First Flights with the GR-75 Rebel Transport

Last night I got in a few games with the GR-75 Rebel Transport against BDub.  In the first game, we were just testing things out and I ran the new X-Wing pilot Tarn Mison (who's ability is wasted in this mission since all the shots go at the GR-75), decked out Kyle Katarn in the Moldy Crow and Horton Salm with the new droid that gives him an Elite Pilot Talent (Marksmanship).  BDub ran Howlrunner, Winged Gundark, Carnor Jax and Mauler Mithel.

If you own the GR-75 and not the Tantive IV, you should note that Fantasy Flight added a step in the Energy section of the rules.  The missing step is "Allocate Energy", where you place tokens from the ship's pool onto individual cards.  The wording on some cards, especially the Tantive IV upgrades make a lot more sense when you know about this step.  I see that FFG has updated the huge ship rules on their website (and the replaced energy page is easy to spot).

It took a bit to figure out the "Death Cone" for the GR-75.  Since it moves last, when flying against it you have to be careful not to move into the "Death Cone" unless you want to be removed.  It also has a bit of a dinosaur tail, so don't get too close to the rear if you think it will turn.  It turns out you can best approximate the Death Cone by imagining a range 2 isosceles triangle with one point on the blue mid-line.  I managed to gobble up Howlrunner before Lord of the TIEs BDub figured out the Death Cone.  I also dump-trucked another TIE with a Crazy Ivan, catching it with the tail.

We both liked the blue line mechanic for targeting different sections of the huge ships, but had a scenario that wasn't immediately clear.  At one point BDub had maneuvered a TIE behind and to the side of the GR and its front arc was just able to catch the front edge of the fore section.  However, because of his position, the rear section was obstructing the fore section.  As the rule goes, he wouldn't be able to take a shot, but he wasn't able to shoot the rear section (not in his firing arc).  How can the rear block the shot if you can't shoot at it?  I believe the intent of the rule is to prevent pot shots at the "far" section if the nearer is a legitimate target, not to take away legitimate shots, so we let the shot proceed.  An alternate house ruling on these extreme side shots might be to allow the GR to roll an extra evade die.

The second game BDub decided Bombers was a better choice against the big, slow boat.  His list was Jonus and two Scimitar pilots all decked out with Advanced Torpedoes and photon bombs.  I flew Wes Janson (another new X-Wing pilot), Red Squadron X-Wing and two Green Squadrom A-Wings.

I also added quite a bit more in the way of upgrades to the GR-75: Quantum Storm, Toryn Farr, Carlist Rieekan, and Backup Shield Generator.  Toryn Farr is easily the best upgrade for Huge ships.  In the first wave of attacks, she completely neutered the Bombers target lock and focus tokens, forcing them to come around for another pass to get their Advanced Torpedoes off.  And since the GR is just about as fast as the TIE Bomber, it was easy to make a quick getaway.  And good thing, too, because I did some great flying into photon bombs, dialing up red maneuvers with the already stressed A-Wings and putting the wrong maneuver dials on my nose-to-nose X-Wings (essentially flying them in the opposite direction of the action).

All in all, the GR-75 seems pretty durable, especially when upgraded.  And the GR definitely needs to be upgraded: I recommend spending at least 20 points on it to get the most potential.  Two Advanced Torpedoes will put a big hurt on the GR-75, but it is difficult to get them off when upgraded properly.

The mines in this mission are their own interesting mechanic, and they were definitely more effective in the second game one BDub figured out all the abilities.  But so far the GR-75 has proved difficult to beat.  I'd be interested in flying a few Lamba Shuttles against it, I think four attack dice at all ranges will be good at keeping the shields down for each wave of attackers.  BDub talked about four Interceptors.  The 100 points allowed in the scenario almost doesn't seem like enough points, but I'm sure BDub will cook up something deadly for next time.