Tiny Drill (Piratez)

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You will find 2 mysterious objects in your starting base, the Tiny Drill and the Menacing Hull.
DO NOT SELL THESE ITEMS!

Early in the game you will find a research called *What's the deal with Tiny Drill?* Researching this will unlock 4 manufacturing projects involving the Menacing Hull. This irreversible choice grants you a unique ship, some unique items and unlocks 3 Schools of VooDoo (1 only partially).

In general, the choices are
Gray Codex - Most versatile ship, some research items, gives access to Illusion and Destruction and partial access to Excess
Red Codex - Best ship for combat, some weapons and armor, gives access to Destruction and Communion and partial access to Illusion
Gold Codex - Fastest but smallest ship, unique outfit, gives access to Excess and Illusion and partial access to Communion
Green Codex - Largest but slowest ship, healing items and more crew, gives access to Excess and Communion and partial access to Destruction

All Codices also provide access to secondary craft which do not use fuel.

The VooDoo choices are in general
Illusion - gives access to traditional psionic powers and an invisible armour (with many limitations)
Excess - gives access to an outfit with incredible scouting and stunning ability
Destruction - gives access to many powerful weapons and an outfit with a powerful attack
Communion - gives access to the tankiest armour, the tankiest auxiliary and an outfit with the best medikit


GRAY CODEX

Ship: FORTUNA
Craft Weapon: Conversion Launcher
Immediate items: Battleflag, Liber Occultus, 7 Encrypted Data Discs
Secondary Craft: SNAKE, SHADOWBAT, JELLYFISH
VooDoo Schools: Illusion and Destruction, Partial Excess
Other tech: Sorceress

The Fortuna has a bit of everything. It can carry 13 crew, 1 of each weapon slot, has a very large radar of 1400, 200 shields with 250 hull and 2x repair rate. It is also spaceworthy, which gives early access to orbital missions. The downside is that it has the 2nd slowest speed at 2000. The unique craft weapon, Conversion Launcher, is a pretty potent missile launcher that cannot miss, though it uses Seagull missiles, the most expensive ammo of the unique craft weapons.

The items given have no use except for research.

The Snake is essentially a mini Fortuna. It can also function underwater. The Shadowbat carries 9 crew and is armed with 2 missiles, making it a nice secondary transporter and interceptor. It has powerful lights that illuminate a large radius around the craft except the area around its exit ramp, making it very useful for night missions. The Jellyfish is slow, fragile, carries only 7 crew, but has a built-in "turret" for the Battlescape. The first gal assigned to the craft is locked into a sniping post with a special weapon on the ground. The weapon's power is based on the gal's VooDoo power, and fires guided projectiles. The weapon even functions underwater, making it invaluable for undersea missions. Also, the Jellyfish's exits are elevators, which makes it very useful on early game monster and zombie hunts.

Illusion is a school of great use, giving access to the Witch Outfit, Ghost Outfit and the VooDoo Greatstaff. The Ghost outfit is invisible beyond 5 range, which makes it an incredible scout. It also has the Ghost dagger, which ignores 90% of armour, allowing it to damage anything. It even functions underwater. The other 2 items allow your gals to Mind Control. Though Mind Control can be gained from other sources, the Witch Outfit can Mind Control through walls, while the Greatstaff has significantly longer range. While a mainstay of vanilla XCOM, its power is far lower in X-Piratez due to how low VooDoo stats for gals are and the range degradation formula, so don't expect it to do as much.

Destruction gives access to powerful weapons that cost morale to use, namely the Hellblade, Hellgun, Rod of Hellfire and Tome of Lightning. It also gives the Destructor outfit, which flies, heals the wearer and has a powerful plasma attack.

Partial Excess only unlocks Super Maids, an expensive upgrade for Slave Maids.

The ultimate armour of this codex is the Sorceress outfit. It has 2 fixed weapons, a Tome of Lightning and a VooDoo Orb, which give it cheap long range Mind Control that doesn't require LOS. Though its effectivity is lower, the outfit's amazing VooDoo bonus still makes this the most powerful VD attack available to the player. The armour also flies, has modest armour (45 all around), great resistances to laser and plasma, NV:25, Sense:7, Spot: 10, Camo: 0/7, and can even be used underwater and in 0-G.

RED CODEX

Ship: METALLO
Craft Weapon: Lil' Ilya
Immediate items: Battleflag, 2 Chainmail, 1 Boarding Gun with 8 ammo, 1 Handcannon with 16 ammo
Secondary Craft: SNAKE, SCORPION, SCARAB
VooDoo Schools: Communion and Destruction, Partial Illusion
Other tech: Blood Ax, Vampiric Robe

The Metallo is fast and tough. It carries 12 crew, has 2 Light and 2 Heavy slots, 500 hull, 8 armour and 3x repair rate. It remains useful well into the end game. The unique craft weapon, lil' ilya, is a pretty good improvement over the spike rocket launcher.

The 2 Chainmails should be very useful for your gals, being the best armour you have by a long shot.

