Currently mines are late game cpu laggers and are easily circumvented and hellaciously expensive for what they deliver. They can be cleared by simply plowing through them or sacrificing a few scouts and are often just used for target practice. they are simply boring.
As far as strategy goes--not a lot there. Dump them in a big pile to augment defenses briefly. Sure, versus AI you can abuse them well but they are so disjointed that in player vs player they are considered anathema.
It is simply an insult to mines and a waste of a good concept.
So I'm working on alternatives (with no help of course 'cause everyone considers it a lost cause). There is room for as many as 18-21 differing mine types (6-7 per faction) and that gives room for innovation (I don't think I'll need that many). Mines just need to be handled differently and with more realistic and strategic effects.
Instead of mine fields that are easily spotted and require a near physical impact to hit (like a pilot would have to want to hit them for them to work like that in space) mines should be designed for the space environment and not used like WWII and Vietnam area ground munitions. They also need to be a genuine part of game strategy and not the flawed "tack-on" they currently are.
So here's the ones I'm working on (I had many more variants than these but these are the ones I think will make mines interesting). The concepts are based on current warfare, the American Civil War, Reagan's Star Wars program and science fiction ideas we all know and love.
The Faction-Specific Mines
[Phase] Singularity--spawns a mini black hole for a set duration. Friend and foe alike affected.
[Tech] Area-Effect--simply makes a big, dirty, energetic bang of HEAP antimatter shrapnel hurting friend and foe alike. Close range, heavy damage. The mother of all explosive munitions.
[Psi] Domination--a large psychic amplifier that captures all enemy frigates within range.
The Generic Mines
Grazer--fusion explosion powered ranged mine that fires a single gamma ray laser beam at a single target. High damage and long range at targeted enemy capital ship.
Xaser--fission explosion powered ranged mine that fires a single high energy X-ray laser beam at a single target. Medium damage and long range at a targeted enemy frigate.
Anti-Strike--cluster munition that fires explosively propelled antimatter pellets at all strike craft in range. High damage, medium range.
Dummy--low cost decoy mines that do no damage and deploy as multiple mines.
All mines will be deployed by mine-laying vessels and I am exploring rather than hard limits on numbers instead making them count as fleet logistics slots. These could all be created as "frigates" but that's a waste of good ship slots and a waste of the already present mine slots. Best to get the value of all of them.
It remains to be seen which abilities mines can have and can do. Feel free to contribute anyone.