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I have a Giant Rat running around in my fortress eating my stores and drinking my drinks (kind of like a new peasant, actually). How do I get my dwarfs to drop what they are doing and just massacre the thing?

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Assuming you have some dwarves assigned to a squad already you just need to issue a kill order to the squad. First open the squad menu with s, select your squad by pressing the letter next to it. On the squad menu, press k to issue a kill order, then l to list enemies, move to the rat, and press enter. The squad will automatically move to the rat and attack it.

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    It is complicated... I am still thinking about (or betting enough bravery to) starting to learn DF, and responses like this intimidate me. How often do rats like this appear during the course of a game? When they do, though, I think your answer will be a lifesavier to me, as I will surely not remember so many keys! PS Rat, not bat. Still your answer is useful :)
    – NPC
    Jul 28, 2010 at 14:21
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    @NPC It sounds more complicated than it is. You don't have to memorize s,k,l, you can muddle your way through the screens (which I usually do). There's a helpful menu tab (that you can hide) that shows all the menu keys. The hardest part is figuring out where to use - and + vs down and up in a menu.
    – C. Ross
    Jul 29, 2010 at 12:53
  • The kill command also has direct targeting, so if you can see the rat you can just designate it with the cursor.
    – Scott
    Aug 17, 2010 at 16:02

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