Ssslither across space – A Slug Cruiser A&B guide

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MC3craze
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:36 pm

Ssslither across space – A Slug Cruiser A&B guide

Postby MC3craze » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:48 am

The Slug Cruiser is a very fun and unique ship, revolving around tactics that leave enemy ships behind as empty husks. There are better written guides out there, but I’d like to write about my favorite ship.

1. Unlocking the ship
For those of you without the ship, it takes a little cooperation from the RNG goddess, pray to her with all your might and try to hit as many nebula sectors as you can. The one you’re looking for is the Slug Home Nebula.

When you get there, try to avoid boarding as much as possible. The reason being is that some slug ships offer some of their “storessss in exchange for their livessss” when their ship is heavily damaged. If one surrenders to you, take it. You will often get a meager amount of fuel or scrap, but there are cases where they offer an anti-bio beam. Reject their beam offer and demand information, and you will get a quest marker. Make sure if you don’t have a slug crewmember on your ship, to upgrade your sensors to at least level 2.

After arriving at the quest beacon, you will notice an impressive cruiser on a mobile construction platform, slowly disappearing into the clouds. Instead of facing the ships straight on, try to tail them without being noticed. This is when your slug crew or sensors level 2 come into play. Once the larger ships leave you will move in to fight the lone interceptor. As soon as the battle begins, the interceptor will try to jump away with the cruiser, stop them by any means necessary. Once you either destroy or decrew the interceptor, you will acquire an augment and unlock the Slug Cruiser!

2. The Basics
In this section, I will go over the Slug Cruiser type A and type B, and how to use the ships in the beginning.

Type A: At first glance, this might seem like a pretty bad ship as far as weapons go. Your starting loadout consists of the following:
- Anti-bio beam (when fired, does 60 damage to enemy crewmembers if it hits a tile they are standing on)
- Dual lasers (self-explanatory)
- Breach Bomb mark 1 (useful against medbays you may encounter early on, and wonderful when facing unmanned drones)
- 16 Fuel, 15 Missiles, 0 Drones, 8 Reactor Power, 2 Slug Crew, Slug Repair Gel

The weapons are by no means powerful, and are sufficient for the early sectors. Your dual lasers make dropping shields simple, allowing for a quick swipe with the anti-bio beam. When using your beam, make sure to hit the tile an enemy crew is standing on, hitting the room alone will not do damage to crew. I recommend you upgrade your weapon control to level 4 (costs 35 scrap) and buying a power bar so you can run all of your weapons simultaneously. Try to use your breach bombs sparingly; I use them as a finisher sometimes.

Other systems: The ships starts without sensors, which is a little annoying; but the slug’s telepathy still allows you to see where enemy crew are on their ship, vital for the use of the anti-bio beam. You start with normal shields, engines, and you have blast doors, which helps against boarders and fires. Slug repair gel helps seal pesky hull breaches too.

Type B: A boarding ship starting without a medbay and having an Artemis missile launcher as your only offensive weapon provides a unique challenge. Your start with:
- A healing burst (your only means of healing your crew until you buy a medbay at a store (60 scrap))
- An Artemis missile launcher
- 16 Fuel, 25 Missiles, 0 Drones, 7 Reactor Power, 3 Slug Crew, Slug Repair Gel

This ship has a real danger of running out of ammo early on, so use your missiles and heal bursts intelligently. Try to avoid wasting heal bombs, and to circumvent auto-scouts, at least until you get another weapon. When fighting a ship, mentally limit your missile use to 3 or less. Once your slugs get some combat experience you should have no trouble boarding anything other than mantis, who might cause your crew to need a heal bomb or trip to the medbay to succeed.

Other systems: This ship also starts without sensors, not bad, but not great either. Slug telepathy is most useful at the beginning of a fight; allowing you to make an assumption on which races are present on the enemy ship, and react accordingly. The ship starts with normal shields and engines, plus blast doors. Slug repair gel can usually shut a hole before you lose too much oxygen.

3. In Depth – Slug A
Starting with only two crewmembers can really suck, and you sometimes don’t encounter any extra until late game (personal experience, was a bit painful.) You can make due if micromanagement is no trouble for you, and occasionally you’ll find prisoners on the ships you clear out with the Anti-bio beam. Dealing with boarders is especially difficult due to the ship’s poor venting pattern, and having only one mobile slug to fight with. Fires in empty rooms can usually be ignored until either the fight is over, or it burns out. Breaches will seal themselves, and with a crewmember in the room can usually close the breach before oxygen drops to asphyxiation levels.

Most fires in system rooms are going to have to be dealt with manually, because your only two airlocks are on the far corners of the ship. And one of those airlocks is right next to door control, making it virtually impossible to safely vent from that side. This leaves you with the doors that lead to the shield room as the only safe option. The O2 drain is usually too slow to stop systems from taking fire damage; however, disabling life support temporarily (not recommended) can speed the process. If there is a fire in an empty room, ignore it until it burns out unless it’s an important corridor. Once you get more crew (preferably an engi) fires become a lot easier to deal with.

Before you obtain weapons to supplement the beginning loadout, Rebel auto-ships will be a real problem. The best way I’ve found is to avoid the fights unless you need/want more scrap. In the cases where you have to fight an unmanned craft, try using the breach bomb on a system. Since breaches have to be sealed before repairs can begin, and auto-ships can’t repair breaches; it means the system cannot be repaired. That allows you to take your time, merrily picking them apart with the dual lasers.

Boarders with only two crewmembers can be deadly, so try to avoid mantis controlled sectors if you can. Venting your ship is risky, especially if they jump in near your door controls. Forcing enemies to your medbay by opening all the doors except medbay can be a good idea if there are more than two borders, otherwise exercise caution with your airlock use. Also interesting to note, you can use your self-sealing hull and breach bombs to your advantage. Simply target the room enemy borders are in and soften them up with a dose of high explosives.

