Livestream Link (for those who would rather watch first before reading)
What makes a ship strong or weak in FTL? Broadly speaking, I would argue that they can be evaluated in three different categories: offense, defense, and crew. A ship's offensive performance obviously includes its starting weaponry, but also takes into account the presence of systems like the Teleporter/Hacking/Mind Control, any Combat Drones or Beam Drones used for attacking, offensive augments, whether the ship has 3 or 4 slots for weapons, and so on. The defensive side of things includes starting shields and engines, along with defensive drones (Defense Drone, Antidrone, Shield drone, etc.), the presence of a Zoltan Shield or any other protective augments, Cloaking (the only completely defensive non-standard system), whether the ship begins with upgraded Doors or Piloting, and everything else of that nature. Crew is the easiest to understand, simply an accounting of the starting crew, but not to be underestimated. It's not just that extra crew members are useful for repairing damaged systems and fighting off invading marines. They also provide extremely useful passive benefits from operating systems. Someone standing in the Engine room provides 5% extra dodge chance just be being there - that's a free level of engines, without needing reactor power. When fully upgraded, that guy is worth 10% dodge chance, or two engine levels. The benefit is also substantial for weapons (10-20% faster charge time), and of course your ship won't fly at all without a pilot. Anything less than 3 crew makes it very difficult to run a ship in FTL. I'd argue that this category is almost as important as a ship's offensive and defensive capabilities when thinking about its relative performance.
If you're wondering about this elaborate introduction, I bring it up to make the following point: the Engi B Cruiser is terribly weak in all three categories. It begins with two weapons: a Heavy Laser and a Heavy Ion. Now the Heavy Laser is a pretty good weapon, firing heavy shots that deal 2 damage for 1 power when they hit, and also having a chance to set fires, stun enemy crew, and breach the hull. The problem is that the Heavy Laser needs other accompanying weapons to be effective; ideally, you have something else to pop enemy shields, then fire the Heavy Laser for tons of damage. Here on the Engi B, the only other option is the Heavy Ion, and that's a poor weapon indeed. The Heavy Ion costs 2 weapon power to use, takes 13 seconds to charge up, and deals 2 ion damage on a successful hit. Think about that: it costs two power, and in an absolute best possible scenario will remove a single enemy shield layer. Being an ion weapon, the Heavy Ion also can never deal any direct damage itself. This thing is complete garbage, and one of the worst weapons in the entire game. (I've heard people online say that the Heavy Ion becomes good when paired with more ion weapons, but it never becomes power efficient, and it's beyond wasteful to tie up one of your limited weapons slots on this trash when there are so many stronger options available. Why not use that 2 power on lasers, or flak, or beam weapons - or anything else!)
The Heavy Laser and the Heavy Ion also make for terrible partners. Their chargeup times do not sync at all, with the Heavy Laser (9 seconds) forced to wait around for the Heavy Ion (13 seconds) with nearly every volley. Most enemy ships at the start of the game will have one shield bubble, making the Heavy Laser useless without the other weapon. The Heavy Ion must go first and remove the shields, then the Heavy Laser can fire and deal damage. The crippling weakness: if EITHER of the two shots misses, you deal no damage and have to wait for the full weapon cooldown to try again. Meanwhile, the much stronger enemy ship will be firing away and pounding the poor Engi B. You can lose an entire run on the first jump if you get a streak of unlucky misses with either the laser or the ion. This is one of the worst starting setups for weapons in the entire game.
If you're thinking that the Engi B gets strong defenses to compensate for its weak offense, well, think again. While the ship does begin with the standard level 2 shields (one layer), thank goodness, that's about all that the player gets. Engines begin the game at the minimum possible level 1, another devastating penalty that leaves this ship extremely vulnerable. Engi B does have a Drone System installed, like all the Engi ships, but sadly has no Defensive drone to help out against missiles. The ship also has the minimum possible level 1 Piloting and Doors, and as another unnecessary penalty, lacks Sensors too. I suppose we should be thankful there are Medbay and Oxygen systems included on this rustbucket...
