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Sometimes after taking heavy damage an enemy will offer to pay you off if you accept their surrender.

It's possible to deny this and go for the kill, which will also give you a reward. Which option gives you the most benefits?

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can't say for sure, but in my experience its almost always more rewarding to accept the offer –  z ' Sep 17 '12 at 15:08
    
I think this might change somewhere around sector 6 or 7, but yeah, earlier on it's always been better (or at worst, about equal) to let them live. –  Sterno Sep 17 '12 at 15:12
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The most benefits come from killing the crew and leaving the ship intact, but that wasn't one of your options for the question. –  user2640 Sep 17 '12 at 15:52
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Such shameless avarice! A just captain knows honour and compassion. No slave ship that passes my bow will go unchallenged, but if the slavers repent, I shall show them mercy. The freedom of one man is worth more than the deaths of those scum. Yet if a crew mate is killed, no surrender will stay my wrath. The cowards' white flag will be their shroud. When I burn the barbarians, the heavens will hear their screams, and the souls of my company know they are avenged. –  Colonel Panic Sep 25 '12 at 22:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 44 down vote accepted

Typically, I find I get more consumable items (ie, fuel, missiles, and drone components) from accepting surrender, I get more scrap from destroying them, and a better chance of both (+ other bonuses - crew or weapons, for instance) if I wipe their crew out without destroying the ship.

When considering a surrender offer, I tend to think about the value of the items they are offering in terms of vendor cost to purchase them, and how badly I need items versus scrap. If they are offering 5 drone parts, but I don't have a drone subsystem, I will probably refuse. An offer of 5 missiles, 3 fuel and 20 scrap might be worth it, though.

However, since the values are randomized, so there's really no answer that is going to give you the optimal results 100% of the time.

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Surrender gives what the game calls a stuff reward, and destroying a ship gives what it calls a standard reward. As you say, stuff gives more stuff, and standard gives more scrap. –  user2640 Sep 17 '12 at 15:50
    
I might be just have a coincidence bending time of it, but I have noticed that not accepting rebel surrenders seems to be generating double standard reward. I only have six data points so it definitely isn't for sure. –  user4139 Sep 18 '12 at 0:28
    
I feel like I've noticed that you're better off killing mercenaries and maybe rebels. Mercenaries always seems to offer a lower amount and then provide more than double when destroyed. –  user606723 Sep 18 '12 at 18:28

If a Mantis ship escapes from battle, sometimes you have the opportunity to trace their warp signature. Their new position will be marked on the map. If you follow them, they will fight again, in a bigger ship. In this battle, they usually surrender, with generous reward.

What a weird mantis.

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I had a Mantis ship escaping while I had 2 of my soldiers on board :X You can imagine how relieved and excited I was when it says that I can still track it down. Sadly, when I came here, there was indeed a different shop and had none of my guys on board :( I still had hope that beating it would return them to me, but it didn't. Disappointment x2. –  VitalyB Oct 14 '12 at 8:17
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this is a specific quest –  Yaur May 6 '13 at 5:21

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