The Druuge Mauler is one of the single most troublesome ships in space. Its slow, ungainly reactions make it a difficult ship to pilot. Mastering the correct usage of the weapons is not easy and its slow battery regeneration turns the Mauler into a very vulnerable ship. Yet, when correctly used against certain ships, the Mauler can prove a deadly adversary.
The Mauler is a slow, plodding ship with poor acceleration and a modest turning rate. It is strongly affected by gravity wells. However, the Mauler also has a high-recoil forward cannon that is incredibly useful for sending it flying backwards at high speeds.
The Mauler is equipped with — or more accurately, is — a large, high-recoil cannon. Immensely powerful, it can destroy some vessels in a single shot, killing six crew members per shot, and those lucky enough to survive the impact are knocked off-course by it. The recoil generated from firing can also propel the Mauler backwards to incredible speeds, which can be a double-edged sword. The awesome power of this weapon is held in check by its relatively high power usage, and the dynamos on Mauler ships, which can only be described as "pathetic".
To compensate for the Mauler's weak battery recharging, Druuge captains have been known to order lower-ranking crew members to be thrown into the furnace, which feeds vast amounts of energy into the combat batteries. At first, this appears to be the single most useless weapons system available, depleting your own crew in order to power your primary weapons; but it can prove quite useful in a pinch. This is especially useful against the Chmmr Avatar where you can use the high-recoil cannon and the supply of battery power to keep out of the Avatar’s Tractor-and-Laser tactic, pummeling it to dust. Other than that, it is recommended that captains be as frugal as possible with their crew.
The Mauler is the sniper rifle of Star Control ships -- Proper aiming and conservation of fire are required to use it effectively. It has distinct advantages versus certain ships, and it can be hard to hit when it is flying at super-high speeds due to the recoil, but otherwise it is very vulnerable.
Strong against: Chmmr Avatar, as noted above. The Mauler captain must be wary, however: while the strong recoil of the cannon can carry the Mauler far from the Avatar's effective range, a canny Avatar pilot will accelerate in the opposite direction and "wrap the screen". The Mauler must be ready to reorient and fire at a moment's notice in order to change course, or momentum can carry the Mauler straight into the certain death of the Avatar's laser. Shofixti Scout - The high-recoil would allow the Mauler to stay out of the Glory Device’s range and it only needs one hit to destroy the scout. The Ilwrath Avenger will have a hard time against it too. Its projectiles will sail right through an Umgah Drone's antimatter cone, which allows you to attack them with almost complete impunity. The X-Form is hard to hit, but can't hit the Mauler either in either form - the Mauler has only to sit back and fire away, and its recoil will carry it out of range. The VUX Intruder's limpets as well are too slow to catch up with a speeding Mauler, and the Intruder is too slow to dodge the Mauler's shots.
Tenuous against: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought's fighters can peck a Mauler to death if it slows down for too long, as can the Orz Nemesis’ marines. The Chenjesu Broodhome DOGIs are particularly crippling, but again, only if allowed to catch up with the Mauler. The key is to not use the thruster (which actually slows the ship down) and to keep firing the cannon whenever the ship is forced to slow down. The Earthling Cruiser's missiles will wipe out a Mauler easily if it ever slows down, but their guidance system makes them all but useless when the Mauler is moving at extreme speeds. For all these ships, half the danger is the chance of running into an unexpected planet, rather than the actual enemy ship.
Weak Against: The Mycon Podship won't let a Mauler get a good shot at it without heavy losses, and even once a shot lands, the Mauler has to continue shooting or the Podship will just regenerate all its crew. The Kohr-Ah Marauder’s spinning blades are very dangerous for a Mauler flying wildly out of control, and will easily catch the ship if it slows down. The Arilou Skiff can be killed in one hit but is nigh-impossible to hit; the Slylandro Probe and Pkunk Fury are nigh-impossible to hit AND must be hit multiple times in order to defeat them. The Utwig Jugger's shields are impossible for the Mauler to bypass, such that it considers the Mauler a "portable refueling platform".