How often do you send boarding parties?

#1 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

15 hours of playing FTL, and I have yet to take down the flagship on easy. I won't say it's becoming frustrating, because I still have a lot of fun every time I play. I think it's time, however, to figure out some new strategies.

I never buy a teleporter. It's never looked like an attractive option to me. I purchased a teleporter once. I had two mantis, who I sent over. They qere quickly killed in action, and I've never gone back. Even with a scrap collector, it's essential to invest wisely. I've found that every single game I'm stretched to my limit. It doesn't seem worth the high price to purchase and then upgrade a teleporter. Furthermore, it's very risky too send over valuable crew members, even if you have plenty dudes.

In spite of my doubts, it seems I'm mistaken. I've been reading other players' success stories, and it seems they always use boarding parties.

So, Bombers, help me out. To use or not to use boarding parties?

#2 Posted by Time_Lord (723 posts) -

I use two of the rock people with the teleporter combine that with the fire bomb and you can mess some dudes up also i believe you get more scrap if you don't destroy the ship .

#3 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

@Time_Lord said:

...i believe you get more scrap if you don't destroy the ship .

That would be a really good thing. Can you accomplish this by suffocating them?

#4 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (740 posts) -

@BoG said:

@Time_Lord said:

...i believe you get more scrap if you don't destroy the ship .

That would be a really good thing. Can you accomplish this by suffocating them?

I have killed many crews by disabling their oxygen then firebombing that room. They either die from suffocation or being burned alive.

#5 Edited by Time_Lord (723 posts) -

@BoGsaid:

@Time_Lord said:

...i believe you get more scrap if you don't destroy the ship .

That would be a really good thing. Can you accomplish this by suffocating them?

Yup before boarding I target their weapons first then there 02 unit. And just teleport to the 02 room and kill them as they try to repair it and teleport out when i need to heal up a lot easier with the ship you unlock after beating the the game on easy as you start with 4 crew instead of 3.

#6 Posted by SexyToad (2759 posts) -

I haven't tried sending boarding parties yet. Mostly because whenever I get boarded, I barely survive. So I don't want to to try my luck boarding them. Maybe when I'm a bit more familiar with FTL.

#7 Posted by StarvingGamer (8476 posts) -

I used one during one of my playthroughs with moderate success until an enemy ship made a jump with my 2 guys still on board.

Out of 5 playthroughs I have taken the Rebel Flagship down twice, both times by abusing the fuck out of bombs and drones.

#8 Posted by StarvingGamer (8476 posts) -

Oh, and when I did use the teleporter, I found a 15-second cooldown was plenty to make sure I could always snatch my guys back before they ate it. Mobile site so no edit :-/

#9 Edited by envane (1164 posts) -

yeah i love taking out the crew , on normal its a must to get decent scrap and i believe its a higher chance of weapons etc too , so its pretty useful trhought , but in the flagship its pretty damn useful since the weapon rooms have no exit so you can reliably take out weapons as fast as your guys can kill them , even just a lvl 1 teleporter is fine for that as it will generally be back up before they take out the weapons , you only need the faster beam-out time if youre dealing with alot of crew etc or your guys take stray missiles to the face :(

if you keep 2 crewmembers handy (mantis are good but humans are fine too) to fight off invaders and lvl up their combat skill by boarding occasionally etc you should have a pretty easy time disabling weapons at least for the flagship battle , they dont last very long in the drone/shield room tho :P

protip for the 3rd wave tho is to pick a guy in one of the weapon rooms to leave alive because as you wail on the shields and kill all of the crew then the ai will take over and makes the last part even harder (if youre causing enough damage and fire in that room etc the crew will die super fast)

so yes .. teleporter is great , combined with boarding drones seems pretttty nasty .

also god damn hull repair drone = so many lucky escapes.

#10 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

I've been trying my hand at boarding parties, and it works well. I don't seem to ever be lacking scrap, and I've got tons of weapon and drone options. Next question: when you use boarding parties, is it worth it to leave systems unmanned? I'm still early in this boarding run, and with few crewmembers, I've sent my shields weapons dudes over. Hopefully I'll pick up a few more guys (preferably mantis or rock) to bring balance to my ship. So, is it worth it to leave systems unmanned?

#11 Posted by Mirado (1050 posts) -

@BoG: Depends on the system. I find the shields can be left unmanned as the crew member provides a small bonus only (and once you have 3-4 bars worth, your main threat is bombs and missiles that ignore them anyway), and I've never really seen that major of a bonus from weapons, but keeping a guy on engines and piloting is a must as that extra 15% or so of dodge chance (not to mention your dodge goes to 0% at worst or 1/2 the max at best without a pilot) really works wonders when you upgrade your engines later (I've pushed my dodge up past 50% before, which is the key to beating the last boss).

