Mines have been traditionally dismissed for being not as reliable as claymores but the more I use them the more I find them to be superior. There is, also, stigma of mines being a noob camping tool, which is kinda true but I discovered them to be much more than that.
So I compiled the list of advantages it has over Claymores and in general:
1. Easy to conceal.
Claymores have visible lasers, so you have to be smart at how to place them and you are often dependent on environment. It’s a whole art to place claymores well, unless you just want to block a narrow entrance to prevent enemy from entering unnoticed. Even then a diligent slow pushing enemy will be able to notice your claymore in most cases.
Mines are super noob friendly in comparison and they are harder to notice due to lack of lasers and enemy doesn’t have to be as close to trigger them. Overall, you have a lot more options on how to place them effectively and thus have more versatility.
2. Area denial/Enemy alert.
Claymores are excellent at alerting you of coming enemy. But you don’t always have suitable narrow entrance, sometimes enemy can simply walk around lasers.
Mine has a good detection radius around it, so you can make even 3 meter wide corridors impossible to pass. Mines are especially mean to those, who rush up the staircase, if they fail to notice the mine, they can’t dodge it at all.
This way I create safe space that is protected from two directions, in some environments I can make it impossible for enemies to reach us unnoticed and thanks to mine’s wide detection range I can do it in more situations than with claymores. Teammates have less angles to watch and can do their camping shenanigans with less risk of being flanked.
3. Ability to damage multiple enemies.
Claymore in vast majority cases will damage only one person. It is super rare for more than one enemy to get affected.
Mine’s wide damage radius offers good potential to damage multiple enemies, which is not uncommon, when whole squad is trying to rush you together. One skilled person can dodge but it’s unlikely that whole enemy team in the vicinity of the mine will be able to do the same, considering that enemies that are slightly behind have less time to react.
4. Double trap.
Two mines can be placed together to create one potent trap that can almost always down an enemy.
Enemy may try to dodge first mine only to have second mine explode in the face. Famous example is how you can put two mines next to lift, one close and one farther away, enemy is guarantied to get downed or heavily damaged.
Claymores due to explosion being directional are harder to create similar trap and small range with smaller damage rarely will reward you as much.
Such trap can also be done with munition/armor box + mine. Same is possible to achieve with claymore but mine offers much better placement versatility.
5. The way mine explodes.
Mine is easy to dodge by going prone because of delayed explosion and this is mainly why people prefer claymores. But it’s a double edged sword, this delay can play to your advantage too.
When squad pushes you, first guy triggers it and the delay allows enemies farther behind to get into explosion range, so you have potential of much greater reward than with claymore.
You can take advantage of enemy dodging reflex. Instead of looking at the target to shoot, enemy is distracted by trying to dodge the mine. A target that goes prone is an easy target to shoot at, prone opponent is not always able to aim at you effectively, also, it is not uncommon for enemy to not be able to go prone due to walls and other environmental objects, which can screw up their movement farther.
Moreover, the mine creates temporary smoke, which can obscure enemy vision, making it harder to find a target to shoot at.
Whatever enemy movement is, the mine creates a solid distraction, sense of panic and chaos. I know from myself how easy it is to lose focus and get distracted from the objective, whenever you hear mine’s bleeping alarm. Not to mention the instant desire to run away and re-plate upon receiving damage.
With all of that in mind when you are pre-aiming the rigged entrance, you can easily down multiple enemies or at least gain initial advantage for your team.
6. Mines can be thrown far.
Lately C4 oozed back into the meta (or at least re-gained some of its popularity) thanks to the fact that you can still throw it at respectable distance with a well timed jump. Turns out with the same technique you can throw mines just as far!
During testing I could throw mine 0.5-1m father than C4 and only 0.5m less high than C4. This means that mines have offensive potential.
You can throw mines into tight rooms and through entrances. You can throw mines into second floor windows. You can throw mines at passing by vehicles. You can throw mines from high ground towards enemies below. You can use them pretty much the same as C4.
There is a strong downside, however. It takes around 2 seconds for mine to activate after landing and then more time to explode after being triggered. The point remains that it gives you C4 like offensive option despite seemingly being purely defensive utility. And even even if enemy manages to dodge the mine, that’s the time he is not shooting at you, while you can fully capitalize on that timing.
Also, you can shoot your own mine right after it lands(can’t shoot it mid air unfortunately). Great way to spam rooms and other tight spaces. Enemy, also, may get provoked to go prone only for the mine to explode into his face. Alternatively, you can rush entrance immediately after explosion and catch enemy, while he is disoriented. Your teammate(s) can push into explosion as well.
