I'm not sure I ever played this ship more than once. I don't even remember what it has or if it's good or not. I guess starting with a dual laser and hacking makes any ship just fine.
Sector 1: Very first fight in an asteroid field, actually pretty good news for the beam drone to get through for damage -- but NOT IF IT GETS SMASHED BY AN ASTEROID! Huh, that's an interesting drop, but not really worth upgrading drones to use instead of just upgrading regular shields. First 50 scrap to shields, and next fight gave evasion training (though not weapons training with no enemy shield!) Ooh nice drop, a Hull Beam!, weapons to 3 to use it with the dual laser as soon as I could.
Sector 2, Civilian over Abandoned is probably a better call. Sold the shield+ drone and defense scrambler to upgrade shields to layer 3 already, super early but got enough offense and shouldn't take damage from anything besides missiles for a while. That gave me a trainer for weapons skill here, autofiring the hull beam against the shield, not fast, but 20 minutes isn't going to stop me from taking every advantage I can get; also moved the engi on engines over to gain shields skill meanwhile, I'd prefer someone more robust than an engi in the hard-to-vent shields room, may swap him over to shields eventually if I get a good chance. Nice surrender offer (5 fuel too), not to use the bomb but just for sell value... and then also TWO anti-drones dropped. At the exit decided this was a configuration worth diving two extra beacons, since the nebula at the exit node means no ASB. At that store decided to sell out the beam drone and everything else surplus except one anti-drone to buy Cloaking exact to the penny. Not often you get the entire endgame configuration of drones + hacking + cloaking by the end of sector TWO. It's conceivable I could even beat the flagship right now!
Sector 3 picked Engi Homeworlds over Mantis, doors and crew is the one thing I don't have. HOLY CRAP COULD THIS RUN GET ANY STRONGER now I have a HALBERD BEAM. Um YES IT CAN. Hehe, quest quest quest.
Sector 4 Civilian over Engi: Damn this run just KEEPS GETTING EVERYTHING, titanium casing is actually worth keeping instead of selling now, decent insurance and hardly need the scrap value. Keeps getting EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING even crew. Yeah, that's like the only way I'm getting hurt. Hacking to L2 to get past 3-shield ships -- or can even use it for a crew kill by hacking and breaking oxygen. HOLY CRAP could you shower any more stuff on me. HOLY CRAP YES YOU CAN I was so stunned I missed the screenshot BOTH A PRE-IGNITER AND LONG-RANGED SCANNERS AT THE SAME STORE THIS IS THE MOST INSANE RUN EVER. DEAR GOD EVEN MORE STUFF!!!
Sector 5 Civilian over Slug Nebula: Got a map reveal, only TWO fights in the whole sector?! But still MORE FREE STUFF. Yet MORE STUFF. What is going on here?!, same event again with the same result! FUCKTASTICALLY ABSURD.
Sector 6 Rebel: COSMOGENICALLY ABSURD. This is the most stupefyingly overloaded rack I've ever had. Fine, I'll actually PAY for something, still better than 50% off regular price.
Sector 7: picked Civilian over Rock, actually still don't have a defense drone somehow. Long-Ranged Scanners found a ton of fights, trashed everything instantly with preignited flak + halberd, took zero damage the entire sector, racked up over 800 scrap! Last store, sold the distraction buoys, finally bought a defense drone.
Sector 8: four more fights plus two repair nodes before the flagship. Just because I could, just to gloat and flaunt this amazingly spectacular run as much as possible, I upgraded drones to 8 to use both Combat II drones together, never did that before. Flagship phase one lasted 12 seconds after the mutual cloaking: fired preignited flak, gashed with Halberd, hacked shields to keep them down while the double combat drones shredded, won on the second flak shot before any enemy weapon even fired. Phase two exactly the same thing. Phase three the super shield went down in the preignited volley plus about five seconds of the combat drones, which then damaged the missile weapon to slow it enough for my cloak to last from the missile volley through the laser surge, won on the next Halberd swipe.
2270 scrap plus like 500 worth of drop sales is about as monstrous as a run can be. (The screenshot accidentally shows the Engi A entry instead of Engi C.)
