X3: Farnham’s Legacy – Basic Pirate Beginner’s Guide

X3: Farnham’s Legacy – Basic Pirate Beginner’s Guide 1 - steamlists.com
X3: Farnham’s Legacy – Basic Pirate Beginner’s Guide 1 - steamlists.com
Beginner’s Guide to becoming a pirate lord in X3: Farnham’s Legend.



Hello, and welcome to my basic Piracy guide for Farnham’s Legacy. Piracy is a favorite method of mine for asset acquisition, considering it’s the one of the easiest and simplest ways to collect millions of credits and rare/exclusive ships/technology. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never have want for the trading life again. Piracy is a lot more action-oriented, and much more active than trading. It requires knowledge and finesse to perfect, and, in my opinion, is much more fun than watching traders endlessly collect you credits automatically. 

Getting Started (What You’ll Need and Where to go)

To begin your adventures as a Pirate Captain, you’ll want to complete the beginning plot. This will not only grant you full access to the universe, but it will also give you everything else you’ll need to get started as a pirate. (At the end of the plot, you’ll want to choose the option to open the gates to the pirate sectors to grant you easier access to the location we’ll be heading to, though this is entirely optional and can be changed later.) 
First off, you’ll want to head for Hatikvah’s Faith. If, in the plot, you chose to side with the pirates with the gate alignment, it’ll be much easier to reach. Heading South from the Xenon Hub to Danna’s Chance, it’ll be 2 sectors east from there. X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Locating this area of the map is pretty vital I would say, as Hatikvah’s Faith is one of a few high traffic border sectors that contains cross-traffic from all commonwealth races (Argon, Boron, Teladi, Split, and Paranid), including military and transports, while also having easy access to a pirate shipyard in the same sector. 

Stealing Cargo (Cargo Hacking)

The easiest method of obtaining loot is by putting the cargo hacker (given in the beginning plot) to use to steal weapons and other valuable items from passing traders. This is relatively low risk, as you won’t have to engage in any actual combat. For this, I’d recommend sticking with an M6 in case they do turn hostile, though any decently fast ship with a roomy cargo bay and good shielding will do. 
Start by looking around the sector for Friendly/Neutral Weapons Dealers or High Tech Traders. They must not be hostile to you or the cargo hacker will not work.X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Once you have located a target, get in range and scan them to discover the contents of their cargo. Finding a target with a sufficient amount of loot, get in close and engage the cargo hacker using the hotkey you’ve assigned. You’ll want to prioritize grabbing weapons of highest value first, though exclude XL size weapons as you likely won’t be able to steal them without being detected. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Grab any Fragmentation Bomb Launchers, Plasma Burst Generators, Concussion Impulse Generators, High Energy Plasma Throwers, Ion Shard Railguns, and any other Medium or Small guns. 
IMPORTANT: If you’re detected while trying to steal from them, simply open the communication menu, and use the option for “Sorry, Weapons fire was in error.” 9 times out of 10, your crimes will be forgiven as long as you don’t continue trying to steal from the same target. 
Once you’ve gathered a sufficient amount of loot, simply head to the anarchy port to sell it. (If you can’t dock here, another equipment dock or military outpost will work.) 

