I'm browsing through the military wiki for Dwarf Fortress and I have not figured out a way to do this.

I would like to make a squad of archers, maybe just two or three at the start. I want one to be stationed near my tunnel where I have war dogs to detect intruders. I will have an archer wall dug out so he can shoot through fortifications. That way if anyone is detected they can open fire.

But I want the other dwarves in the squad that are NOT on guard duty to practice shooting or brawling.

Is this possible to do within one squad? Or should I design a training squad and a guard post squad?


2 Answers 2


You can put the archery range and ammo storage where they want them to stand watch, that way they will train while no enemies are present and engage enemies when they appear. Note that dwarves will prefer wooden bolts for training and metal bolts for active duty, so doing this will impair their combat effectiveness somewhat, but wooden arrows are good enough most of the time, and the increase in training time will make them better at fighting anyway. If an ammo stockpile is nearby (or better, directly under them), you can put them on alert, making sure they use metal bolts without wasting time to run to the stockpile while enemies move out of the way.

If you dislike that option, you can use 2 or more squads scheduled to stand guard and train during different months.


You can't have only part of a squad on duty and the rest be off duty. You have to do this with two squads.

  • So training is considered an off-duty activity? Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 19:30
  • Last I looked, yeah, training, sleeping, eating, sparring, sitting in on demonstrations are all off duty activities. On duty is at their posts, walking patrol, and in battle. Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 19:33
  • I'm not 100% sure that's right - they still need to be scheduled for "active duty" to train. They must be scheduled for training, otherwise they'll go back to civilian life and act as farmers/miners/brewers/etc.
    – Landric
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 0:18
  • You can now, when you assign less than the maximum dwarfs to an activity the leftover will count as off duty. You can also mixmatch them, giving 4 dwarf training, 2 dwarf watching and the rest resting Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 2:09

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