In a mercenary encounter, why would it be strategic to hire the mercenary?
- If you fight the mercenary, you've spent 1 fuel, explored 1 beacon, and gained default rewards through battle. This is what I consider a good beacon.
- If you hire them to delay the rebels and use those 2 extra jumps, you've spent 3 fuel, 10-25 scrap, and explored 3 beacons, one of them (the mercenary one) being effectively empty.
- If you hire them to scout the sector, you've spent 1 fuel, 10-20 scrap, and gained the sector map.
I currently always fight the mercenary (they are worse than rebels and I must be honorable). Delaying the rebels does not seem better on average and the only situation I would consider it is if I am able to complete a quest or avoid Rebel elites. Scouting the sector seems situational, such as if you are very damaged and looking for a store.
Why would you let those filthy mercenaries live?