Armoured Transports and Small Ship Capture

Using the cargo hacker to obtain yourself some Plasma Burst Generators and Ion Shard Railguns, we will use these to capture enemy freighters that pass through the sector. You’ll want to change your weapon setup as follows: 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Set up your Railguns to be on group 2, Plasma Generators on Group 3, all weapons on group 4, and a single PBG on group 1. Note that there are other, more effective weapon setups than this, but this setup is highly specialized for the targets we will be going after: Armoured Transports. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Armoured Transports are a new addition in Farnham’s Legacy, and are intended as a stopgap between a TL and a TS. They are heavily shielded and have very tough hulls, and oftentimes will have several turrets equipped with light weaponry as well as fighter drones, and the occasional escort. They are easily identified by their new, unique icon on the map. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Find one, open the comm menu, and tell them to surrender. Yes, do it before you’ve even fired a shot, as there’s a small chance they’ll immediately give up anyway, or drop their cargo. Even if they don’t, however, this will turn them hostile to you, and focus their attention on you, allowing you to either lead them somewhere more safe away from other hostiles or prevent them from escaping to a more policed sector. 
Start approaching them, and lay into them with your ion shard railguns until you’re within 1km range. Once there, use shift+f to adjust your speed to match the target, and begin laying into them with PBG’s. Once the shield is down, switch to weapon group 1, and begin slowly whitting away at the hull. (The PBG is an amazing tool for stripping away all but one shield from your target, ensuring they won’t have weapons to fire on you with while you pursuade them to give up their ship.) 
Open the communications menu when your target is at 80% hull or lower, and demand their surrender. If they refuse, back off and let their shield recharge to 50%, and try again, taking away a few more hull % each time. Most of the time, I find that the pilot will bail between 30~80% hull, or not at all. 
After they’ve left the ship, you’ll need to ensure there’s no other hostiles nearby. Clear out any remaining hostiles, then claim your new armoured transporter. Send it to the shipyard conveniently in the same sector, and sell it for a fresh 3-5 million credits. (If you sided with the Argon and you don’t have the pirate rep to dock there, send it to light of heart instead.) 

Preparing for Boarding

Once you’ve acquired a fair amount of money (10m+), purchase a transporter with a decent capacity for marines. I went with an Express, purchased from the shipyard in Light of Heart. You’ll need to equip this transporter with a jumpdrive, the closest location to purchase one being the OTAS HQ in Legend’s Home located two sectors east and one sector south. 
You’ll also need a Transporter Device and Bioscanner on your personal ship, these can be puchased from the Terracorp HQ in Home of Light Alpha. 
Jumpdrive kits will be very helpful, but not entirely necessary as long as you carry a spare jumpdrive on your personal ship, and are okay with re-buying it after every capture. 
Load up your transporter with marines. If you’re struggling to find where marines are sold, check your encyclopedia for locations. A few to note are the Military Outpost in Aladna Hill, the Rehabilitation Facility in Danna’s Chance, and the Teladi Equipment Dock in Company Pride. 
Get 21 Marines. Don’t get more, as if you do, they will not be usable in the next step. Focus on marines with the highest fighting skill, since it can only be trained through experience. (Optional: Train them in all skills with advanced training twice before proceeding. This isn’t necessary, as it won’t impact their combat performance, only their ability to cut into tougher hulls and hack tougher mainframes. Training won’t be needed for the target we are after.) 
When you are ready, save your game and proceed back to Hatikvah’s Faith. 

Boarding Ships

Our next target of choice will be something much larger, though quite a bit easier and more reliable to capture. However, this takes planning, positioning, and you’ll need to pay attention to other hostiles in the process. Look for Pirate Mobile Pirate Stations, which are large, unarmed, and often have no marines onboard to offer a defense against your boarding party. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
Scope out your target, ensure there are no hostiles nearby. If there are, either eliminate them, or wait for your target to be somewhere safer. Get close enough, and scan its’ cargo. You’ll want to ensure it doesn’t have Advanced Firewall Software, Internal Sentry Lasers, or a Hull Polarizing Device before boarding as they’ll seriously hurt your efforts, or even outright prevent you from capturing the ship. 
When you are ready to board, jump your marine transport in and command it to follow you. Engage your target, and take the shields down. (You don’t need to do hull damage, but if the target has any of the previous 3 pieces of software, you’ll need to damage the hull using your PBG until the component is destroyed.) Once the shields are down, switch to your transport, and get in front of it, about ~1.5km away. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
You’ll need to time this carefully, and you’ll have to switch back to your combat ship and attack if it’s shields start getting above 5% again. Press the hotkey to “Launch all Marines” (assignable in the controls menu under the weapons category), then get your transport out of the way. 
If done successfully, your marines should begin spacewalking to the target, and, since they’re in it’s direct path, they should have no trouble making contact. Switch back to your combat ship, and continue keeping the shields below 8%. WARNING: IF THE SHIELDS GO ABOVE 8%, YOUR MARINES WILL BE INSTANTLY VAPORIZED BY THE ENERGY SHIELD. 
Listen for when your marines have informed you that they are through the hull and have begun combat. At this point, it is safe to simply have your autopilot follow the ship, and open your personnel tab to monitor their progress. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
They’ll fight their way through 5 decks of the ship, then hack the core. As long as you brought 21 marines, they should have no trouble clearing their way through the ship with little, if any, casualties, and before long, the ship will come under your control. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
At this point, your faction reputation with the pirates will plummet, and you’ll no longer be able to send it to the shipyard in the same sector. You’ll need to send it to the shipyard in Light of Heart to sell it. To ensure it makes it there, either provide an escort or transfer it a jumpdrive and some energy cells. Make sure you clean up any marines floating in space before leaving the sector. 
Enjoy your new TL! 

