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tggrinc 09-11-2013 07:19 PM

Using Mines in PVE
Using Mines in PVE.

>>UPDATED 09/16/2013 <<
____For hose that feel this is too long, I have broken this into sections and posted them in the forums. However, if you want all of the information in one link, this post remains the complete version.

____I've mentioned to a few folks that I've got mines on one of my BOP builds as well as my Andorian build on the Fed side. Most responses indicate that people don't think mines are useful so I thought I'd write down when, how, and why I use them.

Please note a few things:
1____I know there are a lot of people here on the forums that know a LOT more than I do about ship builds, weapons, procs, bonuses, combos, etc. This information is offered as is. I've actually done all of the things I'm going to be talking about with varying levels of success. I can do enough damage to contribute to the team, I can survive most situations, and, most importantly, I think it's a fun bird to fly.

2____This isn't and never was intended for PVP use. While I have used mines in PVP (just to see how they do) opposing players are usually too smart to walk into them, outrun them, or they have BFW or CSV going and the mines get destroyed before they do any damage. They might be helpful if you fly with a fleet and your team is good at creating fur-balls where mines will go unnoticed until they strike. But otherwise this is just for PVE. Specifically ESTF's.

3____When I refer to BOP's I'm also referring to escort class ships on the fed side. Although IMO, BOP's actually make slightly better mine layers because the battle cloak compliments the mines nicely. On the flip side, the Fed escorts have better healing and durability.

4____While I am in a fleet I'm usually playing pub ESTF's. So I have to rely on myself for survival. If you have peeps you fly with regularly you can make even better use of this.


What ships should use mines?
What powers/items compliment mines best?
Kinetic consoles, why you don't need them.
Why use mines at all?
Mine types: The pros and cons of the few that I use or have tried.

Basic Strategies
____Drop & Run
____Round Robin
____Crowd Control

Multiple Mines: To carry two? or one? That is the question!

Mines vs. Cubes
____Fixed cubes
____Free flying cubes
____Tactical cubes
____Cloaking with cubes
____Mines and heavy plasma torpedoes

Mine vs. Spheres
____Blocking or cya
____Tricobalts vs. Spheres
______Fixed vector spheres
______Generic spheres
______Cloaking with spheres

Teamwork, Tricobalts, and Spheres
Tractor Beams, Repulsors, and Mines

Mines by Scenario:
____Azure Nebula
____Infected: the Conduit
____Khitomer Vortex

(I have not done a guide for the Cure Found. If people actually read this guide and find it useful, I will.)

____I only use mines when I can use DPBeta III. So you must have a Commander level tactical officer. You can use Beta II but you lose a lot of damage (25%) taking that one step down.
____I only use mines on ships that have the speed and turn rate to move in on and get away from a target quickly, and (once at min safe distance) turn again to put your forward facing weapons back on your target. You want to end up facing the same side you dropped your mines on, so that you can focus your fire on the same shield face. So turn rate is important.

Hegh'ta Heavy BOP - This is the ship I'm currently using. Any BOP with similar specs will do.
The B'rel Fleet BOP retrofit ? This ship is made for the role. I want to build one to see what I can make of it.
Andorian Escorts - Tremendously effective. I use the three Andorian consoles & the wing platforms so I'm not giving up any forward damage using mines.

____I have used both of the builds linked here with success and little difficulty. The only difference in strategy is the battle cloak which allows the BOP to be more aggressive with bigger targets.

____I don't use mines on cruisers because I can't use the Beta 3 and I can't turn or move fast enough. You can use mines on the cruiser but they are usually only for rear defense or holds. (tractor beam & chroniton)

____This is one area that I'm absolutely sure that there will be LOTS & LOTS of folks who know better than me what items, consoles, or item combos will compliment mines. But as I noted above, you don't have to max this out to use it, and the less you specialize it, the more universally it can be used.

____I only use DPBeta 3. It gives you a web of sixteen (16) regular mines or four (4) Tricobalts. If used properly, these will hit a single target all at once or in quick succession. Beta II isn't bad but you can only deliver one of these big hits every 30 seconds or so and you give up 25% of your spike damage going from level 3 to 2. That can be anywhere from 15 to 40K lost per hit.

NOTE:____I've never tried DPAlpha. In some cases it doesn't give you as many mines. And it lays mines in a path, so they won't attack the same target at once or even in quick succession. This reduces their spike damage potential. If the mines hit in quick sequence, the 12th, 13th, & 14th mines will be taking advantage of the damage done to the shields by the previous mines. Or if they hit all at once, you get a big damage spike. DPAlpha doesn't give you that.
____If you're running tractor beam mines on a cruiser you could equip DPAlpha 1 or 2 and leave a trail of cloaked tractor beam mines behind you to keep those pesky escorts from flying circles around you. But I've never tried it.

