The Utwig Jugger is one of the most dangerous ships in our region of space, thanks to its unique weapons and shield systems. During the events of Star Control II, this ship design fares very well in large-scale warfare against the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah, inflicting grievous casualties on the Kohr-Ah fleet before the Utwig themselves sustain too many losses to continue, withdrawing back to their space.
The Jugger's thrusters are about average relative to other spacecraft. This ship accelerates somewhat slowly, but can build up to enough top speed to pursue and overtake various low and medium speed enemy craft. It is 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 shield is no longer usable for the duration of the engagement. A Jugger always enters battle with its batteries at half of their maximum capacity.
- While ideally the Jugger's shield would block all damage and never lose energy, in practice neither the AI or any human being can achieve this 'perfect shielding'. Consequently, the Jugger is highly vulnerable to low-damage, low-fire-rate weapons such as the Mmrnmhrm X-Form's missiles which realistically take more energy to shield against than they impart on impact. Conversely, weapons such as the Chmmr Avatar's laser or the Ur-Quan Dreadnought's fusion bolt are powerful enough that with care the shield will absorb far more than it uses. Additionally, there are weapons that the shield does not protect against or absorb energy from, as noted below.
- The Jugger is a rock-paper-scissors sort of ship in Super Melee, being extraordinarily weak against some ships and extraordinarily strong against others. Any ship (piloted by a human player) that is faster and can use low-damage weaponry can deplete a Jugger's shield and eventually kill it, while any ship that is slower and/or using a weapon that recharges the Jugger's shield by more units per frame than it loses is toast. Because of this, it it much more advisable to reserve this ship for an advantageous position ship-wise in a melee battle than send it out indiscriminately when another is lost.
- The Jugger's poor acceleration makes gravity wells dangerous when travelling at full speed. This, combined with the excellent turning rate of the ship and unique weapons systems, make pillboxing a wildly popular tactic.
- The Jugger is one of the better ships in the game against the Sa-Matra, along with the Pkunk Fury, as its shield renders the Sa-Matra's comets useless. It has some trouble being bounced around by the sentinel orbs, however.
- The Jugger's shield does not absorb energy from collisions with the Androsynth Guardian in its Blazer form. While a shielded Jugger won't take damage from the Blazer, it also cannot re-energize its batteries from it.
- Orz space marines are repelled (but not harmed) by the Jugger's shield. This provides the Jugger with 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.