Which Systems on which Ships?

General discussion about the game.
Jacke
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Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby Jacke » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:24 am

Just came back to playing FTL after a long break. Previously I'd won with the Kestral A, Kestral B, and Stealth A on Easy and the Fed A on Normal, as well as unlocking the Stealth B, Engi A, and Slug A.

Now there's FTL: AE with new ground (and tactics) broken. I've looked around and seen some good information but not a lot on how to deal with the brave new world of choices in FTL.

Use to be able to add all Systems you could get, with the differences being the ship's crew, different ships' layout, and the Fed ships got the Artillery Beam instead of Cloaking. Now you have 8 Systems max, your ship comes with 5-7 already, and you either have or need to add up to 3 of Drone Control, Cloaking, Teleporters, Hacking, and Mind Control. And chose between a Medbay or a Clone Bay.

So I'm trying out AE and still getting the hang of it. Finally have a game where I didn't either get overwhelmed or do something stupid and I'm in good shape in the Kestral B in Sector 5 (Mantis Homeworlds) at a store looking to spend a pile of scrap on new stuff. Already have added a Cloak as well as another Human and Mantis crew for 6 total, so there's two more Systems I can add. I can pick between Drone Control, Clone Bay, and Mind Control. With Augments Backup DNA Bank, Emergency Respirators, and Adv FTL Nav available, as well as some drone schematics and more Mantis crew.

And I'm wonder about not just right now, but in general, which of those 5 Systems is a good triple for particular ships? I imagine with the right crew and tactics, any variant could work. But as some ships are easier to take to battle, I think some System combos are likely to be better too.

So, which ones go well together? And how about that related to Medbay versus Clone Bay?
Jacke
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby Jacke » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:06 am

Almost forgot, the Stealth Ships don't start with the Shields System but instead have either Cloak (A & B) or Drone Control (C). So for them the 5 Systems to pick 3 of are Shields, Drone Control/Cloak, Teleporter, Hacking, and Mind Control.
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stylesrj
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby stylesrj » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:15 am

I tend to find cloaking mandatory on all ships I try. A few rare cases where I don't do it and I pay for it or barely get by.
Which is unfortunate because I want to try other systems but good luck trying to dodge Phase 3's BS Barrage without the "Dodge 10+ projectiles instantly" button.

Teleporter and Mind Control work well together. Set Mind Control to level 1, control someone and send them back to your ship for a beating.suffocation when it wears off. (Mind controlled people tend to find the nearest unoccupied system. If they're all taken, they go to Life Support to wait for a station to open up)

A lot of people would recommend Hacking but I find it limited use, especially if there's a defence drone and you don't have a scrambler. Mind Control is more versatile. Stops enemy mind control and drives crew away from other systems making an easier kill... possibly.

As for your game... I don't recommend any of those augments. I'd hold out for a teleporter to go with your Cloak and a Mind Control device. And get a Reconstructive Teleporter Augment. That way you get free healing. Backup DNA bank has some use but so is taking out the enemy weapons and hope the RNG doesn't blow up the Clone Bay and set it on fire with a hull breach from a missile strike that got through your evasion.
The Captain
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby The Captain » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:58 pm

stylesrj wrote:I tend to find cloaking mandatory on all ships I try. A few rare cases where I don't do it and I pay for it or barely get by.
Which is unfortunate because I want to try other systems but good luck trying to dodge Phase 3's BS Barrage without the "Dodge 10+ projectiles instantly" button.

Cloaking good. :D But if you don't have it, L8 Shields and >L5 Engines will help. Getting the Shield Charge Boooster may be in order, too.

Teleporter and Mind Control work well together. Set Mind Control to level 1, control someone and send them back to your ship for a beating.suffocation when it wears off. (Mind controlled people tend to find the nearest unoccupied system. If they're all taken, they go to Life Support to wait for a station to open up)

Alternatively, board the enemy ship, MC one of their crew, and you've got a temporary extra boarder - for longer if you upgrade MC - and upgrades boost HP & damage of your victim.

A lot of people would recommend Hacking but I find it limited use, especially if there's a defence drone and you don't have a scrambler. Mind Control is more versatile. Stops enemy mind control and drives crew away from other systems making an easier kill... possibly.