____Evasive maneuvers is essential. Attack pattern Omega also works well. Polarize Hull is another one. Any power that frees you from tractor beams and/or gives you the ability to get out of trouble quickly works.
____The more powers you can carry that give you this type of bonus, the more often you'll be ready to make a run with the confidence that you won't be trapped on the way in or out. This is especially important on the exit, since you'll have your back to your target for a short while.

____You can get doff's that reduce your mine cool-down. There's no need to try to max out the cool-down reduction unless you can reduce your DPBeta cool-down as well. (Aux2Bat maybe)

____The Klingon honor guard set gives a 25% bonus to torpedoes only so no help there. Mine is MK XI.

KINETIC CONSOLES: (Why you don?t need them.)
____You might think that you'd want tactical consoles to boost your mine damage, but I don't use them. While the mines give you the ability to deliver a number of big hits, you're still going to be relying on your forward facing weapons to deliver as much DPS as possible. And you need that DPS to remove enemy shields. So you want to maximize the damage of the weapons that you'll be using all the time.
____Also, IMO, the Tricobalt mines, when used at the right time, deliver such a big hit that I don't feel they need a damage boost. (If you're using plasma weapons w/plasma consoles you might increase the plasma dmg of plasma mines as well, but I don't know that for sure.)
____Then there's the fact that, depending on the scenario, you may want to carry different kinds of mines and/or swap mine types depending on the ESTF you're going into. Which is going to mean a lot of console swapping between rounds when/if you decide to change mine types. I find that tedious. I prefer builds that can be used generically. So once again, if you use the mines wisely, no kinetic consoles are required.

____The BOP's have a lot of up front weapons that are capable of putting out decent DPS, but they are limited by the three tac consoles. And they have fewer weapons overall. Mines give the BOP's the opportunity to deliver spike damage, build a defensive wall, and IMO act more strategically than otherwise would be possible.
____Also, BOP's generally depend on mobility to survive. That mobility can keep you alive, but it usually means you can't keep all of those forward weapons on your target 100% of the time. And time is always a factor in ESTF's. The mines allow you to keep moving and still deal big damage.
____To be perfectly frank, I was completely bored with sitting in one place grinding away at slow moving targets that were always in the same place. I was looking for a new, more active, way to play. It's a little bit more dangerous, requires more thought & awareness, and it's nice to be able to go toe-to-toe with a cube alone and survive in a tiny bird. Those 5 digit damage numbers are a nice bonus, but ,IMO, it's just fun to fly.

MINE TYPES: The pros and cons of the few that I use or have tried.

____These are my mainstays and to be honest they're the first ones that I used with any effectiveness. I set them up with Beta III just for a change of pace and their effectiveness prompted me to explore other mine types and how to use mines most effectively in various scenarios.


____Damage - Tricobalts deliver a big hit. I'm using MK XII [dmg]x3. But if you really focus on making sure your target's shields are down or will be when the mines strike, [CtrD]x3 can really put up some serious numbers.
____When I say big what do I mean? (I don't use a parser so I'm giving you a ballpark based on what I've seen.) I see 20,000 damage per mine regularly. That's 80,000 damage for one set of four mines. Doing that twice in a minute equals 2,666 damage per second. Add [CrtD]x3 and you get some idea what's possible.

____Multiple target damage - Remember that the same damage is applied to all of the targets in the blast radius. For cubes that doesn't mean much, but for spheres and probes, it can be devastating.

____Singularity proc - Then there is the added possibility of each mine creating a singularity after the explosion. This does the usual gravity well damage and helps with crowd control. In my experience, two singularities in very close proximity are common when a set of tricobalts is used against multiple spheres or probes.

____Blowback - You can do massive damage to yourself if you aren't clear of your mines when they blow.
____Before the update early in 2013, I could sit on a target and drop mines every 30 seconds with impunity. But since the update, the Tricobalts do a LOT more damage to my own ship than they used to. AND they can take my systems offline.
____This required a change in tactics. Now I have to run in drop them and run out. The other mine types do not carry this suicidal backlash so you can still sit on your target with any other mine type, if you want to.

____Longer arming timer, slower movement - Tricobalts also have a longer arming timer and move slower once they find a target, making them almost useless against targets that move fast or are not on a fixed vector.