Speaking of the boss, here's a helpful tip; the weapons on that flagship are separated from the rest of the ship's body, meaning that if you break the weapon and kill the crew member manning it, they cannot repair it. You can either light it up with a fire beam/bomb, use an anti-organic beam, breaching missile, or just shoot at it a bunch as the guy usually has nowhere to run.

When you don't have triple missiles slamming into you or ions knocking your shields down, it's a LOT easier to manage.

#12 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I always aim to get 2 Mantis as a dedicated combat squad as soon as I can, teleporting is the cornerstone of most of my strategies.

#13 Posted by Iodine (551 posts) -

In the future I def want to work boarding into my strategy, but I am playing a lot of Engi so by the time I have enough other dudes to make the investment, I already have enough other obligations

#14 Posted by AndrewB (7686 posts) -

I've never used the boarding party strategy because I've never had a solid enough crew to make it worthwhile. Mostly weakling races and humans. I've always been in the position where the best strategy has been pummeling shields/weapons/everything else in that order with everything I have. But I agree that some part of my strategy will have to change to take out that behemoth if I ever plan on beating the game. Problem is, my favorite ship right now is the Engi ship, which leaves me zero chance of boarding being a viable option.

#15 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I never send boarding parties.

#16 Posted by Kieran_ES (258 posts) -

Leaving certain stations unmanned is pretty situational. In an asteroid field, obviously don't abandon shield. In a nebula it's a trickier trade-off.

As for boarding in general, it's a great tactic but you have to be smart about it. I find it's most useful as a sort of hit and run sort of thing; send in your two guys, blast away at O2 or something else vital, maybe kill a guy and then beam back as soon as it looks like it's getting dangerous. Heal up, repeat. This can go on whilst you bombard their weapons (or anything vital, again) when you're on-board and the room you've just damaged when you beam away.

You also benefit greatly from having a strong boarding party for the boss. The weapon rooms are separate so beam in two guys, kill the weapon and repeat. Second wave can go way easier if you take out the weapons and drone room with boarding.

#17 Posted by TruthTellah (9429 posts) -

@BoG: As far as boarding parties go, I think sending a maximum of two crew is probably best. That usually leaves 1-3 crew to man the systems. I think one on the wheel at all times is best, as that maneuvering bonus is worth it, and one to man weapons is good. You want someone there in case your weapons get hurt and you need an immediate repair. I think the only time to really pull those people off their posts is if there is a growing fire that you can't just vent into space, something needs immediate repair, or a boarding party arrives on your ship while your boarding party is on the other ship.

Once you get a larger crew, sending 3-4 is possible, but you do have to watch for the dangers of boarding. If you're in an asteroid field, damage to the enemy ship can kill your guys, too, and enemy ships can FTL Jump while your people are aboard, causing you to lose them forever. So, watch for them prepping to retreat, and don't invest too many people into boarding, just in case you may have to make do with the remaining crew. Also,(as you may well know) if you're going to send a boarding crew, it's often most efficient to focus on attacking one room(like weapons or shields) and then teleport them to that room to finish the job and prevent any repairs. Hopefully, fires might have been started(F. Bombs are great for this tactic) and then you can just kill anyone who comes to repair the room. And if your guys get low on life, just teleport them back, send em to the Med Bay, and then send them right back to finish the job. If you can get those weapons systems down and give them enough work to do, you can have a decent bit of time to recharge before a final assault.

Good luck with the boarding parties! :)

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#18 Posted by EToaster (129 posts) -

I board with almost every ship I play because it's such an effective strategy. The key is to set up an advantageous situation for your crew. Shoot at their weapons if they're dangerous, but primarily you want to attack the crew of the ship so that your boarders will have an easier time. Always warp into a 2 space room so you can't get outnumbered. Piloting is a good place to start as the pilot being attacked reduces evasion (but notably does NOT prevent him from jumping if they're trying to escape). Bomb type weapons make great boarder support as you can damage systems and crew without risking your own boarders by hurting the enemy hull.

I don't think damaging O2 is an effective strategy most of the time, unless they enemy ship literally can't hurt you through your shields. It just takes way too long to suffocate them, and they'll be repairing it the whole time, so you'll either be wasting a lot of missiles on bombs or damaging their hull slowly.

#19 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

Boarding parties are the cause of my first victory against the flagship (on easy).

I'm not sure if the layout changes on normal, but on easy, all the weapon systems are self-contained, and manned by one person. So I transport two of my crew to that room, kill their weapons person, and then destroy that subsystem, and repeat.

