AI War:OLD Mines
Are Ships Supposed To Be Able To Slip Past Mines?
Q: Sometimes enemy ships come into my planet and seem to go right over my mines without setting them off. The same also seems to be true in reverse when the AI has minefields. What's going on?
A: This is by design. Remember that the game is displayed in 2D, but it is simulating a quasi-3D space. Ships are able to pass one another all the time without colliding, because their Z-axis positions are offset. The same holds true when ships are passing through a minefield: there is a chance that they will make it through unscathed, even though the vast bulk of the ships will not make it. Mines are set off by proximity as well as direct collisions, and so faster ships have a better chance of slipping past than do slower ships.
All of the above, of course, is distinct from ships that have the Mine Avoidance ability. Ships with this ability -- such as raiders, engineers, mobile builders, and the like -- are always able to slip past mines. These ships have safeguards built in that make it so that there is a zero percent chance of them ever setting off an enemy mine.
How Do I Clear Enemy Mines?
A: Well, the simplest way is to just send some cheap ships careening through the minefield, thus exploding everything without costing yourself much income. That's not a particularly graceful way, however.
Perhaps a better way to clear mines is simply to de-cloak them, which then lets any of your ships fire on them at will, destroying them. To de-cloak any cloaked enemy ship, simply take any of your ships that emit tachyon beams into range. Best mobile candidates are the Tachyon Drone (DEF tab of command stations), or the Scout Starship.
What Is The Best Way To Clear The Remains Of Enemy Mines?
Q: My ships don't auto-target enemy mine remains, so to clear them I have to click each remain individually. This is incredibly tedious with large minefilds. Is there an easier way?
A: You bet! Simply move an engineer near the mine remains (or put the engineer into Attack-Move mode anywhere on the planet). The engineer will move about the minefield, scrapping the remains of enemy mines for you.
How To Kill PermaMines?
Q: I have several hundred permanent mines sitting in a map around one of the wormhole exits. Any idea how to eliminate them? Apparently there's an EMP missile that can take them out, but the reading of it seems to imply that the blast only lasts 30 seconds, and I don't have the spare resources to acquire it yet.
A: When in enemy or neutral territory, PermaMines are, as the name implies, permanent -- completely indestructible. That means the affected wormhole is basically blocked. You can use transports to ferry ships over them, or any other ships with mine avoidance can cross (send a mobile builder and engineers across, build docks on the other side, for example). The EMP blast does only last for 30 seconds and will let you cross during that time, but after that the mines will be "armed and active" again. Even nuking the planet won't kill them.
In enemy territory in particular, the purpose of PermaMines is basically to cause interesting decisions like the above by "closing" a wormhole to most of the ships of the human players. You can go around through other planets, if that's possible, or else you'll just need to start ferrying stuff across with a transport or building on the other side with fresh space docks.
That said -- once you take control of a planet that has PermaMines on it, you can use your Cleanup Drones to clear them. Just build some Cleanup Drones and put them near the PermaMines, and they'll slowly work their way through the whole collection. That way you don't wind up with FRD ships running into the mines on accident when trying to defend your planet, and you don't have to use transports just to carry ships between your own planets, etc.