____Time-out blowback - Tricobalts that haven't found a target or otherwise been destroyed detonate with force at the end of their lifetime. This brings the blowback issue back into play.
____If you're camping a probe flight path and putting out mines, either don't use Tricobalts or remember to deploy a new set of mines before your old ones time out and explode.

____I like these because they are close to photon mines in damage and do more damage over time when the proc hits, which is almost all the time. I regularly expect to see 16x2000 or 32000 points of damage against a healthy target, more against a weakened one. And I almost always see plasma damage afterward.

____Decent damage versus other mine types.
____Clear indicator that your proc has hit and is doing damage.
____No blowback issues.
____16 mines builds a huge wall that spheres will try to avoid.
____Ability to target multiple smaller targets if the first target is destroyed.

PHOTON: These do slightly more damage than plasmas, but I prefer the plasmas.

____These have twice the shield penetrating damage, but only do about half the overall damage of other mines with the same mark. The end result is that your not gaining much damage when your target's shields are up, and if your target's shields are weak or down, you're giving up 50% of the damage that you could be doing. So I don't use them.

Chroniton &Tractor Beam:
____These mines might be useful against fast moving spheres and probes. (I haven't tried them.)

____As noted in the title, this refers only to the limited number of mine types I've played with. There is an arsenal of other mine types you can explore.

____As noted in the Tricobalt section, none of the regular (non-tricobalt) mines will cause blowback damage to your ship so you can use them up close or lay them in your own space and not have to worry about moving to a safe distance. (If they do, it's not enough for me to notice.)


DROP & RUN: (tricobalts work best, and give the best DPS for time spent)
____Wait till your target's shields are low or gone, prep your mines, run in, drop them point blank on your target, then get out of blowback or tractor beam range.
____Cloaking allows you to do this with impunity. You only have to decide if you want to cloak on the way in or out.

ROUND ROBIN: (tricobalts work best, but use care to avoid blowback)
____Boost your shields to 100% and get point blank with a cube and rotate with the weakest shield face, dropping a Beta III set of mines every 30 seconds or more.
____If your team is effective, or someone is healing you, you can stay close to the cube and do this for a while. Once your targeted by the cube, get out and heal up, then go back in.
____Don't get trapped with a tractor beam close to the cube.
____If you drop Tricobalts be sure you rotate around the cube and get to another side of it before they pop or blowback may cripple or kill you.

NOTE: Round Robin doesn't work for stationary cubes. It actually works against you. As you rotate around them you'll always be facing a new shield. That wastes your damage taking down one shield after another while the shield you left behind regenerates. And you'll only get a fraction of the damage available from the mines if there is any shielding up when the mines hit. Fixed cubes are generally soft, so hammering one side with your team and using the drop and run tactic once the shields are weak or gone, works best for them.

CYA: (regular mines work best)
____Drop mines behind you. Either to keep an attacker off your back so you have more time on a target or to put distance between you and the attacker. You can do this for an ally as well.

BLOCKING: (regular mines work best)
____Drop mines in the path of a circling sphere to prevent it from joining with other spheres or running into the protection of a gate or cube.

SCATTERING: (any mines will do)
____Drop a mine field in the middle of a bunch of spheres to break them up so that your team can take them a few at a time.

CROWD CONTROL: (tricobalts only, you want those singularities)
____Drop tricobalts in the path of a bunch of targets that are on a fixed vector or in the middle of a bunch that are already being held by a gravity well. This will do big aoe damage to all of the targets in range and create multiple singularities which will hold the targets in place even longer.

MULTIPLE MINES: (To carry two? or one? That is the question!)
____You have to give up a rear weapon to equip mines. And the Beta III power cycles at 30 seconds the same as the Tricobalt mines. So if your ultra worried about giving up that extra slot you don't need to equip more than one mine type. If you're only going to carry one set, make it tricobalts.
____Regular mines make better blocking walls and are better at attacking multiple spheres.
____I was carrying two mine types most of the time, so that I could address specific enemies and scenarios differently. But recently I dropped the plasmas and put a cutting beam there so that I could take advantage of the two piece bonus from the cutting beam and the assimilated console.
____You could put the cutting beam up front and lose a cannon, (the beam does 300 dps.) But it's kinetic so you'll lose most of the damage from that weapon slot until your target's shields are down. If you're really aggressive with your mines you can equip two sets of tricobalts and easily make that up. But you'll have to work harder and take more chances to make it happen.
____If you're going to play it relatively safe, and let your forward weapons do most of the work, one set is all you have to have.