Personally I find Hacking more versatile, considering all the systems you could hack - provided, of course you have enough drone parts (you don't get them back, even if you have the Drone Recovery Arm). (Admittedly, I've used Hacking more than MC.) If your weapons are a bit inadequate, you can hack shields and then do damage. If your weapons are good, then you might hack weapons to prevent/delay damage to your ship, or hack piloting/engines to screw up their evasion and ensure your volley hits. Yes, a defense drone could shoot down the hacking drone (though the chance is lower compared to a missile), but you can do the depower trick. Also consider how hacking helps the Stealth B, for example, if you have trouble finding a second weapon.

As for your game... I don't recommend any of those augments. I'd hold out for a teleporter to go with your Cloak and a Mind Control device. And get a Reconstructive Teleporter Augment. That way you get free healing. Backup DNA bank has some use but so is taking out the enemy weapons and hope the RNG doesn't blow up the Clone Bay and set it on fire with a hull breach from a missile strike that got through your evasion.

I wouldn't recommend buying the Reconstructive TP, either. If you get it for free, and you have a TP, fine. But I wouldn't spend the scrap. Also, unless you have a Slug B, I don't consider there to be a choice between Medbay and Clone Bay - I just stick with what I've got. Again, I don't want to spend the scrap.

Of course in Hard difficulty, scrap can be hard to come by. If you're playing on a lower difficulty and feel like you're just rolling in scrap, spend it however you like.
MoblinMan
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby MoblinMan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:27 pm

I've always felt the clone bay and teleporter work well together. You can just keep throwing boarders at them.

The hacker has always seemed more situational to me than most other systems.
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby 5thHorseman » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:15 pm

The big thing about hacking to me is that it blocks travel through the ship. Hacking + fire can be almost as deadly as MC + fire is if the guys have to get through *2* locked doors in rooms that are on fire to get to that other room that's on fire. I find that if you hack the shields and then fire beam through the top of the flagship, things tend to go very well for you :)

I agree with most of what's been said. Combos are great and splurging for your favorite is always nice, but in Hard you sometimes gotta suck it up and NOT buy a teleporter AND fire bomb at this shop considering you have been making do with that free ion weapon and BL1 you found floating in space.
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Jacke
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby Jacke » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:44 am

I added Drone Control and Mind Control to the Cloak and went on to victory in the Easy Kestrel B game, as well as winning 2 more Easy games on the Fed A and Engi A, unlocking the next models of each. With Easy, I had a fair amount of scrap, but still needed some luck to put together good combinations of Weapons, Drones, and Augments.

Mind Control does work well both for boarding and counter boarding but in my experience (which may not be complete) it's weak apart from that. Keep crew separated with 1 crew alone in either Sensors (definitely a waste for the Flagship battles) or Doors and the AI targets them. A few times they controlled 1 of 2 Zoltans in Shields but they never caused serious harm. Leave them alone and they'll get better. Or use your own Mind Control to counter if you have it and it's idle.

Hacking was used against me and I found it more frustrating. Hitting your Weapons or Shields is the big threat. I've been lucky so far, apart from a battle in the Fed A game (right after my very first jump and got hacked in one of them, can't remember which, and would have died without the Artillery Beam). Need to be able to counter Hacking better.

But I found I had more to relearn about efficient scrap management, not buying the wrong item (like a Chain Burst Laser at all, or maybe not a Weapon Pre-Igniter when you already have a full battery of fast weapons like a Burst Laser II and 2 Ion Blast II's), better fire control, and better counter-boarding (lost at least 2 crew to stupid mistakes).

In more detail... (too bad [spoiler] tags don't work >:()

All 3 games at the end I had maxed Reactor, 3 Shields (Fed A could put up 4 but never had the power free), and maxed 8 levels for Weapons.

WIth my Kerstel B on Easy with the Cloak, I decided to buy Drone Control and Mind Control at that store. Rest I can't remember if they were purchases or fortunate finds. For crew, besides 3 Humans, I had 2 Zoltan for Shield Control (always have 1 Shield despite Ion attacks) and 2 Mantis for strong counter-boarding. Had Weapons Heavy Ion, Flak I, Burst Laser I, and Breach Bomb II, along with a Defense I and Boarding Drones. Augments were Automated Re-loader and Engi Med-bot Dispersal.

