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Perhaps the biggest weakness of the Mantis Cruiser (Type A, anyway) is its inability to deal effectively with AI ships. Before Advanced Edition, the general advice was to either improve your weaponry, or use an upgraded teleporter to board the enemy ship and save your boarders just before they suffocate.

Advanced Edition has added several new weapons and systems. Do any of these offer a viable alternative? I'm loathe to spend large amounts of scrap upgrading my weapons, and playing leapfrog with crew seems extremely risky.

One way of looking at it is that the Mantis A is designed for boarding, and has already "spent" scrap on that strategy. Spending further scrap on upgrading weapons to a level where they can take down AI ships seems extremely wasteful, because if you're going to use weapons that powerful, why play as Mantis in the first place?

Basically, I'm looking for a strategy that will allow me to forego upgrading the weakened weapons system if at all possible; otherwise, I'm hoping there's a 1-power weapon in AE that can perform a bit better than the hopeless loadout the ship starts with.

Related: How to destroy AI ships without weapons?

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You'll have to upgrade weapons eventually, else you won't be able to beat the boss. So just flee until you can get enough scrap/weapons, or use the default weapons (small bomb / basic laser) to take out AI ships. –  5pike Apr 14 at 9:42
    
@5pike: Is that so? Couldn't you drop the boss's shields using boarders and finish it off using drones? –  henrebotha Apr 14 at 9:43
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yeah, but you would have to buy a drone control first, and that already costs about 80 scrap. Then you'll need to buy/find an attack drone etc ... It seems more viable to pump the scrap into weapons and augment your offence that way. –  5pike Apr 14 at 9:46
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Don't forget that even if you follow a no-weapon-droid strategy and rely only on boarders and AI repair to damage the hull, since the final boss has in a phase the Zoltan Shield augment, you need to damage it somehow to let boarders in. –  Doktoro Reichard Apr 14 at 22:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

One option is to look for the Emergency Respirators augment. It's reasonably cheap, and halves the damage your crew take from lack of oxygen, meaning they can last a reasonable amount of time in an oxygen-free environment. You shouldn't be too worried about "playing leapfrog" with your crew, since whenever you send in boarders they're always going to take damage from something; suffocation is just a different cause. Indeed, the Fregatidae-class Federation Cruiser comes with this augment and a teleporter as standard, and I've successfully beamed Zoltan aboard oxygen-free ships and brought them back alive. That particular ship, however, is more than slightly insane, so don't be too eager to replicate its strategies.

Also, following 5pike's comment, the reconstructive teleport augment can be immensely useful here by completely healing your boarding party every time they beam somewhere, meaning that the usual problem associated with having a clonebay is largely nullified.

You could also start looking for some Lanius crewmen to add to your boarding party, who will of course be completely immune to the effects of low oxygen.

Finally, you might want to look into picking up a clonebay. Rather than bringing back suffocating boarders, just let them die and clone some more!

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Thanks, fantastic answer. I was actually wondering if Emergency Respirators would work on away crew - are we sure about that? Lanius crew are hard to come by, but certainly an elegant solution. The clone bay idea also occurred to me - it's a hard choice between med bay and cloning, but it might just be worthwhile. :) The leapfrog thing worries me simply because the timing of it is so tight. When I'm boarding a crewed ship, I can always have my guys start running around if they get close to death before the teleporter is ready; obviously that doesn't work in oxygen-free environments. –  henrebotha Apr 14 at 9:49
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I am indeed sure about the emergency respirators, ftl.wikia.com/wiki/Augmentations#Emergency_Respirators. Using a clonebay is definitely a paradigm shift, and it's still important to look after your crew to keep their stats up, but I do consider it a viable alternative to the medbay. –  ymbirtt Apr 14 at 9:53
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Another great augment to get is the Reconstructive Teleport - it fully heals teleported crew. Costs 70 scrap. This + Clone bay is perfect for boarding ops. –  5pike Apr 14 at 10:01
    
@5pike: say whaaaaattt?! That's awesome! GIMME GIMME –  henrebotha Apr 14 at 10:19

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