____Cubes come in three varieties fixed, free flying, and tactical. Each variety comes in various strengths.

____The softest fixed cubes are in the Conduit and will only require one set of tricobalts combined with some steady energy damage.
____The strongest fixed cubes are in The Cure Found. You won't want to sit and go toe to toe with these cubes. You'll want to use the Drop & Run tactic on these and it may take two sets of mines or more depending on the health of the cube and how many of your teammates are with you.

____Free flying cubes are harder to kill than fixed cubes. They have more health, a higher defense rating, and they will rotate, trying to put a fresh shield face in between themselves and your mines. But they will not avoid mines.
____The weakest is the free flying cube in the Conduit. If your team is any good at all, it should be dead before your mines can be dropped and arm themselves. So don't waste your time on it. See my guide for Infected: the Conduit below.
____The strongest free flying cubes are in the Khitomer Vortex. Drop a set of tricobalts over the transformer before you pop the last generator. Then decide if you want to keep your distance and Drop & Run with it or just go Round Robin until it's dead.


____The softest tactical cube is in Khitomer Vortex. I can usually Round Robin it but you can Drop & Run it as well. If your team is any good, you'll only have time to drop two sets of mines on it.
____The strongest tactical cube comes in Infected: the Conduit. You should start with Drop & Run. Once it's shields are down to under 50% you can assess whether or not your entire team is present and attacking effectively. If they are, you can probably move in for some Round Robin and finish it off, just be sure to get away from it when it blows.
____If your team is working together, generally attacking on the same side, and/or someone is healing you and helping you stay alive, then you can consider going in for your Round Robin attack with more confidence. But I would never recommend going in for a Round Robin attack against a tactical cube that had more than 50% health.

____If your team is weak and/or some of you are dead, you shouldn't go in close for a Round Robin attack until the cube is much weaker. Say under 30%. The weaker the team, the weaker the cube needs to be before you go in close, if you go in at all.
____If your team is less than four, or if they are scattered and attacking the cube from all sides, don't go in.
____If you're alone, don't go in period. Not even for a Drop & Run.

____Cloaking allows you to move in on cubes and drop your mines before they know you're there. Then you can either run to min safe distance or Round Robin them.

____If you're being chased by a HPT you can drop mines behind you to kill it. (regular mines work best)
____My biggest complaint about HPT's is that they come from the middle of the cube, and I click on them to target them but it just targets the cube. It's almost like the NPC's are playing a glitch. I feel the same way about the spheres huddled up against the gate or a cube.
____If I don't have CSV running, I can tab my way through to the next enemy but I rarely remember to do so. Dropping mines between you and them is the easiest way I've found to get rid of them without tabbing through every enemy on the screen.

____Before the update earlier in the year (2013), Tricobalts were very effective against spheres. The spheres would blindly plow into the mines and the resulting aoe damage would cripple several spheres at a time. The singularity would hold them all together so you could scatter volley them to death. After the update however, spheres will go out of their way to avoid mines. This limits the effectiveness of Tricobalts against spheres but doesn't eliminate it. And the fact that spheres now avoid mines allows you to use mines for a variety of other purposes.

____Since spheres now avoid mines, regular mines are great for keep spheres off your back. The wall of 16 mines is huge and they'll want to fly around it, or they may stop and get confused. This works well when your holding position firing into a transformer or you need to run away and heal. Did I say run away? Sorry, I meant to say; strategically break combat and prepare for your next crushing attack against your pathetic opponent!
____This also works well against circling spheres. You can break their rotation and/or block them from returning to the protection of a gate or cube.
____Chroniton or Tractor Beam mines might be useful against fast moving spheres. (I haven't tried them.)


____As noted above, Tricobalts are not as effective against spheres as they used to be. But they can still be used if you know when and how.

____In Infected:the Conduit, the spheres will ignore mines and run directly towards the transformer as long as the transformer is alive. If your team has blundered the generators and you know they won't have the transformer down before the spheres arrive to heal it, you can lay a set of tricobalts in the path of the spheres. If done properly, this will do three things to the spheres; damage, knock back, and create multiple singularities to hold them. This final effect just might give your team enough time to take out the transformer and save the optional.

____Generic spheres can and will outrun tricobalts. But they will avoid mines so your mine field can still be used as a shield, to break up a group, or to break their circle. Although your mine field of four will be small and therefore easier for them to fly around than a shield of sixteen regular mines.

____Cloaking allows you to pass through a group of spheres and drop your mines before they know you're there. Once you're clear, turn, and scatter volley them.