Advanced Boarding Pt. 1

Right, so you’ve captured a few TLs, convinced some pilots to part ways with a handful of armoured transports, and liberated some weapons from traders. If you thought the previous boarding ops were easy, that’s because they were! This was completely intended to get you used to the rhythm of boarding and the basic operations of it. Think of it like the “tutorial” stage. 
I wanted to avoid going too in depth, as there are other fantastic guides out there on X3:AP and X3:TC that go a lot more in depth on the mechanics of boarding and the finer minutia, and I’d highly recommend giving them a read if you really want to get into the nitty gritty, as the mechanics have not changed that much since TC. I’d be remiss not to, though, since boarding an unarmed pirate TL is much easier and simpler than boarding a heavily armed and escorted capital ship. 
Before you begin boarding anything more armed than an M6, you’ll need a lot of credits (100m+) and high enough reputation (6+ bars) to grant you access to the best weapons, ships, and technology with your chosen race. While this isn’t technically necessary if you’re among the ranks of the legendary who have boarded Xenon Ks with only transports, most of boarding comes down to your preparation a lot more than the actual operation. Spending a few hours setting up your boarding ops will ensure you will be able to board whatever ship you want, wherever you want, however you want, and is very crucial if you want to be successful. 
First off, if you didn’t train your marines up to 5 stars in all skills, do so now. Each of these skills are highly critical to success when boarding. (Engineering will allow your marines to do less hull damage while fighting on board, Hacking will allow them to hack tougher computer cores, and Mechanics will allow them to cut through tougher hulls.) There are 2 ways to go about this: Using advanced training will be much easier to train all of your marines with less micromanagement, while using quick training on each individual skill will be faster and cheaper than advanced training. Which you choose, is up to you, but you’ll want to prepare at least 40 marines before you begin serious boarding operations. 
Some advanced pirates use several squads of marines, one being trained in only mechanical and intended to cut into the hull, with a backup squad of more elite marines trained in fighting, engineering, and hacking following them up into the ship. This is more fickle to pull off, and does involve sending marines to their deaths, though it’s reported to heavily increase your odds of successfully capturing those really hard to crack ships. 
While you are waiting on your marines to train, now is a great time to get into the first phase of the operation, and the one you have the most flexibility in. This would be the question of how to take down your target’s shields, without getting fried by its heavy guns. Your starting M6 might be enough to capture a TL, but it’ll melt like butter against a Photon Pulse Cannon or Incendiary Bomb Launcher, both of which capital ships very frequently carry. 
There are 3 main strategies to going about this, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. 
– Using a swarm of fighters/fighter drone mk2s with the “Attack shields of..” command. This is the simplest method, and you’ll be able to secure the sector with enough fighters, but have a plan to replace lost fighters/fighter drones. Using a carrier is optional but highly recommended. Your fighters will also cause a small amount of hull damage over time, as they won’t be able to perfectly compensate for the shields and each other’s lasers. The more you have, the easier it gets, but the more damage you’ll do to your target’s hull. If you really want to prevent hull damage, equip your fighters with ion disruptors, though you’ll need a lot of them to do significant shield damage. 
– Using your own heavily armed capital ships in a slugging match. This has a very, very high risk of blowing up the ship you’re trying to board, you’ll need to micromanage your turrets and tell them to stop firing when the shields get low, or take command of the turret guns yourself. However, this poses a much lower risk to you, as you’ll be in your very own capital ship and able to soak weapons fire from your target, and dispatch any escorts. Additionally, you’ll probably have a few of these laying around once you get your boarding operations going. The Pirate Brigantine is an excellent choice for capital ship slugging matches while also carrying boarding pods, though be sure to bring an escort as it is fairly fragile and can be defeated by other destroyers or clustered M6’s. 
– Using an M7M to attack (AND board) from a distance. This is what I do personally and what I recommend for beginners, as you’ll be able to keep yourself safe, take out any enemies that pose a threat to your operation, AND board your target while completely out of range of it. However, this requires additional setup, as you’ll need to produce the missiles for your M7M yourself. (You can choose to buy the missiles, but this will be very tedious and unreliable.) 
Whichever strategy you choose, go ahead and purchase an M7M to use for your boarding operations. 
X3: Farnham's Legacy - Basic Pirate Beginner's Guide 
They can launch boarding pods from a distance, instead of the marines having to spacewalk to their target. It isn’t necessary to use it as a combat ship if you’re going with one of the first two strategies, but it’ll be much easier to board using an M7M and pods instead of spacewalking. Boarding pods can be bought from most military outposts, it may be a good idea to set up a trade run to stockpile these automatically. 

