The following logs were recovered from Federation controlled space during a routine salvage operation. Merchants happened across these logs while on their regular trade route between engi space and zoltan territory, somewhere in lawless mantis territory. The following is a true story.
Ship #1: The SS Hot Dog Outfitted with the bare necessities of a Federation ship, my rag tag 3 man crew blasts off with vital data about the imsurgent rebel fleet. I encounter several scout drones and a ridiculous amount of drone scrap but otherwise managed to escape to the nests sector with barely any training to our names.
Remembering my classes during my academy days, I take the lessons Captain Nic taught me and upgrade my blast doors first. You. Ever know when a mantis boarding party will attempt to slaughter my squishy crew. What does surprise me is a critical blow to my ship's hull midway through he second sector. A breach tore open on my starboard wing, rendering a room unfit for life support as oxygen leaked faster than it could be replaced. Luckily it was in a non-critical area of the ship that didn't received much foot traffic, so while it was a visual sign of y ship's damage, it wasn't immediately threatening. My ship also found a distress signal leading to a lone, deranged crash survivor. While it could've been a risk, he came away with a clean bill of health and to my surprise, a rockman. He proved indispensable right out the door for fires during an encounter as I was leaving the sector. He proved himself again in my first boarding attempt. He's slow as molasses but thankfully, the blast doors held the intruders at bay while he made his way to the hot zone. When more and more encounters became boarding attempts, I had security drones on hand to assist, makin the combination of a rockman, blast doors, and a security bot incredibly powerful. This was in addition to a full commitment to upgrading shields, so while my weapons were limited to a basic laser and limited missiles, my ship became impregnable to hostile threats.
Unfortunately, my ship bit off more than it could chew as it entered sector five. As I answered a zoltan merchant beacon I walked into a trap with mantis pirates holding zoltan traders hostage. Even as I was being boarded and repelling the mantia quite effectively, their ship overwhelmed me, even with my substantial shields. A constant barrage from their ship gun and anti-ship drones left my shields little time to recharge, not to mention an ion cannon which halved my shield capacity from two back ti one. My security force made one last heroic stand to expunge the invaders as my hull broke apart from the zoltan trader's relentless barrage.
It was a bitter sweet victory as my cruisin' bruisers killed the last mangy mantis just as my ship fell to pieces. Even in the end, I managed to knock out their weapon systems, several fires had been put out, and engineering brought shields back online but it was too little too late as they still had an auxillery laser online and their pesky drone bay continued to function to double team my shields.
The 2nd ship: The Volus By reaching sector 5, I unlocked the engi ship. The engi ship lacks any direct fire weapons except for an ion cannon but it starts with a drone bay with one anti-ship drone so you can actually fight. It also comes with one human and two engis with faster repair speeds and half combat capability. Right away, the engis paid for themselves as I came across a plague stricken station which the engis managed to calm down thanks to their synthetic physiology. As thanks, I received a projectile defense drone along with scrap and fuel. A great prize just for being at the right place as the right aliens.
The engi ship is an interesting beast that earns its place as the first ship you unlock. Since your ion cannon does no damage and you can't control your drone, you have to actively control where you want to fire your ions as it can effectively stun whatever it hits instantly, though temporarily. By firing in tandem with your drone, you can disable a key feature of the enemy ship while your drone can continuously fire. One option is to stun the shields directly so your drone can do to town. Sometimes I alternated between the shields and weapon systems for maximum output. Due to how slow but sure my weapons fire was, I received many signals for surrender, which I gladly accepted as I thought most of my success was luck.
Unfortunately, just as my first encounter was very fortuitous, my endgame balanced out to be extremely bad. In fact, I knew things weren't going to end well when I saw on my map that the next two FTL jumps could end lead me to pirate controlled territory, so I knew I was in for a rough time, especially in a more unorthodox ship. I managed to make a few pirate ships surrender but my crew met their untimely demise when a mantis boarding party didn't just teleport onto my poor engi crew; they trapped the my human pilot on his helm, guaranteeing his death. As he died a slow and painful death at the hands of a brutal mantis, the remaining three mantis went to work on the weapons bay.
My remaining two engis would never survive such a confrontation. Not only does a mantis do double damage and have double foot speed but engis have half combat skill. The inevitable end was a lot like watching the final episode of Evangelion. I ordered my engis to retreat to the furthest reach in the drone bay and hoped the blast doors would hold the mantis threat back while I initiated my last ditch plan: open the air locks to where the mantis pirates were while they forced their way through each and every one of my blast doors. I hedged all my bets that they would suffocate in an airless environment but every time they broke into a new room, it would take another few seconds before the air would drain out and the damage would resume. I helplessly watched as the mantis drilled they way to my helpless engis holed up in the far corner of my ship as I stared at my O2 meter slowly slip way; 80%, 64%, 40%, 25%. Finally, the mantis were breaking down the last door and akk four were still alive with about a quarter of life each. My engis put up one last attack but to no avail. Even as the oxygen drained, the mantis could probably teleport back to their ship leaving my ship a husk of what it once was.
Just like in Evangelion, the once proud paranormal defense force was overpowered by the strength of a paramilitary task force, slowly burning through the base, killing everyone in their wake with the only hope of survival being to flood the hall ways with quick drying LCL fluid, drowning anyone unlucky enough to stay behind.