____If you, or one of your teammates, is using Gravity well effectively, you can keep the spheres in bunches. This will allow you to run in, drop the Tricobalts in the middle of the pile and run out. When the mines pop you'll likely get a secondary singularity (or two) and be able to scatter volley the trapped spheres for some time.

TRACTOR BEAMS, REPULSORS, and MINES: (A love/hate relationship)
____So you hate gravity wells and love your tractor beams. While these are not as useful as the other strategies I have tried, they can be used with mines and may compensate to a degree for the primary weaknesses of tricobalts.
____However, you will find the number of opportunities to use the strategies listed below extremely limited and the success rate of those attacks much lower than the other strategies in this guide.

Tractor beams:
____You can hold your target in the mines attack range while they arm themselves. (This may compensate for the longer arming time of tricobalts.)
____Or you can wait till your mines are armed and hold your target in place, preventing it from escaping your mines. This also reduces your targets defense value because it isn't moving, helping to maximize the damage the mines will do. (It may help compensate for the slower attack speed of tricobalts.)

Tractor Beam Repulsors:
____You can push your target(s) into a mine field. After you've taken the time to place those mines just exactly where you wanted them, it's pretty disappointing when your target rudely chooses to avoid them. You can insist that your target show proper appreciation for your work by pushing them into the minefield.


____Mines aren't worth using here. The Tholians seem to target them as soon as their dropped. Tricobalts don't have time to arm much less attack. Lesser mines don't do enough damage to make it worth waiting for them to arm and hit. I swap my mines with turrets and kill as fast as I can. Hopefully, someone pops in behind me and is releasing the trapped ship while I work.
____A secondary and very effective tactic in Azure is using tractor beam repulsors. You, and hopefully a teammate, go in and push the Tholians away from the trapped ship while someone else frees it. This works best with two pushers taking turns. It takes less time to free the ship without killing the defenders than it does to kill the defenders first and then free the ship.
____The primary problem with the pusher strategy is that the team has to be in on the strategy and working with you. Most of them are in "destroy-everything-then-free-the-ship" mode and don't get it. And it can be frustrating to spend time pushing the entire enemy force well out of range only to turn around and see that no one has bothered to free the trapped ship.

____Your targets here will be spheres, cubes, generators, transformers, the gate, and the final tactical cube.

First attack:
____The two spheres will rotate from right to left and attempt to circle counter clockwise together, staying in your rear. The cube will simply move forward and rotate. These two spheres and cube are soft and easy to kill, but you can still use mines here.
____Immediately head up and forward and drop a web of mines, either sixteen regulars or four Tricobalts, somewhere between the two spheres. This will split the two spheres. The one on your right won't fly through the mines (it may try to rotate clockwise). If you drop sixteen mines some of them will attack the cube, others will target the closest sphere. If they don't target either one they will remain there as a barrier that neither of the spheres will cross.

Step two: This is, of course, the fixed cube on top of the transformer.
____Fixed cubes are extremely soft. As soon as you start hitting it, it's shields will fade. You should already be headed in with a loaded Beta III drop of Tricobalts. This is where you'll get maximum damage so don't use the regulars here. Drop the four tricobalt mines up against the cube (point blank). Get to a minimum safe distance (2km) turn and keep firing. (watch for the four 15-30K hits that follow soon after) If the cube doesn't die with the one hit, it will be dead before you can drop another set of mines, so don't bother prepping another set.
____Move on to the small generators. Don't use mines here. They (regulars or Tricobalts) will pop the small generators before you've got the rest of the generators ready to go down.

(HINT) If you've had time to drop a second set of mines either on the first or second cube, or your team struggles with the first two spheres, it's very likely they won't be able to do enough damage to finish off the transformer before the nanite spheres arrive to heal it. (I.E. your team sucks) And you should consider dropping out. If either of the above occur AND you lose the optional on the first cube, drop out. It'll be an hour of your life better spent elsewhere.

Step three: The transformer. This is a big target. Lots of health. Time is critical.
____Go in and drop a beta Tricobalt set on it, get to the minimum safe distance, turn, and continue firing.

Problem solving: The spheres that come out of the gate will not avoid mines if the transformer is still alive. They will travel straight for the transformer.
____If your team has blundered, and the spheres are out of the gate before your team has popped all of the generators, then you have a decision to make.
____You can turn everything you have on the remaining generators & transformer and try to finish them off before the spheres get there to heal the transformer. Or you can charge the coming spheres and drop your Tricobalts in front of them to buy your team time.
____You MUST drop the tricobalts far enough in front of the coming spheres for the mines to arm and strike the forward shields of the spheres.
____If you do it correctly, not only will the spheres be driven backward, but you'll get at least one and probably two singularities that will slow the spheres down long enough for your team to finish the transformer.
____If you do it incorrectly, (you wait too long to commit to the delaying attack, or you drop the mines too close to the spheres) the mines will arm too late and hit the spheres from behind, driving them forward. You will have pushed the spheres closer to the transformer, possibly reducing the time your team has to recover.

