If you haven't read the preview article yet, get over there and do that now. LINK
Did you read it? Good.
So, this announcement certainly isn't quite as exciting as Wave 2 when the Imperial Star Destroyer and MC-80 were announced. I do think that they will be nearly as game changing for Armada as a whole.
Flotillas - This announcement gives a whole new ship type for the game. I think the rules that they came up with for Flotillas are a great compromise. The fact that they cannot deal damage when overlapping keeps them from turning into kamikazes. They can still block movement, but won't directly cause damage.
The addition of options for ships with no firepower in arcs (or at all!) helps give these ships a really specific role in the game.
Gozanti - I'm excited to see this ship in the game. It showed up briefly in one of the prequels, but it has been heavily featured in the Rebels cartoon of which I am a fan.
The version of the ship that they are showing us has just 3 hull with 1 shield in each hull zone. Although that seems flimsy, the scatter token could make that last longer than expected. It will be important to have accuracy as an option for hunting these things.
The single Blue dice of firepower matched with the Black anti-squadron dice isn't especially threatening. Overall it is more of a threat to squadrons than ships, which seems appropriate.
Probably the most interesting feature of the Gozanti is the Squadron rating of 2. FFG implies that these things will be cheap. Having inexpensive squadron commands will be a big boon to the squadron game. Even with no upgrades, these will be great as extra activations and squadron boosters.
The biggest questions left are what will the upgrades and movement options be, along with wondering what will change for the other version of the flotilla. Maybe changing the anti-squad to Blue or the battery armaments to Black?
GR-75 - The GR-75 will bring another ship from the movies to the game and let us finally figure out just what were all those transports doing at the Battle of Endor.
Defensively the GR-75 looks identical to the Gozanti. The only differences that we know about are the armaments. The GR-75 has no broadsides at all. That is most likely to keep them from abusing Admiral Ackbar. It does also gain a Blue anti-squad die. It may well end up being the most efficient anti-squad ship the Rebels have.
Having the same Squadron rating of 2 also let's us imagine a role it can fill in our fleets. the article implies that the other version of this ship will have no battery armaments at all, which should make for a cheap ship. Hopefully it will still have some anti-squad abilities.
Upgrades - While the new ships are exciting, I am most interested in the upgrades that we will be picking up. The theme of these ships seems to be all about supporting other ships. This fits my play style perfectly as I love using things like Home One, Projection Experts, or Gallant Haven.
- Agent Kallus - What an amazingly Star Wars name. Agent "I don't care" turns any ship into a Unique squadron killer. It seems like his best place will be on a Raider with the Impetuous title. Why not double-dip on his ability. While B dice probably make the most sense for his ability, adding in Blue dice could be useful for Accuracies when hunting squadrons with Scatter tokens.
- Toryn Farr - WOW! She will be the single strongest anti-squadron upgrade available in the game. At 7 points, I can't see putting her on something as flimsy as a GR-75, but I love her on an MC-80 or Assault Frigate. She helps your ships anti-squad power in a way that makes Point Defense Reroute look silly. Then, she gives all of your nearby squadrons the same effect as having Swarm. It's just gravy that you can re-roll Blue anti-ship dice. There aren't blanks to worry about with Blue dice, but she can help fish for crits and accuracies. Really, really strong card.
- Bomber Command Center - This is a cool card and one that I have wanted to see for awhile. Having a re-roll for your bomber dice will make their damage much more consistent. The X-Wing will benefit from this card the most. That red die needs these re-rolls to be at all reliable. 8 points isn't cheap, but the impact has serious potential.
- Comms Net - This is a more limited version of the CR-90s Tantive IV title. It'll be handy, but not game-breaking. Where this card could shine is if there is a title that allows the Gozanti to store more than 1 token.
- Repair Crews - This is cool card and fills a nice void. I play some corvette swarms and it is a challenge when none of your ships have enough Engineering to discard a nasty crit effect. I expect we will see a lot of this upgrade.
The new ships are listed as a Quarter 3 release, so we should see them for sure at GenCon, but possibly sooner.