"Minelaying Strategies" by Thurman Miller 1997 v2.6/7
by: Thurman Miller
Saying that [response to Newsgroup post], I have used mines so much that I'd like to offer a few things that might prove interesting:
You concentrate on cost and ability to lay mines, but there are a lot of other things to consider, namely (Note SD means space demolition):
1. Ships that can lay a lot of mines will saturate an area and you will not be able to lay a new specific mine field within that area. This is particularly disturbing if you're SD as this prevents you from creating a new field that you can remotely detonate.
I've found that mine laying capability (greater than 1200 mines/yr) tends to oversaturate an area. When you oversaturate, it allows for sweepers to clear the entire area. If you lay many overlapping smaller fields, they'll only be able to clear the one(s) they are currently in. This means that an enemy fleet can clear in one move and then move at warp 9 for a single year before having to clear again. If you've got smaller fields, then you prevent them from travelling further before they have to clear again. This slows things down quite a bit. To further this, if you're SD, you can inflict 750 dp when you remotely detonate a field. If you have many small fields, you can literally blow up just about any ship as it moves through small fields. If you've got one large field, you end up blowing a very large area and only inflicting 750 dp, not to mention that you clear a pretty good path that an enemy can now navigate through.
2. If you're InnerStrength, a small amount of colonists can be loaded into either the frigate or Galleon (my personal favorite mine layer) and after a few years of mine laying, you've got a hull full of colonists ready to either help populate a world, or take over anexisting one.
3. Thrusters are very important accessories as they can keep your mine layer alive for a long time. Frigates are difficult as this reduces amount of slots, but on a Galleon you can last just about forever.
4. I've found that if I have 6x100 Mine layers, I can lay for 1 year, move a year, lay another field, and they are perfectly overlapping and I'm never in an area for too long.
5. Saying so much for small mine fields, the caveat is that an enemy fleet *may* make it through unscathed as the mine field does not guarantee stopping the fleet, it is a percentage chance (can't think of it off the top of my head), so small fields may not stop a fleet crusng through it.
6. It is very important to watch the surrounding area of a mine layer for enemy ships, especially if it's a frigate (If you've got a Galleon and overthrusters, you can pretty much ignore most ships because it'll escape them) because it's very easy for a enemy warship to approach it from the non-mined side and blow it up. The best defense if you see a ship is to retreat back into the minefield, or better to the opposite side of the field.