Sector 1: First several fights yielded little scrap, though a slaver did give an Engi. First 50 scrap to shields and got evasion trainer on the next fight. Store was tempted to sell the Rock Plating and Swarm Missile to buy a teleporter, though decided that was not a good risk, 90 scrap is too much now, needs to go into basic stuff like engines first. With a clone bay could risk the madman-single-life-form-on-moon event and got a human crew, nice.
Sector 2 Civilian over nebula: Store oh man two beams on sale, but no, the piercing heavy crystal doesn't work with them. Also declined to buy a scrap recovery arm, payback will take too long, these are the kinds of decisions you have to make correctly on Hard. Next store, teleporter is tempting again, but really the smart move is the 2-shot charge laser to clear the way for the heavy crystal against 2-shield ships. That charge laser also let me do weapons training here one shot at a time, did it with the human crewman to free up the crystal guy in case we do go for boarding.
Sector 3 Rock: WHOOOOAH PRE-IGNITER. Unfortunately my two charge weapons really don't work with it all that well but we'll fix that eventually. Store had no weapons, did have hacking but don't have enough drone parts (just 2) to use that. Next store also had crap, decided not to spend on drones now or a teleporter yet either, scrap went into shields layer 3 instead. Several empty beacons and not a lot of income.
Sector 4 Slug Controlled Nebula or Slug Home Nebula, nice choice, may as well go for the head. Two store still no weapons! Got reamed for ten hull damage by a ship with an Artemis when my heavy crystal gun just decided to miss about fourteen times in a row. Did get a slug crew from an event, useful to see enemy crew activities in the nebula. Still a lot of empty beacons and no income, think I only had three fights in the sector.
Sector 5 Rebel Controlled over another Slug nebula definitely: Another store STILL no weapons, really fucking hurting now, 3-shield ships are nearly impossible, have to hit with all three projectiles from the charge laser and crystal, and can't use the Swarm either becuase out of ammo. THAT could be a run saver, wouldn't be the first time a breach bomb did so, and that works great with the pre-igniter! Got a map reveal ... this store better have some good weapon... STILL FUCKING NONE second page just had crew, and even had to buy missile ammo. At least I could finally get a good amount of fights, and like five of them were auto-scouts, where the breach bomb dominates, one hit on weapons often clinches the fight.
Sector 6 Pirate: Declined a slave tribute, need scrap more, plus was able and expecting to get a crew kill via suffocation since the slow mantis would be repairing the oxygen -- and got a crew anyway plus the scrap! Declined another slave tribute in order to kill again, need the 50 scrap more. Mercenary event THANK FUCKING GOD although doesn't work yet still need some way to clear the shields. Next jump STORE... unbelievably STILL no weapons on sale, but ALL of cloaking, hacking, drone control (there's a d-drone on page 2) are available... Hacking is mandatory to work with a preignited pike beam, and cloaking is better than drone control. Hacking immediately to level 2 to deal with 3-shield ships. Also a breach bomb on the shields room while the doors are hacked shut is very good indeed -- then can swap power out of the breach bomb onto the charge laser instead. BTW never realized before that the pike beam can hit 5 rooms on that ship layout. Next store nothing useful but did need fuel and repairs and even buy a few more missiles for the breach.
Sector 7 Engi over Zoltan: Still somewhat challenged on offense, pre-ignited breach bomb is killer when it hits but precarious when it misses; hacked shields plus pike beam also works but consumables are limited. But THAT will solve all my offensive needs! Now my loadout was Burst 3 + Pike Beam + Breach Bomb preignited, then after the preignited volley, turn off the breach for the charge laser instead. And a Hull Beam! As usual when I get two beams, I'll swap that in for the flagship when we hack shields every time and the drone parts don't have to last any longer than that. Last store no drone control so did pick up mind control for the system slot.
