I just started playing Dwarf Fortress about a week ago. It is definitely my new addiction. I've grasped almost all of the basic concepts (military, Dwarf Therapist, farming, and trading), but the thing which seems to constantly make me want to start over with a new fortress is the mass of migrants that I usually get around year 2 or 3.
Basically, I gain dwarves faster than I can build new rooms, larger meeting areas... well larger everything for that matter, and even if I do, it's a jumbled mess I cant make any sense of. My dilemma isn't being able to find things to do with the dwarves as it is preparing for them. It is completely impractical to carve out massive areas into the mountain early in the game without suffering consequences.
I find it challenging to keep 60+ dwarves happy, clothed, armed, and fed, not to mention the dozens of animals they bring in. I can only imagine what it's like trying to maintain 200 dwarves later in the game. So, my question is how can I prepare/build my fortress to efficiently maintain 100+ dwarves later on?
To help get an idea of what I'm asking, here is a list of things I'm having problems with:
My configuration of buildings tends to become unorganized and eventually completely inefficient in keeping up with the demand of multiple dwarves. I tend to only build one of every workshop/furnace, usually on the same level as everything else. The wiki tutorial suggests three smelters for each furnace, which seems like overkill since I definitely don't plan on having three furnace operators during the early game.
I can't seem to get the farms right. If I build individual plots it takes up too much of my time, but if I build large plots I never have enough seeds to provide for it until much later. During my current game I built one large plot early on (which only allowed me to plant one thing per season) and a second farm plot about a year or so later is taking forever to get going. The wiki mentions starting with a 3x3 plot under- and above-ground, though this definitely led to my dwarves dying a slow death.
Bedrooms are a huge issue I am having, as they are material- and time-consuming. I never seem to be able to produce the furniture fast enough. I usually make a bed, chest, door, and cabinet for each room and assigning a room for each dwarf, as it tends to make them happier.
Pens/Pastures take up a lot of space. Trying to figure out how much is a reasonable amount of space for late game is definitely trial-and-error. My pastures tend to be around 20x20, and I can't make it any bigger as I have walls set up to protect my pasture and surface builds. Unfortunately, I can tell that if I get too many more animals, the grass in the pasture is going to disappear completely. I have started to slaughter a few of the extra bunnies and bulls, which is helping, but I don't like to slaughter animals that provide milk/fur/eggs, so eventually the pastures fill past capacity. The wiki says a 10x10 should be good enough, but I don't see how that's possible.
In short, I am looking for a detailed answer.