40d Talk:Armor

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Equiping any armour with a modded dwarf[edit]

If you change the size to say size 500 they will not equip say your masterwork platemail. Yeahh. Someone should put a bolded blerb in there. I lost many a marksman the last couple days to arrows. They only put on shield. In one case a masterwork buckler and a shield. THat would look akward. --Captnapollo12 @ 23:31, 23 February 2010

This armor article is not a modding article. Are you familiar with the last line of this template?template:mod--Albedo 06:19, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


Corrected the matter with low and high boots. If you look at the raws you can see that the armor level of both boot types are the same and thus they can both be used as chain and plate armor. My games have proved this to me. Only real difference between the two boot types is that the high boot is heavier and protects more of the body than just the feet. Noctis 05:18, 22 December 2007 (EST)

clothes layers[edit]

Does anyone know the rules of where you can wear each piece of armor? For example, can you wear a high boot and leggings? or only low boots with leggings? Do you need to make two boots? --Mitchy 20:30, 9 November 2007 (EST)

You can wear high boots with leggings. Leggings and high boots have different layers. --JT 17:15, 11 November 2007 (EST)

On a similar note, what's the difference between steel leggings and steel greaves? I would've thought leggings would cover below the knee as well. Do I need both to provide maximum Xtreme protection? Runspotrun 15:17, 18 November 2007 (EST)

As far as I can tell, greaves are the Plate class upgrade to leggings, which are Chain class lower body armor. Unlike upper body armor however, dwarves don't appear to be able to wear both leggings and greaves at once and will drop their leggings in favour of a set of greaves when set to Plate armor. --TangoThree 14:03, 25 November 2007 (EST)

Protection values[edit]

I would like to know if it's possible to find out the various protection values of different types of armor. For example, we know the material and quality modifiers for armor, but not, say, how much better plate mail protects you than chain. Or whether greaves or high boots offer more coverage. I ask because I'm wondering if, with high quality modifiers, adamantine clothing is viable protection for those who aren't wearing armor. Certainly, it'd make a good halfway measure for those who can't do magma smelting yet, but can get a Craftsdwarf's Workshop, Loom, and Clothesmaker's Workshop set up to extract the threads, weave them, and make clothes. --Alfador 11:48, 13 December 2007 (EST)


I think some of this article, specifically that stuff in the Using armor section, should be moved over to an article more dedicated to soldier preferences. As it is, it's describing everything about arming civilians with weapons instead of simply talking about armoring civilians; that content seems more appropriate for an article about soldiers or the hunting article. --JT 17:15, 11 November 2007 (EST)


I can verify that when setting dwarves to chain, they wear gauntlets --Nog 16:21, 12 November 2007 (EST)

Leather Armor re: Caps and Helms[edit]

A soldier set to leather armor can wear leather helms, not just caps, and they'll wear a cap at the same time underneath (at least, if it's silk. I haven't confirmed yet if a soldier will wear a leather cap + a leather helm; doesn't really matter). This is a good thing because helms (according to the old wiki) have higher Block. They're heavier too but this shouldn't be a problem. --Stromko 19:57:15 (PST), January 06 2007

In the old versions, the materials of the armor pieces were irrelevant, regardless of the fact that the lowest armor level is called "leather". Leather and chain wearers would wear any kind of legging or boot, and a plate wearer would wear even a pig tail helm, if they happened to come across one, showing no preference for better material types or quality. Has this changed, or does the table in this article contain some wrong assumptions?--Maximus 02:42, 7 January 2008 (EST)
I seem to recall that 'light' materials like cloth, shell, and bone effectively 'downgraded' armor by one level, weighed half as much, and were 50% of the maximum effectiveness per their type. However! I can see right now in my current fortress a steel cap is 78 pounds and a cave spider silk cap is 13 pounds. This shows not all old information is correct.

Furthermore, bone and shell doesn't become a 'lighter' class. Shell Gauntlets require Chain or above to be assigned, and Turtle Bone Greaves go un-used until a dwarf is set to Plate.

However, I /can/ confirm from this very fortress I'm looking at right now, that dwarves assigned to leather went to pick up and wear Leather Helms. Unless, that is, they already have metal Caps. I'm looking at a marksdwarf right now assigned to wear Leather who has a Steel Cap, a pig tail hood (they all have hoods), and no helm. Everybody else has a leather helm.