The Scarab can be one of the best interceptors as it uniquely improves the damage of each weapon by 32%. It has 1 Light and 2 Heavy slots, but has -5 accuracy. The Scorpion makes a good secondary interceptor/troop transport, with 8 crew and moderate weapons, but has a limited range and burns Chemicals. It also spawns enemies closer to the craft. which can make for quick missions. The Snake is kind of in the middle and can do anything in a pinch.

The Blood ax is unique to Red Codex, and is a very powerful melee weapon which refills TUs and stamina on hit, making it possibly the best melee weapon in the game. The Vampiric robe grants its wearer the ability to life steal from damage done. It is far better at night, with NV 25 and 0/10 Camo. It also regenerates health if the wearer's bravery is high enough. It can be used to tank, though the low armour and weakness to laser somewhat limit it.

Destruction gives access to powerful weapons that cost morale to use, namely the Hellblade, Hellgun, Rod of Hellfire and Tome of Lightning. It also gives the Destructor outfit, which flies, heals the wearer and has a powerful plasma attack.

Communion gives access to Bio Suit and Saviour Suit. The Bio Suit is an amazing tanking armour, with great resistance to everything 60 extra health and health regen. It does lower TUs and all accuracies by 30 and cannot run or kneel. Saviour Suit is the fastest armour in the game and has the best medikit built in (9 hp per wound).

Partial Illusion unlocks the Ghost Dagger, a melee weapon that ignores 90% of armour.

The ultimate armour of this codex is the Moloch Armour. It has very high armour, has good resistances vs Plasma and Cutting and is practically immune to Burn. It greatly increases Strength, Melee and Bravery at the loss of VD Power, though it has excellent VD defense. Its unique abilities are that it converts damage done by user to Energy and Stun Recovery, and it has a Personal Shield with 100 hp. This makes it the ideal armour for charging into melee.

GOLD CODEX

Ship: EL FUEGO
Craft Weapon: Flame Cannon
Immediate items: Battleflag, Officer's Outfit, Officer's Lash, 6 Gold Bars, 3 Space Suits
Secondary Craft: TURTLE, SHADOWBAT, HAWK
VooDoo Schools: Excess, Illusion, Partial Communion

El Fuego is the fastest Menace at 3000 speed, but has only 10 crew. Also, with 1 Heavy and 2 Missile slots, it can be hard to arm early on. The Flame Cannon is quite inaccurate and uses 1 hellerium per shot, but is likely still the best heavy weapon you'll have at that point.

The Turtle is a slow but spacious troop transport, with 12 crew and 700 speed. Its map layout is pretty good, as it gives ample space for the crew to manoeuvre inside the craft. It works underwater, and has multiple STC slots, which could make it really survivable, though without a weapon I'm not sure what the purpose for that is. The Shadowbat carries 9 crew and is armed with 2 missiles, making it a nice secondary transporter and interceptor. It has powerful lights that illuminate a large radius around the craft except the area around its exit ramp, making it very useful for night missions. The Hawk is the fastest ship you'll have early on at 3600 speed. It carries 6 crew and has a single Heavy slot with 20% extra accuracy. It also has an interesting map with exits on 3 elevations, but has no space to move around in the craft. However, its range is limited and it burns chemicals.

The unique Officer's Outfit boosts bravery by 100, which greatly enhances many items, including the battleflag. The Officer's Lash is also an interesting item that increases the TUs of its targets at the cost of stun damage. The 3 Space Suits give you a useful armour both in 0-G missions and underwater.

Excess only provides access to Super Maids and the Magical Girl outfit. Super Maids are an expensive upgrade for Slave Maids. The Magical Girl outfit is really useful though, as it flies, and has 12 Sense (detect enemies through walls), which is the highest available to you. It also has 2 stunning weapons, 1 with an arcing AOE blast, while the other can work through walls. Unfortunately it has no armour and no free hand slots. Still, having 12 sense and the ability to stun through walls is well worth it.

Illusion is a school of great use, giving access to the Witch Outfit, Ghost Outfit and the VooDoo Greatstaff. The Ghost outfit is invisible beyond 5 range, which makes it an incredible scout. It also has the Ghost dagger, which ignores 90% of armour, allowing it to damage anything. It even functions underwater. The other 2 items allow your gals to Mind Control. Though Mind Control can be gained from other sources, the Witch Outfit can Mind Control through walls, while the Greatstaff has significantly longer range. While a mainstay of vanilla XCOM, its power is far lower in X-Piratez due to how low VooDoo stats for gals are and the range degradation formula, so don't expect it to do as much.

Partial Communion provides access to the Bio Suit, an amazing tanking armour, with great resistance to everything 60 extra health and health regen. It does lower TUs and all accuracies by 30 and cannot run or kneel.

GREEN CODEX

Ship: BONAVENTURA
Craft Weapon: Craft Charger Laser
Immediate items: Battleflag, Nurse Outfit, 3 Castaways, 6 Healing Gel, 3 Medical Supplies
Secondary Craft: TURTLE, SCARAB, WORM
VooDoo Schools: Excess, Communion, Partial Destruction
Other tech: Vampiric Robe, Pestulator, Converted Cyclops

The Bonaventura has a speed of 1500 and 16 crew, and is the cutest Menace according to word of god. 4 light weapons, 400 toughness and 2x repair rate make it useful in a fight, if it can catch up to the enemy. The Craft Charger Laser has very low power, but its ammunition is free, making it ideal for shooting down civilian shipping.

