How to beat the Flagship?

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Catburglar
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How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Catburglar » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:24 pm

Hello... new player here.

Just started to game FTL a day ago and already became addicted^^ but how on earth do I beat that Flagship? All other enemies are somewhat easy to defeat but this one gives me a headache.
It usually simply hacks my weapon systems and once the hacking unlocks it'll take so much time to power them up again the remaining time window is much too little to do much damage at all.
I've been able to deplete it of its hull in one of my very first runs with the Kestrel (can't even remember my armament there...) but it simply jumped away only to be at full health on the next turn (even without any repair points or store, so that's what I would call AI cheating for that matter...). And then it even had a different setup and boarded my ship with nearly dozens of these ants, then I lost...

Or here, a current try with the Torus: I have
- Flak II
- Ion Blaster II
- Ion Bomb
- 2*Combat Drone I
- Repair Drone
Drone Recovery Augmentation, so I could save all Drone parts basically means that I can use these to heal my ship for 60-90 extra HP for that fight (but it turned out to be useless...)
As said, it will hack my weapons and both Combat Drones are not able to fire through its shields. Without the possibility to do any damage to its hull that fight is doomed right from the start.
So thing is even if I would have been able to get more scrap to boost my systems more it wouldn't have ment anything in this particular case since my weapons are down all the time.
(BTW I read here on the forums that killing a crew instead of blowing a ship up gives a bonus to scrap (or generally loot?) and I've tested this out ingame but couldn't make out any difference. How big is that bonus actually?

So how to defeat that Flagship? Simply try as long until it decides to hack into another system?

EDIT:
BTW I'd like to know if certain specific damage is cumulative, for example, let's say I target an enemies' weapon system with both an Ion Blaster and an Ion Bomb. So every time the Blaster hits it should lock down that system for 5 seconds, and when the Bomb hits it should be 20s. But if both hit at the same time will it be 25 seconds? Or if it's currently under the 20s lockdown and yet another Ion Damage does occur to the same system, will that extra time be applied to the lockout?

EDIT2:
hmm, how do I keep it from jumping away? When it only had 4 hullstructure left I began to target its piloting with the FLak II and the engines with the Ion Bomb and a Chain Laser. The Piloting Symbol was red...
BTW do Defense Drones shoot down incoming hacking Drones? I thought that would be more fitting for Anti-Drone Drones...
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I_am_person
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby I_am_person » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:44 pm

Well, first of all, it looks like you need some basic knowledge of the flagship.

Phew this is going to be long.

First of all, to answer your P.S.S. about how to keep the thing from "jumping", the flagship has three phases, the first phase, the drone phase, and the super shield phase. It transitions between those by jumping away when it dies. You cannot stop this. Also, hacking drones get shot down by pretty much everything. FYI, though, if you want to use it on the second phase, just keep on throwing drones at them, they will miss at one point.

To answer your P.S. about ions, yes, ion damage is accumulative, and it is usually good to use it on their shields, just throw most of your ions at the system.

EDIT: To answer your question about boarding, yes. It does increase the scrap amount and occasionally reaps other rewards as well. You might not notice it, but it does. Don't board with crew that isn't fit for boarding, though, as that's simply ineffective. Either use mantis, rockmen, Lanius, or the secret race(idk if you know about that)


Now I'll describe how to beat each phase.


First phase:

This one has the most systems, yet the least special things. About its hacking, if it hits a really critical system like weapons, shields, piloting, or engines, just jump away and try again until it hits something like sensors or some other useless system like doors.

About its weapons, try to take out the missiles first if possible, but then get their cloaking, shields, and piloting before shooting any of their other systems.

If you have hacking, hack their shields or piloting depending on your weapon loadout. If you're having a hard time taking out their shields, hack that. If you have a lot of projectiles, then hack the piloting. Remember to use the right things for each system, like use ions for shields and lasers for other things.

