Inspired by Kyren, I'm taking a stab on making a guide for my favorite ship in Guns of Icarus, the nimble and deadly Squid! I've chosen to stick with his formatting because I felt it was solidly designed and I figured that if others follow suit it'd be user-friendly for newcomers.
So you're crazy enough to try to fly the Squid, eh? Now, don't be intimidated by the Ships frailty and wild controls. Though it is true that the ship is quite the feral beast in the hands of the uninitiated, with training and skill it is possible to tame this vessel. Its motions will becoming your own, natural as the gravity pulling the wreckage of your enemies to the earth far below.Ship Stats and Resilience
Hull Health: 850
Hull Armor: 220
Balloon Health: 1200
Acceleration: 11.s m/s²
Radial Acceleration: 56.9 deg/s²
Vertical Acceleration: 9.8 deg/s²
Max Speed: 46.8 m/s
Max Turn Speed: 18.8 deg/s
Max Vertical Speed: 10.5 m/s
Mass: 50,000 t
Hull Profile: 448 m²
Balloon Profile: 672 m²
*NOTE: this info may be old.
Squids boasts the highest speed in every
category, most notably in acceleration. Having such high speed statistics means that Squids can adjust their position and velocity in any direction so as to rapidly adapt to unexpected changes to the battlefield and exploit any enemy weaknesses that might show themselves. Slower ships are at the mercy of the Squids ability to dictate the conditions of battle, and wise Captains will exploit this capability ruthlessly.Hull
Where the Squid's speed is central to its nature, so to is its notoriously low survivability in the face of direct damage. Squids have the lowest overall health statistics in GoI, and it is this fact more then any other attribute of the ship that makes it somewhat inaccessible to less experienced crews. A direct hit from most weapons except the very lightest will likely be a prelude to irreparable hull damage, so staying mobile and aware is key to long term survival. Balloon
Thankfully, the Squid has a Balloon that is just as hardy as any other. Additionally, it is relatively large in proportion to the size of the ship, so clever piloting can often negate hull damage and instead shift incoming fire to the balloon instead. Also the Balloon is centrally located and will not to far from any engineer during routine operations. Make sure it doesn't go down though, because further damage will not only hurt the hull, but you'll have trouble maneuvering out of danger, which is as much a death sentence as anything can be.Engines
The Squid has four engines. All other ships have three. Two are set on the upper deck close to the aft gun and balloon, and only a short walk from the Hull, making them easy to maintain. However, the other two engines are set farther away from the core of the ship, making maintaining them a bit of a pain. As an upside, it is this solid distribution that makes it unlikely that a single attack will knock more then one or two engines out. Keeping the ship moving is vital, so more then anything keep on eye on them!Guns
With three light guns the Squid sadly has the lowest overt, maximum firepower. Do not despair. This weakness can be mitigated entirely with good flying and careful weapon selection. The gun distribution is somewhat strange due to the Squids odd offset Helm, and are located at the front, starboard and aft of the ship. It is possible to position yourself so that either the front/starboard or starboard/aft guns are trained on a single target, and doing so should be a primary goal if danger doesn't demand otherwise. It would be wise if your primary Gunner decides to lurk around your front weapon so that they might repair it themselves. Otherwise it would mean a long(ish) walk for the engineers, as it is set farther away from the rest of the ship. A boon to this weapon distribution is that it is highly unlikely that more then one gun will be knocked out at a time, so keeping at least one weapon firing shouldn't be terrifically difficult.Examples on Loadouts
|Due to the ships overall design, it encourages two rather distinct styles of builds. Hit-and-Run and Disabler.|
With Hit-and-Run Squids, you should not focus on weapons that require a lot of time to do their damage. A Squid cannot win a straight up, tit-for-tat brawl, and without the ability to disable enemy weapons or engines, you'll be forced to move around a lot, and losing weapon arcs will be a constant problem. Therefore weapons with large clips that take time won't be your friend. You'll want to field weapons that will favor the bursty, hit-and-run style you'll be forced to play. You may want to favor your starboard and aft weapons under such circumstances.
Because of all the issues of running a hit-and-run style, it is my preference for taking Disabler/Support style Squids. Here's the build I use to do it. Front:
Barking Dog Light CarronadeStarboard:
Artemis Light Rocket LauncherAft: Variable
, usually a 2nd Artemis.