Step four: Rotating spheres: These spheres run in circles, alternately attacking and hiding within the gate's protection. These spheres will go out of their way to avoid mines and, if targeted, can and will outrun them. But this doesn't make mines useless against them.
____If your team destroyed the generators correctly you'll have big cluster of spheres to deal with. You can do a number of things here.
____If someone on your team has gravity well, you can wait for them to hit the bunch with it and run in, drop the Tricobalts in the middle of the pile and run out. When the mines pop, you'll likely get a secondary singularity or two (I usually get two) and be able to scatter volley the trapped spheres for some time.
____If no one is doing this, you can drop a set of 16 regular mines that will break up the cluster and force them to break their rotation.
____You can drop sets of mines between them and the gate so that they have to go around the mines to get back to the gate, giving you more target time without worrying about the Gate.

Step five: The second cube, generators, transformer, and spheres. Repeat steps two, three, and four.
____There is the possibility that some of your final spheres will attach themselves to or circle to the tactical cube instead of the gate. Don't bother going after them unless your team has decided to finish off the tactical cube before taking on the gate. If your team turns to attack the gate, the remaining spheres will come to you and leave the cube's protection long enough for you to pick them off one by one. Laying mines between them and the cube will give you more one-on-one time with them.

Step six: The Gate:
____Don't try to mine the gate. Stay at maximum safe distance and help the team take it down.
In my experience you only get one, maybe two, runs at the gate before it kills you. The big damage spike from the mines makes you the gate's primary target. In an escort class ship, that's a one or two shot kill for the gate. The damage you will do, while significant, won't compensate for the DPS lost during your downtime.

Cloaking & the Gate:
____The battle cloak allows you to be much more aggressive with gates. You can cloak on the way in, prep your mine attack, uncloak, drop & run to a safe distance. You can repeat this as fast and often as your cloak and escape powers recharge. Alternate using the cloak and escape powers on the entry and exit passes to stay moving and dropping mines every 30 secs or so. The B'rel would be perfect for this since it wouldn't have to uncloak to drop it's mines.

NOTE: If you have someone on your team healing you and keeping you alive you can be more openly aggressive with gates. Gates do take significant damage from mines, but finding a teammate that can keep you alive while in close quarters with a gate is rare, even if you can find someone who's willing to try.

Step seven: The tactical cube:
____Attack on the same side of the cube as your team. Wait for the shields to be weak or drop. Make sure you have Evasive Maneuvers or Attack Pattern Omega ready. Use the Drop & Run attack and get out. If the shields are down use Tricobalts, if they're up use regular mines.
____You should start with Drop & Run attacks. Once it's shields are down to under 50% you can assess whether or not your entire team is present and attacking effectively. If they are, you can probably move in for some Round Robin and finish it off, just be sure to get away from it when it blows.
____If your team is working together, generally attacking on the same side, and/or someone is healing you and helping you stay alive, then you can consider going in on a Round Robin attack with more confidence. But I would never recommend going in for a Round Robin attack against a tactical cube with more than 50% health.
____If your team is weak and/or some of you are dead, you shouldn't go in close for a Round Robin attack until the cube is much weaker. Say under 30%. The weaker the team, the weaker the cube needs to be before you go in close, if you go in at all.
____If your team is less than four, or if they are scattered and attacking the cube from all sides, don't go in.
____If you're alone, don't go in period. Not even for a Drop & Run.

Cloaking & the Tactical Cube:
____Again, the battle cloak allows you to be much more aggressive against this target. Use the cloak in the same way you would against the gates. Remember that the tactical cube is more likely to tractor beam you so be sure you have an escape power available before you go in.

____Your targets here will be a tactical cube, generators, transformers, cubes, probes, spheres, the gates, and the final dreadnought.

First attack: The first cube is mobile and will rotate in place.
____It's a tactical cube, but it isn't very tough and doesn't pack much of a hit. You can either make Drop & Run attacks with the mines, or you can use the Round Robin tactic. As always, drop regular mines when the shields are up and Tricobalts when they are down or weak. If you're only carrying one set, use what you have.

