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I've got a lot of dwarves hunting wildlife, and figured that I could use the marskdwarf training they're getting and station some of them in a lookout tower, in case of ambush.

I tried to accomplish this by creating a squad consisting of all 9 hunters and setting their order to (through ms) to station a minimum of 3 soldiers at a point. However, almost the whole squad spends all of their time there. Is there any way to let the rest of the marksdwarves continue huntint wildlife?

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3 Answers

My personal preference is to set the dwarfs stationed as marksdwarfs indefinitely. Then, when you want to kill some animals, simply give them the kill command on various animals via the squad menu. The advantage to using this is are:

  • you can easily station all dwarves in the tower during a seige
  • You can choose which animals to target, so no dwarf attempts to singlehandedly fight a giant zombie elephant
  • The marksdwarves will tend to shoot from a longer range, gaining marksman experience faster, at the cost of not gaining ambushing and hammering experience. (YMMV)
  • Looking at the kill list lets you know what animals are around, so you often get a warning about those zombie pandas before the Urist was interrupted by zombie panda messages show up.
  • You can choose not to kill certain animals that you like having around, for breeding or whatnot

Downside is that it takes more micromanagement.

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The best way to do this is via a patrol route. The first two steps will be to build your tower and your squad. Once that's done:

  • Use the N menu to define points around the inside of your tower. I usually do opposite corners and a third point on the ground level that has an ammo stockpile - this prevents them from standing around with empty quivers.
  • Add a route connecting the points you've made.
  • In the ms menu, define their schedule to be "Patrol Route" with a minimum number smaller than the entire group.

The links I've included go into more detail and have screenshots as well.

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Split the squad up into two squads. Schedule them to be on duty 50% of the time. Arrange the two squads on duty time to be the opposite of each other, so that one squad is off duty while the other is one.

The off duty squad will do whatever they want--- train, work, hang out, etc. Higly self-motivated dwarves will train. Non-lazy dwarves will return to their civilian duties, including hunting. Lazy dwarves will just stand around in some social area talking to other dwarves and go get something to eat and drink whenever the whim takes them.

Or, since you have 9, you could split them up into 3 squads of 3 members each. That would give a longer time "off duty" to each squad, allowing for more free time to do whatever they need to or want to (2 squads rotation means 6 months on/off duty, 3 squads in rotation means 4 months on duty, 8 months off duty).

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There's no need to split squads like that. You can give an order that has "station 3 at X, train 3" for one month for a single squad and they'll generally do the right thing. They'll do it better in fact, since when they go to drink/eat, their post will be filled by someone who was off duty before. –  Daenyth May 23 '12 at 3:41
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