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I've been playing Dwarf Fortress for a while now, and I've built 3 fortresses. Every time it's the same - I get to around 4 months in, a werebeast shows up, infects/kills my dwarves, then I wait. The next full moon, the infected dwarves transform, and then the cycle repeats.

I expected that something would happen the first time due to the nature of the game, but this last time I had just gotten my militia set up and trained, and even still, the same thing happened.

Based on this question, I know how I can kill dwarves I know to be infected, but I want to kill the werebeast right at the start, to prevent as many casualties as possible. Getting large numbers of militia isn't an option as this is early on and I only receive about one wave of migrants (some of which are children) before getting attacked.

How can I deal with a werebeast early on in the game (about 4 months in after the first migrant wave)?

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    Given this is Dorf Fortress were talking about, you should be able to set up some sort of manual pit trap or seal it in a chamber for eternity. Or you could follow the strategy in the wiki dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Werebeast for infecting all your dwarves. – Fambida Jul 17 '16 at 17:14
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Several Options:

Werebeasts are building destroyers, and will gravitate towards buildings to destroy. "Buildings" includes doors and (S)upports. Build a door or a support with a 5x5 layer of floor tiles on top, which aren't connected to anything else. The werebeast will destroy the support/door and the floor tiles will cave in on them. (NOTE: if you use a door, remember to LOCK it, so that your master weaponsmith doesn't accidentally open it.) If you have an artifact support or door, even better: the werebeast will make a beeline for the artifact, but will only be able to deconstruct it, not destroy it.

Have the most direct available path into your fort be an area with drawbridges at either end, and when the werebeast enters, close both drawbridges. Works best if you have some statues or some-such in there, to distract the werebeast to give the doors time to close. (Artifacts work particularly well as bait).

Variation of the above that I discovered by accident: When I have an area off of my entrance path that's not connected to anything else, but that has a Butchershop, a Tannery, a Fishery, a Carpentry shop, and a Boyers shop in it, the werebeast tends to wander into that area and get distracted destroying all the workshops. Often stays busy for long enough that it transforms and wanders away on it's own. Or, you can have a drawbridge at the entrance to your bait-room, and close it while the werebeast is destroying everything.

Another way to take advantage of the building-destroyer tag: Floodgates are buildings that can be destroyed. Floodgates can have magma behind them. (Just make sure it won't flow over any masterwork engravings. And use a magma-proof material for the floodgate)

Various other traps, such as pit-traps (a draw-bridge on the floor that can be manually opened while the werebeast is on it) are possible. Or, a drawbridge that when it's opened releases a flood of magma into the hall.

Or, get creative with very over-elaborate-death-traps. In dwarf fortress, the answer to any problem is always "more magma" with a side-helping of "over-elaborate death trap"

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    The shop-destroyer trick looks really good, I'll have to try it next time! Given that it's early on (and I'm somewhat new) I have yet to use magma, but there is usually (for me) a lot of spare wood that can be used up. Is there a way to set it so no dwarves use those shops so they won't get killed in the attack? – ASCIIThenANSI Aug 5 '16 at 14:18
  • Hi! Sorry I missed your comment until now :/. I know you've probably figured it out by now, but for the sake of future googlers with the same question, there are (at least) two options: – LindaJeanne Apr 3 '18 at 14:16
  • Option A is to use the military screen to set up a civilian zone (that excludes the workshops) and an alarm (how to do that is beyond the scope of a comment). If a werebeast attacks, you sound the alarm, and everyone flees to the civilian zone, leaving those workshops unoccupied. – LindaJeanne Apr 3 '18 at 14:18
  • Option B, if you really only want those workshops to be used as bait and not by dwarves, is that if you have a manager set up on the Nobles screen, you can restrict the use of workshops based on dwarf, skill level, etc, and can thus restrict those particular workshops so that no one can use them. – LindaJeanne Apr 3 '18 at 14:20

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