1st stage of the Boss battle was a bit rough for me. Doors got hacked but focus fire took out the Flagship's Hacking. Even my level 3 Mind Control (on the Triple Missile gunner mostly) was really just an irritant back, with enemy return fire taking out its level 3 and setting fire to the adjacent Oxygen System, but vacuum venting and the 2 Mantis and 1 Human damage control party dealt with that. My Boarding Drone went straight--into the Beam Weapon bay. :( And I forgot to depower him after he killed the gunner and destroyed the weapon. Due to focusing on Hacking and the Cloak (why?!?) I didn't take out the Triple Missile Launcher nor kill any of the rest of the crew, despite using 11 Breach Bomb II's on top of the ion and laser fire. My Hull was down to 17 when I finished the stage and then 14 after a avoidable fight with another Rebel ship.

2nd stage went much better. Hull down to 10 but better fire direction took out the Flagship Triple Missile, Engine, Medbay, and Shields. 2 Mantis on counter-boarding and Ion focus fire on Drone Control dealt with enemy Boarding Drones. Appropriate Cloaking dealt with the Drone surges. Flagship only had 2 crew left when it jumped out, 1 in the Triple Pulse Laser and another fixing their Shields. This time I waited for the Flagship to come back.

3rd stage I started with using my Mind Control to counter the Flagship's. Last main hull crew teleported into my Drone Control but the 2 Mantis quickly finished him off. Focus fire on the Shields and the Triple Missile and when the Zoltan Shield dropped a Boarding Drone in the main hull crippled it. After its Mind Control was gone mine kept the Triple Pulse Laser crew busy until it blew up. (Getting to Sector 8 unlocked the Kerstel C.)

After that, I had another 2 games, both on Easy, with the Fed A and the Engi A. Worst battle I had was the one right after the first jump with the Fed A in Sector 1. Got hacked in either my Weapons or Shields, can't remember which, and I almost died before the Artillery Beam finished him off. Because I was going for the Achievement "Living Off the Land", I didn't buy anything from stores other than repairs, but everything else was maxed out. I'd acquired a full 8 crew: 1 Human, 1 Rockman, 1 Engi, 2 Mantis, 2 Zoltan, and 1 Crystal (never got the 3rd step of the Crystal Cruiser unlock arc, damn!), as well as Fire Suppression.

Besides the initial Burst Laser II, I'd also picked up 2 Ion Blast II's and an Automated Re-loader. With 3 gold-rated gunners (one Mantis, the Rockman, and the Crystal). And a maxed Artillery Beam. :D After each stage, my hull was down to 20, 15, and 10, but I played this much better. (And finished off the Ship Achievements by getting #2 and #3 and unlocking the Fed B.)

With the Engi A, I added Cloak and Mind Control, so it was the same Systems as in the Kestrel B. Crew was 2 Human, 2 Engi, 1 Mantis, and 1 Zoltan, with the last Human being a escaped prisoner from a Rebel ship near the end of Sector 7. For the Flagship battles, it had Engines one short of maxed, level 3 Mind Control, weapons Vulcan, Ion Blast II, Heavy Laser I, and Drones 2x Combat I, as well as a Anti-Drone and a System Repair Drone which were used in stages 2 and 3 respectively. Battery was maxed and finally not forgotten, as well as Augments Automated Re-loader, Battery Charger, and Engi Med-bot Dispersal.

1st stage the Flagship hacked my Mind Control, but my 6 crew were separated into the 4 Main Systems and 2 Subsystems manable. AI kept controlling the Engi in Sensors or the Mantis in Door Control, who spent the time damaging their maxed Subsystems and then fixing it back (not even a full level). With the weapons battery assisted by 2 Combat I Drones and an Automated Re-loader, plus the Cloak, didn't take any Hull damage.

