A minefield is a small area of space that is peppered with  warheads that track and launch themselves at passing
enemy ships  that are unlucky enough to trigger one of them.
Minefields are formed when a starship with  torpedoes chooses the mission "Lay Mines." All the ships torpedoes are
taken apart by the ships chief engineer and reprogrammed to serve as deep space mines. High tech torpedoes are
divided into several smaller units that can cover a greater area of space.
If a ship lays mines inside an established minefield, the new mines will become part of the existing minefield if the
minefield belongs to the ship's race.
An enemy ship has a 1% chance of hitting a mine for every light year traveled. It is very likely that a ship that travels
through the above example minefield (all 120 light years of it) will hit a mine, but there is still a slim chance that the ship won't.
The amount of damage done to a ship depends on the mass of the ship's hull. The cargo and fuel masses will not
help to save the ship.

Damage% = 10000 / ( the hull mass )]

A ship with a hull mass under 100 KT will be destroyed by a single mine. Most battle ships are over 500 KT so they
can take 5 or more mine hits before being destroyed.  A ship that is under tow (being towed) cannot be hit by a mine. 
Web mines are smaller than normal mines, but are much more difficult to travel through. There is a 5% chance of hitting a web mine for every light year that you travel through. A web mine does 10% of the damage of a normal mine, but causes your ship to become stuck in the web and your ship will be forced to stop moving. Next turn you may set a new waypoint and warp out of the web minefield and hope you don't hit another web mine. Web mines drain 25kt of fuel from a ship every turn that the ship begins the turn in the web minefield. Any ship that hits a web mine looses 50kt of fuel OR 1/6 of the amount of fuel in the ships fuel tank, whichever is the greater amount.

Web Mines Damage% = 1000 / ( the hull mass )

The above default mine hit odds can be configured by the host to make it easier or  harder to hit a mine.

The range that a ship can detect an enemy minefield can be set by the host. You will see the range that was set
and all other minefield setting the host is using in the config messages that are sent from the host. You will get a report on all minefields within this detection range, both yours mines and enemy minefields. You will NOT receive sweep information from enemy minefields that have friendly codes that match your ship's friendly code.

Starships with beam weapons that are inside one or more enemy minefields can destroy the mines using the "Mine
Sweep" mission. The ship will fire its beam weapons at random and at a wide setting to blanket an area of space with
energy that will knock out the minefield. Minefields will shrink in size as the outer mine units move inward so that the
same level of protection is  constant throughout the minefield.

The number of minefield units that are destroyed per turn by a ship doing a mine sweep depends on the number of
beams weapons and their tech level.
One minefield unit is destroyed per turn through natural causes. A percentage of mines set by the host are also
destroyed every turn.

The Host sets a limit on the size of  minefields, after this limit is reached no more mines can be added to the

A starship hitting a mine will be slowed by 10LY for every mine hit the ship takes. Starships
below hull tech 7 that hit a space mine will be slowed by 10 LY if it has more than 10 LY to travel when it hits the mine. 

Normal minefields and web minefields can overlap, unless the mines distroy web mines option is turned on.

Minefield Limit

There is a soft limit of 500 minefields in the game. Whenever more than 500 minefields exist, the following turn at the beginning of the host run the smallest minefields on the map which do not have any enemy ships within 200 ly will be removed until the 500 minefield limit is restored.