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How important is it to get my military squads fully equipped? I'm having a really rough time surviving any goblin ambushes.

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Antony, what question do you want answered, "Why are the goblins ambushing" or "how important is it to have fully equipped squads"? – C. Ross Aug 3 '10 at 18:07
@C. Ross The latter. I was trying too hard to make the title catchy. – antony.trupe Aug 3 '10 at 18:12
Don't shoot for catchy titles. Use a title that describes or summarizes what you're actually asking about. Otherwise, people get confused over what is being asked and it won't be easy to get an answer. – Grace Note Aug 3 '10 at 19:42
How many militia are you running antony and how are they equipped? – C. Ross Aug 3 '10 at 19:45
@C. Ross I'm going with the formula round_up(pop/10). So far I've had within one same number of militia as ambushers, but armor has been ad-hoc(cloth mostly, if that even counts). – antony.trupe Aug 3 '10 at 19:48
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're having trouble with ambushers, there are multiple defenses you can employ to defend your fortress.

  • Troops
    • This is the most flexible, but also most time intensive way to defend your area.
    • Requires dwarves, weapons, and armor.
  • Walls
    • A fixed defense, but can completely stop current goblin ambushers.
    • Requires stone (usually abundant) and masons.
  • Traps
    • A fixed defense, but it can stop most ambushes.
    • Requires stone, mechanics, and sometimes weapons.
  • A moat (or other terrain features)
    • A fixed defense, but the simplest of defenses.
    • Just miners
  • War animals
    • A fairly strong defense. Usually dogs, but more effective with bears, etc.
    • Tame animals, and an animal trainer.

Most people combine these in some arrangement. You will need some sort of defense in dwarf fortress because you're almost guaranteed to be attached by something.

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I'd like to add minecarts to this. Minecarts are versatile and devastating in their applications. Have the invaders enter through the muzzle of a minecart railgun. Have them navigate a minecart blender. Launch sharp or heavy objects, water, magma or even rotten body parts from a previous siege through fortifications at the advancing enemy. Have your crossbowmen do drive-by shootings! – Fnord23 Feb 3 at 16:34

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