That's funny. You're funny, devs. I have played around with mines for a little bit and have come to the following conclusion:Land mines are useful for base defense
Land mines are the ultimate grenade.
Let's start with the numbers.
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Land mine Structure HP: 15 Damage: 300 explosion, AoE 6 Special: Time to arm, applies stun Cost : 2 explosive, 1 steel => 4 mines Tech: Military 2 => Red Green Military tier
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Cluster Grenade Fire rate: 2 Damage: 7 x (35 + 42 research + 20% x unlimited) explosion AoE: 6.5 + cluster spread Special: Initial attack throws 7 grenades in a random pattern around itself. Cost: 5 explosive, 5 steel, 7 grenade (70 coal, 35 iron) Tech: Military 4 => RGBM High tech tier
Look at the cost. Land mines are CHEAP, and every recipe gets you FOUR! The cost of iron alone means that for every cluster grenade you can have nearly 50 land mines. Wow! The difference in oil/cracked coal still nets you a stack of land mines for the cost of 3 cluster grenades. Packing your inventory full of land mines is not a problem.
The range difference is pretty major. Land mines only reach out to your normal structure placement range. Grenades reach out to 25 and clusters to 20 tiles. This photo shows the range difference: Don't worry. The range difference doesn't matter for three important reasons.
1) Land mines are damage soaks. 15HP doesn't look like much, but it absorbs a large worm's 50 damage and a behemoth's bite all the same. You might lose half your mines by charging in mines first, but that's damage you aren't taking.
2) The stun effect. Any thing that gets too close will be stunned by the explosion, which lets you get away.
3) Land mines are a structure. structure. Think about that for a moment. Put them in your hand, shake your mouse around and what happens? The floor is scattered in dozens of land mines. The adjusted fire rate of land mines is as fast as you can place them! 2 grenades/second can't compete with a near instant mine field.
The result is what you see here. This modestly armored suit has no problem bulldozing through a moderate sized biter base at max evolution
Absolutely! This feature lets you drop mines like a long range artillery, without ever suffering a scratch. Yes, mines will trigger on enemy nests and an adjacent mine will definitely do damage to the nest regardless. But be careful doing this. Dead mines automatically make ghosts, which means your bots will fly out and attempt to replace them. If the mine is in range of enemy attacks you may reach an endless loop of mines dying and getting replaced. This gets very annoying in personal roboports. The ghost maze grows and drags your bots all over the enemy, which gets a lot of bots killed.Can I use construction bots to air drop mines?
Some other notes:
- The stun effect has no visual feedback. The enemy just stands there not moving and it's kind of weird. I'm spoiled by Warcraft titles that show a swirly effect.
- Set your deconstruction planner to remove mines. A personal roboport is very handy for cleaning up any unpopped ordinance, but keep it offline while attacking.
- Mines are eco friendly and will not hurt trees. Who would have thought?
- Mines are player friendly and will not hurt you. They also don't hurt other mines. Isn't that nice?
- Mines don't have any damage boosting research. This is unfortunate, but their vanilla potential is just so good. It takes a LOT of space research for grenades to ever compete.
- Mines are very low tech. You can be pooping out mines before reaching blue science.
- Mines triggered for deconstruction will shut down. Take advantage of this by disabling mines, luring biters into a trap, and removing the red X to re enable them all at once. POP.
Throw away your grenades, boys. The future is here and it is land mines.