This is Urist McImdsm of Iton Datan, member of the Tomb of Heroes.

We've been attacked by (initially) 32 undead. They've since eaten chickens and badgers.

We are holed up in our fortress, which has walls on three sides with a 1 tile water moat outside of the walls, and a river on the right of the fortress. We are 22 dwarves strong, safe inside our tunnels, with ample food and drink. The drawbridge is up and secure.

We don't really have a functioning military, but I suppose we now have the time to train.

What options do I have for getting rid of these undead attackers?

I was thinking, we could build an archery platform and when they walk near, pelt them with bolts, but then, can't undead only be killed by decapitation? How should we handle this?

Our beards grow long whilst we ponder the situation.

  • 1
    Why don't you open the drawbridge and let them walk onto the traps?
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 19:36
  • 1
    A risky strategy, there is always the chance that there will not be enough traps... or that they all follow the same path... maybe I could build walls to channel them around, causing them to walk through more traps! Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 19:38
  • 3
    Or just open the drawbridge long enough to let a couple cross, then close it again. This will have the added bonus of flinging any of them standing on it into the air. Also, be careful of those merchants. They tend to get angry if they're trapped inside.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 19:39
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    @SaintWacko won't that fling the undead over the traps and inside the courtyard?
    – kotekzot
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 19:54
  • 3
    Remembered a situation like this once, I was all walled off in my above ground fort trying to defend against an army of goblins, so I thought it would be a unique idea to pump out lava in order to incinerate the buggers. It worked, but also incinerated an elven caravan that decided to show at the wrong time, leading me into a war I could not win. Such good times. :D
    – Hugabooga
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


By the looks of it, your fortress isn't in an evil region and therefore you aren't dealing with evil weather undead, but regular undead, which are susceptible to all forms of damage (piercing, slashing, crushing) - archers will take care of them just fine, provided there isn't a necromancer to reanimate the bodies. Traps remain the safest option to deal with most foes, but are rather boring. Slashing traps and weapons, however, are far from boring if a necromancer is around, turning one zombie into a bunch of individual zombie bits. If you're certain there isn't a necromancer around, you can just take them in melee combat or do any number of things to them (hell, make a zoo out of them) except killing them with magma (but you can make an undead magma zoo). If there is a necromancer, I would suggest annihilating them with drawbridges or containing them with cage traps, to make sure they can't be raised again. You can also use cage traps to catch a necromancer (drawbridge annihilation isn't easy to do if the enemy is hidden, which necromancers are, initially), but keep in mind that they will raise dead even from inside a cage.

If they breach your fort and you don't believe you have the strength to defeat them in combat, walling yourself off and preparing may be a good solution. You can use burrows to get your dwarves all in the same place. If they happen to occupy an important part of your fortress, you can get them to move by chaining an animal in a long tunnel/maze and giving them a path to it, then walling them inside.

  • 3
    Note traps are dangerous also if a Necro is around. A spinning disk trap turns one full zombie into a number of zombie parts, all capable of attacking. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 20:08
  • 1
    @djsmiley2k good point, I'll add that.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 20:10
  • 4
    This worked for me, I captured most of them (30 ish) in cages, and then killed the last two with a squad of dwarves. We survive another day! Thanks guys Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 20:19
  • 1
    I miss this fortress. It was my favourite. :( Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 10:53

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