Took me a long while to do it, but it's finally done. I don't know why I decided to beat the game on hard on the freaking Vortex. I like Stormwalker, and I dislike the Stealth B a little less than this Engi piece of junk. I took one hell of a beating on this run.
As you can see, that's the only crew I have. May have been the best setup in that situation. No teleporter, so no need for rockmen or mantis to fight, thanks in part to the anti boarding drone. On the other hand, it took a long time to get crew to man the four main systems. The two Zoltans, including the envoy was found on the second to last sector (I wanted the Zoltan shield though). I had to resort to buying a slave (the other Zoltan since at the time I was badly battered and in no condition to risk a fight with a ship with drones and missiles).
And then, at the last chapter, the repair beacons was way out of my reach. The only hull repairs I got was from the start, and that pretty much only gave me half hull points.
Basically, the battle went on like so...
Phase 1 took the longest. Thanks to the cloak of the flagship, there were times when I ended up missing a shot. Thankfully, the hack and heavy laser combo did its magic. If I had a teleporter, I'd have some trouble since I'd have ended up fighting an automated flagship on phase 3, but trapping enemy crew into the hacked shield room - while it's on fire and being hammered by heavy laser shots killed off lots of crew members, on this phase and the next.
Phase 2 was the easiest. Normal or hard, this is pretty much the phase where I have little trouble in. Max shields and max engines will almost always no sell power surge, especially without the ion of phase 1. The boarding drone was kept busy by the anti boarding drone and my extra Zoltan.
Phase 3 was where the shit got real. I didn't have mind control, so I can't cancel out the high level mind control of the flagship. The hack and heavy laser trap paid off here, as the number of enemy crew boarding at this point was one. Only one. The main problem I had on this point was the fact that the crew member of mine who was mind controlled was the Engi in the engines. And so the missiles and power surges chipped out my hull. I was ready to throw in the towel when my shields were at zero due to bad luck and fires, and the repair drone prioritized the damn oxygen room first. I had to risk throwing my two Engis - the pilot and engine guys, to do the repairs after the missiles hit.
Amazingly, I recovered. I even got to the point where the flagship did the super shield power surge... but thankfully at that point I had wrecked the weapons and mind control, and with only maybe one enemy crew left trying to repair things, the battle was won.
Sounds epic. Would have loved to see video along with this!
But I also understand how that's not always possible. I mean, who records themselves playing all the time? That's just silly...or is it...?
The Vortex is one of the FEW layouts I have yet to beat the game with. I've died to the Flagship [with the Vortex] twice now, but I haven't been able to flush out the strategies that would dominate it. My Hack/Mind Control/Teleporter combo just doesn't seem to be cutting it.
I should try recording my playthroughs sometime. I never really tried doing that, so that might take a while, haha...
Anyway, the Vortex victory is one standing on a pile of destroyed ships. Once or twice on normal, and the one I posted on hard. While I have quite a lot of gripes on the ship, I kinda enjoy it since I end up really changing my usual tactics on the game, especially on the rebel flagship. That one is pretty much needed on hard thanks to how low the scrap rewards are.
Couldn't afford a teleporter, or mind control. Didn't have enough to upgrade my weapons past the stuff I'm using at the end. I pretty much had to choose between finding better weapons or max shields and engines... and I didn't even have enough to buy sensors on the last store I encountered.
It was seriously one hell of a close fight. Trapping enemy crew on a hacked room while on fire while hitting them with heavy laser fire killed off most of them... if they didn't, I'd have been swarmed by boarders on phase three. Worse off, the ion bombs and heavy lasers missed a few times on phase three when the super shield was down. That led to getting so much damage. I had to wait for the next ion bomb to completely strip down the shields so the heavy lasers could hit the missiles and the lasers without trouble.
The Vortex is the Little Engi That Could. Best of luck to ya!
And yeah, I got pretty pumped by winning with this ship on hard mode. After a good run with the Mantis B I suddenly had decided to try winning with the Vortex on hard. And when I did, I went with the goofiest way to celebrate another rebel flagship defeat: a fist pump, just like all my other wins, haha.
Definitely one of my best wins with the closest fight. Second goes to Rock A. Due to a mistake, I forgot to repair the oxygen systems that got hit on the first missile volley on phase 3. I only realized that crew were dying when the flagship was on its last hull point, and by luck I had a mantis crew member boarder chilling out on the med bay. The only survivor.