Still, all of this is just the buildup to the Engi B's most crippling weakness: You start the game with only ONE crew! This is the only ship in the game that functions this way. The default for most ships is 3 crew, some have 4 shipmates, and only a handful begin with just 2 people on board. But no others have a single Engi and nothing else. Your poor starting Engi is needed to pilot the ship, which leaves no one to man any of the other systems. Lacking the passive bonuses from the normal crew in engines, weapons, etc. is a giant handicap. The combination of level 1 engines and zero additional crew gives this ship a pitiful 10% evasion rate. Have fun dealing with those enemy missiles! Furthermore, when your systems take damage or invaders beam over to your ship, the Engi has to go deal with them, leaving no one to pilot the ship. Once the little cyborg steps out of the piloting room, all evade drops to 0%. No level 2 Piloting for you! Oh, and have I mentioned that the Doors do not start out upgraded, plus there are no Sensors to see attackers/fires on the ship? What a sweet deal! Now the Engi B does get two System Repair drones and an Antipersonnel drone to help out, and they are very much needed for repairing and fighting, respectively. Unfortunately you can't control either of them, and it's maddening to watch the System Repair drone off fixing something unimportant while the shields are burning down. Even with the Antipersonnel drone, it's still pretty tough to deal with boarders. Plus, you start the game with a whopping 6 drone parts - better not waste them! At least you get the thoroughly useless Drone Reactor Booster augment, so your crappy drones move around the ship 25% faster. Ummm, thanks. Thanks a lot.
Overall then, Engi B sits at the absolute bottom of the FTL tier list, together with the Zoltan C. Based on my experience, I strongly believe that they are the two worst ships in the game. The number of things that can go wrong at the beginning of an Engi B run is almost too high to count. You desperately need to upgrade weapons, defenses, AND hire more crew, all at the same time. Winning on Hard difficulty requires great skill or a phenomenal amount of good luck. I honestly think the developers were trolling the player base when they drew up the Engi B. Do not use this ship unless you know exactly what you're doing, or you want to face one heck of a challenge.
I had won a game with the Engi B offstream a while ago, largely because the ship annoyed me and I wanted to achieve a victory over this stupid setup. It wasn't easy though, and I lost quite a few runs before finally getting things to line up correctly. Winning on stream proved to be no picnic either. I lost the first three attempts withough making it too far. The fourth attempt had completely ludicrous good luck, finding all sorts of weapons completely for free, and it should have been a guaranteed triumph. Instead, I was unable to finding a Cloaking unit in the endgame, and lost at the very end of the flagship's third phase, largely because I foolishly had put my Halberd Beam in slot #3 instead of slot #1. I don't know what I was thinking there... The fifth attempt was another routine loss, simply unable to get over the dreaded curve before a nasty ship finished off the Engi B.
The sixth attempt got off to a solid start. Two relatively easy ships were dispatched while taking only three damage. The third encounter was against a rebel ship attacking a civilian. This enemy ship had a missile launcher and a Burst II Laser, which quite possibly meant the end of the run if the first Heavy Ion or Heavy Laser shot missed. Fortunately both of them hit, and I was still breathing. Then this bit of incredible good luck followed:
The Engi pilot manned up in a huge way and landed the dodge at 10% evade. Note that the missile was aimed at the weapons room, which would have knocked the Heavy Ion offline, meaning the Engi B would deal no damage until repaired, and all the while the missile launcher on the rebel ship would be firing away... Ugh. That could have been a nasty damage cascade there. Even these basic early game encounters can be life and death for this ship. Then as a reward for winning, the civilian ship healed up 5 points of damage and opened up a store. There were no weapons for sale, but there was a Defensive Drone. Awesome! I sold one of the two System Repair Drones (one seems to be plenty) and the thoroughly useless Drone Reactor Booster, trading them for the Defensive Drone. Remember, the Engi B starts the game with pitiful evade, making a Defensive Drone even better than normal for blocking missiles. This was the kind of good fortune I needed to get off the ground with this terrible ship.
