"Offensive SD Tactics" by Dave Dubeau 1997 v2.6/7
Offensive SD Tactics
by: Dave Dubeau
1. Lots of small minefields vs big huge ones
The consensus is that lots of small ones are best since the enemy must make a specific effort to find them all if they don't want to risk hitting the tiny little remnants of the minefields. Setting these up could be a lot of MM unless you use this trick: Get a few small minelayers and give them a loop of 1 turn jumps with orders to lay mines for 1 year. Check repeat orders, and make sure that the waypoints are all space (or planets but the fields last longer in space and also are less likely to be fully swept.) It's best if each jump gets just to the edge of the previous turns field so that it will start a new one.
In my inner core I usually have a few big minefields since it is easier to manage. You can still have the little guys replenishing the small fields since the layers will add to the nearest center of that mine type.
2. Cloaked penetrators
The main part of this tactic is to design a highly cloaked mine layer ship and just send it into enemy space laying mines each turn. They are just an annoyance, but really hamper enemy fleet movements. (Take out freighters and bombers) A few of these running around can really slow down enemy attacks and defense movements making your offense much easier.
These guys don't have to lay large fields since if they are in enemy space the field will only extend to the nearest starbase anyways.
3. Detonating fields
Send a fleet of minelayers into a fairly clear area of enemy space and start a big field. Set it to detonate and watch the enemy ships crawl to intercept you layers. If you use cloaked ships and have a second fleet doing the same in the field, they won't be easy to find, and won't be at the centre of the field either. If the enemy is getting close just run away and start laying again. (SD can run at warp six in enemy fields) Your own mine laying hulls (the two special hulls) won't take damage from your own detonating mines.
4. Offensive fleets with minelayers
All of my 'attack' fleets contain a few mine layers. The orders for the fleet are set to lay mines indefinitely. This way, every turn you bomb a planet, you lay mines to keep the reinforcements away. I like to have a mix of fields (layers of all three types) in these fleets. Remember that you attack fleets can zip around at warp six even in enemy fields. Warp 6 seems to be quite often a single turn from the next planet, protecting you a little from interception especially if you have the fleet cloaked.
5. Mixed tactics
Use a few attack fleets in the smae general area and have 'cloaked penetrators' going into the same area and you will be able to quickly claim an erea of space and keep the recoloniztion efforts out. Then, once the attack fleets are moved into the next area, send in the layers for the big detonating fields and their colony ships will have a hard time getting in. (Yours too but as you expand the 'dead' space you can move this barrier outwards.)
6. Multiplayer allies
An SD makes a good ally since the special hulls keep their advantages and the Heavy mines are great. I would prefer to keep my ships and instead lay mines for the allies. This way, the minefields decay slower and you are less likely to get backstabbed if their space is full of your fields. (Keep them honest. :-)
A Quick summary
The SD has several advantages for offense: The ability to go through enemy fields at W6, the ability to lay mines on the first turn to protect the attack fleet, and detonating fields to make a no man's land to keep an area clean.
Anyone care to add to that?
(Those aren't spelling mistakes, they're typos.)