Two Ships That Use Mines

By MXSavant

With the publication of Silent Death: Space Junk, Silent Death players gained access to rules for mines and minefields. There was also a new minelayer, the Dain. After looking over the rules and the Dain, I felt that something a little more effective could be developed. I had originally intended to publish the Lilium (see below) as a ship in a Q’raj Void Protectorate expansion, but there were not enough resources for sculpting a figure, and the manuscript was already too big! Fear not, however, the QVP has lots of fun with mines; as you will soon see when the expansion sees the light of print.

The second ship, the Namburbi, is a dedicated minesweeper. I realized that clearing minefields can be tough, especially if your ship only gets one shot per turn. The Namburbi sports three minesweepers to help ensure mission accomplishment. Range is also a problem, because a minesweeper has a range of 6 hexes maximum. This means that if you attack a Mk. 50 minefield, you must do so at long range with a -1 to hit. That is why the Namburbi is equipped with lots of armor and design quirks that protect the engine and crew should you wish to actually enter a minefield and improve your odds of destroying it. I’ve given the basic stats below. You can work out the damage tracks using the Ship Design System in Silent Death: The Next Millennium (What, you think I’m going to do all the work??).

Dionysia Dynamics AA-27 “Lilium” Class Minelayer
Mass: 1000 tons
Crew: 2
Drive: 15
Def. Value: 13
Dam. Red.: 0
Decoys: 1

Armaments:
Pilot: Minesweeper (F)
Gunner: 6x Pulse Laser (360)
2 Mine laying bays:
3x Mk. 50 minefield
5x Mk. 30 minefield

BPV: 219

The Lilium is named for the ancient Roman practice of sowing sharp, fire-hardened stakes (called “lilies” by the Roman soldiers) hidden in camouflaged shallow pits where an enemy might walk. The Lilium’s relatively low defensive value and lack of point defenses is indicative of it’s battlefield role, which is intended to be of a very short duration. The relatively high turn or speed allows it to cover–and mine–a larger area than other minesweepers currently in service. Its higher speed also allows it to press ahead of slower gunboats and other heavy ships and clear enemy mines.

MX019-01
This figure (“Ralnai Fleet Tug”) manufactured by Riveresco makes a decent stand-in for the Lilium minelayer.

The Lilium carries a very large load of mines. There are enough mines on board to cordon off the length of a Geohex battle mat with either Mk. 30 or Mk. 50 minefields, leaving only a few small gaps, in about two turns. Using both types of mines, a battle mat can be completely curtained off in three turns.

Because I sacrificed armor for speed and mine-carrying capacity, this ship is not intended to operate in the thick of battle unless it is strongly escorted. It should spend as little time as possible carrying out its battlefield objectives. Armed with both mines and a minesweeper, this ship is highly specialized. However, the 360-mount sextuple pulse laser gives good protection from smaller ships that may try to prevent the Lilium from sowing its mischief.

Dionysia Dynamics DDG-100 Namburbi Class Minesweeper
Mass: 1000 ton, heavy fighter airframe
Crew: 3
Drive: 14
Def. Value: 10
Dam. Red.: 5
Decoys: 1
Design Quirks: Well-shielded drive and armored crew pods.

Armaments:
Pilot: Minesweeper (F)
Gunner A: Minesweeper (5 front)
Gunner B: Minesweeper (5 front)

BPV: 151

This specialty ship is named for the ancient rituals calculated to ward off the effects of a bad omen. It is a dedicated minesweeper. Using it for anything else will produce sub-optimal results, with the possible exception of using the minesweepers for torpedo defense. This ship boasts multiple minesweepers to help ensure success in clearing thickly sewn or stubborn minefields. The Namburbi’s thick armor allows it to even enter a minefield, if necessary, without sustaining crippling damage on the first encounter.

MX019-02
A “Nekton”, also manufactured by Riveresco used for the Namburbi minelayer.

Tactical Note: A Namburbi should never operate without at least a token covering force. If one is caught without sufficient protection or someplace to run, consider it lost. These ships are best used in campaign scenarios where the long-term effects of minefields can be problematic on the operational level.

Give these ships a try and let me know how they worked.

Good hunting!