Step two:
This is any of the four transformers and their accompanying generators.
____I recommend going for the transformers that are the farthest away from the vortex first. As you destroy the transformers, more and more probes will come out of the side gates. If you destroy the outer transformers first, you can help whomever is working the probes while you take down the innermost transformers.
____Another tip is to face away from the gate while firing on the transformers and/or generators. This will prevent your Scatter Volley or Beam Fire at Will from damaging the gate. The gate is less likely to target you if you don't damage it. Which will allow you to remain close to the transformer and maximize your DPS.

You have choices here.
Strategy One - If you have difficulty staying alive with these cubes or just want to focus on one target at a time use this strategy.
____Destroy one of the generators. Drop a set of mines above the transformer. Destroy the next generator and turn on the cube. When the cube comes in it'll take an immediate hit from the mines. Tricobalts won't do much damage with the full shields but there is the possibility of taking one of the cube's systems offline. Regular mines will give you 16 chances at whatever proc you've chosen.
____You can now use the Drop & Run or Round Robin tactic here but these cubes hit pretty hard, so you have to decide if your setup can survive the Round Robin for the time it will take to destroy these cubes. And remember not to get in the gate's targeting range while your engaged with the cube.
____Once the cube is destroyed move on to the remaining generators and the transformer.

Strategy Two - You can use mines on the generators instead of saving them for the coming cube. Drop one set of mines on a generator while you shoot another generator. Any BETA III mine set should pop the 1st generator about the same time you're done popping the 2nd generator with your forward weapons.
____If you have no problem with the cubes here, you can drop another set of mines on the next generator while you're engaging the cube with your forward weapons. Repeat that once more and you'll have all of the generators down by the time you've popped the cube and you can move directly to the transformer.

Step three: The transformer(s). This is a big target. Lots of health. Time is important but not as critical as in the Conduit. Go in and drop a beta Tricobalt set on it, get to the minimum safe distance, turn, and continue firing.
____These transformers seem to have more health than those in the Conduit, but that may just be the fact that you're usually taking them down alone. You'll be able to drop two or three sets of Tricobalts on them using the Drop & Run tactic before they're dead. If you use regular mines you can stay in close and drop them every 30 seconds. You won't get the same damage from each set of mines but you'll be able to stay up close to your target with your main guns firing all the time, maximizing your DPS from your forward facing guns.

Step Four, Five, and Six: Repeat steps two and three for all of the remaining generators & transformers.

Step seven: the Gate
____See step Six of the Conduit above.

Step eight: The final push of probes and spheres.
____These spheres will avoid mines the same as they do in the Conduit. The probes will continue to ignore them. You can drop a set of Tricobalts in the probes path, which will destroy several of them and the resulting singularities will hold them while you scatter volley them. Or, you can drop a big spread of regular mines behind you to keep the spheres off your back while you handle the probes.

Step nine: the final Gate
____See step Six of the Conduit above.

Step ten: The Dreadnought:
____Don't try to mine the Dreadnought. She'll cloak every time you drop mines in her vicinity. It doesn't matter what kind. You have time between the final gate and the dreadnought to swap your mines out for turrets. Maintain your distance and kill her from afar. Pray your team isn't useless.

Cloaking the Dreadnought:
____Cloaking will let you get in and drop the mines on or near the Dreadnought but she will probably cloak and bail before they arm. I think it depends on how flighty she is that round. I've had her cloak over and over the second anyone came close to her and I've seen her sit there and get demolished without ever cloaking. I haven't figured that one out yet.

Other uses for mines in KHITOMER VORTEX:

Probes: The probes that come out of the side gates will not avoid mines.

Helping with probes:
____You can drop sets of mines in the probes path as you fly by towards the next transformer. They will not destroy all of the probes by themselves. But your teammate may need/appreciate the help. If you do it correctly, not only will the probes be driven backward, but you'll get at least one and probably two singularities that will hold or slow the probes making it easier for your teammate to finish them off.

Emergency help with probes:
____Someone has left their position or was killed and the probes are getting close to the vortex. You know you won't be able to do enough damage with your forward weapons to kill them before they warp away taking the optional with them.
____Drop a set of Tricobalts in front of them. Make sure there is enough room for the mines to arm and strike the front of the probes.
____If you do it correctly, not only will the first probe be destroyed, but the remaining probes will be driven backward, and you'll get at least one (probably two) singularities that will hold the remaining probes for long enough for you to finish them off.
____If you do it incorrectly, the mines will arm too late and hit the probes from behind, driving them into the vortex.
____You have to make a split second decision. Do you just amp up your weapon setting and fire away hoping you'll get them in time? Or do you risk making it worse by trying to drop mines between them and the gate, possibly saving the optional?