The next opponent had a Heavy Laser and Beam Drone combo. Easy picking for most ships: take out the Heavy Laser and you can't be damaged. No problem, right? Well... the Heavy Ion hit its shot, but the Heavy Laser missed, and meanwhile the Beam Drone managed to hit my shield room, damaging the system and setting the room on fire. So no shields against a Beam Drone or the fast-firing Heavy Laser. In fact, this was so bad, I had to fire at the Drone Control on the other ship and leave the Heavy Laser alone. We'll just take that thing out, and...
Ummm, help? I had no defense against their weapons, no shields and zero evade without the Engi in the piloting room. And yet I had no choice; this was a lost battle unless I ran into that shield room and fixed them IMMEDIATELY. Can't wait for that slow Repair Drone to waddle over and deal with the problem. I've seen other people open up every door and empty the Engi B of oxygen, leaving only the piloting room supplied with air. Yes, that does help protect against boarders and fires, but I still don't recommend that because it traps your Engi at the helm, unable to go fix damaged systems. I was very willing on this run to send off the Engi to fix stuff when it had to be fixed right away. (How much does 10% evade even help, really? I know I got the godly dodge earlier, but come on.) Anyway, one hit to the weapons room here and I was cooked. Thankfully, the weapons room remained untouched for the precious seconds I needed to repair the shields (even as the Door room was smashed to pieces and multiple fires set elsewhere in the hull). The next Heavy Ion + Heavy Laser combo both hit, and I was able to knock their Beam Drone offline. From there I was able to stabilize and eventually take a nice surrender offer, but the damage already had been done. Twelve points of damage taken from this one battle, and I was lucky it wasn't twenty. Just slightly worse RNG luck and this could have been a lost run right here.
Have I mentioned we're still not even halfway through Sector One yet?
The very next battle was in an asteroid field, against a pirate ship with a two shot laser and a minibeam. The first volley hit my weapons room and set it on fire before I could even get off a shot. At this point, the asteroid field became my saving grace, as I could still deal damage with the Heavy Laser when an asteroid took out their shield bubble. (ALWAYS put your Heavy Laser in slot #1 with Engi B! The game starts out the weapons in the opposite configuration.) My first Heavy shot successfully hit, and then I only had to deal with the Minibeam, which was blocked by shields. Whew. Another potential disaster narrowly avoided. I think this might well have been another run-killer without that first Heavy shot getting through. It's not like I could even run away from these encounters, not with level 1 Engines.
What's next? How about an encounter with hacked shields from a pre-battle event, and an enemy Beam Drone present to make that very costly indeed:
You can't do anything about those pre-battle events. There would be no way to get shields back online for this battle. I had to pray that the Beam Drone wouldn't hit my weapons (fortunately it went after the Medbay), then that my first volley of shots would both hit. Once again, the Heavy Ion and Heavy Laser both flew true and landed on the enemy auto scout. I made sure to fire at the Drone Control system, not their weapons, as their only weapon was an Ion Blast that posed no threat at all. (That was also pretty lucky; that could have been a Heavy Laser just as easily.) Once again, I dodged an incredibly dangerous situation and eventually won the battle. Another 16 scrap earned, down to 12 remaining hull points.
A gigantic break of good fortune landed at the next beacon, where I drew the slaver event and picked up a free Human crewmember when the pirates offered up a surrender. Having another warm body on board was simply enormous: an extra 5% evade even before gaining any engineer experience, someone else to repair the hull, fight off attackers, and so on. If nothing else, I was no longer in a position to lose the run from a single bad event (one that costs you a crewmember) hitting at the wrong time. The last couple battles of the sector came against more ships with missiles, which were no problem thanks to that early Defensive drone. I grabbed more scrap, and even found a Shield Drone for free. That would sell for 30 scrap in a store later. At this point, I finally reached the exit beacon, putting a close to one of the more eventful first sectors I can recall in a long time.
