Hey guys, I just beat FTL. I remembered to take a screenshot this time, so here it is. I've had this game for a long time, but never played it as seriously as I did over the past week or so.
My winning strategy was to focus on weapons that would let me fire as many shots as possible to brute-force the enemy shields. I had some other runs that came close to winning with the same strategy, so I just stuck with it until it worked. I had to buy a lot of upgrades for shielding and evasion to survive the final battle. There were some enemy guys on-board my ship when I won, but I didn't have to kill them after blowing up their ship, and it never said what happened to them. I guess they surrendered. Interestingly, my winning run was considerably far below my high score.
FTL was a fun game that I think did a good job of emulating the dynamic of classic Star Trek without being too derivative. The combat system is very deep and strategic, since each system on the ships can be damaged separately for different effects. You can even win by killing all of the individual crew members if the ship doesn't break apart first.
There are a few things that seem cheap or unfair. For example, if an enemy surrenders and you accept, then any shots flying from your ship to theirs will miss automatically so they don't blow up, but you don't get the same privilege and can still be hit. Also, the final battle is a bit dragged out, and the boss doesn't seem to follow the same rules as everything else. Still, there are some other ways that the game throws you a bone, like having enemy shots fall randomly across your ship instead of giving them the ability to strategically focus on any system.
There are many random elements, too, but that's just the nature of the game. I sometimes felt like it would come down to luck to determine whether I would be able to employ my overall strategy, but I'm sure that wouldn't be a problem if I was more adaptable.
I recommend this game to anyone who doesn't mind a challenging strategy game. The same developers also released another game, Into the Breach, which received a lot of praise, but I haven't played it. Does anyone know if it's good?