A double whammy review this time because I liked the symmetry of reviewing both German and Britannian carriers. Specifically the Imperium class sky fortress and the Avenger class fleet carrier.
Let’s start with the Imperium class sky fortress. In short, it’s awesome. It’s one of my all time favourite models from Spartan. It’s just pure genius. It’s that perfect blend of World War II, Indiana Jones and Steampunk. It is one of the coolest Steampunk models going. Let’s be honest, what’s not to love about a fecking massive zeppelin with a landing strip bolted to the top?
The model is absolutely massive. I mean massive and that blimp is a single solid piece of resin. That’s a lot of model for your money. It’s also a doddle to build. The metal struts fit nicely into the slots on both the blimp and the flight deck. Although word to the wise, glue the struts to the flight deck first and then slot it into the couplings on the blimp.
The model needs some cleaning to be fair. Mine had some pretty nasty mould lines along the middle of the blimp but nothing an emery board didn’t sort. You’ll also have a lump of resin on the nose that you’ll have to clip away. If you have a modelling saw use that and keep a metal file handy so you can chew off any excess. And the underside of the flight deck may have a few air bubbles so keep the liquid green stuff handy. Although it’s not an essential just me being fussy.
In game terms it lives up to its title. 7 Ack Ack is horrid and tesla coils coming out the wazoo is worse especially as the redoubtable special rule means that the bloody thing can be on fire and still fry anything that strays too close. Throw in 12 bombs at range band 1 and you start wondering why you’d bother with the fighters it carries. 12 bombs is just mental. That suck is going to be cleaving lumps out of just about anything. And it’s relatively tough too – almost as much as tough as the Emperor class battleship and tougher than the Rhine class fleet carrier. For 135 points it’s an absolute beast.
The Avenger class fleet carrier by comparison is a lumbering pig of a ship but has its charms in the same way a fat chick can still have a pretty face. And fat she is. The Avenger is basically two Ruler class battleships lashed together with a runway over the top.
Like the Imperium class sky fortress you are getting a lot of resin. Two battleships and a flight deck means it’s massive. Almost embarrassingly so. Like the Prussian sky fortress it has metal struts and the whole kit fits together very nicely. The towers are separate too and fit very snugly into the flight deck, just make sure all the edges are nice and smooth or you won’t get a nice fit.
In the game it’s just horrid. It’s bristling with torpedo tubes creating an exclusion zone around it which anything smaller than a battleship would be foolhardy to close within. It’s also got broadsides and a beam turret too. Unfortunately though it’s going to need them because it’s quite flimsy for its size. Although the carrier has one point higher hull points than a battle ship it has one less point of damage rating and two points lower for critical which means that if it does come under fire it’s going to get absolutely shredded. It’s Ack Ack is also a little low considering it’s a carrier. It occurs to me, like the Imperium class sky fortress, it’s a better torpedo boat than carrier. Which is just as well as you’ll be using its fighter complement to fly CAP over it.
It’s 155 points which makes it the most expensive carrier in the game and although heavily armed it’s vulnerable to the long-range guns of the FSA and even aerial attacks which is a bit comical considering it’s a carrier. The big plus, and I imagine it’s the reason for the high price, is that no matte how much of a pounding it takes it can still dish out those torpedo shots. Which makes me think the best way to use it is to get the fighters in the air and then close and use it as a torpedo boat.
Either way the Avenger class will be a headache. If you ignore it it’ll torpedo the living shit out of you. If you don’t you give the rest of the Britannian fleet to close. The name suddenly seems very apt.