesn't want to be in danger.  What to do? Peanut Butter Bright Hope, meet Chocolate Toryn Farr.  By the time she's likely dead, so are your opponent's squadrons.  Notice the lack of Fleet Support on here.  This is one of the few builds I'll recommend doing so.

"The Bort Hope" (40 points)
Adar Tallon
Boosted Comms
Bomber Command Center
This is the most expensive build I've got/can recommend, and it's GREAT with squadrons.  Adar lets you push one into range (for Yavaris), and the Bomber Command Center and Boosted Comms being distance 5 are both amazing at pushing squadrons a foot out from you.  This flotilla will skirt the edges of the battlefield, staying alive and harassing your opponent with the best squadron attacking twice.  It's expensive, but really good at what it does.

GR-75 Combat Retrofit
I literally didn't even know it HAD back dice until I just uploaded this picture.
Ah, the rare Combat Retrofit.  Existent... somewhere in the wild alright.  It's 6 more points than the regular one, for a blue dice in the face and blue dice flak.  EVERY SINGLE TIME you take this ship, you have to ask yourself why the 6 points you're spending on it aren't worth being spent elsewhere.  Every time.  "But my Sato build-" nope.  "With Toryn boosted flak or attack dice-" That's worth 6 points to you? Really?  There's AN argument for using it with Opening Salvo, but I can't say that it's ever swayed me enough to TRY a fleet with it.  And that's ME, king of the jank.

I'm not going to tell you NEVER use this, as I'm inviting people to comment or keep trying jank until it works for them.  But I'm going to advise you to go look at your build and games and see if you're winning BECAUSE of its blue flak and attack dice or in SPITE of it.  Do you NEED this ship attacking with a very "eh" shot, or do you want those points helping something else improve? When you can answer that, you'll know what you need to do.

All the builds and upgrades are the same as above, just 6 points more because you wanted a blue dice.  Hope it was worth it?

Final Thoughts
Flotillas were a super great addition to Armada when Wave 3 dropped. With activation advantage being adjusted with pass tokens, make sure you have a good reason for including one and it'll still do right by you.


  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? :-)