There's also another cheeky thing you can do against the first flagship if you have boarding. If you kill all their crew, then your boarders have free reign over the ship in the next phases, since the ship's crew doesn't regerate. This will give you a huge advantage. Don't kill all the crew, though, because if you do, the ship switches to an AI that repairs systems and manages the ship, so that's not recommended. What you can, though, is leave the laser guy alive. The reason we would keep the laser guy alive, is because all the other weapon systems break off in the later phases, killing the crew guy inside. If you leave only the laser guy alive, he can't get out, so your boarders still have free reign, and can destroy all the systems from within.

How you'll actually kill all the crew is by your discretion, many things work(although watch out for cloaking and that medbay, the cloaking makes it so that you can't pull your crew out). What I personally do, though, is first destroy all the weapon systems except for the laser, so that the flagship can't hurt you(since you really should have at least three shield layers by the end), and then use whatever I have to kill everybody.

I'll get to the other stages later, but I'll just tell you what you could've done with that loadout. First, after the cloaking ends, blast the shields with your ions and flak. Then, let your drones do the job.

I'll work on the other stages later, but tell me, did this help?
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Catburglar
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Catburglar » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:46 pm

Well thanks for the reply :) it did help a bit but I still can't defeat it in stage #3.

I played another round because I read here in the forums about training my crew (for example, when you go against a ship that can't really hurt you...) and also, killing them by sabotaging the life support via Ion Gun II.
That game had a lot of great rewards so perhaps this is my best setup so far:

The Torus with
4 Shields
All available reactor power + full battery
Mind Control 10s
All Subsystems to max
MedBay & Oxigen upped also to level 3, don't have enough power to have them constantly at that level but when in dire need I use battery power to charge them
Drones: Combat I, Defense I, Shield
Weapons: Ion Blast II, Hull Laser II, Breach Missile (can only power 2 of them at the same time)
And engines to level 4 but I also use battery power when the Drones are activated.

I found that I made the error in past games that I set out to have all 3 weapons fully powered/activated at the same time, but that did require too much scrap to upgrade the weapon control to the max level. I now only use 2 which doesn't necessarily mean less firepower because sometimes an enemy has a particular way to defend against specific weapons which would make it oblivious. With either Missile, Ion, Laser or Drones I have a full selection.

The only thing I miss is a Drone Recovery Augmentation, the last crewmen (I got one offered before jumping into the last sector - but I couldn't pay up damit it was a Zoltan whose energy I could've really used...). And a Hull Healing Drone....

I think I would've defeated him this time in stage 3 but my hitpoints were already down to 25%, there was no repair base nowhere around I've been basically locked inside the last remaining node.

He has this superweapon that sort of takes my shields down and then his Burst Laser will do damage. I've been able to stop him from using his missiles by Mind Controlling the enemy inside this station but in the 3rd stage it didn't work anymore - really strange, I wasn't able to Mind Control anyone from his crew, regardless if they were a boarding party or at his ship. But he did actually mindcontrol my own weapons officer, so I used my own Mind Control to undo this (I wonder if this is actually a glitch?) and if not, if it would've sufficed to do that with just a primary energy level MC (I used 3 power not realizing that it could've worked the other way...)

I still dislike the boarding stuff, it's sort of quite expensive and I guess one would need to find the Teleport Healing Augment as well to make the most out of it? Besides, having the crew at specific stations will net some bonuses which I don't wanna loose.

Ah I just unlocked another ship: The Osprey. It seems to have 2 different rooms for weapons... I'm gonna give it a try with that.
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Arthur Dent » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:52 am

Hi Catburglar,

yes, "Defense drone 1" can shoot down anything that is flying towards your ship - missiles, boarding drones, and hacking drones (the only exception being lasers, which only Mk2 can shoot down. It's a double edge sword though, as it will often shoot down a laser that wouldn't have harmed you anyway, only to let through a missile). "Anti-Drones" are to disrupt (and eventually destroy) drones that are hovering around your ship (combat and beam drones).

Re: your ship. Do you play the Advanced Edition? If so, what other systems besides the drone system did you choose? If you have a hacking system, the best thing to do in case your opponent disrupts a system that you don't want disrupted (ESPECIALLY weapons, especially if you have a weapon that takes as long to recharge as a Flak II) is - simply disrupt his hacking system in return. Just one energy bar is enough to immediately end any disruption of your own system.