Sector Two was a nebula sector. There was a store near the entrance, which was very badly needed as my ship limped in there with 9 health left and a whole bunch of goodies to sell. Here I made my first weapon upgrade of the game:
The humble Burst I Laser wasn't flashy, but it was worlds better than that awful Heavy Ion. Now I could fire two normal laser shots (on a faster cooldown, and with the chance to deal damage and set fires!) then follow them up with the Heavy Laser after that. It was a vastly superior weapon setup, even for something so basic in nature. As if that wasn't enough, the store also had Long Ranger Scanners, the best augment in the game. From here on, I'd be able to plot a course for encounter after encounter, raising my scrap income substantially. I haven't seen the scanners in too many of my games recently, and it was very nice having them on board once again. I used the money I had left over for the Backup Battery and a full hull repair. Now this run was really cooking, with decent weapons + a defensive drone + Long Range Scanners. If I could find some more crew, I'd be almost as strong as the Kestrel B at the start of the game!
The following beacon had a routine battle against a pirate ship. The new lasers tore it apart with ease, with a Burst Laser III dropping in the aftermath of victory. Hmmm. While that's normally a relatively weak weapon, due to the long chargeup time and 4 power requirement, with the slot-constrained Engi B design it might actually be useful here. At the very least, I could sell it for 45 scrap at a store if I chose not to use it. And with a decent endgame weapon sitting in the cargo bay, I could continue to sink scrap into defensive upgrades for the immediate future. Next up, I took five minutes to farm up maximum piloting/engine skill from an auto scout which was unable to damage my ship through two shield bubbles. Tedious for sure, but I needed that 10% extra dodge chance on this ship. Long Range Scanners made piloting a course through the sector a breeze, sailing from encounter to encounter. All sorts of junk was starting to pile up in the ship's reserves:
Low fuel was actually one of my biggest concerns at this point. Despite fighting a large number of enemy ships, I simply was not getting much in the way of fuel drops. That's one of the more annoying random aspects of FTL, where sometimes you'll have way more fuel than you ever need and other times be forced to scramble like mad, while playing the game identically each time. Just another resource to juggle, I suppose.
The enemy ships noticeably ramped up in difficulty at the start of Sector Three. The very first opponent had a Burst III Laser, Basic Laser, Mind Control (fun when you have only a pair of crewmembers!), two shield bubbles, and a Zoltan Shield. Only an insane flurry of dodges from our Engi pilot (four in a row at 40% odds!) and a nice first volley of laser shots managed to stave off serious trouble. Good thing I paused to train up the piloting/engines skill in that last sector. I was sitting on 1 fuel after this battle, and desperately hoping to find a store to load up on more. Fortunately I did find one a little later, picking up the maximum available 5 fuel and a new Human crewmember for 45 scrap. Now we had someone to run the weapons room, and a little more insurance against disaster. Normally I advise against purchasing crew in the early game, but the Engi B demonstrates the exception to the rule. We needed more humanoid lifeforms on board. There were no new weapons for sale worth purchasing, so I upgraded the Engi B's weapons to level 5 and pulled out the crummy Heavy Ion from storage. Weak as it was, the thing still did remove a single shield layer when it hit and helped make the fights significantly easier for the moment.
I still needed fuel though, which made this surrender offer that much more amusing:
The rebels offered 6 fuel as my final laser shot flew towards their cockpit. Smart move! I happily accepted that deal. Then the fires burning inside their hull caused their ship to explode mere seconds after the surrender. Ha! Take that, rebel scum! They got what they deserved. (One of my stream viewers has said that my brutal style of captaining these ships is the reason why the rebels rose up against the Federation in the first place... No comment on that. )
We picked up a fourth crewmember, another Human, in a blue event while passing through Sector Four. It was almost starting to get crowded on the Engi B. I saved scrap through the rest of the sector, only to find no weapons for sale in the next store. I had 280 scrap and nothing to buy! Instead, I upgraded shields to level 6 for the third bubble, and weapons to level 7, bringing the Burst III Laser out of the cargo bay. Lacking any options to purchase better offensive tools, I was going to have to rely on that thing, since pretty much every enemy ship from this point forward would be sporting three shield layers itself. Now I just needed enough reactor power upgrades to run all of those new goodies... Farming up that scrap would occupy the Engi B for the next few encounters. I dove past the exit to fight two more battles, and then managed to scrape past the rebel fleet without taking any damage. A very nice sector indeed.