Sector 8: Only two fights before the base, but all three repair nodes so plenty of supplies. Phase one, pre-cloaked, MCed pilot, hit piloting with breach bomb to make all the burst shots hit, and raked with the pike, to slow the missile weapon enough for my cloaking to recycle for its first volley, hacked shields to hit again with the pike beam to break the missile weapon before its second shot. Killed loads of crew with more breach bombs at the shields room. Sneaked away from base for one extra fight inbetween, got rewarded by fixing the 1 damage from phase one (from the beam when it synched with the triple laser.) Phase two interestingly started with no pilot on duty, so I MCed in the shields room right away, and aimed my preignited breach bomb directly at the missile weapon, soon as that hit there was zero threat, cloaked past the drone surge once, actually killed ALL the crew in the shields room with more bombs. Phase three preignited both beams to get past the super shield, countered enemy MC, took two damage from the missiles on unimportant systems, and won on the second double-beam stroke after the super shield.
1750 scrap is average, it was just awkwardly distributed with little in the first half of the game and lots in the second. That run had me really worried around sector 5, but then the weapon drops turned things around drastically.
I was putting this ship off for a while. I wanted to leave the 4-man boarding ships for last, because they fool me into getting overconfident with boarding. I've lost runs before when going back from a 4-man boarder ship to a 2-man and getting reckless about overextending my crew. But now I'm down to where Mantis B/C are the only options left other than repeating ships I already did for unlock achievements. I'd rather keep the streak going for unique ships as long as possible.
Sector 1: Cool, best start possible!, very first jump gave a blue event to yield a crew, a Rock, immediately put that on piloting and the two mantis in the teleporter. And that was an absolutely critical pickup -- I would have lost the very first fight if not for that extra crew! Teleported in, but then the enemy ship bombed my teleporter just before it recycled, I had to madly kite my Mantis around the ship for an eternity while my pilot agonizingly repaired the teleporter, meanwhile the Burst 2 hit and then broke my shields, while my mantis madly healed in med bay, then finally got back over there to finish the job. Realized after that I committed my own nearly-fatal error, this demanded I also send a boarding drone with the mantis. Anyway, first 30 scrap to upgrade the teleporter, to deal with situations like that, and also airless autoscouts. Another crew, awesome!, plus that same fight can be an evasion trainer with only the one laser and beam, although one laser at 15% evasion will take almost an hour, and then in fact I can't even beat that fight because of the super shield.
Got a map reveal, holy crap that's a lot of fights for sector 1 (and a far exit, that matters too for more beacons.) Got another crew (human) from the same slaver event again with the teleporter blue option, and even had the same problem of couldn't beat the super shield and had to jump away. Other than that, good rewards, scrap went into engines up to level 3.
Sector 2 Pirate over Rock of course: More teleporter blue events! that yielded a Zoltan crew. Shields to layer 3 super early, since I wanted another evasion trainer to switch around all the crew assignments: engi onto piloting, zoltan to engines, everybody else to boarding team. Had to win this fight the slow way, teleport over boarders to deal one hull damage at a time, although at least it racked up combat skill too, then sent a boarding drone for the last point of damage. Got a weapon, and upgraded system to use it, not the greatest but can shoot out a medbay or two -- or an autoscout. And add another mantis to the boarding crew. Store bought hacking, that can also be a medbay solution - and belatedly realized that system slot locks out cloaking, man hope I don't regret that against the flagship. ARE YOU SERIOUS, FREE PRE-IGNITER FOR THE SECOND GAME IN A ROW, not that it really does much to help a boarding ship just yet.
Sector 3 Rebel over Zoltan Homeworlds of course: Map reveal, and store, got a lot of options but I think you have to take a PREIGNITED FLAK 2! Fair number of fights, scrap into more engines and power bars.
Sector 4 Pirate over Engi: Got a fourth Mantis for the boarding crew, so put the rock back on piloting. Found no store but good fights for income, won everything easily with 4-mantis boarding.
Sector 5 Mantis Homeworlds over Slug man every sector choice has been obvious. Ooh a Zoltan Shield Bypass - that makes a huge difference on flagship phase 3 when we know we can kill the crew beforehand! Halfway through sector got a map reveal, lots of fights lots of scrap, and oh heck yes we are doing this DOUBLE PRE-IGNITED FLAK 2.