The 3 castaways basically gives you 3 extra starting crew with all their special perks. The Nurse Outfit is nice for training bravery and keeping gals alive, likewise the healing gel.

The Scarab can be one of the best interceptors as it uniquely improves the damage of each weapon by 32%. It has 1 Light and 2 Heavy slots, but has -5 accuracy. The Turtle is a slow but spacious troop transport, with 12 crew and 700 speed. Its map layout is pretty good, as it gives ample space for the crew to manoeuvre inside the craft. It works underwater, and has multiple STC slots, which could make it really survivable, though without a weapon I'm not sure what the purpose for that is. The Worm is a mini-Bonaventura, with the same speed, 3 Light weapons and 9 crew. Its map has 3 exits all on one side with doors, allowing a pretty nice and safe broadside, assuming enemies are on the right side of the craft.

The Vampiric robe grants its wearer the ability to life steal from damage done. It is far better at night, with NV 25 and 0/10 Camo. It also regenerates health if the wearer's bravery is high enough. It can be used to tank, though the low armour and weakness to laser somewhat limit it. The Converted Cyclops is just as tanky as their star god counterparts, and has the added ability of healing morale and increasing vault space. They are really slow with a mere 36 TUs.

Excess only provides access to Super Maids and the Magical Girl outfit. Super Maids are an expensive upgrade for Slave Maids. The Magical Girl outfit is really useful though, as it flies, and has 12 Sense (detect enemies through walls), which is the highest available to you. It also has 2 stunning weapons, 1 with an arcing AOE blast, while the other can work through walls. Unfortunately it has no armour and no free hand slots. Still, having 12 sense and the ability to stun through walls is well worth it.

Communion gives access to the Bio Suit and Saviour Suit. The Bio Suit is an amazing tanking armour, with great resistance to everything 60 extra health and health regen. It does lower TUs and all accuracies by 30 and cannot run or kneel. Saviour Suit is the fastest armour in the game and has the best medikit built in (9 hp per wound).

Partial Destruction gives access to powerful weapons that cost morale to use, namely the Hellblade, Hellgun, Rod of Hellfire and Tome of Lightning.

The ultimate armour of this codex is the Pestulator suit, the last word in survivability. It has even more health, better resistances and health regen than the Bio Suit. It also comes with a built-in weapon that fires area of effect chemical blasts that greatly weaken enemy armour.

How to advance along the Tiny Drill branch

First, you need to research the Menacing Hull and Tiny Drill themselves. The former research topic is available very early on, and the latter appears after you research the "Weirdness" branch. Once you research and use them, you receive a Codex item, which should be researched.

Second, you need to get yourself a Workshop. The following technologies lead to the Workshop: Violence, Fire Walk With Me, Flintlocks & Bombs, Smithing, Minecraft, Tools and Blades, Durathread Mesh, Durathread Working, Contacts: Builders and What Do. After you research these technologies, you get the Workshop tech and must build a Workshop.

Third, you need to research Ship Engine, Plastisteel, and Cloaking Device. The former is easy to get, it's researchable right after you get Workshop. For Plastisteel, you need Tinkering. To get Tinkering once you have Workshop, get the often-overlooked item Superconductive Wire (you can buy it on the Black Market) and research it.

Once you have this, the tricky part comes in. You need the Cloaking Device tech to combine with the aforementioned techs and get Interceptor Assembly. For that, you need Shadowtech, Shadowtech is researched from Shadowmasters, and this tech has goblin lore as prerequisite (you need to learn everything about Lokk'nars, Narloks, their scriptures and beliefs. This branch is researched from the item "Lokk'naar Scriptures", or found randomly when interrogating random characters (the test subjects rescued from experiment sites have a higher probability of giving this tech branch). You will also need to research your Codex.

Then, the really tricky part comes in. You need a Library, and to get it, you must be in the Mutant Alliance. Get favors from the Mutant Alliance by donating to them and doing their bounty hunting missions, interrogate Academy prisoners about mutant pogroms and mutant origins, and you'll eventually receive the tech *Mutant Alliance*. It is the invitation to the alliance. Once you get that, they give you science books which allow you to create a Library (this will be needed to complete your goblin lore research as well). When the library is built, research "Back to School" and you are done with this part.

Finally, you need to capture a pilot. The most obvious candidate is the Guild Air Sailor, but other pilots, such as the Bugbear (the "Chewbacca" found in Smuggler crews) will do too. Once you interrogate them, you will receive the Test Flight tech.

Once you have all this, you can finally research your brand new flagship and start using it. You will also receive access to various models of auxiliary craft while you dig through goblin lore. You will also receive access to the Skyranger while you court the Mutant Alliance (it is one of the first favors you get from them).

Don't forget that when you become a member of the Mutant Alliance, fending off Mutant Pogroms becomes mandatory as your member's duty. Of course, once you have your flagship (and assorted other tech upgrades you receive while advancing to this stage), pogroms will not be hard for you.