Sounds like they *still* haven't managed to get a true offline version working yet.
Previous versions were horribly network dependent. Gradle would pull megs and megs of data whenever you started a new project (and at various other times). If you have a _fast_ network, it isn't too bad. If the end point is slow, or your ISP is typical American sloth service, expect to wait.
The less bad news was that their *offline* switch (which is actually a cached switch) will minimize those occurrences (usually) *after* you've waited through the initial construction.
The sad part is that there is *nothing* inherent in gradle that requires that behaviour. The devs could have chosen to package it to include the needed base libraries and default to a local gradle build.