This is a ship, the fearsome Ten of Swords, that excels at jumping on an enemy vessel and pinning it, rendering it helpless unless an enemy ship comes to its aid. This means that you may very well wrap up two enemy vessels in trying to deal with your ship, turning a battle to your teams favor. It will take awhile to deal a death blow, especially if their Captain has a Drogue Chute and skilled engineers, but despite this it is a premier 1v1'ing ship.
It's also a great Team Player ship, as it can so swiftly cripple an enemy ship, and navigate the map to do it, that you should be leaping to your allies aid whenever and wherever you can.
DON'T fly this loadout if your ego can't handle seeing your teammates getting the kills. DO fly this ship if you like winning.DETAILED LOADOUT POSITIONS:
Front The most essential weapon on the ship, the Barking Dog should be manned at all times and told to be trained on the enemy ships balloon. An enemy ship with a popped balloon will have a much harder time maneuvering, meaning you can stay at their dead angle much more comfortably and for a greater duration.
Starboard The Artemis should be manned by your Gungineer, and as you shouldn't be taking much damage (most nimble ship in the game, remember?), he should be firing it as often as possible. Try to keep this gun trained at the same target as your front or, more rarely, aft weapons. It should be aiming at the enemy ships Hull, seeking to knock out the enemies weapons and engines. An enemy vessel that isn't shooting might as well already be dead.
Aft This weapon can fill any preferences you might have, or to respond to a particular enemy/map threat. I'll usually take a second Artemis so in an emergency I can knock out the enemies weapons if they are giving chase, potentially making clean our escape.
This loadout is among the greatest 1v1'ing builds I've seen, provided you choose an approach carefully. Once you've got your opponent into a balloon-death cycle, their death will (slowly) be inevitable, as shaking a competent Squid pilot as anything but another Squid is extremely difficult. If another enemy eventually breaks to try to free their ally, You've just tied up two enemies with your shenanigans, which is still a win even if you don't get a kill. As said before you're going to want to be on the lookout for when you can help out an ally. The Squid speed makes it an excellent fire-fighter, so respond to the plight of your friends, swoop in and be their savior.
All this goes without saying anything about the Squids ability to quickly cap points, which should be fairly obvious, but this build is also able to defend them, as a disabled vessel isn't going to be posing a threat anytime soon.Engineering on a Squid
Engineering on a Squid is deceptively easy, although it remains a very high stakes game. The Hull can go out in an instant and if you aren't ready, you'll end up taking irreparable damage quickly. This can quickly put less experienced engineers into a baby-sitting mindset where they feel tied to the hull lest it explode in a split second. Sadly this can only really be offset by the pilot and there isn't much even the best Engineer can do about it. The most critical advice to be offered is to listen to your Captain, and if the Captain wants a second gun firing, make sure you've already got it worked out which engineer will be the one to go do that.
Survival on a Squid is less about obsessively topping off everything and more about making sure you're engines are up (so you can be at a favorable angle) and your guns are firing (so your opponent is more concerned with survival then with fighting back).
For gear, the Squid is probably the only ship where the engineer meant to maintain the Hull would be better served taking a Wrench then a Mallet, as the HP healed is overkill for the puny amount of armor the Squid comes with. Likewise, don't make a big deal out of buffing the Hull. The bonus HP from buffing is percentile and you don't get much bang for your time. Not that you shouldn't do it ever, just that it isn't a huge priority. Other than these two peculiarities, tool selection is just like any other vessel, and the usual engineer builds will work fine.
The side engines are going to be something of a pain. Set out on the sides and below the main deck, a good jump over the railing from top deck will take you to either engine in no time, but walking back to the ships central area will take a few seconds you might not have. Like on any ship, making solid judgement calls is an essential skill any Engineer ought to have.
Like on all ships in all roles, communication is key, so before you even start it should be decided which players are going to prioritize guns over repairs.
The squid is the ship least able to receive repairing assistance from the pilot. It's a minor issue, but one that can stand out for pilots used to being able to give their engineers a hand.
Gunning on a Squid
|Gunning on a Squid is completely dependent on what guns you have brought along. As Squids are only able to field light weaponry, keeping two weapons trained on an opponent, with the best ammo mods, is key to doing the kind of damage you need to earn your spot on a team. |
A Gunner should stay on the front weapon at nearly all times, and be in charge of repairing their own weapon. This gun is farther way from all the rest of the ship systems and your engineers will waste a lot of time if they have to fix it for the Gunner. Given that this gun will be manned more then any other under most circumstances and in most builds, the weapon selected for it is most crucial. Ideal weapons are ones that either have a high burst damage potential or ones with strong disabling capability, and should well in tandem with the Starboard gun to either render an opponent helpless or kill them before they can retaliate (or deal enough damage that an ally can pick up the kill).