Sector 6 Engi: Oh yes and I'm going to go for that too, now it's double pre-ignited flak 2 plus a FIRE BEAM. It's not better than the chain laser (or a pike/halberd beam) for winning normal fights, but my eye is on reaming out the flagship's crew in phase one.
Sector 7 Civilian over Abandoned duh: Haha okay flak and fire is definitely a theme here, though I don't need more of either. Ooh, like I need more scrap, haha.
Sector 8: found a store, sold the scrap recovery arm, bought backup battery, that can help, I can buy a ton of upgrades (4 shields / 7 engines) but power is my limiting factor on using all of them. Three fights and two repair nodes before base. Phase one: flagship hacked my medbay, okay gotta be careful with that. Wow the triple missiles all missed! My plan: hack medbay and teleport and fight in it while hacking it. Note the right way to do this: temporarily DEPOWER hacking so the doors aren't locked, until the room fills with crew, then trigger the hacking which will kill them while they try to break OUT through the locked doors. This worked, I shredded four crew and mine didn't even take any damage, then my mantises had enough time to fully break med bay before more crew broke in. I teleported the mantises back to wait out the hacking cooldown, then bounced right back after the second cloaking round to intercept medbay while it was still broken and kill off four more crew. I had some problems with fire myself, in the hacked med bay (can't vent the hacked doors), but that was no real threat once my fire burned down the enemy missile weapon. I put two mantises to work breaking hacking so I could finally fix that fire, and cycled the other two to go kill off the beam weapon guy, then killed the ship. (I, uh, forgot to ever deploy a defense drone.) Anyway a hull repair drone fixed all my damage.
Phase two: Best way to start with a 4-man boarder against an empty flagship is to teleport into the beam weapon, and two will land in the main body to go break the missile weapon. My shields held against one drone surge and I won with flak shots before a second. I forgot to ever use hacking though I'm not even sure against what I would have. Phase three: teleported right in (zoltan shield bypass!) to break both weapons (using the engi in place of my MCed mantis), my preignited flak whiffed a ton on the super shield, second volley did it, shields held against two laser surges, won with zero damage.
2134 scrap is maybe slightly above average for boarding, felt like it was a bit higher, not that we needed much of it.
I want to do the 4-man boarding ships in sequence, so I don't have to go back and forth between them and 2-man where I'll risk getting overconfident and careless with half the boarders. Mantis C is particularly bad about inducing overconfidence, with the clone bay, so you don't even have to watch your crew's health or care if they die.
Sector 1: First jump teleporter blue event, took the guaranteed map even at the cost of not getting scrap. First 50 scrap to shields. Got an evasion trainer, even though it's not a very useful one, since that mantis is going to be in the boarding party and I want to switch the engi out to engines when I can, actually I decided to train two different ways, piloting for both the engi and Lanius and engines for both the mantis and engi. Got a weapon, decided it was worth upgrading the weapons system to use. Wow, not a single nebula sector in the galaxy.
Sector 2 picked Rebel, generally greater rewards than civilian and not in desperate need of a store. A Hermes Missile also dropped, definitely better (faster) than the Pegasus. Got a human crew (from the rebel defector event, which you can risk with a clone bay) and also a Rock (from a Federation base quest) to bring the boarding party up to full 4-man strength. Subtle map navigation here: there's no connection from the northeast area to the exit, so the right path is to split up those two closest nebula beacons: first the one by the pointer, then the northwest one, then through some normal beacons, then through the other nebula beacon just below the pointer. Lots of options at that store, I think defense drone control is the most important. Also sold junk to buy one more Rock crew, to finally set up some permanent crew assignments, Lanius on piloting, Engi on engines, everybody else in boarding party including the mantis and two rocks. OH HELL YEAH, although it needs some shield strippers to do anything.
Sector 3 Rebel over Zoltan: Store didn't have much but bought Distraction Buoys, might be the sweet spot to pay back, although also might be overkill with a boarding ship. Double good reward from one fight: a VULCAN (though I know better than to use that with boarding) and another crew!
Sector 4 Zoltan Homeworlds is only option, that's a pain, upgraded shields to layer 3 to hold out while taking down a z-shield. But hah, got a ZOLTAN SHIELD OF MY OWN!!
