Since FTL was brought up in another thread and seems to be of interest to some people, I figured I might as well make a topic for it for us to share our builds and runs and such.
First off, has anyone actually been able to get the named Mantis pirate to give you their ship? I've run across him a couple times now and "convinced" him at least once, but never got the unlock for the ship. Although me having a full crew at the time might have hindered it, I'm not sure.
I did get that mantis ship, but I just followed the steps in outlined in the wiki. I think there are some requirements for your crew or levels of specific modules on the ship, which you can't complete the quest without.
So far I've tried the strategy of upping shields and engines to full. It actually worked fairly well until I think it was Section 6 where Mantis boarders got on my ship and were able to destroy my weapons, O2, and engines. From there, the Mantis pirates just kept hitting my ship with missiles which bypassed the shields, eventually taking out my shields and destroying my ship in a matter of minutes. Quite disappointing.
So I finally started playing. Man this is pretty fucking ridiculous . Whenever I get shittons of scraps, I can't find shops. Whenever there's shittons of shops, my ship gets downed before I could amass enough scrap to buy anything decent.
Yeah don't go any higher than 2-3 in level for shields or 4-5 bars in engine until near the last 2-3 areas. Not worth it. You need to make sure you buy some extra crew as well as upgrade your doors to max to keep the enemy crew locked in. Another good thing to try is when they come on board, open the airlock and open doors leading up to where they are to deplete their oxygen.
Also, everyone should make sure they buy a Teleporter at some point along in the game, as early as possible is best. With the Teleporter, you just send your crew to their ship and take them out, leaving the ship intact and giving you higher rewards. It's also the best tactic for the final boss, since you can Teleport through the shields to take out the weapon systems without worrying about the weapons being repaired until the next stage.