DF2014:Make your own weapons

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This article is about the current version of DF.
Main article: Starting build

Making your own weapons on embark can save embark points and kick-start your metal industry. It can also serve as a minimalist embark and add an early-game challenge for advanced players. Just keep in mind, that you'll need time to forge your axes and picks, potentially leaving your wood cutter and miner standing around waiting. Also, you'll probably have other concerns during your first year; choose wisely.

Nevertheless, making your own weapons is quite easy and the embark savings can be quite considerable, allowing you to concentrate points on other skills or supplies, or even an early steel-equipped military. Occasionally, a civilization may not have access to an iron anvil but, curiously, has access to a steel one which costs 300 points; any savings are much harder to obtain with such a large expenditure up-front. Copper is the cheapest material for creating mining pick axes and wood-cutting battle axes. However, Bronze is a better material for creating military grade weapons and armor if your civilization has access to it.

Note - All the below instructions include "disassemble the furnace". This is a hold-over from the minimalist challenge, and only necessary if you need to recover that one building material to then build your smelter or forge. If your embark layout can afford a couple of fire-safe stones (or a starting pick to mine the same), keep the furnace intact for later and go about your business without worrying about deconstructing anything too soon.

Crude copper supplies[edit]

The basic item selection in "Prepare for the journey carefully" comes with two copper picks (44 points each), two copper battle axes (68 points each), and an iron anvil (100 points). Since copper ores (except tetrahedrite) cost 6 points each, and bituminous coal* costs 3 points each (and you already have an anvil included), you can carry the supplies necessary to create four copper items for less than a third of the cost of one copper battle axe:

(* If your civilization has no bituminous coal, lignite can work as well. It costs the same per bar but only makes a net +4 fuel each, so will cost more overall.)

Once embarked, you must build a wood furnace to make a bar of charcoal. Once done, disassemble the furnace, then build a smelter and process your bituminous coal (or lignite) into coke (fuel). Smelt the copper ore into 4 copper bars, then build a metalsmith's forge... and start creating copper equipment. Battle axes and picks cost 1 bar each so you can create 2 of each from a single stone of ore. If you plan to bring more than one unit of copper ore, consider upgrading to bronze instead.

Note: if your embark has trees, you can avoid spending points on fuel or wood. Deconstruct your wagon to yield 3 logs, process the wood to charcoal, and use that to forge a battle axe. Use the axe to harvest more wood as necessary for fuel. This process requires more effort and takes a little longer, but it saves a few more points.

Note: Ash counts as a "fire-safe bar" and can be used to construct the smelter and metalsmith's forge.

Better bronze supplies[edit]

For a minimal increase in costs, you can upgrade to noticeably-better bronze equipment - an additional 6 points will provide up to eight bronze items:

  • 1 copper ore (native copper or malachite): 6 points
  • 1 cassiterite: 6 points
  • 1 wood (for charcoal to smelt the coal): 3 points
  • 1 bituminous coal* (for 9 fuel): 3 points
  • 2 fire-safe stone: 6 points
  • Total points: 24*
  • Metal produced: 8 bronze bars
(* If your civilization has no bituminous coal, lignite can work as well. It costs the same per bar, but only makes a net +4 fuel each, so will cost more overall.)

Build a wood furnace, make a bar of charcoal, then disassemble the furnace. Build a smelter and process your bituminous coal (or lignite) to coke (fuel). Smelt the ore into 8 bronze bars. Build a forge, and start creating bronze equipment.

Superior steel supplies[edit]

Unfortunately, iron ores will cost you 24 points each, and steel-making requires an equal investment in flux stone, so if you're hoping to go directly for steel equipment you'll need:

  • 1 iron ore (any type): 24 points
  • 4 flux (any type): 24 points
  • 1 wood (for charcoal to smelt the coal): 3 points
  • 2 bituminous coal* (for 17 fuel): 6 points
  • 2 fire-safe stone: 6 points
  • Total points: 63*
  • Metal produced: 4 steel bars
(* As before, if your civilization has no bituminous coal, lignite can work. It costs the same per bar but only makes a net +4 fuel each, so will cost more overall for the same amount of fuel, which is more noticeable in the case of steel production.)

Build a wood furnace, make a bar of charcoal, then disassemble the furnace. Build a smelter and process your bituminous coal or lignite to coke (fuel). Smelt the iron ore into 4 iron bars. Smelt two iron bars into pig iron. Smelt the pig iron into steel. Build a forge and start creating steel equipment.

Minimalist challenge[edit]

For the hardcore survivalist dwarves only.

Start out with only

And figure it out from there. Real dwarves won't even need to peek.