The Utwig Jugger is one of the most dangerous ships in our region of space, thanks to its unique weapons and shield systems.
The Jugger is surprisingly fast for its size, although its acceleration is weak. But it is also outfitted with a set of amazingly powerful turning jets, and is capable of coming about as quickly as a vessel less than half its size.
The Jugger's main weapon is an array of six forward-facing, "energy spear" cannons powered by an extremely efficient combat dynamo system. With it, the cannons have a virtually limitless supply of energy, and are able to fire without drawing any energy from the combat batteries. While weak individually, three or four energy spears will generally hit with each salvo. Each cannon "spear" will kill one member of the enemy's crew upon striking the ship.
The Jugger is equipped with a unique shielding system. It is capable of absorbing an almost limitless amount of punishment from both kinetic and energy-based attacks, and it in fact converts this energy for storage in its combat batteries! However, the vessel is not capable of replenishing energy on its own, so if the combat batteries run out, the shields are no longer usable for the duration of the engagement. A Jugger always enters battle with its batteries at half of its maximum capacity.
The Jugger's shields consume energy when used, but they absorb energy from enemy attacks. Therefore, a skilled Jugger pilot who uses his shields only when necessary can keep his batteries fully charged and minimize damage to his ship. A corollary to this is that one should keep an eye on "skirmisher" weapons that require more energy to shield against than will be regained by shielding against them. Such weapons can slowly bleed the batteries dry, leaving captains in a vulnerable position.
The Jugger's massive size and poor acceleration make gravity wells particularly dangerous, since at full speed they can be difficult to avoid. This, combined with the excellent turning rate of the ship and unique weapons systems, make pillboxing a wildly popular tactic.
When fighting a computer-controlled Ur-Quan Dreadnought or Kohr-Ah Marauder, a most effective strategy is a full-on frontal assault. The computer makes a policy of firing as fast as it can, so on approach, absorb all the punishment they can dish out, and when their fuel tanks run dry, take a potshot or two from point-blank range. As soon as they get enough energy to fire back, they will, so keep the shields at the ready, and whittle them down to nothing with impunity. Indeed, some consider this ship to be more effective against Dreadnoughts AND Marauders than even the almighty Chmmr Avatar! It is worth noting, however, that a lone Dreadnought fighter represents a hole in this strategy, as their individual attacks do not appreciably replenish the Jugger's shields, and once shield energy is exhausted the Jugger can easily be picked apart.
- The Jugger's shield does not absorb energy from the Androsynth Guardian in its Blazer form. While a shielded Jugger won't take damage from the Guardian's Blazer form, it also cannot re-energize its Batteries from it.
- Orz space marines are repelled by the Jugger's shield and provide no energy gain.
- The shield does not protect against the Shofixti Scout's Glory Device. The Jugger takes the same amount of damage from the explosion whether it is shielded or unshielded.