Advanced Boarding Pt. 2

Once you have trained your marines, and you have a suitable combat force or M7M ready, I would recommend taking on Pirate capital ships in Hatikvah’s Faith, Danna’s Chance, or Brennan’s Triumph. If you’ve explored far enough to locate it in your travels, Mercenaries’ rift is another great sector to capture pirate capital ships. I would highly recommend going for pirate capital ships first, as pirates are the easiest faction to board and will carry the least reputation penalties for boarding their ships. Galleons, Carracks, Brigantines are great to board, in that order. Avoid trying to board Xenon ships unless your marines are all maxed combat and you have several squads ready to go, as they are notoriously difficult to capture. 
When you’ve found a suitable target, save your game. While you are getting used to boarding, I would recommend making incremental saves each step of the way, as many things can go wrong and the entire operation can fail in an instant. However, bear in mind that boarding results are pre-determined when marines enter the ship, so saving during each deck won’t change the result. 
Start off by clearing the sector of other hostiles. You’ll want to isolate your target to ensure success, and to ensure you can get your new capture out of there without being blown up by its’ former allies. Once you’re ready, jump your M7M in and tell it to follow you, and begin lowering the shields of your target. (Don’t forget to scan it for the 3 systems mentioned previously.) 
Once the shields are down, either give your M7M the order to board it, or switch to it and fire the boarding pods like missiles. Each boarding pod contains 5 marines, be sure to check your target’s marine capacity as you’ll only be able to board with that number plus one marine. 
When your marines are onboard and fighting, back off from your target and disengage. If your target of choice belonged to a faction you wish to keep friendly terms with, now is the time to comm any other police forces or military, stating “Weapons fire was in error, standing down.” Open your personnel tab, and monitor their progress through each deck. 
With enough preparation and luck, your target should turn green in a few moments. 


If you’ve read along this far, thank you! Hopefully this guide will help you get started on your way to becoming the ultimate pirate captain. While this guide isn’t intended to be all-inclusive or all-encompassing, it should be enough to get you on your way. The strategy I have laid out is just one of many, and once you become skilled at piracy you’ll be able to adapt your strategy to capturing all kinds of ships. 
Good luck on your journey, pilot! 

Written by Valkeris

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