Sector Five started out with a series of easy battles against Mantis ships, and this looked like a run that would coast to an easy finish. Then my luck seemed to turn, starting with this event:
I specifically said on stream, "I'm not going to open this pod because there's a chance to lose a crewmember in this event." Then I accidentally clicked on the second option and suffered that exact fate. Well, I had no one but myself to blame for that little brain fart, but it was frustrating nonetheless. We were back down to a mere 3 crew once more, so much for the ship filling up. Unfortunately it was our weapons guys who was sliced in half, and the new Human would have to take over his spot and begin training weapons skill all over again. Rest in pepperonis, Johnatan. The very next beacon had one of the worst auto scouts I've ever seen:
Burst II Laser, dual Heavy Lasers, Minibeam, Combat Drone, three shield bubbles, high evade, and fought in an asteroid field. Are you kidding me?! That thing was a monster! From an offensive perspective, that auto scout was significantly more dangerous than the rebel flagship, and no, that's no exaggeration. (It would die much easier, of course.) I knew right away that I could not fight this terror and had to run away ASAP. The problem was that my engine room was hit by one of the many enemy lasers and set on fire. Damaged engines cause your FTL gauge to fill more slowly, and the fires threatened to burn out the system completely. I had barely any crew on hand to fix the Engi B's systems as they began to collapse around me, and this run was in mortal peril of coming to a very rapid end. I never managed to stabilize the situation, but I did manage to keep the engines alive long enough to jump away. Whew. Not before taking almost 20 hull damage though, driving the ship down into the danger zone. Why can't anything ever be easy for the Engi B???
I dropped as low as 4 HP when the Defensive drone failed to shoot down a series of missiles, but I did find a store in the back corner of Sector Five just in the nick of time. This one had Cloaking, Hacking, and extra crew for sale, pretty much everything I wanted. However, since I absolutely had to heal the ship or face imminent death, I was only able to pick up Hacking and nothing else. That would prove to be a fateful decision as the run played out later on. Hacking itself was a dream fit for my laser-heavy setup, and if I could only add Cloaking for defense and a few more humanoid beings to help operate the ship, this would be an easy win. A big if, as it turned out.
I fought my way across Sectors Six and Seven while saving up scrap for use in a future store. Unfortunately the only store that I came across in Sector Six was at a location about to be swallowed up by the rebels, not a beacon where I could travel safely. Sector Seven had to be better, right? I chose a Pirate Sector for the last area in the hopes of finding a slaver event. No such luck there. Scrap piled up to 200, then 300, then 400. Finally I came across a store:
The good news was the presence of that Hull Laser II. I could replace the venerable Burst Laser I with that thing, taking weapons to level 8 and running a combination of Burst Laser III, Hull Laser II, and the Heavy Laser. That was 9 total shots, with a massive chance to breach the hull and set fires when they landed home, which they would due to Hacking. I had a sweet offensive setup now, more than enough to defeat the flagship. The bad news was the lack of Cloaking and lack of any new crew to hire. I needed both of them in a bad way, and their absence really stung. Even after purchasing the Hull Laser and upgrading weapons to the maximum level, I still had hundreds of unspent scrap sitting around. The rest of Sector Seven was a series of more tricky fights, and my scrap income climbed higher and higher with each victory. But where was the store to put that money to use? There was just under 500 scrap unspent in inventory by the beginning of Sector Eight:
I had the money I needed, and the game refused to give me the chance to spend it on what I truly needed! So frustrating. Any hope that I could find the one store in Sector Eight before it was taken over by the rebels was quickly dashed. There would be no last minute purchases to salvage this situation. Eventually I dumped that money into level 8 shields, level 6 engines, and the usual upgrades to damage buffer the other key systems. There was nothing else to spend it on! Did I have enough here to defeat the flagship? Maybe. Weapons were no issue; with this offensive setup and Hacking, I could kill the flagship with ease. However, I had no Cloaking to dodge the flagship's missile swarm and drone + laser superweapons in the final two phases. To make matters worse, I still had only 3 crew manning the entire ship. What was I going to do against Boarding drones? More importantly, what was I going to do in the last phase of the flagship duel, when one of my three guys would be Mind Controlled and as many as six or seven enemy marines would start teleporting over to the ship? I had no answer to that question. All I could do was max out Piloting, Doors, and the Medbay at level 3 (one higher than I normally go) and hope for the best.
