Tactical Guide – Gozanti Flotilla
This article has a lot of overlap with the GR-75, since both of them are not terribly different from one another. While the GR-75 is an activation embodied in a ship (with a useful ability sidecar), the Gozanti tries to make the flotilla more useful by actually adding some decent combat ability at the expense of an increased point costs. Honestly I don’t feel it’s worth it, which I’ll get into, but the Gozanti is still a useful addition to the Empire for the sake of being a flotilla.
Flotillas are the smallest ship in the game at present, in terms of hull size and general capabilities. They have pathetic armament, are cheap to field, and usually won’t last long under concentrated fire. Then again they are the only capital ship in the game with a scatter token to cancel an attack entirely.
Flotillas open up two new vistas in terms of Armada strategy. The first one is obvious: the fleet support slot. Five new upgrade card options are available to commanders who want to use their effects to support the rest of the force. I’ll cover all of them in detail below in upgrades, but suffice to say like the Interdictor they have abilities that only they can take advantage of.
The Gozanti differs from the GR-75 by having some weaponry, turning into a cheap, better gun platform.
The command ratings for the Flotillas are just as simple as the ship is: Command 1, Fighter 2, and Engineering 2.
Command 1 means this is a highly reactive ship as we know. The key thing is combining this with the Comms net Fleet support upgrade, allowing the Gozanti to pass tokens to friendly ships. This is a nice effective way to pass tokens around at a more targeted way than Tarkin can provide, and for a much cheaper cost.
Fighter 2, in combination with the offensive retrofit slot, can push this ship up to commanding 3 fighters, and even 4 with a token provided. That makes these ships really effective micro-carriers to activate choice squadrons. This could be a small bomber wing with Rhymer, or a kamikazie TIE Fighter squadron waiting for one turn of activation before trying to hide under a Jamming field. This is the cheapest way to get this many fighter activations short of running a VSD, and the GZ might beat out the VSD in terms of being the most effective carrier the Empire has. After all, the points you shave out of switching to a GZ from a VSD allows you to take more fighters.
Engineering 2 is not unexpected for such a light and disposable craft. What this means is you need to expend effort to remove damage cards (by banking a token and combining an engineering command). However with hull 3 I doubt you’ll be seeking to repair this ship before it’s destroyed. At best, the engineering rating is there to repair one of the 1-point shields that took stray fire.
This section can get a little more interesting than the GR-75 version of this article because the Gozanti actually comes equipped with weapons.
The Transport version is the most common I’ve seen though, which has the weaker of the two armament options. Blue dice out of the front and sides, with a black for AA capability. It’s useful in a pinch, but I’ve never heard of anyone running Gozantis in this configuration to actually fight anything. The times I’ve heard of a Gozanti Transport attacking anything is when they’ve already drifted close to enemy squadrons and are using their black die AA shot for that better chance of hitting fighters. As a cheap gun platform, at least it offers contributory firepower while it is doing its thing.
The Cruiser option upgrades the firepower to at least workable levels: A red die out the front, with a blue die AA rating. I haven’t taken them and I haven’t seen anyone else take them, mostly because red die are too unpredictable to rely on for a lot of shots and the results are easily cancelled with evades. However, if you wish to dedicate a Gozanti to an attack role, I could suggest taking an Intelligence officer and selecting concentrate fire for the ship’s command every turn. That way you’re firing two dice downrange with each shot, and sniping off the evade if it is chosen. If not, then at least you’re depleting shields?
That’s the best I can see Cruiser Gozantis performing and even then it’s not exactly flashy. The other reason to take Cruiser GZs is for the blue AA spray they can contribute to a fight, but friendly starfighters do a much better job at killing enemy squadrons than relying on Flotillas. The reprisal from fighters you want to kill could end up being costly as well if you’re facing more than three attacks, since that will shed your brace.
Gozantis navigate more conventionally than the GR-75s, with clicks across most of their range and two clicks at speed 1. There’s nothing noteworthy really about navigating in the Gozantis, it’s pretty straightforward.
I will make a note here while I have the space of how flotillas handle collisions differently. Flotillas cause no collision damage to non-flotillas when they ram enemy ships. Presumably this to deter a player from taking a swarm of Rieekan GR-75s and ramming their targets to death.
Flotillas are a bit of a paradox in this regard. In terms of hull and shield amount they are the weakest ship in the game. 3 Hull is weaker than each corvette in either faction, and 1 shield on each facing is lacking at best. Four hits or three collisions and they are done.
On the other hand, they are the only ships in the game with a scatter defensive token, allowing them to completely negate an attack without accuracy to put a stop to it. As the meta gets accustomed to these flotillas I think we can expect an increase in accuracy carriers the longer these flotillas are continuing to do wonders in the fleets they are in.
Still again, the non-threatening nature of a flotilla is also a form of protection. Given the choice between, for example, firing on Demosisher or a Goznati… players will be moved to shoot at the Demolisher to stop the dreaded triple-tap.
The other token in the inventory is evade. In my experience flotillas like to usually hang at range, and even if an accuracy is provided it’s usually hitting the scatter. Evade is there to cancel the most dangerous result out of a red dice pool that is fired at you. Once you’re in blue range things get harder for flotillas, but at least your small-point unit is taking fire away from the ships you want to preserve. Typically things are looking bad for you otherwise if there are no other targets your opponent would rather be shooting at.