I should note my fortress has no metal helms lying around, nor does it have spare metal caps, so I'm unable to verify that dwarves set to Leather wouldn't wear metal Helms or preferentially choose caps (they'd probably choose /either/ Metal Caps or Leather Helms if given a choice). However, I'm pretty sure they would not. Therefore, it is my understanding that they make a distinction between different material types. --Stromko 03:22 (PST), January 07 2007

Shields and Bucklers[edit]

Hmm it states here that dwarves can wear BOTH shields and bucklers, however in soldiering screen you can select EITHER shield OR buckler, but NOT both. Does this part of article apply to Adv. mode only? Could someone verify, please? --Digger 18:21, 24 February 2008 (EST)

I would guess the trick is to tell them to use bucklers first, waiting til they pick one up, then telling them to use shields, at which point they'll pick up a shield without dropping the buckler first. Like how you can get dwarves to wear a leather armour, chain mail, and plate on top all at the same time if you set them to leather, then chain, then plate. Furiousfish 20:54, 6 March 2008 (EST)

Has anyone ever determined whether the material of the shield has any effect? (i.e. is a leather shield as effective as a steel shield?) --3lB33 13:33, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I have to admit it's not 100% clear (to me at least) how shields work - whether they simply determine "hit/no hit", or add a "damage block" number to reduce damage if/when they do block an attack. If the latter, it's is a central concept of armor. See Shield#Material. However, --Albedo 17:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Natural Selection[edit]

Being a bit of a nooblet, and not having much war in any of my fortresses, I'm confused as to how armor selection works.

Would I be correct if I said "Setting a dwarf to wear Plate armor will cause him to grab plate whenever and wherever possible, but substitute leather, chain, or bone wherever no plate is available. So, for example, if my metalsmiths never make helms, but my leatherworker has caps and helms galore, they'll wear plate armor and a leather helm. Right? If so, this should probably be mentioned. --Shadow archmagi 19:24, 28 February 2008 (EST)

I've found that a dwarf set to wear plate will grab the best available armor. More puzzling is that they will sometimes stack armor; IE dwarves wearing plate mail and chain mail at the same time. However, I never keep a stock of leather armor, so I wouldn't know if it can be used in conjunction with metal armor.--Eurytus 22:29 21 April 2008 (EDT)
The dwarves seem to be notorious for pulling on a full suit of armour ie chain-then-plate, there's a reason a fort I made (whose metal industry relies on eg coal and lignite) is making all chain-mail, crossbows and shields to defend against gobbo raids ;) --Frostedfire 09:13, 3 June 2008 (EDT)

Just wanted to point out that leather armor and plate can't be put on together.


My military is set to wear Leather armor, but they don't take leather gloves. High boots, leggings, armor and helmets are used OK. Is the article data incorrect?--Dorten 04:51, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

Some equipment is unavaliable for dwarf use because it is the incorrect size. --AlexFili 09:40, 3 June 2008 (EDT)

My guess is that your dwarves are already wearing cloth gloves. This is considered clothing level armor, the same level as leather gloves. They see no reason to switch armor when the leather gloves provide the same "level of protection." I think your best bet would be to dump their cloth gloves, if you're that worried about them. You can always reclaim them later. --PrettyGrizzly 11:00, 4 July 2008 (EDT)


This has an excellent table defining the bonuses for quality/materials, but completely excludes artifact modifiers. I would assume that these would always be the best, regardless, of material, but I just found myself with a rhesus macaque leather shield and don't know if I should use it in place of, oh, I don't know, a more steel one.

Currently, the exact modifier for artifact quality seems to be unknown. HeWhoIsPale 18:27, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

Fort-mode equipment quirks[edit]

The edit I just made was prompted by seeing a dwarf wearing twelve cloaks, and remembering the "cannot wear cloaks" phrase mentioned in the pre-edit version of the bit below the giant table. I tried to reconcile the two statements that were already there, particularly in light of said cloak-happy dwarf. However, there's also one thing I'm wondering about: is the number of equipped items partially determined by what order they're put on in fortress mode? I think it is, but am not sure, so I decided not to include that. If it's the case, however, I think it'd be worth mentioning along with the cloaks part (even in the old version of the page, should somebody decide to revert my edit or something). --LegacyCWAL 20:23, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

Dungeon masters wear nothing but 12 colors of cloaks and mittens. --Zchris13 13:07, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Over Under Armor Cover[edit]

Besides sounding like a Daft Punk chorus, these are four LAYER values. I know what Over and Under do with respect to each other: You can't wear Under on top of Over. Do the others follow the same pattern, are they all ordered? Is there some more mysterious effect for "Cover" and "Armor"? --Sowelu 01:04, 27 November 2008 (EST)

Decorating Armor[edit]