I wasn't too worried about the first phase of the flagship. Engines getting hacked was unfortunate, although nowhere near as bad as having the hacking drone hit shields or weapons. My first offensive volley landed perfectly, aided by my own Hacking of course, dealing 6 hull damage and system damage to the rebel shield unit. Without scanners I couldn't tell exactly what was going on in there, but I knew they were hurting pretty badly. The second volley took out their shields completely, and hopefully killed some of the rebel crew. There was an unlucky timing near the end of the battle where they fired the missile swarm while also using Hacking for 0% evade; I pulled power out of the Heavy Laser to run the Defensive drone and shoot one of the three missiles down. This phase ended with 5 hull damage taken. Good, not great.
The second phase was far, far more dangerous. I had no way of stopping the drone surge superweapon when it appeared, nor could I do much against the Boarding drones which would inevitably get through at some point. Those things are tough enough with a full crew, let alone this skeleton group here. All I could do was try to win as fast as possible to minimize the damage taken. I could a minor break of good fortune (or at least dodged a stroke of terrible luck) when the Defensive drone shot down the first Boarding drone. Whew. First offensive volley did the same 6 hull and system damage again to the enemy shield room, and one of the Hull Laser shots breached the flagship's exterior. That was very good news, the rebels would have to repair the breach before they could work on fixing the shields themselves. Two more volleys would end this phase for sure. Unfortunately the rebels were preparing their own weapons, and their missile barrage + drone surge combination absolutely wrecked my ship:
Tons of damage on all sides. The rebels had managed to land the second Boarding drone as well, though fortunately it went into the Sensors room. I had no crew to spare to fight the thing, so I simply let it kill the useless sensors and accepted the point of hull damage. Bad news: the thing headed into the Weapons room next. Uh oh. There were also quite a few fires burning through the ship from the earlier drone surge. But our own lasers had taken out the flagship's missile weapon once their shields were down, and the rebel ship was rapidly losing health. It exploded for the second time just as the drone surge was about to unload again on the Engi B. That... that was too close. With the Engi pilot off fighting fires and the Human engineer fighting the Boarding drone, my ship had all of 12% evade for defense. I do not think that would have ended well.
After repairing the system damage, the Engi B had 15 hull points remaining. Was that going to be enough for the final phase? With no Cloaking? Based on my experience with FTL, I didn't think so. I was terrified of this last phase, with its Mind Control and use of the Teleporter. Three crew - one of them an Engi! - simply are not enough to deal with that threat. I expected that I would have to pull a retreating tactic to deal with the boarders, and that would cost me further hull points of damage taken. Still, I had to try. Here went nothing.
The third phase began with the weapons Human getting Mind Controlled. While that was better than having the Engi pilot get hit, it wasn't exactly a good thing, especially when the crazed man immediately began damaging the weapon controls. I had to pull the Human engineer over to occupy him, and that removed 10% dodge chance from the ship. Then the rebel marines began teleporting over, one of them directly into the Weapons room, the other into the Engine room. Not good! As more rebels beamed over to the ship, with my weapons taking more and more damage, I knew I needed to escape immediately. Oh no, they're firing the laser superweapon!!!