4. In Depth – Slug B
A boarding ship without a medbay at first seems like an oxymoron, but this ship starts without one, relying instead on healing bombs. A medbay should be on top of your list of upgrades, heal bombs are not sustainable by any means. Being careful with your missile use is the name of the game here, since an Artemis missile launcher is the only thing you can use to touch pesky drones and Zoltan shields. Picking up a weapon is not needed immediately, especially if you manage to install a medbay to help conserve missiles.

Thanks to the slug’s telepathy, you can ID what kind of crew enemy ships have (useful for pirates) based on their movement speed. Mantis move more quickly than any other race, and rocks are dreadfully slow. This way you can figure out who you want to gang up on when you jump in. In addition, while onboard you can use the slug’s telepathy to see adjacent rooms even without sensors. This is most useful when you’ve been firing on the enemy ship, and allows you to check for hazards before attempting to enter rooms. The telepathy is so useful you don’t actually ever need to buy sensors.

When facing off against auto-ships early on, think about how many missiles it will take to kill them (Artemis does two hull damage) and what kind of reward you’d get for destroying the drone. If it is guarding a station with military supplies, it’s worth the missiles. The auto-ships that run away to inform the rebel fleet of your position are often not worth the missiles, just smash their helm with a missile and jump away when the FTL is charged.

Dealing with fire and boarders on this ship is a piece of cake, starting with blast doors and has an amazing amount of airlocks, the polar opposite of the type A. All of your mannable stations are only one room away from an airlock. The only place it’s not the best idea to vent from is the airlock next to the crew teleporter. Being a boarding focused ship, you can see the problems that can arise from having the teleporter room vented. Treat enemy boarders as free experience and watch as they flail their arms against your blast doors and finish them off with your slugs when they get through.

5. Closing notes
These ships can be a breath of fresh air to those getting tired of the typical “kill everything with beams” and have a real advantage when it comes to scrap income early on. It just takes a bit of luck and patience. These ships quickly became my favorites because of how surprisingly different they are compared to others. The stealth cruisers become regular ships once you get shields, the engi cruiser can get monotonous and boring quickly, and the Zoltan cruiser overshields lose most of their effectiveness once you hit the later game. But the slug cruisers have never lost that unique feel, even during the flagship battle. That is why these ships will hold a special place in my heart.
Last edited by MC3craze on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BKT
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:17 am

Re: Ssslither across space – A Slug Cruiser A&B guide

Postby BKT » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:23 am

I actually like the layout & airlocks placement of Slug A; it's the lack of crew that give rise to most of the problems you described IMO. Once you get 1 more crew (which is not really difficult to find), boarders become trivial to deal with.

Fires in some certain room can be a pain though... But with the extra scraps, it's easier to upgrade your defense very early and reduced the chance of catching fire in the first place.
MC3craze
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:36 pm

Re: Ssslither across space – A Slug Cruiser A&B guide

Postby MC3craze » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:38 am

BKT wrote:I actually like the layout & airlocks placement of Slug A; it's the lack of crew that give rise to most of the problems you described IMO. Once you get 1 more crew (which is not really difficult to find), boarders become trivial to deal with.

Fires in some certain room can be a pain though... But with the extra scraps, it's easier to upgrade your defense very early and reduced the chance of catching fire in the first place.


I like the layout as well, but the airlock next to door control is unsafe to vent from in my experience. It always would get smashed and lock the doors open.
BKT
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:17 am

Re: Ssslither across space – A Slug Cruiser A&B guide

Postby BKT » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:49 pm

Dunno... I always vent the Door room whenever something board into it; work just fine.

Not quite sure about 2x mantis though, but I don't remember I had any problem with it— I'll sure to take note of it next time.
Hyperbolic
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:18 pm

Re: Ssslither across space – A Slug Cruiser A&B guide

Postby Hyperbolic » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:52 pm

I love Slug A. I've beaten normal twice with it now, and find it extremely fun as well as very efficient to defeat ships using the tactic of lowering their shields and then bio-beaming the crew. The last time I did a run with it I got very lucky and ended up with two Burst Laser Mk III's, one of which I got for free in an event.

My load-out at end-game was pretty hefty as well.
Systems:
Level 8 shields
Level 8 weapons
Level 7 engines
Level 2 medbay
Level 2 life support
Level 3 stealth
Level 4 drone control
Maxed sub-systems
Maxed energy bars

Weapons:
2x Burst Laser Mk III
Anti-Bio Beam
Dual Lasers
(I alternated between using both Bursts to ravage the shields/weapons, and using one Burst with the other two weapons to kill crew.)

Drones:
Defense Drone Mk I

Crew:
1 Engi for repairs
2 Slugs; 1 as pilot and one for weapons
2 Zoltan, both in shields
2 Humans, one at engines other for repairs etc
1 Mantis for boarder defense
All manned crew with maxed relevant skill, of course

I got pretty lucky with the crew, finding most/all of them in events/enemy ships. Killing the enemy crew gives way more scrap than destroying ships, and should always be done if possible. I didn't even bother with a teleporter, as the Anti-bio Beam is extremely effective in killing crew, actually being quicker than boarding in most cases, and much less risky. The only problem this ship really faces is weak weapons and a lack of crew at the start, but I usually find that when you're killing enemy crew every battle, it's very easy to find crew members. As for the weapons, they're actually very powerful in terms of what the goal of using them is; killing crew members. The Dual Lasers is one of the best weapons you can get (2 lasers for one energy) and easily takes down shields early on to allow the Anti-Bio Beam to do it's work. The Breach bomb is a great way to bypass shields and damage systems/crew without having to worry about damaging hull, and it's cooldown is very quick.

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