Originally designed as an escort for larger Star Destroyers, the smaller Gladiator-class Star Destroyer measures roughly five-hundred meters and proved most effective as a long-range patrol ship deployed to the fringes of the galaxy. There, its brutal armament of turbolasers, concussion missiles, laser cannons, and TIE squadrons allowed it to quickly subjugate any local opposition to the Galactic Empire.
The Gladiator-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack for Star Wars: Armada introduces one detailed and pre-painted miniature that the expansion’s two ship cards allow you to add to your fleet as either a Gladiator I or Gladiator II. You’ll also find all the command dials and tokens that you need to bring your Star Destroyer to battle, along with ten upgrade cards that can enhance its attacks, allow it to move between attacks, and improve its accuracy.
Less powerful and less resilient than the Victory-class, the Gladiator-class Star Destroyer is also less expensive, costing either fifty-six fleet points for the Gladiator I or sixty-two fleet points for the Gladiator II.
And while it’s not as powerful as the Victory-class, the Gladiator-class – in many ways – features a better balance of strengths. Instead of the Victory’s six forward-facing attack dice, the Gladiator features four, but it can also fire four dice from both its left and right hull zones, as opposed to the three dice that the Victory fires from its sides.
Simultaneously, the Gladiator trades away one of the Victory’s redirect tokens for an evade token, reducing its ability to rely upon its shields for protection, but increasing its ability to evade attacks at long range.
Perhaps more importantly, the Gladiator is a faster and nimbler ship, with a maximum speed of “3” – as opposed to the Victory’s maximum speed of “2” – and a command rating of “2.” The reduced command, of course, limits the number of tokens your Gladiator-class Star Destroyer can store, but it also means that you’ll be able to react more swiftly to your opponent’s tactics. Its increased maximum speed is also important because the Gladiator features no medium-range blue attack dice. Instead, it features a hefty dose of potent, close-range black dice, so any admiral fielding a Gladiator-class Star Destroyer will want to find a way to race it into position to fire as quickly as possible.
The rules for fleet-building, along with the Star Destroyers and upgrades from the first wave of Armada expansions, ensure that you will be able to enjoy a range of Imperial fleets as diverse as the citizens of the galaxy they will help you conquer.
This is not a complete game experience. A copy of the Star Wars: Armada Core Set is required to play.