I managed to jump away to a nearby beacon with 12 hull points remaining. After taking a few moments to murder the poor rebels who remained on our ship, I paused to take stock of the situation. There was actually a repair station nearby, taunting me only two FTL jumps away, but I could not reach it without losing the game. The flagship would destroy the Federation base before I could make it there and make it back. Yet another frustration for this run. Why couldn't it ever be easy for this stupid ship? I was still cursing my luck that saw this run pile up 500 scrap without being able to spend it. Now it was all going to come down to RNG in the final phase. I believed that I had killed nearly all of the enemy crew on the flagship, but I honestly did not know. Even one of them coming over to the Engi B would be disastrous. I could not pull that retreating move a second time, and the game made that very clear:
All or nothing, right here. Let's do it.
The battle opened by having the weapons Human hit by the Mind Control again. I had no choice put to pull the engineer over to occupy him, and even that would only last for a few seconds, due to the Mind Control combat boost. (Note that we also lost both the 10% evade bonus and the 20% faster weapons charge bonus, since no crew was manning either system.) Blessedly no rebels teleported over to the Engi B this time - I guess everyone but the rebel pilot was dead. That meant we had a chance to do this. Even better, our Engi pilot dodged two of the first three missiles and the third one was shot down by the Defensive drone. No damage taken! I pulled the non-Mind Controlled Human over to the Medbay, ran it at level 3 for the super fast healing, and ran him back into the Weapons room just fast enough to prevent the system from taking damage. Thank goodness for that level 3 Medbay! I could not afford to lose the Heavy Laser in this battle. The Mind Control wore off just before the laser superweapon fired, and I raced my engineer back to his station for the dodge bonus. Come on...
Praise RNGesus! No damage taken! Admittedly, that was with the full four shield bubbles and 48% evade, but you never know when a bad streak of luck could hit. I used this brief respite to race the two Humans back to the Medbay for healing, as I knew the Mind Control would strike again soon enough. The missiles were also failing to find their mark, as only 1 out of the first 9 actually hit the ship! High evade and the Defensive drone were doing work. I managed to punch through the flagship's Zoltan Shield, land a Hacking drone, and nail the first volley against the rebel shield unit. It was the same 6 hull + system damage, and I heard the telltale sign of a hull breach in there. Excellent! No fast repairs for them. But now the enemy Mind Control was ready again, and this time they tagged the Engi pilot, the worst target. Combined with the loss of Backup Battery power, I started taking real damage again. Two of the next three missiles hit, with one of them landing in the Piloting room and setting it on fire. That was disastrous - a Mind Controlled pilot and the room itself burning. Seriously Engi B? Did we really need more drama at the absolute last moment possible?!
The next laser surge hit with the Engi B having all of 15% evade. I expected that we would get wrecked here, but the ship only took 3 points of damage. Not too bad. More missiles landed though, and the hull was down to 8 points remaining. At the same time, I destroyed the remainder of the flagship's shields with another laser volley, leaving the rebels with single-digit health as well. Now it was a pure damage race to see who could finish off their opponent faster. The Livestream chat started going crazy at this point, urging me to use the Hull Laser on the empty rooms of the flagship for the double damage bonus. I was so locked into the combat that I didn't see their messages, causing the chat to get more and more frantic. So close now! Hull breaches everywhere, multiple fires burning throughout the ship, oxygen about to run out - could we get the last shots off in time? Come on!!!
YES!!! The rebel flagship finally blew apart in a ball of fiery death. I honestly did not think that the Engi B's hull would hold out long enough for a victory. High evade and some lucky dodging, if not preposterously good fortune, had been enough to win out in the end. The retreating maneuver to kill off the rebel marines had been absolutely necessary to win, even at the cost of 4 damage taken. I had trouble enough just with the Mind Control, let alone enemies on board the ship too. I included the stream chat in this last picture so that you could see what was going on there at the end. I think the viewers nearly had a heart attack as well!
I don't know what else to say at this point about the Engi B. It certainly took me on a wild ride in this game. I'm not eager to take on the flagship again with only 3 crew running my ship, but at least I know that it's possible now. Having Cloaking on hand, or even the fourth Human who died in that silly event earlier, would have made this a heck of a lot easier. I doubt it would have been as memorable though. Thanks for reading and watching - and good luck to anyone else who wants to try their hand at this terrible ship!