23a:Dwarven atom smasher
|This article is about an older version of DF.|
The Dwarven Atom Smasher is a euphemism for a Drawbridge in militarily-significant applications. It exploits the implementation of drawbridges to utterly destroy any objects and creatures in its target area. Unlike in later versions, any creature can be atom-smashed, even megabeasts and demons.
Smashing against the floor
In this design, a drawbridge is built to come down on at least one tile of solid floor. The drawbridge is raised, the targets move into position on that floor, and then the drawbridge is lowered, squashing the targets flat. In Dwarf Fortress, "squashed flat" is implemented as "erased from existence".
This is the most common design, since large areas (up to 5x10 or 6x9 - any larger would trigger a cave-in) can be affected per bridge; it's easy to create one big corridor of death and kill an entire goblin raiding party in one fell splat.
Smashing upon closing
In this design, a very compact drawbridge (as little as one tile long) is used, and the target area is the one-tile wide anchoring area, where the bridge will close. This often uses walls, locked doors, or other solid objects, leaving the targets nowhere to go. The drawbridge is lowered, the targets move into position on the tile(s) that the drawbridge will occupy when closing, and then the drawbridge is raised, squashing the targets flat.