Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Cloaked Mines- Do I really want to do this again?

Minepocalypse (completely devastating) or MineBama  (pretty good, but kinda disappointing?)

The answer to the above question is no- not really. In the months since Cloaked Mines have come out, they have not appeared in a ton of lists in the competitive scene. I've taken a few polls of the Toronto area, and they just haven't been appearing in a lot of lists. Part of the reason for the lack of cloaked mines is that the scenarios don't really lend themselves to their use. There is always some kind of orbital weapons platform that counts as a ship, and that means that cloaked mines are typically relegated to the corner areas of the board- areas that can be generally avoided. Two ship builds are popular in the area, and all cloaked fleets are actually NOT as popular as they used to be. Of course, OP3 was pretty much geared towards 3-4 ship builds, and OP4 has Orbital Weapon Platforms that make dropping cloaked mines very difficult. They just aren't seeing a lot of play.

I tried using them in OP2 and I think they probably did 2-5 damage throughout the tournament. Not a bad result, but certainly not game breaking.

In my experience, they haven't shifted the ground under our feet, they were amazing in theory, and then in actual play have been only okay. Part of the reason that they aren't broken is the lack of overlap area and the fact that you won't get hit by two minefields for the most part.

I still think that these mines are useful as either one offs, or in pairs, but I actually think that Antimatter Mines are fantastic for what they are, and are much more flexible than the cloaked mine.

In the context of the Praetus, I actually do not think the Praetus packing two cloaked mines is that great of an idea. I think the best way to run Praetuses (Praeti?) is by running them in packs, with attack and defense buffs- but who wants to pay the money for that when you can just run Klingon ships and have pretty much the same oomph WITH cloak on all ships.

At this point, unless there's an OP where there is a vast open space with no OWP or counts-as-ships, I don't think we're going to see cloaked mines get a lot of mileage. In friendly open games, sure, they can be a nuisance- but they haven't been affecting organized play too heavily.

Have they been a game chaner in your area? Have cloaked mines started to dominate your OPs?


  1. Why limit the cloaked mines to the Praetus? Why not put 2 on the Khazara? Now that's a threat I wouldn't want to deal with. Avoid those mines and let the Khazara get behind you or keep taking damage while the Khazara flies back & forth through them at will. Either way it's some bad choices.

    I've seen a 4 cloaked mine fleet absolutely decimate an OP3 event, but the player said he'd never run that fleet again. I've also seen another player completly screw up a similar build, but he had a Sideboard too. He spent a lot of actions pulling stuff from the Sideboard. A variation of 4 mines was run in an OP1 where once you control DS9 it's no longer an enemy ship. That gets UGLY for the enemy player. But 2 mines in the right situation can really control the board, steering the enemy fleet in the direction you want them to go. I got eaten alive by OWPs in a month 2 event where the mines were placed near the middle and they forced me into the OWP field for multiple turns. But not everyone here is running them, just a few players in 1 or 2 copies at a time.

    I think the biggest reason they aren't controlling running over everything is most people aren't willing to pay $60 to get 4 copies when the ship itself, isn't that great. I think most people vastly underrate their power because they've only seen them 1 or 2 at a time.

  2. "Why not put 2 on the Khazara?"

    It only has one tech slot, for starters. And you might do better using that slot for Interphase Generators or Advanced Weapon Systems.

    That said, yes, I think three-four mines is the point where the mines go from being avoidable area-denial weapons to being game-breaking deathtraps. Most people won't spend the money to buy enough ships to do that, but print-and-play testing will quickly demonstrate how dangerous they are en masse. There certainly is not another 3-4 point card in the game that changes play as much as the mines do, even in smaller numbers.

  3. I'd agree that the cloaked mines are meta-shifting. They haven't started dominating play in my area though... which is not to say that the list with 4 won't destroy... but the OP play has enough static counts-as-ships which deny much of the centre of the board.

  4. I'm a Romulan player and I've had fun with some cloaked mines, mainly in OP3.
    In 21 OP games, I've only faced them once (during an OP3 game) but they were a dangerously bad problem in that game. In wide open scenarios like that they seem like a no brainer. In scenarios with OWPs I think they could still be useful for a fleet designed around them.

  5. Even in OP2 and OP4 (with their plethora of uncontrolled OWPs) the mines can be very strong. You can't deploy them near the OWPs, but you can fill the small safe zones with mines and force the enemy into the OWP guns.

  6. Mines get more powerful the more you get in the field. The biggest problems with mines is they can board space. If you can create a minefield in the corner it's possible to fly in circles and let the mines do the work for you.

    A OP5 tatic that I might test out soon is to pop a OWP and place a mine token in it's place. This will force the opponent to fly in to it or play with the OWPs. If you take out the closest OWPsto you start point you could just wait there until the enemy has crossed OWP alley. Of course it all dependent on how you and your oppenent place the OWP tokens

    1. Yep, I've been thinking about mine trickery for OP5 myself, especially with Unified Force letting a you buy slightly more than three of them for free as long as your ships are all on faction-specific loadouts. The OWP deployment rules are interesting - seems like you might be better off choosing to place ones near your own setup zone first so you can have the ones near you in optimal spots to kill early and open up minefield zones.