Comprehensive guide on the use of mines. It has all I know, too bad I dont know that much.
Table of Contents
What is a Mine?
A mine is a structure. It costs 20 food. It is normally invisible, but visible while it is building (5 second build time).
It has a sell timer, so when you sell it there is a period in time where it is visible, before it is actually sold. (2 second sell time)
It has a size of 1×1 squares and has proxy, so unlike most structures it can be placed anywhere on the map, and does not need to be placed in you territory.
When an enemy unit walks on a mine tile, the mine will explode, dealing 10 damage to the unit that stepped on it, and 2 damage to all enemy units 2 range away from the mine. It also applies daze to all affected units, slowing them down by 10%, this can stack up to 4 times.
Defensive Use of Mines
Mines have many defensive uses. Here are the various strategies you can make use of.
The simplest of strategies, you simply place a mine in the path where your enemy is likely to attack, and when the enemy moves his army out you will see the army movement with your mine. If there are multiple attack paths, like on a donut map, you may want to place a mine on both paths, or mine only one, and scout the other path yourself during your own scouting runs.
The mine will probably die, maybe taking down a t1 unit and slowing down the army a little. But the main thing you get is time and information, time that you can use to return to your base and place your army into a good defensive position, and information that the enemy is moving out, giving you an opportunity for a base race, or a back stab with some moles/lizards if you have them in position, you could just rally them in and still have enough time to burrow back to defend the attack, if your opponent doesn’t decide to retreat.
Delaying Minefield for T3
A great use of mines is using them to delay/weaken the enemy attack, I usually do this to buy time until my t3 gets out on the battle field. To delay the enemies attack for as long as possible you want to place a lot of mines in a spread out formation in as big of a part of the attacking path between you and your enemy.
Wait until your opponent walks past you, then start placing down mines in the 1/3 part of the attack path on the enemies half, then you start placing mines closer and closer to your side.
The reason we do it this way is because:
- 1) It gives more time for the mines to build, so we can place more mines during one scouting run
- 2) When the opponent attacks, and our minefield is not finished he will get hit by our mines sooner, and then he will be worried about more mines down the path, even if there aren’t any. This will delay him sooner, and he may even call the attack off.
Mine placement patterns:
To be as efficient as possible you want to place mines in a way that prevents them from being easily scouted.
In the current patch the commander has a scouting range of 1. So if you use this pattern your opponent would only be able to scout 1 mine at a time:
In the planned patch the scouting radius will be increased to 2, so for that you would want to change your patern up to look like this:
Off course you can spread the mines out even more if there is a lot of space, don’t have a lot of money, or want the enemy to see nothing when he scouts. Actually, you really don’t want to fill the whole path with this pattern, because your enemy will be guaranteed to find mines and you will lose value on that, and also that would cost too much money, we want a less dense formation so that the enemy wastes time scouting nothing, then gets confident, hits a mine and starts scouting again. These patterns aren’t recommendations to be used, rather more of the upper limit on the density of mines you would want to have.
Unless your opponent has good mine clearing potential, or pre-scouted and suppressed your mine placement, then this strategy will almost certainly succeed. Your opponent will either march thou your mines, without a care in the world:
- Walks in front of your base
- Rally all
- Mine explosion
- Must have been a scouting mine
- Few mine explosion
- Hmm, he must have placed a few mines to weaken my army, no matter, I will wait a few secs for my army to heal
- More mine explosions
- Single cham walks into vision with 2 hp
Or he will try to scout out every tile between you his and your base, making slow but steady progress towards you, but giving you time to get your t3 out. Trading money for time, which is value if your eco is greater, or your power spike bug enough.
If you want to use mines to simply defend your eco advantage, or your opponents attack after he scouts your t3, this is how you do it.
You place a bunch of mines next to each other as far from your pigs as the range of you enemies longest rangest unit.
So if your opponent has squirrels you would place mines like this:
And if you opponent has ferrets/skunks you would place your mines like this:
Then you wait with your army on the side of your mill, wait until your opponent walks into your mines to attack your pigs/army, instantly weakening his army, then you simply all rally to attack and slaughter his injured units.