Wasn't sure whether to ask this here or under gem setter - is it not possible to get a gem setter to decorate armor? I know leather armor can receive images and bone/shell decorations (and presumably the bone/shell applies to metal as well), I can't fathom why you can't put gems on suits of armor given that.... --Squirrelloid 11:44, 5 December 2008 (EST)

AFAIK no, it isn't possible to decorate armor or weapons. That's one of the more frequently requested additions on the forums.LegacyCWAL 14:33, 5 December 2008 (EST)
It is, however, possible to acquire armor already decorated with gems via trade with a caravan. --Sev 16:09, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Said armor would unlikely to be masterwork, nor with masterwork decorations. Nor would it be made of adamantine. I'm afraid its no real supplement. --Squirrelloid 16:35, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Oh, sure, if you want to, like, *survive*. Instead of look pretty. Where are your priorities? :) --Sev 16:50, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I want to survive *and* look pretty. When faced with a choice of two appealing options, the correct choice is obviously 'yes'. --Squirrelloid 17:01, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I suppose you have a point. Oh, well, back to Stud with platinum. --Sev 19:25, 5 December 2008 (EST)

Markdwarves only work with bucklers?!?![edit]

I guess that makes sense since historically, bucklers were made to strap to the forearm and allow archers to use their bows...

Anyway, it seems my markdwarves don't like it when I make them use a shield. They stop carrying ammunition and won't practice shooting when off duty.

Is this the reason or is something else going on? Anyway, if it is indeed the case that markdwarves don't work with shields, it deserves mention, right? --Jpwrunyan 13:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

It's unclear, for this reason: ThreeToe has stated, point blank, that "The two handed code is broken right now... the crossbow is always two handed." So it's unclear if a marksdwarf ever actually uses a shield or buckler if they're holding a crossbow - they might be using it 2 handed in melee as well (and I more than suspect they are).
The way you suspect it to work is, I'd guess, the way it's supposed to work... whether that has anything to do with the way it does work is another guess.--Albedo 14:24, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I've found that the best way is not to assign a buckler/shield at all. They then will use the free hand to carry practice bolts while off duty, while keeping metal bolts in the quiver for use at a moments notice. I suppose if the dwarf was done training, then you could assign a buckler.--Kwieland 19:37, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


Leather armor, should have it's own page. It is an item, like platemail.--Zchris13 17:22, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

I've been thinking about the "armour" category in general - every different item does not need its very own page. What is there to say about "leather armour" (the item, not the suit)? Look at low boot, or leggings vs. greaves - waste of time to have to go to a diff page for each, and it currently takes how many to get a full picture of "armour"? Isn't this the type of thing that can be all combined into one more useful page?
  • Armor - general
  • Suits of Armor - the 5 basic parts
  • of leather
  • of chain
  • of plate
  • layering
  • known quirks and bugs
Maybe one page with all pieces, and then another (this) with all the misc information.Albedo 23:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm thinking of something more along the lines of a page for the different sets, combining the different separate pages for each item of armor.
There is a discussion about this page on a user talk page. Please discuss the Armor page here. And please state any problems or conflicts with the Armor page, so they can be evaluated and discussed.
Personally, I have few problems with the page. But then I pretty much know everything the page states, and while I like the comprehensive, factual style of the page it may not be the best style for educating new players. --Nahno 14:12, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
(DELETED COMMENTS ON OVER-ENTHUSIASM. Non-relevant now. We move forward.) --Albedo 00:00, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Improving presentation of "Armor"[edit]

I think the larger point (echoed from posts above) is that, as is, the article makes sense to those who understand it - but isn't optimized for those who don't. There are 3 general problems that I perceive with the articles (plural) as they stand, and those same 3 areas I'd like to see addressed:

  • Scattered information - too many stub articles about individual armour pieces or one tiny facet of "armour".
  • No clean, unified "This all you need (to know) for leather armor", "This what you need (to know) for chain armor" (sub)articles.
  • This article is already borderline too long. Info is getting lost, readers are getting boggled - need a concept split between basic vs. advanced (or something sim). There are 11 sections, w/ some hefty sub-sections - that's too many by half.

(And I think we have to concede that answering the rather arcane question of "How does it work, EXACTLY?" will be an ongoing process, I'm afraid.)

