One of the selling points of the table-top game Star Wars: Armada is the impressive looking Imperial ships. The core set may come with two small Rebel ships, but it’s the triangular Star Destroyer that’s the main attraction.
The Gladiator-class Star Destroyer is one of more striking looking war machines in the Imperial fleet. Basically a small Star Destroyer with the nose cut off, it’s a thug of a star ship. The sculpt is of the usual standard we’ve come to expect from Fantasy Flight Games; it’s pre-painted and reasonably well-detailed. There’s enough there for hobbyists to repaint if they wish, but your average gamer is going to be happy enough to leave it as is.
Rules-wise, we’ve got a decent squadron control battleship with enough firepower to take out anything stupid enough to get too close. With decent enough shields on the front and good engineering score, it’s unlikely to go out of the game very quickly. Its command score is average; a sensible player will put in lots of repair orders and charge into the enemy’s frontline, taking out as many fighters and light craft as possible. It’s manoeuvrable enough to go toe-to-toe with heavy assault craft as well, and it’s got the range to hide in the corner and take out Rebel frigates as well.
Players looking to tinker have plenty of cards to add to this already formidable unit. Title cards include the Demoliser and Insidious. The former makes the piece more flexible, whilst the latter makes it more deadly. The same applies to the rest of the cards; they are two admirals, one deadly the other quick, and extra guns or sensors can be added, depending on your style of play.
The Gladiator-class Star Destroyer is a nice model with some nice rules. Being the bad guys has never been more fun.
STAR WARS: ARMADA – GLADIATOR-CLASS STAR DESTROYER EXPANSION PACK / DESIGNER: JAMES KNIFFEN, CHRISTIAN T. PETERSEN / PUBLISHER: FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW