FTL: the Last Flight of the Good Ship Dapper Pawn

Inspired by a sudden outbreak of FTL in the “What Are You Playing” thread, I will launch the Dapper Pawn into the black to defeat the dastardly rebels and provide updates here.

I need volunteers.

Tell me which ship you want to see fly and I’ll pick the most popular. I have unlocked everything.

Reply and have a crew member named after you. You may not get incinerated, mind controlled or dumped into vacuum! All things are possible! Sector choices will also be up for democratic selection.

Onwards, to glory! Or possibly a sad cloud of debris in sector 3. Either way, the Federation needs you!


Hey, I wouldn’t mind being the pilot. That’s easily the most cushy job. No one expects you to leave your room otherwise the dodge stat drops to 0%, you’ve got a comfy chair, and eventually the autopilot even does most of your job for you (but doesn’t do it so well that you’re out of a job)

Sure beats being the guys putting out fires in the engine room, the poor bugger in the shield room who gets blamed for not repairing fast enough in a fight that’s going south, or even the guys in the red shirts that hang around in the teleporter room. Rip red shirt guys, I hope wherever the rebel ship FTL jumped you all off to ended up being somewhere nice

Edit: and I’d vote for the federation C “only the most suicidal of infantry chooses to fly on this ship”. Well, I think this motley crew can prove that blurb wrong


Asking a lot of questions that have already been answered by my “You Don’t Have to Be Cannon Fodder to Work Here, But It Helps!” t-shirt.


I have never played FTL, but I’ll be glad to be either Kazaaakpleth (I understand him and his alien pals from Into the Breach originated here) or any crew member likely to die in an entertaining fashion.


Ship vote: Mantis B. Who needs weapons, anyway?

Crewman: I call dibs on being a Rockman. Fire immunity may come in handy, and I get to stomp about the place at my own pace.


I’ve unlocked so few ships, I don’t know enough to vote on one. I’m just chiming in to enjoy the ride here.

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haha, same boat as @geigerm! Love this idea though!

Excellent. The Redshirt Roster - I mean Rollcall of Heroes, of course - so far is;

@Snotty128 (called dibs on the pilot’s chair)
@Hustlertwo (nom de guerre of Kazaaakpleth)
@Tamsk (first Rockman)

Let’s look at the favoured battle wagons.

Mantis B

Notable for having no guns. Not that this is some kind of pacifist peace boat, goodness me no. The Mantis like to get up close and personal, so battle doctrine is Fisticuffs Unto Death.


“Massive” not a euphemism for “psychotically violent” in any way.

The astute will notice that at the start this involves all the crew plus their friendly battle robot piling onto the enemy ship, leaving nobody behind to steer, put out fires, repair breaches, and generally stay on top of all those little hitches space battles are known for. The astute will also ask about drones, famous for not having a breathable atmosphere. The Mantis mock your craven vertebrate defeatism.

Federation C

At least it has a weapon. The weapon in question is an achingly slow trash flinger that relies on the enemy being too dim to move out of the way and too sporting to fire during the endless reload time.

Reviewing the ship equipment however, we notice emergency respirators and a clone bay. It’s almost as if the ship designers expect not to meet dim and sporting enemies and have planned for worst-case-short-of-disintegration outcomes. Maybe the ship class description will explain this contradiction.


That is an explanation, I guess.

If there is no preference, I will randomly select ships until one of these two beauties pops up.


I am all about random selection, having done several randomized runs in ItB as well as FFT. So roll it up and see which ship we get!

The weapon in question is an achingly slow trash flinger

Let the last thing they see be my ragged corpse splattering across their viewscreen.

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I’ve had three test games with the Federation C ship as I haven’t played it before on the iPad, apparently.

Here’s the list of results.

The recharge time is excruciating.

In the latest, most successful run, I just used boarding parties. In sector 1, they won every time before the flak cannon got a shot off. Sector 2 was won by boarding as well, and I acquired enough crew to repair and extinguish while the enemy took their free shots. Sector 3 would have gone better had I not forgotten that clone bay doesn’t work when unpowered, and wondered why my Mantis boarders weren’t being decanted afresh.

Honestly, if the RNG gives us this one I’m going to play on Easy to avoid premature SCoD.


Sorry for suggesting such a lemon

No retreat, no regrets!

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And the RNG has given us the Fed C ship. Onwards! :smiley:

As I said, I’ll be playing on Easy to give this story half a chance to get beyond Sector 3, with Advanced content of course.

My usual goal is to reach the Rebel Flagship with a transporter, maximum crew and a mind control machine (maximising the firepower goes without saying). Drone control is a would-like-to have, rising to must-have if I pick up a hull repair drone. I prefer a med bay to a clone machine, as I’m of the old school that likes to deal with boarders by putting the crew in the med bay and opening the whole ship to vacuum. However, today we have a clone bay. On the plus side, “expendable” sounds less evil and more a practical option with a clone bay.

On the way, I accept all quests except those where I remember there’s a risk of crew loss, for example Giant Spiders. No surrender accepted except when we’re holed and on fire.

Starting out, we will be relying on boarding to win battles, so manipulatory appendages crossed for no drones. Purchase priorities will be another shield bubble and upgrading the trash flinger. Command will attempt to remember not to power down the cloning machine mid-battle.

Off we go…


The handover happens, as these things always happen, in some tatty underlit spacers’ bar in a station that was a trade hub two decades and three missed major maintenance cycles ago.

The contact, a human male with a dubious accent and a flightsuit still with its packaging creases, is in the darkest corner by an empty stage and a broken fizzbuzz machine. He passes the captain some keys, a message chip and a tablet with “user manual” etched into its cover. “WZ31” he hisses, so furtively that half of the bar’s occupants notice and provisionally add him to their mugging schedules. “You’ll find it there. Lovely ship”, he adds unconvincingly, and leaves at what you consider to be too close to a run.

WZ31, when you find it, turns out to be functionally identical to a junkyard. Fitting right in is your new ship, the Federation Space Frigate (Experimental) Suicidal Insanity. This strikes you as not a good omen, as omens go. Two hours later after some quick work with an electron lance, the name plate is lost in the rest of the junk and the Free Ship Dapper Pawn unmags and retros out of the bay. The proximity detectors still work, fortunately.

Welcome to the Free Ship Dapper Pawn

@Snotty128 grabs the helm, by virtue of asserting that “I’m the only one who knows how to fly this thing”. He has the user manual, so no-one argues. @OhBollox, a one-Mantis boarding party, settles in the transporter room ready to eviscerate at a moment’s notice, Zoltans @Hustlertwo and @geigerm bring their tech skills and personal electricity to the shields and engine room respectively. Unused spaces are opened to vacuum. The ship is ready.




Sector 1

Part 1: Are We The Good Guys?

At the first system, we get a request for help.

Cool. We’ll test out the boarding plan and if we kill everyone by accident, oh well.

A plan which would have worked brilliantly if only the ship didn’t have a Zoltan shield which blocks teleporting. We adapt to our role as practice target while the flak cannon charges up.

Some time later the flak cannon goes off to everyone’s surprise, especially the pirates’.

Where I said about never accepting surrender? This is one of the other times. Ignore all the red lights along the bottom. Nothing to see here.

Heartened by this act of goodness, we then rescue some unfortunates from an asteroid field.

Innocents saved from a life of crime? Helpless victims plucked from certain death? I think we may be the good guys after all.

Tune in for Part 2, where OhBollox and Snotty murder the crews of three ships and take all their stuff.


Sector 1

Interlude: But First, Shopping

Next we arrive at a store and, virtue being its own reward, have lots of scrap to spend.

This presents a genuine quandary. The store has Mind Control and Drone Control, and we can afford one of them. We wouldn’t be able to afford to power either right away, but both would be a good choice.

Unable to decide, I give in to the simple human desire to shoot back and buy the burst laser and a power upgrade. The burst laser can happily plink away at 1-shield ships and give their crews something else to worry about.

geigerm gets promoted from engines to guns and gets sent forward to the horribly exposed weapons station. I re-atmosphere the spaces necessary to get there. A caring captain provides for his crew, however expendable they may be.


Sector 1

Part 2: Can You Smell Smoke?

The burst laser bolted in place, we head out into the black and as luck would have it, run into a mercenary. After the usual chit-chat, we fight.

It’s a simple but elegant plan. Burst laser pings away at the shield generator while OhBollox and Snotty teleport into the weapons room for murder and/or vandalism. A simple plan, but infallible.


One of those classic space battle moments where you’re being shot up by a drone, but the shields are not only down but the shield room is wrecked and on fire, but you can’t open the doors to put out the fire and repair the shields because the doors are out of action and the weapons guy is busy fixing the doors. Also the weapons system is down and half the crew is on the enemy ship.

I think I’ve forgotten something.

To everyone’s surprise, including OhBollox’s and Snotty’s, the flak cannon goes off.


Well, the clones will be decanted in no time. Expendable is expendable and a win is a win. We pick up the scrap and move on.

[OOC: this is a good example of how FTL generates cognitive overload even with unlimited pauses. I was so fixated on stopping the enemy drone and fixing the ship systems that I completely forgot about the flak cannon. I was genuinely surprised when it went off and the enemy ship blew up]


Sector 1

Part 3: The Noble Art of Fisticuffs

Fresh from our triumph, we run into a rebel fighter. Burst laser, boarding party, the drill that worked so well last time.

To everyone’s surprise, the plan works so well that the flak cannon doesn’t even have time to go off. We teleport Snotty and OhBollox back. Snotty is terribly wounded so we space him and decant a clone. I call it pragmatism.

Next up, a pirate. Laser, boarding, no flak cannon, the usual.

The perceptive will note that we now have two shield bubbles, after the rebel, and with the contribution from the pirate, can now afford to power them.

The next three ships present no challenge, and no-one needs to board anyone. Some mantis called Kaaazthwak challenges us but his ship is so crappy the burst laser takes it out before the flak cannon goes off.

Then the flak cannon gets its big moment and intentionally wins a battle against slavers.

Nobody surprised this time.

Except the slavers.

Too late.

And apart from a skirmish with a rebel fighter at the exit gate, that’s it for Sector 1. The ship only has half a hull but never mind. Hopefully a store will arrive soon.