Spotting problems is easy and cheap - solving them is the tough part. A user wants "all" relevant information in front of them, and not much more - and that'll be diff for each user. But I think we can take a stab at a generally applicable organization. I'd suggest this (as a starting point for this process, ~if~ it's agreed it needs to be addressed) -

2 articles; #1 deals w/ armor at face value for those not interested in the details (what each piece is, how they fit together into suits, how a dwarf puts them on, what craft/shop builds what), and #2 deals with the numbers for the number crunchers and optimizers (repetition of quality/material tables, damblock numbers, and all that issue.) For those Players who are comfortable in the simple (and correct) assumption that chain armour is "better" than leather, the first page gives them all they need to know (perhaps w/ hints & links beyond). For those who need more (a little or a lot), they go to the second page, where they'll find the Protection and Weight tables, and all the details that are teased slowly from the tags and RAW's.

Off the top of my head, I'd call the first page "Armor Guide" (fitting into Category: Guide) - all current "armor" articles would redirect to that one, at least. The second (advanced) article might be titled something like "Armor details" or "Armor values" or "Armor explained", and have all the stuff that boggles the unprepared. --Albedo 00:00, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the creation of armor belongs somewhere else in the wiki. The types of armor should be defined first, with all the exceptions and rules explained in a single article. Another article on the way the pieces layer on top of each other, and a final section of the second article for the defense bonuses of each item and the coverage, and all the other good and juicy technical things.
The current layout is two biased towards traditional thinking, and is like trying to push the triangle block into the circle hole in those toys for tykes. It just doesn't fit the technicality that is dwarf fortress.--Zchris13 18:53, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree re "making armor" - under "Armorsmith" seems reasonable. "Layering" is part of wearing, if an advanced part and one that is often overlooked (possibly because that article is lost among so much other bandwidth.) I think (depending on final size of the article, and number of sub-sections), that could be put at the bottom of the same page as definitions/how to use, so it's not separate from "suits", but works hand in hand with that info.
That would give us a format that looks something like...
  • Article #1: Armor Guide:
  • Individual Pieces - (copied & improved from the various stub articles, which all then become redirects)
    • the 3 (4?) Levels (lthr, chain, plate - and clothing)
  • Using Armor - basic "how to" (not "advice" or strategies, unless universal warnings)
  • Layering
  • Shields & Bucklers
  • "Misc" ("oddities") - sizes, wrestling, etc.
(deleted/redirected: "Making Armor" & "requirements" -> Armorsmith; possibly dump value table & quality table - redundant)
  • Article #2: "Armor Analysis" - number cruncher's bible (needs a better name)
  • damblock/protection values
  • Chart showing Analysis of diff types/combo's
  • weight explanation
  • size/permit explanation
That puts everything the new/intermediate player needs to know about armour on 1 page, and all the "behind the scenes data" on another. Easy conceptual split.--Albedo 11:26, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Plate over chainmail changed?[edit]

I cannot get my dwarves to wear plate over chainmail. If I order them to wear chainmail, they wear it, including both a cap and a helm. If I order them to wear plate, they do indeed take off the chainmail first. I think this has been fixed, so I'm putting the appropriate 'verify' tags on the article. I also wonder if the helm-over-cap was always intended, rather than a glitch caused by stepping through armour levels. — Wisq (talk) 06:07, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

This has always been treated as a feature, not a bug, but whatever. It is called "layering armor". Dwarfs are also able to wear chain over leather, but not a "lighter" armor over a heavier one. I just tried it, and it works fine - chain over leather, plate over chain, no problem. (Oddly, they won't wear plate mail over leather armor, but such a step-up will cause the cap/helm layering.) vanilla 40d.--Albedo 07:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
It's a little more complicated. The size and permit section of the article explains armor layering. VengefulDonut 12:22, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's very strange, then. I've got steel chainmail and steel plate mail, and per above, if I go nothing → chain → plate (giving them time to put everything on at each step), they put almost everything on at the "chain" stage (including both a steel cap and steel helm), and then promptly ditch their chainmail in favour of plate at the "plate" stage. Am I misunderstanding this? — Wisq (talk) 17:36, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
"Chain" and "Plate" level armours (the full suits) both include boots, gauntlets, helmet and possibly a steel cap underneath. Chain leggings would get ditched in favour of greaves, but the torso piece, the "chain armour", should still be seen in inventory along with "plate armour".--Albedo 20:45, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Unless of course, we are totally wrong. Which is entirely possible.--Zchris13 00:16, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, so I'm still trying this, and while I've gotten two dwarves to wear both cap + helm and chainmail + platemail, I can't seem to get a third one to do it. I can get the cap + helm by forbidding leather helms and going leather, so he wears a steel cap. Then, I go chain, so he wears a steel helm and a steel chainmail. Then I go plate, and he runs to put the plate on, but drops the chainmail on the spot (in the stockpile) when he puts on the plate. Am I doing something wrong here? — Wisq (talk) 11:24, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
What else is the dwarf wearing? Is the third dwarf wearing different 'clothing' than the other two? VengefulDonut 12:17, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
One of the successful ones is wearing two pig tail dresses (one worn), trousers, and a sock. One of the unsuccessful ones is wearing two leather robes and trousers (all worn). Just retried that one, and still no go. I assume the robes are the problem, but there's apparently no way to get them gone. Guess I have to wait for them to wear out and fall off. — Wisq (talk) 22:57, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
2 robes give a combined size of 40. Adding chainmail bumps that to 55. The permit of plate is 50, so you definitely cant wear plate over that. VengefulDonut 00:29, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Right, okay, so I have to wait for the dwarf to ditch the robes on his own (adding to the mess of discarded clothes already lying around the fort). Ah well. Thanks. — Wisq (talk) 01:41, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Remember that all clothes are "armour", so 2 robes is still something. Turns out each robe is about 1/4 of leather - I'd rather have leather and a robe, but...--Albedo 02:59, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
3 words: ten adamantine hoods. VengefulDonut 12:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Example/consider shell..?[edit]

