Laying mines is like a fish spawning, just dump
them out your cargo holds and they will move
away from themselves to equidistant positions.

A true headache of Of The Echo Cluster are mine fields.
"Minefields are the cholesterol of the galaxys commercial traffic lanes"
Col. Artemus Von Eisenhower, aka Yellow Beard


ION storms can be manipulated!
But it takes lots of mines to do so.
Below is a storm which has been deflected off course by a minefield with a 50 Mk8 torp drop (70 ly/5000 mines).

Lay the minefield(s) center along the storms path you don't want it to go. Several smaller overlapping fields is best if you can.
The mines will also short out the storms voltage potential and slow it down by some small % each turn.

This storm will be moving nearly right in several turns because of this 1 minefields resistance encountered, but the field must be re-layed ahead of it constantly to be effective.

A large proportionate number of mines/fields will eventually cause the storm to pancake and become massive, but much weaker... its death scream, so to speak. This will be bad for anyone nearby trying to stay hidden.

Ion storms will render mine fields invisible to scans, when a field is in contact of any portion of a storm, yet they will still remain quite deadly if struck.
If you have the capacity, just drop more mines to wipeout an equal number of enemy mines in range.

Use ion storm as gigantic ship decloakers!
Lay mines to redirect or slow storms to your advantage.
Any cloaked ships, except for the resolute or dw, will be exposed for attack.

Torpedoes, your anti-ship projectile weapons, can be used to create mine fields.  Ships with torpedoes can convert torpedoes into space mines by using the "Lay mines" mission.  Minefields are generally used as a defense against enemy ships.  Minefields are laid in a circle centered at the position of the mine laying ship before movement.  This is a great tactic if being perused by enemies, dumping a load right in their path for them to slam into.

There is a limit of 500 minefields fields in the game.  A ship needs to have fuel onboard to lay mines, thou mine laying itself does not burn fuel.  Torpedoes can be converted in varying numbers, such as 10, 20, 30, etc... torps converted to mines, or half or quarter of your onboard supply, or you can use every torp you have on the ship. Ship friendly codes are used to set this number. md1, md2 ... md9, md0 will convert 10 to 100 torps into mines, or use mdh or mdq to convert half or quarter of the torps onboard.

Torp tech levels & total converted dictate just how large the minefield will be.
To figure this out simply take the torp tech level times the number used, this will give you the number of mines being layed, then get the square root of that number to find the minefields radius, rounding down. 50.9999999 is 50.

The Robot (Cylon) Race has a nice advantage with mines, as they lay 4x the number that everyone else does. Normally if 1000 mines are laid, 4000 would be by this one race.

Minefield radius and decay rate can be set to a maximum by the game host.  You cannot add to a field that is at its max size.  Adding to an existing minefield is done by repeating the lay while within the radius of the existing field.  There can also be no more than 500 minefields present at any time. Over time, by default setting, all minefields will go away, gradually decaying and reducing the radius & total mines in the field.

On initial mine lay, the radius will drop by its 1st decay rate immediately and will need to be taken into account if you are that much of a micromanaging commander. A 70ly/5000 mines drop will immediately become ~68ly/4750 one when completed.

If necessary you can also recover mines that have been laid in 'your races name' and convert them into torpedoes via special ship code & mission settings. Torpedoes will be generated to the tech level of the ship retrieving them.

It is possible to lay mines and put them under control of another players race via special ship code & mission.

All minefields have secret codes that will allow any ship to pass thru them without fear of hull attraction and detonation. The code for each field is the same as the planet nearest to it that is owned by the race who laid it.

Where you lay mines is as important as when. Early in the game dont lay a field around your home planet, as that will give your position away, inviting an early demise.  You can lay fields that overlap, by either laying at different nearby positions at the same time or by laying just outside an existing field.

Odds of hitting a mine are set by the game host, usually at 1% for uncloaked or 0.5% for cloaked ships per light year (LY) cumulatively.  Moving 50 LY is a 50% chance to hit one or more. When hitting one, the chance for a 2nd+ are from the point after the 1st. So if moving 80ly, and you hit one at 50ly, then only 30% chance remains to hit another for the rest of the movement.  Also, if your hull tech level is below what the host sets for mine hit travel, the ship will stop at the point of the 1st hit. If at and above the set level, then the ship will continue moving if possible. Hitting a mine will take 10ly off your total travel plot if the ship has more than 10ly to go to reach its set end of turn waypoint.

Damage by a single mine hit is computed as: 10,000 / (ship mass +1)
If a ship with a total mass at the point of impact, including engines, weapons, fuel and any cargo, (but not including the mass of a towed ship) has a mass of 300 hits a mine. 10000 / 301 = 33% damage. 500 mass = 19% damage.

Cloaked ships can be decloaked by a mine hit if the host setting for such an event brings the ships damage over the set level, even if the ship has supplied to repair it to under that point.

When laying a minefield, a ship will send a message of this action:
<<< Sub Space Message >>>
From: USS Blackbeard
We have converted our
torpedoes into deep space mines
and laid them in a field centered
at ( 2603 , 1340 )
2600 mines were laid
Mine field ID# 3 now contains
2600 mine units and is
50 light years in radius

Sweeping Mines:

1. Your ships will sweep or lay mines in order of their id#.
2. Each ship sweeping will reduce the mine field diameter, and could probably put other ships out of range as each ship does its sweep mission. The bigger your guns are the more likely this will happen.
3. It is possible that enemy may also be laying more mines to the one you are trying to sweep and this too is in order of ship id#.
Your ship id 6 sweeps, Enemy ship 9 lays more increasing the field size again, and puts it is range of your next ship 14 which sweeps more, etc... until all ships that are set to and are in range cycle thru missions.

One thing to watch out for is if you have a ship with less total beam power sweeping before your main battleships try to. If the lesser goes 1st then your main ships may not be in range from the new minefield edge when its sweep turn comes.

  mine sweep
 2 ships, Middle and Bottom. Both have heavy phasers,
 Bottom ship is only 1 ly off the edge and can sweep at that range but the Middle ship sweeps 1st because its ship id
 is lower. The Bottom will not be in range to sweep when the host checks its mission.

mine sweep