Sector 5 Pirate over Mantis, both easy, generally more rewards and easier crew to kill. Weapons to 6 to use both the Hermes and Halberd, although the only way that combo works is to break shields with the Hermes, and even that's not enough against a 7-power shield system which does happen. Store bought cloaking. Cool, that's convenient. And that's interesting too, decided weapons to 7 to use the breach bomb plus the Halberd plus a charge laser that had also dropped.
Sector 6 Pirate again: Got a second Mantis from a slaver to upgrade my human in the boarding party. Had to sell a lot of stuff (distraction buoys, backup DNA bank, and a beam drone I was saving for the flagship's super shield) but buying a pre-igniter is worth it! Then I actually returned to this same store (it was at an exit beacon, had come from an event, and I dived past the exit) to also buy the zoltan shield bypass underneath it, that will also take care of phase 3 nicely -- including the pre-ignited breach bomb will bypass!
Sector 7 Pirate over Abandoned of course: Just shredded everything with 4-man boarding, got a third mantis to add to the party. Can't even buy an Auto-Reloader, my other three augments are more important (pre-igniter, zoltan shield, zoltan shield bypass for phase 3.) Decided the Combat II drone was worth picking up to also help against the phase three zoltan shield. Still never found any weapons better than Charge Laser + Halberd + Breach Bomb. It's enough as long as the preignited breach bomb hits shields, although ammo supply is a concern.
Sector 8: That event can occur in sector 8? Does it do anything? Anyway, got a fourth mantis for the boarding crew? - nah don't take that over the rock who has max combat skill. Store visit is possible - after flagship jumps, I'll have 3 more to reach base which will be enough - but I think it's not worth the risk of running back through rebel beacons and also having only one shot at phase one if some kind of disaster like hacking weapons happens.
Phase one, decided what I had to do was breach bomb medbay and fight in there, no other way to keep it offline without hacking -- and in fact what I even had to do was let them fix the breach so my guys wouldn't suffocate (can't easily leave the room with max doors.) Second breach bomb went at the missile weapon but missed, ugh. Crap THAT's something of a problem! - my teleporter got hacked, my defense drone fired half an instant too late! But I'd already killed several crew, and the next breach bomb hit the missile weapon so I had plenty of time. They repaired medbay, I had to breach it again, timed with when I could teleport over between hacks, but I did it correctly and won from there, finally breached shields and then it was easy. Longest zero-damage flagship fight I ever had.
Sneaked away for one extra fight before phase two -- and DISASTER, an ion intruder got into my clone bay and I lost two dead crew! Well, I can still break stuff in an empty flagship easily enough (actually I left the beam weapon guy alive so no AI in phase two.) Now I could breach shields first and easily win with the Halberd, cloaked through drone surge, zero damage taken again. Phase three: crap didn't realize this would happen, enemy ship couldn't MC me through super shield, but could MC my boarder! Also didn't realize that the bypass worked for the breach bomb too -- I just fired it at the shields room out of habit expecting it to hit the super shield -- would have been better at the missile weapon. Also didn't realize this would happen, my MCed crew went and got healed in their medbay! But all of that was merely nuisance and no problem, my own super shield held up through two missile volleys, I cloaked the laser surge, and got another zero damage win.
2129 scrap, almost exactly the same as Mantis B, and just as powerful.
That's 19 straight wins with 19 unique ships, but now I have no more unlocked. I could use a profile editor tool, but I'd rather play this completely legitimate and unedited. So I have to start redoing ships that missed the unlock achievements. I decided on Zoltan A first, to do the best gunship first then the weaker versions. The achievement I need here is to have 29 power into systems, I think that's much more likely to do on a winning run than the one to reach sector 5 without upgrading reactor.