This strategy works best if your enemy doesn’t expect the mines to be there, because if you does he can simply scout once and destroy half of your mines and then you will DIE to the attack.
To prevent that you can spread your mines out a bit and place them a bit more forward, like this:
Your opponent probably wont be scouting mines this far before your base and there is a chance he will just walk in and take the damage. Then you simply attack move again and win. One reason you would not want to use this strat is because you could be scouting, which would waste your counter attack opportunity, or, because your opponent is just all rallying his army in front of your base there is a chance there will be some rogue units in front that will detonate the mines, warning the player about the mine field, giving him an opportunity to scout or retreat. Single chams walking into your forward minefields is not unheard of. This doesn’t usually happen when you place your mines close to your base, because your enemy will attack with all his units at once, in a big ball, giving your mines more value.
If your opponent is massing chams, using chams to mine clear and clever enough to have his chams lead the charge and not be stuck in the middle of his attack ball then I recommend using another variation of defensive mine placement. Simply place mines directly next to your farms. As many as you need, or as many as you can fit. You need 3 mines +2 pig shots to kill a cham. This wont hurt enemies squirrels, and other ranged support, but at-least you wont lose value, and it will get rid of the chams, that would otherwise melt your squirrels and tank a LOT of damage. Your enemy will also be committed to the battle and wont have an opportunity to retreat, basically guaranteeing the death of his chams. Also, if you have your squirrels on the farms and not in front (as they always should be), then the mines will also reveal the chams as they step over them, giving your squirrels and pigs an opportunity to kill the chams before they even attack. Just for that it may be value to place at least 1 defensive mine when fighting chams, even if you aren’t using mines to deal damage to them at least you get the first volley off earlier.
Anti-Cham mine placement can look like this:
Mine Unit Counters
Mines hard counter foxes since you only need 3 of them to kill a fox, the fox moves FAST so if you have 3 mines next to each other your opponent probably wont be able to react fast enough to call his fox back, especially when he is running in front of the fox, and since the fox is a poking unit it will try to poke from many directions travelling across a lot of tiles when trying to find the best angle of attack, increasing the changes it will run into your mines.
The best mine formation is this:
You just want to drop a few clusters that look like this over possible fox poke paths, on your flanks and on the attack path.
If you scout the fox fast enough and the warren is placed in an isolated area you could also surround the warren with mines, killing it instantly as it is built. Warrens don’t see when they are building, so place your mines before they are build, you could also place mines on the path between the warren and your opponents base, where he will probably rally her.
Mines also hard counter lizards, they are fast, have low health and small range, so they cant even mine-clear (technically they can, but if you have more than ~3 or something, they will run into the mine)
A lizard has 7 hp, so a mine will one shot a single lizard, and 4 mines will one shot a whole group.
You want to place your mines differently based on the game state.
- 1) Lizard rush. Mines are nice, but units are usually better. If you spot lizards coming for you you wont have time to build mines, just do a standard response, sell your farm, build a warren. After the first attack your enemy will back off to wait for more lizards and to heal, that is your opportunity to place a mine down. Place it around your most exposed pig, where your enemy is most likely to attack. That should be enough to shut the follow up attack down.
- 2) Lizard back-door attack. If you have a back door and your opponent has lizards there are two things you can do. Either place a scouting mine in your flanks leading to your back door, giving your forwards warning of an attack. This is effective during the early game. Or, if you have enough eco and have expanded, so you have to keep your army at the expansion just place 4/5 mines in your back door close to your pigs. Your opponent will see the juice bacon, run in, blow up, and his lizards will either die to the mines instantly, or at-least they will be weak enough to be one shot by pigs making the attack impossible to continue. If only 3 mines were hit the enemy will probably lose a few lizards to pig fire before he retreats.
- 3) Squizard combo
You can either use the defensive mines from the general defence, to counter this combo, or when you are in the middle of the map you can simply surround your army with mines in a crescent moon shape, so that when your opponent attacks from one side with his squirrels and other side (or the front) with his lizards to get more attack surface area, both of his unit groups will be hit by mines. You may even kite to the mines on the unexploded side to lure his comp into even more explosions.
