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Using the 'Mine Sweep' mission ships can scan for enemy minefields and webmines. Ships with beamweapons that are close enough to the (web)minefields can use their beams to sweep away the mines. The Lost Colonies of Man can use their fighters to sweep mines.

When sweeping mines, a ship sends a report of each minefield it scans and/or sweeps to it's owner:

(-m0450)<<< Sub Space Message >>>

From: HP Dwarfstar
We are scanning for mines
Enemy Mine field detected!
AT ( 1628 , 1298 )
They are Robotic style mines.
We are 6 light years
from the outside edge of the field.
There are 10658 mine units.
Mine field ID Number : 450
The field is 206 light years across.
We must be 1LY closer to
target mines with beam weapons.
10658 mines remain.

Ships sweep mines
To detect minefields and web-minefields, a ship's mission must be set to 'Mine Sweep'. This causes a ship to scan for minefields and, if it has beams, sweep away enemy mines within sweeping range. To sweep mines, the ship's beam weapons are set on a wide range. The more beam weapons and the higher tech the weapons the greater the number of mines that can be destroyed per turn.

The mine sweep mission will not destroy mines that belong to the sweeper or mines belonging to his allies, but it will provide information on the location and size of those minefields. A ship will not sweep a minefield or webminefield which' friendly code is the same as the ship's code, nor will it pass on detection information about those minefields.

Technically, all ships can perform the minesweep mission. Ships without beams however will merely scan, and are ofcourse unable to actually sweep mines. Ion storms can make it impossible to detect or sweep mines: a minefield which' center is covered by an ion storm can neither be detected nor swept. The Colonies of Man can use their fighters to sweep minefields covered by Ion storms.

Sweeping range
The maximum range from which minefields are detected is host-configurable, with a default of 200 lightyears. The default range from which minefields can actually be swept is also host-configurable, the default is 5 lightyears. The Lost Colonies of Man can use their fighters to sweep minefields, up to a (host-configurable) range of 100 lightyears away. Both the normal and the fighter-sweeping range are measured from the ship to the edge of the minefield. Webmines can only be swept from a (host-configurable) range of 0 lightyears - you have to be inside the web in order to sweep it.

Ships sweep mines (and scan for mines) in order of ID. First the lowest ID ship sweeps whichever minefield(s) is/are within it's sweeping range, then the next lowest ID and so on. After each sweeping, the minefield's radius will adjust according to the formula Radius = SQRT(# of mines). It is possible that the mines swept away by for example ship #4 cause the minefield to become out of reach for ship #9.

Sweeping power
The number of (web)mines actually swept depends on the number of beams and the beamtype a ship has. The formulas are:

  • # of mines swept: (# of beams) * (beamslot^2) * 4    [The factor 4 is host-configurable]
  • # of mines swept by Colonial fighters: (# of fighters) * 20   [The factor 20 is host-configurable]
  • # of webmines swept: (# of beams) * (beamslot^2) * 3    [The factor 3 is host-configurable]
  • NOTE: when sweeping with beams the second factor is the beamSLOT, which is not always it's techlevel.
  • NOTE: being damaged is of no influence on how many (web)mines a ship will sweep.

This results in the following table for sweeping with beams:

Beam type Beamslot Mines swept Webmines swept
Laser 1 4 3
X-ray 2 16 12
Plasma bolt 3 36 27
Blaster 4 64 48
Positron beam 5 100 75
Disruptor 6 144 108
Heavy blaster 7 196 147
Phaser 8 256 192
Heavy disruptor 9 324 243
Heavy phaser 10 400 300

Each ship will sweep it's full potential from each field it is in reach of. So a ship with two heavy phasers covered by three minefields will sweep 800 mines out of each of those three fields.

Ships scoop mines
A ship can scoop up (web)minefields belonging to it's own race. For this the ship needs at least one beam, at least one torpedo tube and room in the cargohold. To scoop up mines, set the mission to minesweep and the friendly code to "msc". To scoop up a minefield a ship has to be INSIDE the minefield, simply being within normal sweeping range is not enough. If inside multiple minefields, the ship will scoop up (web) mines from the field with the lowest ID first, and so on.

The sweeping potential as stated in the above table does not matter for minescooping. As long as there is enough room in the cargohold and the scooping ship has at least one beam weapon, mines will be scooped. The amount of cargo needed depends on the torpedotype of the ship, where mines are converted back to torpedoes following the table as can be found on the minefields page. Though Ion storms prevent minesweeping, scooping up your own (web)minefields is still possible inside Ion storms.

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