Alternatively, if you have 2-3 jumps left before the enemy destroys your base, you can wait for your FTL to recharge and then jump away and back again. With a bit of luck, the enemy will jump on a different system this time. Not sure if it works though. Could be that the enemy is intelligent enough to always go for weapons when you have a Flak II (or a Glaive beam) and no means to counter the hacking.
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Leylite » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:59 am

Arthur Dent wrote:Could be that the enemy is intelligent enough to always go for weapons when you have a Flak II (or a Glaive beam) and no means to counter the hacking.


Nope, the enemy hacking is random each time. Justin Ma also sort-of confirmed that hacking targetting doesn't change between difficulties (the way that regular enemy shots are very slightly more likely to hit important system rooms on Hard mode).

I've had the Flagship hack doors or sensors when I've had a powerful loadout, and I've had it hack piloting or weapons when I've had weak crew. It's a toss-up.
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Catburglar
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Catburglar » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:00 am

Well I posted a reply here yesterday but it won't show... it seems like a moderator first needs to approve my postings because I'm new here but I wonder how long will it take?

Been finally able to beat the Flagship in Phase 3 - killing it's weaponcrews was the turning point, I did that multiple times with a strong 4dmg missile that also set fire to their cabins and occassionally breached the hull. A weapon officer being hit suffered more than half his hitpoints in damage and the fire took care of the rest^^

Yep, I'm playing with Advanced Content sort of trying to muster, at least, one Beam, one Missile and one Ion Gun, and one offensive and one defensive Drone. And either Hacking or Mind Control. And instead of teleporting I rather fortify my own vessel (Blast Doors) and fight close-quarter combats rather defensiely. I found that in many occasions you can easily thwart boarding crews by retreating from contact but venting the air into space to have then asphyxiate (once low on health let them pass and finish them off..)

I'm not quite sure if upgrading the MedBay to a CloneBay is worth the investment? What possibilites (perhaps in conjunction with Augments) are there to gather?

And Cloaking is still too expensive in cost for now...

About my disability to Mind Control outside my ship: That was because my own "Super Sensors" blocked it (somehow overlooked the flashing tip amidst the heat of battle^^)

Thanks for the info on Drones, yeah I'd rather go for Defense I than II now, I deliberately need these only for incoming missiles or flak fire.
Will an 'Anti-Drone Drone' shoot at an incoming Hacking Tool as well? Or strip it away from my hull?

BTW one question: If I upgrade my engines it'll increase also FTL but what does that do actually? Increase my range so I can make longer node-jumps or will it sort-of delay the pursuers?

One thing that bugs me though is that I seem to find no way to intelligently automate my current weapon-outlay: Burst Laser II, Ion Charger and Swarm Missiles. Burst Laser & Ion Charge work fine on Autofire (I don't see the benefit of letting the Ion weapon load up its 3 charges...?) but the Swarm Missiles are actually fine to load up to 3 because it'll only detract 1 Missile from my stock which is a good way to ensure I never run out of them. But the Autofire will always fire premature: Is their a way to handle Autofire individually for each weapon?
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Catburglar
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Catburglar » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:13 am

hey I got a Zoltan crew member that gives me reactor power, since all my stations are already manned by experienced personal I put him onto the Oxygen Generator. So short of destroying that module I'll never be depleted of fresh air. Do you think that's a good idea? What other combos may be interesting for a single Zoltan?

EDIT:
ok another question: an enemy had an Ion Charger and sometimes fired 2 Ion volleys at once. I had a 2 bubble shield up. Both Ion projectiles got soaked up by my shield. The first impact reduced my shield bubble to 1, the second just immediately thereafter didn't detract a bubble. I would've expected that my shields would've been nullified but that didn't happen. So what's the point of charging Ion weapons?

EDIT2:
do the blue options also turn up if the specific trigger isn't powered up on my ship? For example, just got the additional option to use my Beam weapons to cut loose a ship dangling somewhere in asteroids.... Or is it enough to have a laser mod installed; or even only in cargo?
Arthur Dent
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Arthur Dent » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:05 pm

Catburglar wrote:hey I got a Zoltan crew member that gives me reactor power, since all my stations are already manned by experienced personal I put him onto the Oxygen Generator. So short of destroying that module I'll never be depleted of fresh air. Do you think that's a good idea? What other combos may be interesting for a single Zoltan?



