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Crystalline ships with torpedoes can convert their torpedoes into webmines, using the "Lay Webmines" mission. Like spacemines, webmines are laid in a circle centered at the position of the ship before movement. A ship needs to have fuel onboard to lay webmines; laying webs itself does not cost fuel. The most important difference with normal mines is that webmines drain the fuel out of ships that hit them and/or are caught in a webmine. On top of that, webmines also offer more safety than normal minefields: the chance of a ship hitting a normal minefield is 1% per lightyear travelled (0.5% for cloaked ships) whereas the chance to hit a webmine is 5%, for normal as well as cloaked ships.

For Crystalline webmines, Winplan, other clients and utilities such as echoview will properly show them as webmines. Webmines laid in identities other than the Crystals are not always displayed as webs. You'll have to recognise them the oldfashioned way - by reading the minesweep message:

(-m0027)<<< Sub Space Message >>>

From: MBR Crystalspace
We are scanning for mines
Enemy Mine field detected!
AT ( 1627 , 1118 )
They are Crystalline style mines.
We are 76 light years from the
outside edge of the field.
There are 512 mine units.
Mine field ID Number : 27
The field is 45 light years across.
We must be 76LY closer to target mines with beam weapons.
512 mines remain.

In this example the message is from an actual Crystal webminefield. Webmines can be recognised by looking at the line "we must be X light years closer to target mines with beam weapons. The value given there is the same as that in the line "We are X light years from the outside edge of the field". This means the ship would have to be inside the minefield to sweep away the mines, meaning these are webmines.

Effect of webmines
Any ship that hits a web mine first loses the total amount of fuel it would use to complete it's journey (if a ship hits a webmine while it has only moved two of it's planned 80 lightyears, it will first burn fuel as if it had moved the full 80 lightyears). Additionally, 50 kilotons of fuel OR 1/6th of the amount of fuel in the ship’s fuel tank, whichever is the greater amount, is also drained.

The damage a starship suffers from hitting a webmine is 10% of that of a normal minehit. The percentage done by a webminehit is calculated by the formula Damage = 1000 / (hullmass+1). If a cloaked ship hits a webmine and the amount of damage it suffers is greater than the amount of damage that prevents cloaking, the ship will be immeadiately decloaked - even if it has enough supplies to repair the damage.

A ship that hits a webmine is stopped dead in it's tracks, it's warpspeed is reset to zero. Upon hitting a webmine, a ship sends a distress call to it's owner:

(-e0217)<<< DISTRESS CALL! >>>

ID # 217
Has struck a WEB mine!
Damage is at 2%
We are stuck in the web!
We are burning fuel to keep
our shields up!

( 2072, 1960 )

Ships that are inside a Crystalline webmine after minesweeping and before movement are drained of 25 kilotons of fuel. This effect is cumulative for each web: a ship that is inside two overlapping Crystalline webminefields gets drained 50 kilotons of fuel. Webmines belonging to races other than the Crystals do not drain ships of fuel as long as the ship does not hit a web during flight. The Crystalline people themselves are immune to the effect of all webmines, regardless of who owns the webmine and if that race is an ally of the Crystallines or not.

If a ship is out of fuel during this phase or is drained of it's last fuel during this phase, a message is sent to the owner of the webmine informing of the fuelless status of the ship:

(-w1263)<<< Scanner Report >>>

Ship ID# 263
is out of fuel and energy.
They can no longer attack us.

A ship that is drained of all it's fuel because it hits a webmine during flight, only generates such a message the next turn when it is fuelless during the "webmines drain fuel" phase of the hostrun. If a fuelless ship is inside multiple webs, a message is sent for each web the ship is in. Once a ship is drained of all fuel, the Crystals can use their boarding party to towcapture a ship, or tow it to a starbase and force the ship to surrender.

Amount of webmines
The amount of webmines laid depends on the number of torpedoes used and the type of the torpedoes.
The formula is webmines = torps * torpslot^2, where the value for torpslot is a number ranging from 1 to 10.
Note that the formula uses "torpslot" and not "techlevel"

This results in the following table:

Torpedo type "Slot" Webmines per torpedo
Mark 1 Photon 1 1
Proton Torpedo 2 4
Mark 2 Photon 3 9
Gamma Bomb 4 16
Mark 3 Photon 5 25
Mark 4 Photon 6 36
Mark 5 Photon 7 49
Mark 6 Photon 8 64
Mark 7 Photon 9 81
Mark 8 Photon 10 100

Size of webminefield:
Like regular mines, the webmines are laid in a circle, the radius of which is the square root of the number of mines. Example: 10 Mark 8 Photon torpedoes laid as webmines would result in 10*10^2=1000 mines, which would result in a circle with a radius 31.6 lightyears (the square root of 1000). Per default (host-configurable) the webminefield radius may not exceed 150 lightyears. Attempts to lay bigger webminefields will result only in a maximum-sized web, no torpedoes will go to waste.

