Rebel Transports Expansion Pack, Star Wars Armada

7.3 Overall Score
Utility: 7/10
Dollar Value: 8/10
Point Value: 7/10

Inexpensive in dollars and points, versatile, maneuverable.

Easily destroyed, and the Combat Retrofits variant is useless.

Rebel Transports Expansion Pack, Star Wars Armada
Fantasy Flight Games
2016

The Rebel Transports Expansion Pack brings the highly versatile GR-75 Medium Transports and the useless, overpriced GR-75 Combat Retrofits flotillas into the bloody insurgency aimed at overthrowing the rule of law throughout the galaxy, from magnificent Coruscant to the restive Outer Rim. If you’re the admiral of a space navy of left-wing nutcases with no regard for the lives of innocent plumbers trying to complete government contracts, you might want to add some of these to your fleet lists.

The first downside to the GR-75s is that, with only three hull points, three shields, one evade and one scatter token, and Engineering 2, they are easily killed. Their best hope is that the Empire will prioritize bigger targets. The second downside is that they have little to no battery armament, and so are almost no threat to ships. The more expensive variant, the 24-point GR-75 Combat Retrofits, is a waste. For 6 points more, the only thing it gains is a single blue anti-ship die in the front and rear arcs. And it can’t even use Ion Cannons.

But at 18 points, the GR-75 Medium Transports are no more expensive than many unique squadrons, making them a cheap method of gaining another ship activation. They can accept the new Fleet Support Upgrade cards, which makes them unique among Alliance ships, and two of these upgrades are likely to define their purpose in the battlespace. The other three are useless.

From the Battle of Yavin to Poe Dameron leading the attack on Starkiller Base, it’s the squadron game that gets things done. The GR-75s can be deployed with the Fleet Support Upgrade Bomber Command Center, giving a big boost to bomber efficiency. And because Bomber Command Center doesn’t require the GR-75 to spend a squadron command to use it, the GR-75 can instead use squadron commands to activate other fighters to defend those bombers, while simultaneously lending its own anti-squadron armament to the task. Don’t forget that any enemy squadrons engaged with friendly squadrons cannot attack the GR-75, but it can attack them.

Alternatively, the GR-75s can be deployed with Expanded Hangar Bay and Toryn Farr. Use a squadron command to send fighters in to engage Imperial TIEs, then drive the GR-75 past the dogfight. The Imperial squadrons cannot attack the GR-75 while engaged by Alliance squadrons. Those Alliance squadrons have their firepower boosted by Toryn Farr, and the GR-75 can fire its anti-squadron armament with impunity.

But the heavyweight GR-75 combination is Leia Organa and Comms Net, one of the new Fleet Support Upgrade cards. This allows the GR-75 to change the top command on a nearby friendly ship to its own top command, and give that same ship (or a different one) a command token of the same type. The GR-75’s command value of 1 means that it is always ready to change a nearby MC80 or Assault Frigate’s dial to whatever is desired, and bolster it with a token of the same type.

Assuming that a Star Destroyer hasn’t vaporized the little flotilla already. But that would be one or more attacks not aimed at a more valuable target.

The final downside to the GR-75s are those three useless Fleet Support Upgrade cards. Repair Crews is totally inferior to the Leia Organa and Comms Net combination in every way but point cost. Organa/Net costs only one more point, and is much more versatile, as it can be applied to any of the four commands. It is even at repairing other ships than Repair Crews is for any ship with an Engineering value of more than 2. For example, Leia Organa can change an MC30c’s top command to Repair, then Comms Net can give the MC30c the GR-75’s repair token. When the MC30c activates, it will have five engineering points. That is enough points to discard one damage card, and recover one shield. And this can be done at distance 1-5.

By contrast, Repair Crews only allows for the discarding of one damage card, and at distance 1-2. It is possible to deploy Repair Crews with Leia Organa but these cards would cost two more points than Organa and Comms Net, and would be much less versatile, and Repair Crews would be hampered by its shorter range.

It is nearly impossible to maneuver precisely enough to get any use out of Jamming Field, without also negatively affecting your own squadrons.

And Slicer Tools requires you to maneuver your fragile flotilla dangerously close to an enemy ship for a very uncertain result. Yes, you might change their top command dial from squadron to navigate, but that navigate might put them right where you don’t want them to be. And any commander who gets disrupted by Slicer Tools once will prioritize the little GR-75 as a target.

But a few bum cards are always to be expected. The GR-75 Medium Transports configurations described here are only a few of many possibilities. Overall, their low point cost, low dollar cost, and varied applications make the new flotilla a good addition to an Alliance fleet.

 

ARMADA-rebel-transport-horz

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Brian Downes
Author: Brian Downes View all posts by
Brian Downes is a writer who lives in Orlando, Florida. His novel, The Berlin Fraternity, about a man who hunts vampires for the Third Reich, is available on the Kindle and through Amazon.com. He enjoys pen and paper roleplaying games and geek culture. He clearly remembers waiting for The Empire Strikes Back to hit theaters, and vindicate his opinion that of course Vader was not Luke's father. You can't trust Vader's word!

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