i posted this somewhere else but ill post here as well just because
i noticed alot of people were struggling with a balanced minesweeper because it either:
1) has heaps of armor and, being a minesweeper, is super effective against mines, making mines useless, or,
2) has very little armor and, being a minesweeper, is super effective against mines, making mines useless, but also means that you would have to spam 10s upon 10s or even hundreds upon hundreds to clear a sufficient space.
as such, i thought of 2 ideas:
1) the minsweeper is highly armored (as a minesweeper would be) but slow-ish. however, instead of detonating the mines, it fires an EMP at the mines (either directional blasts or omni-directional bursts) decloaking them and enabling the fleet to target them, while also disabling the mines from detonating. this, couple with the Scout idea i will describe later, could be very effective.
2) the second idea is that instead of just spamming mines everywhere in your gravity well, that there be a special band of space in your GW to place mines. this space would be bout a 5th the total space of the GW and would be set back far enough to enable either a small number of ships or a whole fleet (depening, its a detail SD will work out) to enter the system, and would not extend all the way back to the planet.
that way, a small fleet of minsweepers jumps in, clears a corridor, and then the fleet comes in and does its job.
now, for the scout idea, some other posters here recommended that as soon as a scout enters the system, all mines should be visable and de-cloak.
i think this nerfs mines, (given they are too powerful already, but still) that is, if 1 little scout enters the system, then proceeds to fly away from the planet, putting it out of range of planetary defenses, then your fleet jumps in, bam, mines become useless.
my suggestion is that:
1) Naturally, scouts should be reprogrammed to fly a picket around the fleet (perhaps with some inbetween the fleet as well) and
2 that depending on the type of fplanetary system you are in, the more scouts in your fleet, the more mines you can see and target. for instance, 1 scout gives localised sight data on mines, but not the ability to target. 5 gives same range dispersed around fleet, and ability to target visible mines, 10 gives sight data on a larger radius, but not targeting data, 15 gives targeting data, 20 gives sight range of whole GW, but not targeting etc etc
the idea is that each scout would concentrate on scanning an area, and collate all the data which is then organised and distributed to the fleet. the practical upshoot of which is that a fleet can now effectively see, avoid and destroy mines, without/before crashing stupidly into the minefield.
these are my $0.02, i think they are good ideas