|Ship type||Mantis Cruiser|
|Drones||Boarding Drone, Defense Drone Mark I|
|Achievements||Take no prisoners!, Avast, ye scurvy dogs!, Battle Royale|
The Basilisk is the second layout of the Mantis Cruiser. It relies on a specialized all-in boarding strategy to defeat enemies, with support from drones. It starts with a crew of two Mantis, a Boarding Drone, and a Defense Drone I. The Basilisk has no starting weapons whatsoever.
Unlocking the Basilisk
The Basilisk is unlocked by completing two of the Mantis-cruiser specific achievements. Take no prisoners! and Avast, ye scurvy dogs! will likely be achieved by default with a decent game in the Gila Monster, making this layout fairly easy to unlock. Battle Royale is easy to get with the Basilisk by getting one Mantis killed on purpose against a two-man enemy ship, though this will probably result in a game loss.
This ship is very much pigeon-holed into the boarding role. Luckily, it is well-equipped to do this.
- All sub systems come installed except for cloaking device.
- Has a 4-person teleportation pad.
- Comes with Level 2 Shields and a Defense Drone at the start of the game.
- Mantis Pheremones augmentation helps get things done faster.
- Auto-Assault Drones are almost impossible to defeat without first obtaining a weapon.
- Zoltan ships ARE impossible without a weapon or Augment: Zoltan Shield Bypass.
- Starts with only two crew members.
- Repairing systems is incredibly slow due to lack of crew members and the fact that they are Mantis.
- Only gets three slots for weaponry.
Leaving the Hangar
Your defenses start very strong; so strong, in fact, that you should take very little damage in the first two sectors. Use this time to accumulate as much scrap as you can for upgrades. Your first step should be to bring the teleporter and medbay to level 2. After this, a bomb is your ideal first weapon; for disabling medbays. A missile will do in a pinch as well. Level 2 Sensors and Piloting are good luxury upgrades that are compatible with your all-in boarding strategy; they also enable blue options.
If you encounter an early ship with a medbay and don't have bombs/missiles yet, use your Boarding Drone. The enemy tend to focus on it; use this time to destroy the medbay with your Mantis. Another use for boarding drones is destroying auto-scouts as long as you are patient. Other than the blue options they enable, your Boarding Drone should probably be your first choice to sell (after the Mantis Pheremones augment) if you need extra scrap. An early third shield layer can often propel you to the endgame with very little effort. The engines are your big defensive hole, and you should get a couple of ranks even without a full-time pilot, as they will get you away from suns, asteroid fields, Zoltans and Auto-Assaults that much faster.
One of your biggest handicaps is the lack of crew; learn which events result in crew loss! Only one Mantis on your ship is probably a losing game. Pick up an Engi as soon as possible, both to fly the ship and to make up for your bugs' awful repair skill.
Avoid Zoltan, Rebel and Uncharted Nebula sectors unless you've got decent weaponry. Mantis and Rock sectors are riskier due to the dangerous crew; you cannot afford to lose a Mantis to a silly mistake. Engi, Slug and Pirate sectors are your best bet. Try to collect four Mantis crew for your 4-slot teleporter and just go wild. Two Mantis/two Rockmen also work well.
The boss should be easy to defeat with a decent ship, due to your strong boarding; just remember to disable the missile room ASAP. If you don't find a Cloaking Device, upgrade your shields to level 4. See the Gila Monster article for advice on defeating the boss with the Mantis Cruiser.
- Destroying a system with a boarding party will cause hull damage, and since automated drones have auto-repair you can destroy it. You'll have to either lose a crew member or be forced to expend a boarding drone (that may not even land in a room with a system in it) to do the last point of damage.
- At the very beginning you'll find that teleporting your entire two man crew aboard enemy vessels is the most productive option until you can get extra crew.
- If your teleporter was destroyed by a bomb while your Mantis were boarding, don't restart the game. Your Mantis will get the option to take a shuttle back after the battle is over.
- Preserve your two Mantis at all costs. Try to learn which events can cause crew death, and don't do them unless you have a blue option or crew members to spare. One Mantis makes boarding very tedious at best and results in instant game loss at worst.
- Beware using 4 crew members to board! If you board into a 2-slot room, the extra boarders will end up on the enemy bridge! This is potentially fatal for them if boarding a ship with upgraded doors.