The Gila Monster
|Ship type||Mantis Cruiser|
|Weapons||Small Bomb, Basic Laser|
|Achievements||Take no prisoners!, Avast, ye scurvy dogs!, Battle Royale|
The Gila Monster is the Mantis cruiser. It is unlocked having certain requirements and being inside of the Mantis Homeworlds sector. The Gila Monster has a special augmentation which increases the speed of all crew members by 25%. The ship is mainly boarding focused and starts with a crew of three Mantis and an Engi. The starting weapons are a Small Bomb Launcher and a Basic Laser.
Unlocking the Gila Monster
The Gila Monster is a tough ship to unlock. You will need the following:
- Mantis crew member (not actually mandatory)
- Be in the Mantis Homeworlds sector
- A Level two med-bay
- A teleporter
- A way to kill enemy crew without destroying the hull/enemy ship itself
(A level three clone bay can be used instead of teleporter and med-bay)
You will come across an event where you are intercepted by the famous Mantis thief KazaaakplethKilik. You will have a blue option to use your Mantis crew member and attempt to hail him. When you do so, they will start performing a strange dance. This dance is just for flavour, it is not necessary to unlock the ship.
Now, you have to kill the enemy crew without destroying the ship. Once the crew is dead, you will have an option to beam your crew aboard to check for survivors. You will find KazaaakplethKilik bleeding out. Use your advanced med-bay to heal him back to health.
You may have to use your Mantis crew member. Once you do that, you will gain KazaaakplethKilik as a crew member and unlock the Gila Monster.
Being that the ship starts off with little to no effective weaponry, usually it's ideal for boarding actions. You start with a teleporter and two Mantis, allowing you to board and kill with relative ease. Weapons, of course, help.
- Starts with a teleporter and boarding crew.
- All crew move 25% faster.
- Vital systems are relatively close.
- A four tile oxygen room means four crew members can repair it at once.
- Lots of empty rooms leaves the ship vulnerable to hull damaging weapons.
- System rooms are very scarce compared to other ships.
- Only two Droid slots.
- Only three weapon slots.
- Starts with little effective weaponry. Also, only gets three total slots for weapons.
- AI fighters, Lanius ships, ships with the Zoltan Shield upgrade are much harder to take down.
- Starts with one power in weapons; one hit takes down any weapon you have.
- Awkward airlock positioning.
- No sensors, so breaches and fire will be harder to detect.
- Sensor upgrade actually uses already scarce System room slots.
- Lose your Engi and your ship will be screwed, especially if your teleporter breaks.
Leaving the Hangar
Boarding will give you extra scrap, consumables and bonus crew/weapons/augments, allowing you to have a strong late game. However, you must survive to get this far.
Acquiring a level 2 teleporter should be your first priority. With regards to boarding strategy in the early game, potential problem enemy ships include Zoltan ships and auto-drones.
Zoltan ships, possessing their Zoltan shield, will prevent teleportation until their Zoltan shield is fully disabled. Using ion weapons will disable Zoltan shields at twice the normal rate, so a heavily invested boarder strategy would do well to incorporate an ion weapon.
Auto-drones have no oxygen aboard their ship, limiting valuable time for the boarding crew to do its job. With a level 2 teleporter (at a minimum) it is possible to board auto-drones and disable their systems, but pay very close attention to your boarding crew in oxygen-less environments. Using 2 unskilled crew and a level 2 teleporter, it is possible to take one bar of one system down per teleport session before escaping back to your ship, which is an excellent way to train your boarding party. Seriously, though this strategy requires dedicated micromanagement - your boarding crew will be at less than 10 health by the time they disable the system.
After your teleporter, you can get your medbay to level 2 as well so that your Mantis are fully healed by the time the cooldown for the teleporter comes up. However, you do need to improve your defenses with level 2 shields and a Defense Drone as soon as possible. This will give your boarders time to do their work. Remember that your second weapon level costs 60 scrap.
Engi and Slug sectors are probably your best bet due to the weak crews. Pirate sectors are an decent choice as boarding slaver ships will often get you a choice of crew members. Grab another Engi and then a 4th Mantis if you can; just watch out for pirates in Zoltan ships. Any sectors with auto-drones (Uncharted Nebula, Rebel-Controlled) or Zoltan shields (Zoltan) should be avoided if possible. Mantis and Rock sectors can be rewarding but the crews can be tougher to fight.
If you do get a 4th Mantis, consider getting your teleporter to level 3. This way, you can board all four Mantis in quick succession to speed up boarding times, which will save you damage in the long run.
Technically, you can beat all ships outside of Zoltan and auto-drones with just your starting Small Bomb (in the Medbay if they have one). However, you want to beat the boss, too. Keep a look out for multi-shot lasers and ion bombs as you only have three weapon slots. An Anti-Ship Drone isn't a bad idea either. Keep an eye on your missile count!
At Stage 1, you can board and destroy the Missile, Ion and Beam weapons rooms in that order. With this complete, you should bomb/missile the Cloaking room, board your Mantis in that room, then bomb/missile the Medbay when they retreat to heal. With some patience (or a fire/breach in the medbay) you can kill every crew member aside from the Heavy Laser operator. Let him live to keep the AI dormant.
Using this strategy for Stage 1, the next two stages drastically decrease in difficulty, as you can simply put your Mantis aboard and take out any system you like without resistance.
- Use your extra Mantis as a pilot and your Engi to repair damaged systems.
- Keep an eye on your ship as well.
- Your small bomb can disable weapons for some time. If a weapon is damaging you too much you can disable it.
- Try to avoid automatic ships and Zoltan shielded ships if you can.
- Upgrade teleporters to level 2 early on - they will recharge fast enough to pull your boarding party back from an automated drone before they suffocate. Also, two mantis can destroy low-level systems in that timespan.
- Your Small Bomb Launcher (or any other bomb aside from Fire and Lockdown) will damage Zoltan shields, but usually it is not worth wasting the missile. Use your laser unless the Zoltan ship is a huge threat.
- Take no prisoners!: Kill the crew of 20 ships by sector 6 in the Mantis Cruiser.
- Avast, ye scurvy dogs!: Kill 5 enemy crew in a fight without taking hull damage or losing a crew member while using the Mantis Cruiser.
- Battle Royale: While using the Mantis Cruiser, kill the last enemy with your last crew member on their ship.
The second layout of the Gila Monster is the Basilisk, which is even more focused on boarding and starting with a four pad teleporter. You can read more about the Basilisk here.
The Type C version of the Gila Monster is called The Theseus. It contains a 4 person teleporter like The Basilisk, but a Clone Bay replaces the Medbay allowing for lost crew to be replaced. The Theseus also contains Stun and Lock Bombs to disrupt enemies.