Minelayers are a specialized group of ships optimized for the mine laying role. They are generally fast and lightly armed, and as the name suggests their primary armament consists of mines. These small vessels usually lay their mines, then evade enemy fire until a mine or two has been detonated, almost certainly sinking the enemy.
Roles and Usage
These vessels are the best for restricting movement of faster, lighter vessels. Designed to take advantage of high-speed and maneuverability, these ships are also dual-purpose vessels. The vessel depicted above is more accurately a destroyer. The MAS Sentinel found on the Torpedo Boat page is also technically a torpedo boat, though she has the capability to lay mines. Submarines are also examples of the duality of these vessels- effective submarine tactics with mines almost involve torpedoes in one stage of the operation, whether to perform the finishing blow or to cripple the movement to the point where mines are unavoidable.
Minelayers are typically armed depending on the type of vessels. Minelayers such as that pictured are armed similarly like destroyers, and can be classified as such. Submarines converted for the role are often armed like non-minelaying submarines, save for the naval mines.
Keep your distance; do not close in more than 10 km. Continually move laterally relative to the enemy vessel. Lay out mines in diagonal lines as you retreat, as this will maximize the chance of the enemy boat hitting a mine. Overall, use tactics similar to that of destroyers and fast boats. If the minelayer is a submarine, continue to use standard submarine tactics.
These ships are often tied with the fates of destroyers and fast boats, as both rely on similar tactics and employ the same tactics. However, given the array of precise, long-distance weapons, they could clip down a minelayer very quickly. Thus, these vessels will continue to be dual-purpose ships, serving a wide variety of roles to the point where they are classified as other ships.