The tricky part is being able to soak up all the damage, which is why I went for that triple-missile launcher first. That thing destroyed me the first few times I made it to the end.

#20 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

@Mirado: Awesome tips. I didn't realize that about the final boss. I've only encountered him once (twice if you can't the first time I reached the final sector, and though he would come to me) and I learned quickly that the only way to survive was taking out his weapons before anything else. I didn't make it past the second form, and I imagine a boarding party would make things far quicker and easier.

@Tim_the_Corsair: In my current run, I'm looking for Mantis everywhere. No luck, yet.

Here's a question: do all of you prefer Mantis or Rock? As I play, it seems like Rock might be best because you can fight in burning rooms. Mantis' increased power makes sense, though.

@Kieran_ES:@TruthTellah: I'm slowly learning this. Every time I've killed the crew successfully, I've had to take at least one trip back to my ship. Hopefully, this will change as my boarding team improves, or I find some fire weapons.

@EToaster: I've given up on taking out the 02. I have yet to see anything become of it. Any time I've tried, my repeated laser shots to that and other systems just whittles away at the hull to the point that I destroy the ship.

Thanks for the great advice from everyone. I'm on my second run using boarding parties, and it's going well so far!

#21 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@BoG I tend to go Mantis over Rock where possible, as I find that the lack of speed counteracts the Rock toughness as they take several more hits on those occasions where you need to run away.

In saying that, I had a great run with a Slug and Rock tag team one time, I got the Rock in the first sector when using the second Slug ship that comes with the teleporter, and those guys were a two errrr "man" wrecking matching by the time I beat the boss.
#22 Posted by Mirado (1050 posts) -

@BoG: Boarding parties do work fairly well, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

1) The flagship has level 3 doors, which take a fair bit of time to break down.

2) As I found out, even if you kill the whole crew, it carries on with an AI which stops the fight from ending (although it cannot repair whatever systems you break, which is a big plus. Keep in mind that it does repair everything between forms).

3) I think most of the crew is ranked up to max in combat, meaning you better have the same if you send your guys over. I'm pretty sure their boarding drones (if not all boarding drones? Not quite sure.) act as if they are ranked up as well.

4) Even if you knock out the drone control in form two, he can still send that wave of eight of them.

5) I'm not sure if you mind spoilers for the last form or not, so I'll box them out:

His last form involves a Zoltan energy shield which has at least double the strength of the normal energy shields, and he has a "super weapon" which either fires six burst laser shots at once or recharges his energy shield. He also starts to use his teleporter to send his crew over, but on the plus size he only has the missile launcher and heavy burst laser as weapons with no drones or cloaking. The key is evasion, especially if you don't have cloaking, although I found this form to be easier then the 2nd one.
#23 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: Ah, I forgot about the speed! That makes sense!

So, I'm here to report following my first full-on boarding party run. Based on scrap alone, I'll never do it any other way. I was rich. Going into sector 7, it looked like I was going to beat this game once and for all. I had purchased a glaive beam, was using bombs very well, and had my original mk. II laser, a deadly trio. Once I had more power, I would be able to run all three at once. I had an man who had man who had mastered weapon controls, one who had mastered shields, and a Zoltan who had mastered the engines. I had a spare Zoltan who hung out in the drone bay, where he helped power a boarding drone. Finally, I had a killer boarding squad: a human and mantis, both of whom were very proficient in battle. I was rolling in the dough, so I would be fully upgrading my ship soon.

Then, tragedy struck.

I entered into the strangest Zoltan encounter. It began with four Zoltan boarding my ship, which I had never seen before. They went down quickly. I sent my dudes over to take out their crew. All was going well. I had disabled shields and weapons, and all I needed to do was finish off two crew members. I cut off my weapons; they couldn't fire, or repair. I didn't want to risk destroying the ship with my crew aboard. I failed to realize, however, that a fire had broken out somewhere. I never noticed the enemy's hull slowing crumbling. Then.... BOOM! My seasoned fighters were gone. I was in shock.

Things only got worse. I flew toward a shop beacon, in hopes of finding some crewmen to hire. I encountered some Mantis on the way; 4 boarded my ship. I almost suffocated them, but the breached my weapons bay. Somehow, they killed my weapons commander before I could react. I was able to kill them, but the losses hurt. Luckily, I found what I was seeking at the shop. I brought aboard and Engi and a Slug.

For some reason, this shop was totally secluded. I could only go backwards, where the rebels were waiting for me. I lost control of this battle. One of my Zoltan was killed in a fire. I didn't stand a chance, so I jumped. I had to make a big loop in order to reach the exit. I encountered, and fled from, 4 rebel ships. My next jump took me to the final encounter.

