The Executor-class Star Dreadnought was the brainchild of Lira Wessex, designer of the massively successful Venator and Imperator (Imperial)-class Star Destroyers. Adhering to Kuat Drive Yard's philosophy of "terror styling," Wessex set out to design a warship more massive and fear-inspiring than the Imperial-class. Palpatine authorized the production of the first four Executor-class Dreadnoughts before the Battle of Yavin and successfully slipped it under the eyes of the Imperial Senate. After the destruction of the Death Star, the new line was rushed into production as soon as possible, a new terror weapon was needed to fill in the void the Death Star had left vacant. By the Battle of Endor, several ships of this class were in service.
After the death of the Emperor, Executor SSDs would become a much coveted status symbol by warlords hoping to prove their military power and prestige. One, Ysanne Isard's flagship the Lusankya, was captured by the New Republic and used to fight against the Empire it once served. Superior General Sander Delvardus had a new Executor built as his flagship. Upon his death, it was used by Admiral Daala in the failed assault on Yavin IV.
Following the Black Fleet Crisis, where the New Republic once again faced an Executor (this time under the control of he xenophobic Yevetha), the New Republic commissioned the construction of the Viscount-class Star Defender, an Executor analog built by the Mon Calamari. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, these and the few remaining Star Dreadnoughts saw heavy use, with many more (including the Lusankya) being lost. By the end of the war, only one ship of the class was known to remain (the Guardian).
Strategies and Tips:Edit
When going against an SSD as the New Republic or Empire of the Hand, even though they may seem unstoppable, there are still ways to destroy them. The best method is likely a mass fighter attack, as Executor-class Dreadnoughts have little immediate anti-fighter defenses. It is also possible to destroy one conventionally. In order to defeat one, it is necessary to understand how they are designed to function and what their weaknesses are. SSDs can only focus effectively on a maximum of four targets before their firepower is significantly reduced. They also have a large and conspicuous blind spot behind them. Thus a large number of heavy frigates and capital ships generally can destroy one.
First, you'll want to put ships that can withstand a lot of enemy fire, so MC80B's or better yet, MC90 Cruisers (when you get them) for the NR and Syndics for the EotH will be best up front to take the bulk of fire from the SSD. Position them on one side of the Executor, to prevent the massive ship from firing on you with all of its Turbolasers. Then, position other ships behind it (MC40s, Chafs, other capital ships). Do not be surprised if it takes a few minutes of sustained fire (with casualties) to bring down the ship's shields. However, once they have fallen, dealing damage becomes much easier. It is also helpful to have an Interdictor (Massias or Corusca Rainbow) ready, and out of the line of fire, after the shields fall. Since SSDs have no engine hardpoints and can retreat at any time, all the damage you have done and all the units you have lost will be meaningless if you do not have, at least, one interdictor in your fleet.
When using fighter attack, one strategy is to amass a fleet of 40-60 quality starfighters (E-Wing for NR, Furions or Scarciss for EotH) and bombard the SSD until it is destroyed, and then retreat so that the main attack fleet can be brought in to finish off the rest. While there can be heavy casualties, this method is still fairly cost-effective and with enough fighters you can finish off the SSD before your fleet is destroyed, even if it has an escort. It is also worthy to note that, in singleplayer, SSDs generally do not retreat during a fighter attack, even after they are significantly damaged.
One strategy (if playing as NR) that is always a good idea is waiting for one to attack a planet with an ion cannon. When the SSD appears, target it with the ion cannon. This will take out the shields without casualties, allowing you to set to work destroying the hardpoints. This is VERY useful when going up against such leaders as Ysanne Isard or Ardus Kaine. Otherwise, if waiting doesn't help, you have two options: either you retreat your fleet from the planet with the ion cannon, which can lure the SSD in, or you may even use galactic stealth units (e.g. Mara Jade + Han&Chewie), go planetside, win, and build an ion cannon right under the SSD.
When going against an SSD as the IR or the PA, just use your own. If you can, use 2 SSDs (supported by carrier/capital ships Escort Carriers, Venators, or even ISDs) against one to ensure a quick end to any battle. If SSDs are not available, ISD IIs supported by heavy frigates (VSD I & VSD II as well as others) will be your best bet.
You can also bring in a fleet of carriers and support your SSDs with fighters to ensure timely takedown of the enemy SSD before your own is compromised.
Of course, if playing as the IR in Era 3, the absolute easiest way to destroy an SSD is to use the Eclipse's superlaser. The entire ship will be destroyed in one hit.
When using an Executor as the IR or PA, it would be best not to deploy it at the beginning of the battle. Because of the ship's extremely low maneuverability, it is best to clear the fog of war around concentrations of enemy ships or near enemy battle-stations and then drop the SSD right underneath them, where it can quickly obliterate the enemy's ships and stations.