Sector 1: First jump, that's a surrender offer worth taking for 8 missiles and even decent fuel too. Map reveal, good amount of fights available, though the store locations are awkward, won't visit them. First 50 scrap to shields. This is irritating - if I move the weapons guy to distract the MCed guy, the power is wasted! And took a pounding from that fight thanks to solar flares, had to vent everything which delayed repairing shields, actually smartly switched to the faster Leto weapon to knock out their weapons -- but then one of the zoltans got killed by a combination of fire and suffocation and broken oxygen, he was at too low health to survive his trip to medbay! Decided the smartest thing now was to upgrade weapons to 4 to use the Halberd and Leto together, that would have avoided most of that situation. Used this ship with the drone for evasion training - it's not perfect, but I knocked out their mini beam with my Leto repeatedly, hoping for a breach, got it on the fourth shot.
Sector 2 picked Pirate over Mantis, definitely not confident dealing with boarders here. Got into a store for repairs, and oh there is the blessed Long-Ranged Scanners we need, to find enough income to get enough upgrades to reach that 29 systems power. Got a free repair for 15 hull, badly needed that, and also a crew from a slaver -- who needs to be the pilot to move the zoltan's power somewhere useful, fortunately next ship worked as an evasion trainer for him.
Sector 3 Engi over Rock most definitely: Not a tough call here, definitely need a weapon more than a partial shot at a crystal crew later. That is PERFECT and upgrade weapons to 5 immediately. Incredibly quiet sector, only two fights the whole time, several noncombat rewards but not sure if really enough, but at least the last one was a slaver who delivered another sorely needed crew.
Sector 4 Engi over Mantis, still not really confident against boarders (kinda never really so with Zoltan A's abysmal venting layout.) Not sure I ever noticed before that the Halberd can hit these three rooms on this layout. Shields to layer 3 just in time for this nastygram of a scout! - fortunately my first flak shot hit all three shields and we won with little damage. That is not a helpful weapon, will just sell. Store unfortunately couldn't afford cloaking, but hacking is still a nice pickup.
Sector 5 Engi yet again this time over Zoltan Homeworlds: Hacking to level 2 to deal with 3-shield ships. This is very rare, but I intentionally went back through a used beacon, in order to get to two stores to look for cloaking, first one had it so the jump to the second store was also wasted (no other direction to go), but yeah cloaking is that important.
Sector 6 Mantis Homeworlds or Slug Nebula, grr, well guess I'm not too worried about Slug garbage, probably less risk than a disaster with mantis boarders. And LRS does mean nebula sectors are preferred for more fights for income and I guess I don't mind going through the nebula in sector 7 as well. Took the standard Slug precaution of upgrading oxygen (also do need cheap power-consuming systems to get to 29 power eventually.) This ship got me something important -- weapons training! -- they can't beat my 3 shields and my flak can skill up without popping their 3; and then even got a crew kill by breaking the disconnected oxygen. Store had backup battery and drone control but I could only afford one, took the battery since that's critical for the achievement.
Sector 7 at least the nebula is uncharted rather than slug:. Lots of income finding fights with LRS, but only thing to spend it on was fairly marginal upgrades, shields layer 6 and engines to 6. Last store finally came through to add drone control.
Sector 8: Found a store that saved my bacon on crew complement, alertly sold Long-Ranged Scanners to get enough to buy two crew (both engi, couldn't afford the mantis), decided that was more important than automated re-loader. Got three more fights for scrap to upgrade cloaking to 2 and hacking to 3, and power bars all the way to finally get the 29-power achievement. Flagship phase one: pre-cloaked 10 seconds, broke the missile weapon with Leto and Halberd before it ever fired, smartly killed off one crew with a smartly placed and timed Leto, won on the third Halberd stroke. Phase two, hacked shields, won on the second Halberd stroke, though didn't get to kill any more crew.
Phase three I'm actually slightly worried, don't have a huge amount of offense to get past the super shield, though my own will hold up for a bit. I needn't have worried. My super shield picked up the first missile volley, I cloaked past the second along with the laser surge, then on the third missile volley my d-drone got two and one missed! Flagship's MC hit an expendable engi in my med bay, and oddly its first boarding teleport brought only one crew, then the second wave did bring two, no idea why. Anyway I did get through the super shield in two Halberd swipes, hacked shields, and won in two more Halberds taking zero damage.
Much better than the previous Zoltan A run, 1900 scrap is way higher than 1600.
20 for 20 straight victories! With 19 distinct ships now.