Deathclaw promontory, for me, was probably one of the most enjoyable areas of the game.
If you like using the Sniper rifle, you just might agree.
I killed 19 Deathclaws, including one Alpha, two Mothers, and 4 Young Deathclaws. My reward was 8 Deathclaw Eggs, and 11 Deathclaw Hands (about half of the Deathclaws were empty), plus some nice Loot from two Dead prospectors.
Not bad for the cost of a few dozen .308 AP Rounds.
In my opinion, when it comes to killing Deathclaws, Armor is not important. I can kill Deathclaws wearing Sexy sleepwear (Fallout: New Vegas) and nothing else. It just requires using the correct strategy.
My strategy for killing Deathclaws:
- Killing them from a distance is extremely important. Trust me, you don't want to let them close to you. They are extremely fast, and their claws can cut through your (very expensive and nice looking) armor like it was butter.
- Also, they are extremely fast (I've been killed many times while back peddling and reloading). If you allow them close to you, immediately inject yourself with Super Stimpaks after each hit. Do this while back peddling, reloading and firing (if you can). And, oh, by the way, good luck.
- The best way to kill Deathclaws from a distance is to have the Enhanced Sensors perk (from ED-E), and the Spotter perk (from Craig Boone).
- As soon as you see red on your HUD, look for some rocks to climb up on, draw your rifle and stay hidden until you move into a good sniping position (Stealth Boys can help if your weapon has a silencer, but generally are not necessary). If there are only one or two of them, no problem. However, if your HUD picks up a whole swarm, where you choose to take the first shot is important. If you're on top of a rock that they can't climb, you can pretty much pick them off at your leisure.
- If you have time, take some Steady. The Sniper rifle uses up your AP quickly, meaning that you may have to take some shots without VATS.
- Always use AP ammo. You want to kill them as quick as possible (not just piss them off by "tickling" them with HP or regular ammo).
- Be sure to reload after each encounter. (Deathclaws generally don't wait around, tapping their claws and whistling a tune while you reload.)
- I've tried many weapons. Energy weapons can pack a punch, but are generally too slow to reload. Machine guns generally just "tickle" them (and you have to wait until they're too close for them to be effective).
- Even the Fat Man isn't very effective. If you don't kill them with one shot, they will kill you before you can reload. Or, they will be too close by the time you do reload. (Of course, you can always kill them by nuking yourself at the same time.)
- The Anti-materiel rifle packs a punch but for me is way too slow to reload.
- My weapon of choice is the Sniper rifle with Sniper rifle suppressor and Carbon Fiber Parts. It's light (3.0) and has high DAM and DPS. More importantly, it is semi-automatic, allowing you to fire pretty much as fast as you can pull the trigger. (Just remember to reload after each encounter, and before the next).
- I equip Boone with the Gobi Campaign scout rifle, as weight doesn't seem to be an issue with him. (For some reason he is able to aim and fire much quicker than I can, and doesn't need VATS (I've been killed by Deathclaws while still in VATS).
- Of course, it is helpful if you have a high Guns skill (90 or above), and your rifle is in excellent condition. Otherwise, you very well may end up as Deathclaw fodder.