Listen to your Captain. The Squid is probably the ship most likely to abandon a target and switch it up, as new danger shows its face or the an ally needs help. Gunners should be ready to quickly switch their focus and not lose themselves to tunnel vision.
Keep that Spyglass out, too! The Pilot, being offset so hard to the port side, means he can occasionally suffer from poor line of sight. Help out and spot enemies!
All weapons can be useful on a Squid, so experiment. Just keep your goals in mind and make sure your weapons compliment rather then overlap in function. Unless you go all Dragon Tongues/Harpoons/Beacons, in which case godspeed you majestic beast.
Captaining on a Squid
|The Squid is (I would say almost unanimously regarded as) probably the hardest ship in the game to preform well with. But it is by no means weak. Its high skill floor disguises an even higher skill ceiling. Flying the Squid good means you could probably fly any other ship great. I emphatically say probably, because where with other vessels anticipation and prediction are very important, on the Squid these traits are de-emphasized and instead fast reactions and adaptation become key where they might not even come into play on slower ships.|
Critically, don't fly the Squid like its a car, boat or a plane. Think of it like a helicopter. Or even more clearly, a hummingbird. Those massive engines not only give you a ton of thrust, but allow you to brake incredibly quickly as well. At least as important as your steering is your throttle management. If you have a mouse with extra buttons, mapping your throttle to your other hand may be useful, as there will be moments where you simply don't have enough fingers to turn and manage throttle at the same time. In short, get used to swiftly stopping and starting to stay as unpredictable and agile as possible.
Also note that when you are shifted to neutral, your engines will work in tandem to turn the ship faster, as one pair of engines pushes and the other pulls. Keep this in mind!
There is a price for all this speed. Two big ones, actually. Firstly, all that swinging about can make some guns basically impossible to hit with. Be charitable to your gunners and try not to spaz out too much. Sometimes it can't be helped, but when there is the all-clear hold her steady so your shots count. Secondly, moving so quickly increases the damage a ram or impact with terrain will do, both to yourself and your target. Given Squids are several times lighter then most of the other ships, this will rarely (but not always!) work against you... Try not to bump things, is what I'm sayin'.
Altogether the Squid is a Pilot's ship, and you have a lot of freedom when it comes to your equipment. I want to say the only truly mandatory item is the Tar Barrel. Tar will save your skin when nothing else can, and Squids can use it offensively like no other ship. The damage it does can also not be understated. Even just a few seconds is like getting a full Manticore volley, minus the danger to the hull. A must take, in my opinion.
There is a decent case for taking a Spyglass, as you have reduced need for the speed/maneuverability tools the more lumbering ships rely on. Take it without hesitation if you don't trust your crewmates.
The Phoenix Claw is great because it makes your turning from merely wonderful and turns it up to hilariously physics breaking. It also does less engine damage over time then most other tools, which your engineers will be appreciative for. Not a bad choice.
Kerosene and its bigger meaner brother Moonshine are usually overkill. But who cares, dump that stuff in and get to the point before the other guy has even lumbered out of idle. Seriously though, in most circumstances other then large capture point maps, you don't need to be THAT fast, and during those times when you need to escape, Tar will be better.
Hydrogen and, more rarely the Chute Vent, are both absolutely amazing and one or the other (or both!?) are nearly as essential as Tar. The Squid cannot afford to linger in an enemies weapon arcs for long, and often the best way to escape and find a favorable position again is just be turning on either of these wonderful little things.
Drogue Chute is purely circumstantial. Be proactive and always check your opponent loadout before a game. If you see them packing a lot of Carronades, or you know they have an solid gunner on a lumberjack, take this. Otherwise, avoid.
You are too fast and agile to need Impact Bumpers, but for the more insane pilots no ship is going to get as many opportunities for high speed rams as the Squid, so if that's your cup of tea then go for it! You'll probably be punished more often then it works, but honestly who cares! Combine with Hydrogen for the worlds fastest Hydrogen Uppercuts!
That's about all I've got to say on the Squid for now. I hope this has helped at least a few new players. The Squid is a challenging ship to fly and to crew, but well worth the investment.
Thanks for reading and please comment and give any critiques / ideas on things I should add (or remove D:). Take care!