So if i read this right a masterful shell item gives the same protection as a no quality iron item? Thus i might consider using it in early game or in a tough game with no iron/steel..not even copper - or if my armorsmith is not yet able to produce higher qualities, but my carver is?

how to factor in weight? -is encumbrance only making dwarves slower or also fight worse?

Not sure about %'s, but over-encumbrance will make a dwarf move slower, so less actions/second, so less combat - in theory. (See Speed and subsection on Encumbrance.) But at 50% for material x 2.0 for quality for masterful shell, vs 100% for material x 1.0 for quality for iron - yes, identical in protection. If you gained a Legendary bone carver, have no skilled armorsmith, and/or a lot more bone and shell than iron, that's a valid option until you can solve that lack.--Albedo 00:41, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Chain vrs. Plate[edit]

So maybe i straight overread that, but - we do know the protection of bone and leather as 50% vrs. Steel 133. Masterful armor is what to go for. Leather armor is limited by its material.

But what really is the reason to go for chain instead of plate? do we have numbers? weight, sure, but not really. scarcity of steel etc.? what do greaves that leggins do not? --Confused 01:44, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

There's no long term reason, but in the beginning year or two I use chain as steel plate is a bit heavy, not to mention preparing for an early ambush always leaves a tight supply of steel. But really there's so many things in DF that are just there for flavor it's best not to dwell on it. Greep 08:03, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Buckler vrs. training?[edit]

Could it be that a marksdwarf who wears a buckler will not train at an archery range, as he doesn't have a spare hand for bolts? --Höhlenschreck 15:39, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I have never seen bucklers or shields keep marksdwarves from training at the archery range. Make sure there's wooden or bone bolts to train with, and make sure he isn't holding something he isn't supposed to (like somebody's pants). --LegacyCWAL 17:29, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Equipping Leather "Clothing" / Armor[edit]

Does anyone know if there's any way to keep dwarves in leather after they've been deactivated from the military? Trying to figure out if I can keep my Cross-training#Army_corps_of_engineers in leather leggings, boots, etc, at the very least. -- RomeoFalling 22:09, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes and no, but basically "no". Just like dwarves won't carry an axe unless they're assigned woodcutting, or a pick unless they're assigned mining (regardless if there's any currently designated on the map), they won't wear any armour unless there's something dangerous to do. Tho' this usually means military, the one work-around is to enable the hunting labour, and then they'll armor up and carry their designated weapon, ready to go hunting. The obvious problem is that they'll then go out hunting. == Equiping any armour with a modded dwarf ==The time you can get away with this is when the map has no huntable creatures on it - older fortresses (or ones that have been aggressively hunted out) are usually the only times you'll have this happy situation.--Albedo 05:32, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

So would changing orders to "All dwarves stay inside" keep them from hunting? -- 15:39, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Are they dwarves? Then yes. Worse, they'll keep trying to go outside and do the no-exit dance. The sole exception would be if, say, a macaque had scampered underground - rare, but theoretically possible.--Albedo 16:21, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Sick editing, Albedo. I dig this page.--Zchris13 01:02, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Block Values?[edit]

Is there any clarity on what the block values mean, particularly the torso items that have the slash values? Higher is obviously better, but is any of the math behind this known? Thanks, --Rukash 14:20, 27 April 2010 (UTC)