2nd stage kept Mind Controlling whoever was in the Flagships Medbay, so they took it out with Missiles and Fire, as well as half-breaking my 2-level Piloting. But with the Anti-Drone added to what I used in the 1st stage, knocked it out with Hull only down to 26. Used the Battery to power the top 2 levels of Engines as well as the Medbay and Mind Control (with some power transfer during its cooldown).

3rd stage swapped the Anti-Drone out and the System Repair Drone in. Used the Battery to run the top 4 levels of Engines. Had 5 main hull crew teleport in. As the Flagship's Mind Control was ineffectively hitting a Engi in Door Control, I used my Mind Control to support the counter-boarding party (Mantis and the 2nd Human). Was helped by enemy boarders going after my Cloak, as well as some popping into the nearby airlock, who didn't do so well with vacuum and then breaking into the next room which their own missiles had set on fire. :) Most damage they did was to the poor Repair Drone as it passed them by. And they still didn't kill it. :D Focus fire on their Shields and Piloting with Ion on Mind Control left their Triple Missile firing (Combat Drones just didn't hit it) and my Hull being knocked down to 20 but I burned them out. (And unlocked all 3 Engi Ship Achievements and the Engi B. Still doen't know how my single Ion Blast II ionned 4 systems in the 1st Stage. Sure, I hit Shields while aimed at the Triple Missle, and then switched to Hacking. But how did I also ion Cloaking ?!? Maybe a bug?)

[/spoiler]
Levgre
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby Levgre » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:10 am

Cloaking > Hacking > Mind Control > Boarding > Drones.

So basically I never get drones unless I start with it. I avoid buying boarding on most ships. In AE enemy ships will have better defenses vs your boarding and have more offense, necessitating quicker victories. Buying boarding dilutes your other offense, especially with lower scrap amounts. Not good to be jack of all trades.

Of course there are ships that start with boarding and can do the strat quite well, getting extra scrap from the very beginning of the game. Plus Rock B which is basically a boarding ship, but doesn't start with it.
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stylesrj
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby stylesrj » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:36 am

If the enemy has a Hacking Module, be sure to always turn off Mind Control until something gets hacked or they run out of Hacking drones. Because if you don't and let's say you have it at Level 3, that's 3 bars of power being wasted. You'll never be able to depower it as their cooldowns are synchronised.

It was a very harsh lesson I learned during one Flagship battle... but I managed to destroy Hacking for long enough to get power off Mind Control and into something else.
Jacke
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Re: Which Systems on which Ships?

Postby Jacke » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:48 am

Hey everyone, thanks for all your helpful comments. Reading those and more practice has improved my game. :D

Levgre wrote:Cloaking > Hacking > Mind Control > Boarding > Drones.

So basically I never get drones unless I start with it. I avoid buying boarding on most ships. In AE enemy ships will have better defenses vs your boarding and have more offense, necessitating quicker victories. Buying boarding dilutes your other offense, especially with lower scrap amounts. Not good to be jack of all trades.

Of course there are ships that start with boarding and can do the strat quite well, getting extra scrap from the very beginning of the game. Plus Rock B which is basically a boarding ship, but doesn't start with it.


I find this very interesting and agree (though I haven't played with Hacking yet, just been Hacked :x).

So, after those 3 Easy wins, decided to move up to Normal. On the Stealth B. Wow, I'd never won with it pre-AE, even on Easy, and AE gives your opponents even more ways to smash your Weapons bay just before the damn Glaive Beam fires. :x Many games played with it over the last day. Once got to Sector 4 without Shields (through mostly Civilian Sectors). On the latest in Sector 2, I finally got Shields! But not upgrading other things to save Scrap lead to battles that smashed my Hull down to 6. And then I picked the Abandoned Sector over an Uncharted Nebula for Sector 3 and got done in after battles at the next 2 jumps. Needed a second shield, another weapon slot unlocked (has 2 Heavy Lasers wanting slots and power), and improvements and there just wasn't enough scrap to get it.

Now that I think of it, could I have switch to dual Heavy Laser and short level 1 Cloaking? No, opponents had 2 Shields now and that would have failed too.

Going to see if I can win with the Stealth B on Easy. And I'm going to start another thread. On fixing the Broken and Bad Ships. Cause a lot of them just need some love. :)

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