Controlling the size of a webminefield:
Using "mdX" friendly codes a ship can lay only part of it's torpedoes as minefields, saving torpedoes to lay as mines somewhere else or to fire at enemies later on. The friendly codes are:
md1 - drop 10 torpedoes as webmines
md2 - drop 20 torpedoes as webmines
    etc, etc, etc....
md9 - drop 90 torpedoes as webmines
md0 - drop 100 torpedoes as webmines
mdq - drop a quarter of your torpedoes as webmines
mdh - drop half of your torpedoes as webmines

Laying webmines in another race's identity:
It is possible to lay webmines in the identity of another race, using a friendly code of "miX" where X is the number of the other race (a for Rebels, b for Colonies). By laying overlapping webs the chance of hitting a webmine greatly increases. Crystalline ships are immune to the effect of webmines laid in any identity, so they do not risk much when laying webs in other races' identities.

Overlapping and concentric minefields / adding to existing fields
When laying webmines inside an existing webminefield, the mines will usually be added to the current web. In some cases however a new web will be formed.
To determine whether to add to the existing web or to form a new one Host follows these steps:

  1. Find the webminefield whose center is closest to your ship.
  2. If you are inside this webminefield you will add to it.
  3. If not, you will lay a new webminefield.(regardless of whether you're inside any other webminefield(s))

Note that webminelaying is done in ID order (lowest to highest) so you need to resolve what possible lower ID ships did (lay/add) in the same turn first.
If your ship is inside a large web but actually closer to the center of another, smaller web, Host determines your ship is outside of that small web and creates a new one. It does not matter then that you're also inside another large web.

Webminefield friendly code
Every minefield and webminefield has a friendly code, which is the same friendly code as the closest planet of that race (measuring the distance from the centre of minefield to the planet). If the owner of a minefield does not have any planets left, the (web)minefield will have no friendly code.

Any starship with a friendly code matching that of the minefield would be able to travel through that field and not hit any (web)mines. If the planet's friendly code is changed the minefield's code will change to match it. The minefield friendly code takes effect as soon as the mines are laid and changes anytime you change the friendly code of the planet controlling the minefield. Webmines do not drain fuel from ships with matching friendly codes, and minefields cannot be swept by ships matching the field's friendly code. Ships set to minesweep will also not detect webmines which have the same friendly code as that ship.

The (web)minefield friendly code system follows these three rules:

  1. Minefields have friendly codes. The minefield's friendly code will be the same code as the planet that is owned by the owner of the minefield that is nearest the mines centre. So if you laid a minefield at Nixon and you own Nixon and Nixon's friendly code is "Q1m" the minefield would have a code of "Q1m". Any starship with that friendly code would be able to travel through the minefield and not activate any mines. If the planet's friendly code is changed the minefield's code will change to match it. The minefield friendly code takes effect as soon as the mines are dropped.
  2. A planet with a friendly code beginning with "mf" will cause ALL minefields belonging to your race to have this code as the minefield universal friendly code. If you set more than one planet's friendly code first two letters to "mf" the highest ID planet will be used to set the minefield universal friendly code. The character following "mf" can be any letter or number. Example: If one of your planets friendly code is set to "mfK" then all your minefields will have the universal friendly code of "mfK".
  3. A ship can use rule 1 or rule 2 to safely pass through a minefield. Both rules are in effect. The ship can use the "local" friendly code or the "universal" friendly code.

    Example: If a Birdmen ship using the Super Spy Deluxe mission tries to set the friendly code of any enemy planet to the universal minefield friendly code (any code beginning with the letters "mf") and the planet has more than 30 defense outposts the planet will always use an ion discharge overload to knock the ships out of cloak.

Webminefields decay
Each turn, a set percentage of mines are destroyed from each minefield. The host-configurable percentage is 5% by default for both mines and webmines. After this percentage is deducted, one additional minefield unit per turn is destroyed through natural causes. Webmines differ from normal mines, because overlapping webmines never destroy eachother.

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