|This feature has one or more outstanding bugs in the current release version. Please view the Bugs section.|
Bolts are a type of ammunition used by crossbows. They can be made from either wood, bone, or weapons-grade metals. As with all non-siege ammo, hunting and military dwarves must be equipped with quivers to be able to carry bolts around for shooting.
Wooden and bone bolts are produced in a Craftsdwarf's workshop by a Wood Crafter or a Bone Carver, respectively. Each job will produce a stack of 25 wooden bolts from a single log, or a stack of 5 bone bolts taking a single bone from a stack. Metal bolts require Weaponsmithing (not Metalcrafting) and a Metalsmith's forge or Magma forge, creating a stack of 25 bolts from a single metal bar.
When fired, bolts have a chance of shattering on impact or bouncing off onto the ground as free-laying items. However, they are immediately forbidden after being fired (to prevent
suicidal hauling dwarves from running into active battlefields), and have to be reclaimed by the player, either directly or from the stocks screen.
Given that bolts are a projectile weapon, their weight influences their effectiveness (higher weight means higher inertia, making them harder to deflect). Tests show that where even masterwork wooden bolts bounce harmlessly off copper armor, iron bolts pierce without any issue. Bone bolts are significantly better than wood, but metal bolts are still recommended for military use. Adamantine bolts are effective despite their low density - it is offset by their superior sharpness/hardness (see weapon materials), which allows adamantine bolts to tear through all metal armors, with the notable exception of adamantine armor itself. When pitted against itself, the low-density adamantine bolts deflect 99.99% of the time. As comparison, bolts made out of non-adamantine metals fired at armor of equal or superior hardness do not deflect and simply deal converted blunt damage instead of edge damage.
 Masterwork Bolts
As with other items, high-skill dwarves can make masterwork-quality bolts. While they don't care if the bolts are fired and shatter on impact, they do get upset if a bolt gets carried off the map - say by a retreating enemy with the bolt stuck in him.
The simplest remedy for this is to simply make more bolts - a dwarf who has produced hundreds of masterwork bolts will be more annoyed by flies than the loss of a masterwork. This is because the happiness penalty for the loss of a masterwork is divided by the number of remaining masterwork items made by that dwarf (see List of Dwarven Thoughts for more information).
Adamantine armor seems to be less effective than even copper against bolts in this release. Copper and steel armor both deflect 98% of pine bolts, while adamantine only deflects 58%. Metal bolts appear not to ever be deflected by any armor, but testing is ongoing. Bug:5516
Sometimes dwarves refuse to pick up stockpiled ammo. Solution: craft new bolts. Reddit post Help! Dwarves not picking up ammo is driving me nuts
Bone bolts are not advisable for weapon traps as only a stack of 5 will be stored per crossbow, making frequent restocking necessary.
It is largely unclear what of the above constitutes a bug and what is intended behaviour.
- If squad is assigned multiple ammo types, dwarves with "individual choice ranged" carry wrong ammoBug:1374.
- Masterwork bolts cause unhappy thoughts when they get carried off the map or melted downBug:3169.
[ITEM_AMMO:ITEM_AMMO_BOLTS] [NAME:bolt:bolts] [CLASS:BOLT] [SIZE:150] [ATTACK:EDGE:2:2000:stab:stabs:NO_SUB:1000]
|Ranged||Blowgun & Blowdarts • Bow & Arrows • Crossbow & Bolts|
|Blunt||Flail • Mace • Maul • War hammer • Whip|
|Edged: Slashing||Battle axe • Great axe • Halberd • Long sword • Scimitar • Scourge • Short sword • Two-handed sword|
|Edged: Piercing||Dagger • Morningstar • Pick • Pike • Spear|