Alternatively, you could mine your army with a checker-board pattern (pattern is here just to increase the volume of the minefield, so it can cover your army better) and then simply kite when you get attacked, luring lizards into their doom.
You can also place 2×2 mine clusters randomly over the map, there is a good chance you enemy will run his lizards into them. Its no very reliable dou. You could just sprinkle single mines all over, to get huge map awareness.
Moles survive 1 explosion from a mine with 2 hp, so they aren’t that great, but they will still deal with moles if they are being massed. Mines can be used to counter mole rushes, just place a mine down next to your farm when you see a mole warren being placed, the mole warren will either be sold off, or your enemy will attack, the mole will take 10 damage, hit your farm, then take 2 pig shots and die. Depending on pig position and farm placement the mole might not get shot twice, in that case you should rather sell the farm before the mole hits it.
You could also place the mine next to the mole warren, then the warren would take damage, but you wont kill the mole, so he could just wait and heal it up to either sell it or attack again, so its probably is not a good idea to do that.
Don’t do it, mines can’t hit air, and mice will clear your mines for free
Badger has low enough heal to die to 7 mines, making it value. The problem is badger is run with pigeons, so if he doesn’t hit 7 mines right after each other he could just heal up and continue like nothing ever happened. Still they can be used on defence to weaken the badger to make it easier to kill and easier for your opponent to accidentally overextend, since he didn’t anticipate the mine (mines will also slow down the badger, making a pickoff even more likely).
You could also place like 15 mines in a big square and hope the badger walks into them. Not very likely but it worked for me a few times, and if you don’t have a badger counter, or aren’t confident in your falcon micro or think you just cant beat badger making a big mine square might be the best thing to do.
Sounds like a meme, but is a legit strat. First you need 10 mines to kill a boar, losing you 20 food in value. Which sounds bad, but we aren’t actually using the mines to hurt the baor, that is just a bonus, we want to mine the place where the boar will attack. Then the opponent will attack with the boar in the front, the boar will detonate the mines, but if his supporting army is close they will still take splash damage, making it a positive trade for us. The opponent can also have his army lag behind the boar so they don’t get damaged, but this is also good for us because it will separate the boar from its support, giving us more time to deal with it alone. The mines will also apply daze, slowing the boar down to a crawl, making a deadly boar bomb less likely and reducing the chances for a boar escape.
Make sure to not place your mines next to your army warrens or pigs, the boar splash will destroy them. Also dont place them too far away, otherwise the boar player could pull back and heal up, and he might scout for more mines. Also, do not kite into the mines, they will get hit by splash, I have made that mistake a few times.
When I played boar and knowingly attacked into defensive mines, my squirrels still got hit by splash even thou I tried to hold them back, because the boar slows down when he is attacking, then he walks into the mines exactly as my squirrels arrive to support him. It may not work against micro masters, but this strat can definitively be used to great effect.
Mines aren’t really used here to counter the wolf, more to counter the army that he supports. Since he is slow and therefore lagging behind his army, he probably wont hit a single mine.
The wolfs speed buff is both good and bad for mine play. The enemy is more likely to charge with his squirrel horde into a minefield, instantly deleting his army. But he can also use his speed to retreat after being hit with mines and not killed. Usually we rely on mine daze to slow down the enemy army so we can finish it off, but that wont work against the wolf.
I would recommend using a simple defensive mine placement based (explained in previous section) on countering the opponents army.
In America, mines counter t2, in Pocketwatch Vieshal t2 counter mines.
Don’t go mines against t2. They can just get hit, like and retreat. Even if you kill them it will only be an even trade at best. Some t2 even need 4 mines to die, chams mainly, snakes too, and skunks in the next patch as well.
Offensive Use of Mines
The most offensive use of mines is probably this:
But in TnT mines can also be used to support an attack, I shall explain them here.
Come, Run and Explode
Simple and usually effective, you will take your army, place it a bit away from your opponents mill, and start mining in front and on top of your army, while opponent doesn’t see you. Since you spend your mine on invisible mines, your opponent will see you army and he will think:
“Lmao, this noob moved out with such a small force, I will crush him easily”
Then when he attacks you will simply kite back and watch his army slowly erase itself from existence.
