The later game is what I refer to as “Minefields: The Game”. It’s very hard to have a good ship battle because we all spend all of our time sweeping and laying mines. Technically you can run entire dreadnought fleets through minefields by splitting them up with corvettes but (unless you are Ripchee) there is some risk to this and mostly it’s just such a hassle that we can rarely be bothered to do so.
But what if all minefields took 24 hours to lay?
- This greatly limits how many minefields 1 minelayer can have active. 7 instead of the current 42.
- Minefields still work as a defensive deterrent but you have to do it well in advance.
- Minefields on offense will require your minesweepers to be part of your main war fleets (which isn’t really a problem since the mine layer does not need to lead the fleet, unlike the mine sweeper).
- Minefields on offense will require risking those warfleets overnight or trying to hide them in a planet and hoping nobody notices.
…which I think is fair. If I’m bringing 3 warfleets, it’s because I expect to punch you in the nose with them. If you want to come out and attack them while they are laying mines, this saves me a step.
- Evens out the online vs offline action somewhat.
- Preserves the “need to sweep 50 minefields” gameplay but renewing them as they are swept will probably not be realistic.
I’m trying to think of a downside to 24 hour minelaying and I’m not seeing one.