Here is the real utility behind these flotillas, since they have an upgrade category unique to themselves: Fleet Support. Let’s go over the cards.
The first and perhaps most useful upgrade is Comms Net. At 2 points, this makes the Gozanti into a 30 point token passer for ships the distance of a range stick. In one of my builds, I used a couple of them to help a pair of VSDs navigate better and pass tokens to an interdictor. Often in this configuration the ship isn’t doing much else other than passing the token.
Repair Crews, at 4 points, is also just as useful. With a repair command it can suck a damage card off a ship out to distance 2 away. This can be any damage card, including bad criticals, without needing to find a station, muster the engineering points, or force that ship to use a repair command. I
A third card, just as useful as the others, is Bomber Command Center at 8 points. This is the most costly of the fleet support upgrades but perhaps the most wide-ranging. It allows any fighter with the Bomber keyword to have a free re-roll of their dice at the distance of a range ruler. I’ve seen one player take a pair of these, hiding them at the back of his fleet, and use them to support a 6 B-Wing swarm with Toryrn Farr. There’s a controversial ruling in place now that allows “While” effects to stack, allowing those B-Wings to re-roll a single die twice if they chose, with two BCCs in range. As a passive ability BCC can be equipped to carrier flotillas, along with Expanded Hangars or Boosted Comms, to make ultimate bomber-carrier flotilla groups. While not as deadly, BCC can cover a Rhymerball that is sniping targets at medium range.
Slicer Tools is also pricey at 7 points, but nasty if allowed to kick. At the end of the flotilla’s move, Slicer Tools changes the top command of a ship at distance 1-3. This has very serious disruption potential for carriers, for if the flotilla activates first it can prevent something like Yavaris from double-tapping with all of its squadrons. It can also prevent things like Nav teams, critical repairs, or that extra die when attacking. Yet for all that disruption potential, the range requirement Is why I don’t think I see this card being mentioned more often. The flotilla has to get close in order to use the ability, and the closer to target you get, the more likely any attacker with blue is going to get accuracy and block your scatter.
The last fleet upgrade is Jamming Barrier, and this is the title I see the least. Jamming barrier treats all fighter v fighter interactions as if they were obstructed… including your own. The practical use I see for this is a turn of activating your fighters to fly forward and attack their targets, then follow with the GR-75 to cover all of the squadrons just activated. This requires some precise timing to pull off however, and it can backfire.
Those upgrades aside, Flotillas have the usual officer slot and an Offensive Retrofit slot.
Unlike GR-75s, I find myself starting with the fleet support upgrade for the Gozantis. Usually I take them as Comms net carriers or Repair team carriers, since I’m not usually a fighter player (when I am, I like having Flight Controllers to back them). However the potential for shenanigans exists, especially when you consider the titles.
Otherwise I’m tempted to run these ships more like mobile activations and Fleet Support carriers. I’ve already discussed their firepower configuration above (Intel officer + Concentrate fire on the cruiser). If your meta is one where there’s a lot of Demolisher or frequent CR-90s with TRCs, consider mass-equipping tractor beams to slow someone down on the approach. Sticking Kallus on one can give you a boost of firepower when fighting aces, though he’ll probably like being on the Raider more.
Suppresor: This looks good on paper… if you have a support Flotilla close to your formation or acting as a barrier, this is a nice disincentive for the enemy ship to close. However, the 1-3 activation distance means the target ship is usually in blue range, and Suppressor is a good enough reason for the ship to pop the flotilla with a single accuracy. 4 points is also a little much to ask for a fire magnet, since that’s 27 points to start with. On the other hand it could be a useful afterthought on a Gozanti you could build to follow your friends.
Vector: Probably the more useful of the two titles. Non-bombers activated with a squadron command increase their speed by 1. If you pump the Gozanti up, you could help a key interception squadron get into place and attack the enemy better. The holdup here is what squadrons to take with Vector to use its ability to the fullest. If you take Rogues, then activating means you’re not using them to the best extent of their capabilities. TIE Fighters are pretty fast enough as it is, and Interceptors are maximum speed. The TIE Advanced may be your best bet to fling them into the fight. YV-666s are another decent option, the problem is speed 3 is passable, and only just enough to get into combat range, not spring into place dramatically.
We know a few things about the Wave 5 fighter packs… of them, the Lambda and VT decimator are speed 3 craft. They could be a good use for a Vector battle group as well, though let’s see about their cost before making that determination. If it’s reasonable, Vector could be useful as a stand-by emergency activation squadron to send a couple of VTs to reinforce a key position, if not lead a flanking attack.
How to use it:
First and foremost Flotillas are cheap activations and that in itself is a powerful tool for a list. I can’t stress this enough… having three Flotillas with passive upgrades like Boosted Comms or Slicer tools is an evil way to wait out an opponent until they activate a key ship to move into range of your real attack craft. The activation struggle just got bigger with Flotillas, though plenty of us already had training with Turbolaser Re-route circuit CR-90As and Raider swarms. No matter what configuration you have your Gozantis, you have a leg up on the activation battle by fielding multiple flotillas. It doesn’t hurt that they are cheap in point and price.
The most common use I’ve seen for the Gozanti is fleet support. I haven’t used them in a fighter support role yet, mostly because the single-activations possible out of the bigger ships has its own benefits (especially with Flight Controllers). Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong using them as Comms net ships or Repair teams trailing your main battle line.