7. Ease of use.
To make claymores effective you need to be very precise, you have to stand right where you place them and be turned in a certain direction, and it often takes extra time and multiple tries to get it right, all of which severely limits their usefulness mid fight or during hectic situations, where you need to act fast and don’t have time to make good placement.
With mines things are a lot simpler, you can simply aim and throw them where you want. Often it is unsafe to approach the placement spot, so instead you can just throw the mine where you want from a safe distance. With experience you can become more precise at landing mines exactly where you want and even a badly placed mine can still serve desired purpose unlike claymore.
Other times you run from enemy and can just carelessly throw mine below you or in any sneaky place you may see while running. Just make sure to jump just before starting the throw, so you lose minimum speed. I am aware that claymores can be used exactly the same way but narrow directional detection makes it less reliable.
Ability to place mines easily and over distance allows to be a lot more aggressive and versatile with using them during fights.
8. Mine is the best retreating point for your team.
One thing I love to do is throwing a mine in a suitable retreating point before pushing enemy. On unfavorable exchange we can retreat behind the mine and safely re-plate or even revive teammates.
Mines are far more consistent compared to claymores for this specific job. If I did not have a mine placed prior, I can throw it fast where I need to without losing precious time, and wide detection range of the mine makes it very hard for enemy to pass unnoticed. We get warned and the damage that enemies may sustain can either deter them from pushing or give us a better chance to counter their counter push.
Things I explained in point 5 perfectly apply here, me or a teammate can watch the entrance, while the rest are re-plating/reviving.
I bashed into the head of my teammates to not hard commit to fights, where they full on jump in and rely on spray and pray to win every engagement. Gauge at enemy defences, pick your fights wisely and on taking damage immediately retreat to the safe space created by the mine. This both allows us to work better as a team and baits enemies to run into my mine and get punished hard.
Additionally when possible, I leave another mine much farther behind, so that we don’t get caught off guard from the flank mid fight or when re-plating. It is very common for one camping enemy to jump out of window or whatever other side exit and try to catch us from behind, or we simply may get third partied. Basically I take advantage of point 2, while pushing enemy and it gives us a lot more consistency in what usually is a risky and unpredictable move.
9. Riot shield soft counter.
Of course it is not as good as semtex/molly/thermite. But it is still gives you room to outplay shield user.
Shield enemy cannot go prone, so mine will always do some damage. You can bate enemy to chase you around a corner/cover, where he will trip on your mine.
In open space you can throw mine down and bait shielder to push through the mine, either he will not notice and trigger it or slow down to avoid it, at minimum you will manage to gain distance to throw stun or get a chance to try other means of winning.
You can, also, throw mine next to enemy and shoot it to get immediate explosion, shield user may be able to turn to block it but it will expose him to your bullets.
10. Rig floor loot.
Cluster of loot with enemy corpses allows to make mines near or fully invisible and it’s a perfect bait for enemies. This is something I learned back from zombie mode, where you rig corpse with mine and wreck the zombie that takes the bait.
You don’t often can use such opportunity cos you need mines elsewhere but there are suitable situations nevertheless.
11. Combo with stun.
You know what’s more op than point 8? Instantly stunning enemy the moment mine is triggered (or just before that). Hol up, stun is not instant! It can be:
Two enemies dropped, both tried to pre-fire thanks to heartbeat, completely failed to react to mine because they were already stunned.
Whatever plan enemy may have, it stops being relevant. Can’t react, can’t aim, can’t run, health is already low, GG.
More details on stun launcher are here:
12. Higher damage than Claymores.
Doh! Like people don’t know that. But this advantage becomes a lot more relevant in the context of all the previous points. High reward at expense of people occasionally being able to dodge it is well worth it.
And it’s not like Claymores don’t have inconsistencies. Enemy detecting lasers – inconsistency right there. People use Claymores mainly as alert of enemy presence, mine does exactly the same job but due to high damage and ability to affect multiple targets it can be significantly more impactful.
Restock is a must for the way I use mines, I almost always have a spare mine and don’t have to run back to collect previously placed mines. It allows me to play more aggressive as I get to stay mobile and efficient, and can consistently use them in every environment I push or rotate to. With mines (and snapshots) I milk the shit out of Restock.
Mines are the first lethal utility that felt relevant to me since pre-nerf C4. I never managed to get truly good with semtex or thermite, it always felt meh and situational. But with mines I find great use in nearly every fight(except open field fights) and it greatly benefits my whole team.