I battled one automated ship before engaging the flagship. It was a difficult battle. If I couldn't handle that, I knew that I would be screwed in game's hardest battle.

I did better than I thought. I sent my most combat proficient crewmember, my pilot, and the slug to take out the missles, and a boarding drone destroyed another weapon. After this, I had to do a number of repairs. Once those were done, the slug and Captain Sophia returned to take out the other weapons. By this point, I was all out of missles, which I had wasted early on in the battle. My only choice was to take out the shields in person. My entire crew died trying to do this.

I did earn my highest score ever, and Sophia, who began as the pilot, is now the most legendary crewmember ever. Though it ended in failure, that was the most epic game of FTL I've ever played.

#24 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@BoG

@Tim_the_Corsair: Ah, I forgot about the speed! That makes sense!

So, I'm here to report following my first full-on boarding party run. Based on scrap alone, I'll never do it any other way. I was rich. Going into sector 7, it looked like I was going to beat this game once and for all. I had purchased a glaive beam, was using bombs very well, and had my original mk. II laser, a deadly trio. Once I had more power, I would be able to run all three at once. I had an man who had man who had mastered weapon controls, one who had mastered shields, and a Zoltan who had mastered the engines. I had a spare Zoltan who hung out in the drone bay, where he helped power a boarding drone. Finally, I had a killer boarding squad: a human and mantis, both of whom were very proficient in battle. I was rolling in the dough, so I would be fully upgrading my ship soon.

Then, tragedy struck.

I entered into the strangest Zoltan encounter. It began with four Zoltan boarding my ship, which I had never seen before. They went down quickly. I sent my dudes over to take out their crew. All was going well. I had disabled shields and weapons, and all I needed to do was finish off two crew members. I cut off my weapons; they couldn't fire, or repair. I didn't want to risk destroying the ship with my crew aboard. I failed to realize, however, that a fire had broken out somewhere. I never noticed the enemy's hull slowing crumbling. Then.... BOOM! My seasoned fighters were gone. I was in shock.

Things only got worse. I flew toward a shop beacon, in hopes of finding some crewmen to hire. I encountered some Mantis on the way; 4 boarded my ship. I almost suffocated them, but the breached my weapons bay. Somehow, they killed my weapons commander before I could react. I was able to kill them, but the losses hurt. Luckily, I found what I was seeking at the shop. I brought aboard and Engi and a Slug.

For some reason, this shop was totally secluded. I could only go backwards, where the rebels were waiting for me. I lost control of this battle. One of my Zoltan was killed in a fire. I didn't stand a chance, so I jumped. I had to make a big loop in order to reach the exit. I encountered, and fled from, 4 rebel ships. My next jump took me to the final encounter.

I battled one automated ship before engaging the flagship. It was a difficult battle. If I couldn't handle that, I knew that I would be screwed in game's hardest battle.

I did better than I thought. I sent my most combat proficient crewmember, my pilot, and the slug to take out the missles, and a boarding drone destroyed another weapon. After this, I had to do a number of repairs. Once those were done, the slug and Captain Sophia returned to take out the other weapons. By this point, I was all out of missles, which I had wasted early on in the battle. My only choice was to take out the shields in person. My entire crew died trying to do this.

I did earn my highest score ever, and Sophia, who began as the pilot, is now the most legendary crewmember ever. Though it ended in failure, that was the most epic game of FTL I've ever played.

Haha I love stories like that in this game.

I once accidentally turned auto fire on and had my double bio beams slaughter my veteran boarding party 1 jump from the mothership
#25 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: That's what I still need to get used to with boarding parties. I just screwed my self over with autofire. I recruited a Mantis and a Slug in the second sector, and was using them as a boarding party. I forgot to shut my weapons off, and blew them to smithereens. A very promising run came to an end.

#26 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@BoG Weapon management is definitely a priority, especially when a single fire or whatnot can blow the ship your guys are on out of the sky before you even realise.

I find it fascinating, it adds a great level of active strategy to the basically turn-based main gameplay.

I really want to unlock the Mantis ship so I can get access to a 4 person teleporter. I love the idea of making a ship built entirely around anti-personnel and boarding parties
#27 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6017 posts) -

Aside from the last boss I don't often use them unless the ship requires it. The exception to this rule is if you find a crystal crew member or are playing with the Carnelian, as Crystal guys are absurdly overpowered for boarding with their lockdown ability. Cleared the entire game only blowing up 1 ship with a 2 mantis/2 crystal guy boarding party of death and destruction, didn't even fire a weapon until the last boss.

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