Just put your Zoltan wherever his extra power doesn't go to waste - oxygen is fine. Although you may consider putting him someplace else depending of your power management. If, for example, you put him in engines, you can turn off oxygen for awhile when you need a power bar elsewhere. This is, of course, only a consideration if your reactor is not powerful enough for all systems at the same time ( a situation which you will likely have very often when you play in Normal or Hard mode).

Also, if one of your weapons only needs 1 bar of energy (eg Ion Bomb), then you could put it into the leftmost position and put your Zoltan in the weapons room. This way, your Ion Bomb is immune against Ion damage. This is particularly useful in areas with "dangerous electromagnetic forces".

Ah, and if you have 2 Zoltans, always put them in shields if you can - this will make sure that ion weapons (and "dangerous forces") cannot tear down your last layer of shields, ie even with constant ion attacks against you, you'll always have 1 shield layer at least.

EDIT:
ok another question: an enemy had an Ion Charger and sometimes fired 2 Ion volleys at once. I had a 2 bubble shield up. Both Ion projectiles got soaked up by my shield. The first impact reduced my shield bubble to 1, the second just immediately thereafter didn't detract a bubble. I would've expected that my shields would've been nullified but that didn't happen. So what's the point of charging Ion weapons?


If you look at your shields system, you will see that each shield takes 2 bars to power. The first projectile will reduce your shield's energy from 4 to 3 - that's only enough for 1 shield. The second will it reduce further to 2 - that's still enough for 1 shield layer. Now the third projectile would reduce it down to just 1 bar - and that would not be enough even for 1 shield, so as soon as the 3rd projectile hits before the ion damage wears off, your shield is down.

do the blue options also turn up if the specific trigger isn't powered up on my ship? For example, just got the additional option to use my Beam weapons to cut loose a ship dangling somewhere in asteroids.... Or is it enough to have a laser mod installed; or even only in cargo?


It doesn't need to be powered, in fact you don't even need to have the system power to run it (eg a Glaive Beam installed on your weapons system will trigger a beam weapon blue option even if you don't even have a level 4 weapons system, ie you couldn't even activate your Glaive Beam).

However, cargo is not enough, it does need to be installed. Also, I think the system must be functional. A mind control blue option won't show when your mind control system is in need of repair.
Last edited by Arthur Dent on Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Arthur Dent
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Arthur Dent » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:11 pm

Augmented MedBay or CloneBay = a few extra blue options. Some of them may be worthwhile. I can't remember off of my head where exactly they are found.
Arthur Dent
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Re: How to beat the Flagship?

Postby Arthur Dent » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:16 pm

Catburglar wrote:
BTW one question: If I upgrade my engines it'll increase also FTL but what does that do actually? Increase my range so I can make longer node-jumps or will it sort-of delay the pursuers?


No. This does nothing to slow down the advancement of your enemy. It does, however, reduce the time it takes for your FTL to recharge. That comes in handy when you are in a battle that you cannot win and want to escape ASAP. Especially if the Rebel fleet has catched you - these enemies are nasty, do a lot of damage, and when you beat them, all you get is 1 canister of fuel - trying to win this is not usually worth it unless you need that one fuel unit real hard.

However, the most important reason to upgrade engines is the chance to evade damage during combat. The repair cost that you save this way alone make a HUGE difference.

One thing that bugs me though is that I seem to find no way to intelligently automate my current weapon-outlay: Burst Laser II, Ion Charger and Swarm Missiles. Burst Laser & Ion Charge work fine on Autofire (I don't see the benefit of letting the Ion weapon load up its 3 charges...?) but the Swarm Missiles are actually fine to load up to 3 because it'll only detract 1 Missile from my stock which is a good way to ensure I never run out of them. But the Autofire will always fire premature: Is their a way to handle Autofire individually for each weapon?


Press Control while selecting your target with the mouse to revert the default autofire setting (ie if autofire is on, your weapon will be selected to fire one, if it is off, it will be set on auto fire)

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