Upgrade: Aft Minelayer
by Lord Admiral Acoron
Any capital ships which posses launch bays are capable of deploying anti-starship mines. This capability, however, requires that attack craft launching equipment be replaced with support structures suited to handling the mines. Over time, naval thinking moved to decide that this sort of configuration was not cost effective. Instead, many powers began to use aft minelaying modules which could be coupled to the stern of any capital ship, without the need to greatly reconfigure existing ship structures. Deploying anti-ship mines, however, is still as dangerous a task as it ever was.
The aft mine launcher costs 20 points for Imperial, Chaos, Ork and Tyranid ships. For Eldar it costs double (40 points) because their ordnance is extra special (eg: turrets hit on a 6+).
All races can take this upgrade except Necrons. This is because Necrons do not have any sort of launch bay or torpedo technology. One can imagine that Tyranids use a bio-engineered organism similar to their spores as mines. Only cruisers can have this upgrade, as battleships are too valuable to be used as minelayers. This includes strike cruisers, light cruisers, heavy cruisers, battlecruisers and grand cruisers.
The mine layer launches one single mine from the rear quarter once per turn and requires that the ship then use Reload Ordnance before it can launch another. Once the mine has left the aft mine launch bay the mine is treated just like the orbital mine. Rules for orbital mines are in the Battle Fleet Gothic rule book, p. 142.
The aft mine launcher is disabled on the critical roll of 8. For most players this is "thrusters damaged", for Eldar "mainsail shredded", and for Tyranids "discharge vents hit". If the ship that is carrying mines is damaged and a critical hit of 8 is rolled, it means the aft mine bay was hit as well. This causes an extra D3 damage as some of the unused mines explode. A ship which has run out of ordnance does not suffer damage. So in total, if a critical of 8 is rolled on a mine-laying ship, the thrusters are damaged (giving the usual +1 damage and -10cm from speed) and the mines detonate causing D3 extra damage. Please note that no further critical's are rolled for any hits that are caused by this internal mine detonation. Though you can repair your thrusters, the minelayer attatchment is wrecked by this detonation and can no longer be used.
Shooting at Mines:
Please note that for the purposes of shooting at mines, mines fall into the category of unmanned ordnance like torpedoes. So, you may either fire at attack craft or at torpedoes and mines. You cannot fire at both attack craft and torpedoes/mines. When shooting at Eldar mines, the standard rule applies that they require a 6+ to hit, as they are enhanced with holofields and other stealth technologies.
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