The VUX Intruder is mighty, yet sluggish. The VUX compensate for their limited mobility by deploying biological limpet parasites to slow down enemy vessels. They also possess precise hyperspace instruments which allow the Intruder to warp into TrueSpace and arrive very close to a given target, performing surprise attacks often to devastating effect. The Intruder's stasis-pulse battery has huge capacity but a slow rate of recovery. This ship benefits from a small outline, often making it a difficult target to hit.
The Intruder is slow and unmaneuverable. Fortunately, its rate of acceleration is enough to get some good speed from a gravity whip maneuver. Beyond that, VUX captains depend on their limpet armament to compensate for the Intruder's lack of mobility.
Intruders are armed with a powerful gigawatt laser that can slice through the hull of any ship in a matter of moments. The laser's modest range and rapid energy consumption demand accuracy and foresight in order for it to be used effectively, however. This weapon sputters pitifully when fired with a depleted battery.
The other weapon carried aboard the Intruder is the "limpet", which launches into space encased within a protective cocoon and propels itself toward an enemy vessel. Upon nearing a target, the cocoon cracks, releasing the limpet to clamp down upon the enemy vessel's hull. While no crew are harmed when a limpet attaches, the combination of inflicted damage and added mass reduces a starship's mobility. Only after battle can a damaged ship remove any offending limpets. The VUX are able to mass-produce and deploy this bio-weapon with ease; the energy requirements of this subsystem are therefore minimal.
When the Intruder warps into combat, it arrives very close to its opponent. The impact of this varies. An Intruder may surprise and eliminate the enemy almost immediately. In other instances, the VUX's initial facing angle may point directly opposite of its adversary, allowing the enemy an easy escape from the Intruder. Note that the Intruder's warp-in ability is disabled during The Ur-Quan Master's main game and occurs only within the "Super Melee" combat simulator. This often makes an encounter with an Intruder in the single-player campaign a trivial engagement.
- The Intruder's characteristic close range arrival can best be taken advantage of against stationary targets. An opposing craft that is already in motion as the Intruder appears will usually escape before the Intruder can take advantage of the situation. A VUX warp-in is most devastating during the first bout of a battle where both ships enter the arena simultaneously and begin combat at a complete stop.
- The Intruder is so slow that chasing after the enemy tends to be futile, even self-destructive. By default, Intruder pilots should instead fly defensively, laying down curtains of limpets in their wake. Warp-in ambushes and gravity whip maneuvers are both big exceptions to this, momentarily enabling effective offense.
- A popular tactic with the Intruder is to gradually coat the enemy ship with so many limpets that they are effectively immobile, then close in from behind and finish them off. A well-executed gravity whip which crosses in front of the target's flight path can greatly assist with this approach.
- Limpets vary in usefulness depending upon opponent. For instance, non-inertial spacecraft (the Skiff, Probe, and blazer form of the Guardian) are much less impeded by limpets than every other ship. A ring of Avatar ZapSats will easily dispatch any number of limpets, if present. Limpets slip right through the shield systems of the Jugger and Terminator, which makes the Intruder a serious threat to both ships.
- Ships with long-range weapons--particularly homing weapons--are the bane of the Intruder, being able to pound the Intruder to scrap metal from far outside the laser's range. An Intruder must either quickly eliminate such enemies at point-blank range or ensnare them with limpets and finish them off.
These are the exact effects an individual limpet has on a ship's mobility when it affixes:1
- Turn delay increases by 1 up to a limit of 255.
- Acceleration delay increases by 1 up to a limit of 255.
- Acceleration increment decreases by 1 down to a limit of 4.
- Top speed = Old top speed * (New acceleration increment / Old acceleration increment).
- If a ship's acceleration increment is already at 4 or less, top speed will be set to 8.
Notes and references