Basically in Driftwurld, either you find raptors, or they find you!
There will be three basic encounter type. The first is from long distance. Without a laser pistol you can't do much, so there will be a 50/50 chance either the encounter doesn't happen (as it takes more time to try and creep up on the raptor) or the raptor detects you and charges toward you, fangs slavering! Given that gaining a laser pistol isn't easy, this is what a new slayer will experience quite a bit to begin with!
The second is that you find the raptor while it is unaware. Sneak attack! In fact if you have a HE grenade, you can throw it - perhaps killing the raptor in a single attack!
The third is actually, the raptor was hunting YOU! You can perhaps fire off a quick burst with a pepperbox pistol, or a couple of shots with a laser pistol if you have one.
Then it comes down to melee! You have a shield made from hardwood, to hopefully parry one attack (it's destroyed on the first successful parry of the raptors jaws!). Also to protect your very expensive to repair omega hit point armour, you have a layer of normal metal - useful for getting in the way of melee attacks.