NOTE: If you're on probe duty and dropping mines behind you to block the path to the vortex, be careful about the Tricobalt blowback described above.
____Either don't use Tricobalts or remember to deploy new mines before your old ones time out and explode. Otherwise the blowback could cause you serious damage at an inopportune time. Remember that regular mines don't cause the blowback damage that Tricobalts do.

*I apologize for having to edit this like a hundred times. None of my colored text transferred over, non of my indents stuck, and half of my punctuation got turned into question marks. So I had to redo a lot of work. I hope it's an ok read and not a total waste of my time.

defcon1776 09-12-2013 07:29 AM

Wall of thread...:eek:

dknight0001 09-12-2013 09:53 AM

I love using mines on my Vor'cha R. Trapping my foe in a cloud of Warp Plasma next to a Tricobalt mine on the side I just removed shields from is still fun.

Watching 3 ships being knocked out of the Plasma cloud already dead just doesn't get old. I admit this is PVE but that's the place where fun builds that aren't the bleeding edge of perfection can be used.

And yeah, can you give us the Cliffnotes version I'm not reading that wall of text. Heck it's the Great Wall of Text it's possibly the longest post I've ever seen on a forum.

coupaholic 09-12-2013 09:57 AM

Crickey! Yeah I think a TLDR is needed.

I don't use minds that often, but in the past I did have fun with quantum mines and DPB3. On an escort I just charged into the fray, stripping the shields off my target. Then dump the mines, do a full 180 turn and get outta there.

It worked pretty well with cubes.

tggrinc 09-12-2013 05:20 PM

Sorry if it's too long or wordy. I wanted to cover everything and people who know me, know I'm just not capable of giving a short answer. So I really did try to keep it succinct but this was the best I could conjure. If someone who's a better writer than me wants to take it and make it a more efficient read, I wouldn't be offended.

I could break it into separate documents. I could make a new thread with the general info as the first post and each of the walk throughs as separate posts. If you think that would make it more useful.

davidwford 09-12-2013 07:14 PM


Originally Posted by tggrinc (Post 12384371)
Sorry if it's too long or wordy. I wanted to cover everything and people who know me, know I'm just not capable of giving a short answer. So I really did try to keep it succinct but this was the best I could conjure. If someone who's a better writer than me wants to take it and make it a more efficient read, I wouldn't be offended.

I could break it into separate documents. I could make a new thread with the general info as the first post and each of the walk throughs as separate posts. If you think that would make it more useful.

Yes, I would have broken it up into possibly three posts based on topics so that it is easier to digest. It is so long that after the third paragraph, you lost me.

tggrinc 09-12-2013 07:25 PM

OK, will do!

hasukurobi 09-12-2013 08:10 PM

Your post is very deep and detailed but I have to say that while what you say is largely accurate the premise is still unfortunately not valid.

Mines are the worst weapons in the game. The reason? They are destroyable, have too short a range, do not reliably hit bare shield facings, take too long to arm, and deal less damage than their Torpedo Counterparts.

I mean besides novelty they really offer very little. They deal mediocre damage due to often hitting shields which suck down their damage massively, they are difficult to get onto the target to begin with, and even as Crowd Control things like Theta Vents or Warp Plasma is far more effective and lethal.

markhawkman 09-12-2013 10:16 PM


Originally Posted by defcon1776 (Post 12373821)
Wall of thread...:eek:

Sooo many pages.... O_O!

My favorite use is to use DPB with a tricobalt mine, but not launch until I'm within 2k of my target, usually closer. This is particularly effective against Borg cubes and Unimatrixes as they're largely immobile. Usually the mines will track the target and detonate as soon as they arm.

sander233 09-12-2013 10:26 PM

I very much appreciate the tactically-oriented approach you took while writing this up.

The minelayer approach is definitely a valid tactic for anyone who pubs or pugs STFs.

My Fed used to do ISE/KSE in a minelayer, but then I got to tier 5 on my Rom Rep and discovered all the nasty things I could do with plasma. Now I smoke a transformer in 30 seconds or less unassisted so I just focus on doing that.

Great write-up, anyway.

Ideally, every weapon in the game would have its own niche of usefulness. Sadly, that's not always the case (dual and single cannons, I'm looking at you...) but mines, while underrated, definitely do have their place.

Edit: Another great defensive tactic for mines is to lay a DPB spread of photon or quantum mines and then back up through them, so the mines are in front of you, and waiting to catch any destructible projectile coming your way, like say, plasma bolts in HSE or red alerts, or crystal fragments in CC.

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