When he realizes what is happening and turns around you start following him and thanks to daze you will deal quite a bit of damage.
When I try this strat I usually place 3 mines, closest to the enemy where I want the battle to start, before I even move my army out, sometimes before I even place down my second warren. That way he wont have a chance to scout my mines (he is busy scouting my base and there is no army that he is worried about loitering about his lawn), and when I do move my army out and start planting mines that he easily scouts he will think.
“Awooga OoO, are those freshly placed mines? I better attack before they finish”
And then he attacks passing right throu my pre-build mines, its an easy bait.
If you opponent doesn’t take the bate you can just try some light poking on his pigs to provoke him, or just try to be in his face like this guy:
You can couple this strategy with ferrets/skunks to force the enemy to attack. The ferret variant is quite popular and pro’s use it to great effect.
You would like to use this strategy if you don’t want the game to go into mid/late game. The best time to strike is when enemy expands or techs, as it always is with attacking.
Posture for that Dosh-ture
This isn’t really an offensive strategy, but it will look like it is, we will move out to threaten the enemy to force him to stay at home while we eco up. We will move our army out, placing mines behind us. We will posture a bit, do an army dance to force the opponent to micro and not scout our eco. Then if he decides that he can take us and moves into for the kill we just start retreating and our enemy will walk into our mines, he will eventually stop and retreat, then we will start chasing him while replacing our mines. Either our enemy will commit to attacking throu mines weakening his army and giving us an army+defensive advantage, or he will retreat letting us keep our eco advantage.
Placing down mines when you are attacking is generally a good idea. Its not like any warrens you build will have an impact in the upcoming fight, and if you lose you will at least we able to fall back into safety.
How to Counter Mines?
How to counter this annoying and invisible menace?
- 1) Mine clear using t2 ( or t3 – boar/owl/badger). Simply walk your t2 over some terrain and after they detonate a mine wait for them to heal, then repeat. This is a quick easy and cost effective way to clear mines. This goes way faster if you have pigeons, as you don’t have to wait so long for your t2 to heal up.
- 2) Use your commander detection. It takes quite a bit of time for you stealth detection to activate, so you should only scout the most likely locations for mines, usually in front of the enemy expansion or on top of ledges.)
- 3) If you are moving your army, rally your t2 (chams) to the front, so they will mine clear most of the mines in the way.
- 4) If you scout where enemy mines are placed and he sells them, there is a chance he will put them back on the same spot after you leave, trying to mind game you, so if you have time you should scout those spots on your next scouting run.
- 5) Open steam => Right click Tooth and Tail => Manage => Uninstall
Mine Tips and Trics
Here are a few general tips and a few mine tricks I know about.
- 1) People usually place mines on the edges of high-grounds. This is good because it will blow up the first unit that comes on it, preventing enemy high ground vision for a little longer and slowing other troops so it takes even longer to climb that high-ground. It also gives more vision to scouting mines. It is also more satisfying to place mines on ledges. Just feels good. For those reasons people usually scout ledges more often for mines, so if you don’t really care about those advantages you should consider placing your mines on the low ground.
- 2) If you have mine selected and have enough money it highlights the square where you will build the mine. A square will not get highlighted if it is occupied, for example by an enemy mine, so you can just walk over terrain with you mine selected scanning for enemy mines. This trick should work with mole warrens too, but they are more expensive so you probably wont have enough money for the highlight when you start your scouting run.
- 3) Since you can place down mines anywhere and they are visible when building they will agro enemy units, such units also include cloaked chameleons. You can use this fact to scout for chameleon traps if you have a fox. Simply place a mine down and if there are chams near they will attack it. You can also slowly build a string of mines and then when you place a new one close to chams, they will run in to kill it, one of them will blow up on a string mine close and since you keep your fox on the mine string she is most likely going to attack that chameleon, dealing just enough damage to kill it. Placing mines for your fox is generally a good idea, because they will slow down any units trying to snipe her. It only gives you 20 food value, and isn’t the most reliable, but better to lose a mine than a fox.
- 4) You can put your chams on top of your mines, or just behind them, so when the enemy walks into them they will blow up and immediately be assaulted by chameleons.