The Syreen Penetrator is lightly crewed and not terribly powerful in terms of offensive weaponry, but it is able to use "wiles" to strengthen itself while weakening enemy ships. With the Mycon Podship and the Pkunk Fury, the Penetrator is one of the few ships able to come out of battle stronger than they went in.
The Penetrator has a good turn-rate and a fair speed but suffers from a somewhat lacking acceleration. Its shape, center of gravity and turn-rate can be masterfully combined into an orbiting maneuver, during which the Penetrator circles a planet until it finds the direction it wants, so as to use the Gravity-whip maneuver.
The Penetrator's primary weapon is a weak, forward-firing weapon with a fair range and acceptable firing rate. Each shot from the weapon kills two enemy crew members. Normally it is used for nothing but finishing off a Psi-resistant captain. This weapon is more commonly known as a "Particle Beam Stiletto", or alternatively as a "light Electron Dagger".
To compensate for its lack of offensive power, the Penetrator captain employs the "Syreen Song", a short-range hypnosis field designed to lure enemy crew from their ships via the airlocks. The effectiveness of the Syreen Song decreases with distance. When the ships are right next to eachother, eight crew members may desert, but a ship will never be abandoned altogether. If the Penetrator picks up the crew, they will willingly serve alongside the Syreen as members of the Penetrator's crew; if the enemy ship reclaims their crew, they are able to counteract the effects of the hypnosis field -- at least for a while. During the war, crews on board Syreen ships became a surreal pastiche of alien races, with Ilwrath, VUX, Spathi and others working dutifully side by side with human volunteers under the command of beautiful Syreen officers.
Against most ships, the tactic is pretty straightforward -- close in quickly, evade incoming fire, and use the "Syreen Song" to bolster your ranks and weaken the enemy's. Once you have made the enemy's crew your own, finish them off with a few quick shots. Slow ships are the prefereable targets for Penetrator captains. Ships with good turn rates and/or good firing rates are what Syreen captains fear most.
- When fighting a Mycon Podship, the Penetrator can outrun a plasmoid but only if already at its best speed. If the Podship tries to regenerate lost crew, the Penetrator should hold patiently and let the Mycon send more crew as prey for the Syreen Song.
- The Ilwrath Avenger is also easy prey for the Penetrator, as the Syreen Song is effective even when the Avenger is cloaked (thus also serving to reveal the Avenger's position), and the Penetrator's engines can easily keep the ship out of the Avenger's attack range. A human-controlled Avenger will try orbiting the planet, forcing the Penetrator to close in, then using a Leyland Gravity Whip, which will prove much more dangerous for the Penetrator. Worth noting is that the crew pulled near the planet will crash on it and be lost for both sides.
- Surprisingly, the Pkunk Fury has become a favorite target for Syreen captains. The Fury's short-range weaponry forces it to close to song distance and the relatively wide profile of the ship's wings create a good target for the stiletto gun. Finally, the reincarnation habit of the Pkunk makes it nearly as good a crew factory as the Podship. Once fully crewed, a single Penetrator can take on entire fleets of Furies without flinching.
- Chenjesu Broodhome ships are quite pained trying to keep the Penetrator off their back.
- The Earthling Cruisers' cumbersome nukes are easily dodged by the slick Penetrator, and at close range the dismal recharge rate usually forces the Cruiser captain into a "Scorched Earth" tactic - shooting his own crew with point-defense lasers rather than seeing them aboard the Penetrator.
- After mastering the art of evading the Kohr-Ah spinning blades (which is a bit harder than with the other maneuverable ships because turning will expose the larger lateral area to hits from the Marauder), Penetrators can prove a nasty surprise for the Marauder captain.
- Umgah Drones are especially easy opponents. All the Penetrator has to do is go in front of it (so that it is not touched by the antimatter cone) and use the Syreen Song to lure all its crew out, then fly around the ship to catch them. The Drone often accidentally kills the crew, flying towards the Penetrator with the cone always on. Using the retro-propulsion system is not recommended for the Drone, as it exposes the ship to the Penetrator's particle beam stiletto; the Penetrator will anyway be forced to fly into the Drone's cone to kill the ship's last crew member.
- Thraddash Torches are essentially flying crew carriers for the Penetrator. Their speed and turn rate is fast enough to totally avoid the Thraddash's fire, and the Torch is too slow to effectively dodge the Stiletto.
- Being the only maneuverable ship with a longer length than width, the Penetrator is especially vulnerable when turning (especially against slow-firing ships with powerful weapons such as the Dreadnought, the Marauder or the Broodhome).
- The Shofixti Scout, with its Glory Device.
- Nimble, quick firing ships such as the X-Form in laser form, the Utwig Jugger and the Yehat Terminator.
- It is also easy prey for the Slylandro Probe, with the Probe's superior maneuverability and invulnerability to the Song.