GP04 Gerbera is a cancelled prototype after the overhaul of the GP01 into the GP01-Fb. Since the two units would now be filling similar roles, the GP04 was deemed redundant and design efforts were halted. Conveniently, this allowed Anaheim Electronics (AE) the opportunity to play both sides of the conflict and ship the mostly complete unit to Zeon’s Cima Garahau who then modified it into the GP04 Gerbera Tetra which we see on screen.
In the 0083 Rebellion manga retelling the GP04 does get a chance to shine. Her developer challenges Nina and Kou to a performance test which would pit the GP01-Fb and GP04 against one another to prove their merits. An interesting choice since the GP04 was meant to be more of a deep striking unit with its very long beam rifle and propellant tanks called ‘sturm boosters’ held on its back in the form of wings.
Both units have their merits, the GP04 looks to be a unit better able to do a longer endurance mission to either circumvent the enemy positions and strike a vulnerable portion such as a supply ship convoy or even a warship; while the GP01-Fb is still more of an up close and personal anti-Mobile Suit type units. Both units surely excel at anti-MS combat but the GP04 Gebera has a clear advantage on range and propellant.
When designing this unit we wanted to make it as distinct as we could from GP01-Fb while still maintaining the combat purpose overlap. Both units have extremely high movements for their time period as well as remarkably high evasion. GP04 leans heavier into shooting versus melee combat with GP01-Fb being a more well-rounded unit. Still, it is a Gundam and with 5d10 Melee dice you can easily take out an unsuspecting unit, especially if you use your remarkable movement to hit the back-lines early and blindside a front-line unit later.
GP04 only has a test pilot, so while it is cheaper it comes with all the downsides of not having a Skilled or Ace pilot. Take the Shot is a good choice for this unit to maximize your range or bypass an enemies Shield. You may also want to consider Moment of Clarity for a further boost to Accuracy.
Next post will be GP04 Gerbera Tetra