DF2014:Wagon (embark)

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This article is about the current version of DF.
For further information on wagon "creatures" used by caravans, see Wagon.

In Fortress mode, you usually start with a single immobile wagon that represents the transportation vehicle for all your supplies. An embark wagon is not a real vehicle, and never moves - it simply sits there at the start of the game, representing where your dwarves decided to stop. It contains any and all supplies that you selected at embark and bought with points; supplies cannot be bought later, but your dwarves can (try to) trade for whatever the seasonal caravans bring. Embarking with a large enough quantity of supplies can potentially result in receiving multiple wagons.

In rare cases you might start on a level or spot that doesn't have a 3x3 square (e.g. mountain peak). In this case, your wagon (and its constituent logs) will be missing, but your supplies will still be present, lying in a pile on the ground. In an even rarer case, your dwarves can decide to stop in the middle of a frozen river. This can be fun if it is surrounded by cliffs.

To empty a wagon, your dwarves need the appropriate hauling labor enabled (all are enabled by default at embark), no other jobs to distract them, an appropriate stockpile designated, and a valid path between the stockpile and the items. And, depending on how many items you brought, patience.

You can break down your wagon into three logs by pressing q or t, highlighting the wagon, and pressing x. A dwarf with the Carpentry labor enabled will then deconstruct the wagon into its component logs. Any unhauled supplies will then be scattered in a slightly wider pattern in that same location.

If that dis-assembly is finished while a dwarf is returning to the wagon to haul an item to a stockpile, the dwarf will cancel that job. An announcement will be generated, to the effect of "Job Item lost or misplaced". Don't panic - nothing has been lost, except that dwarf's train of thought, as the item they were retrieving is no longer in the wagon but instead on the ground. They may adopt another hauling job, that same one or a different one, and sooner or later that item will get hauled, but that particular job is cancelled for that moment.

Dismantling the wagon when it's very near (1-2 tiles) the edge of the map or a river can cause you to lose part of your embark equipment if it lands where your dwarves can't go. If it's within a couple tiles of such a location, it's recommended you wait until the wagon is 100% empty before dismantling it.

Unless/until you formally designate a new one, your wagon is a default Meeting Area or Meeting Hall. A meeting zone is where any domestic animals or idle dwarves will congregate in their spare time; their presence provides some measure of defense for your possessions from any rhesus macaques or kobold thieves before you finish securing your valuables. If you deconstruct your wagon but do not define a new meeting area, your dwarves and animals will wander aimlessly across the entire map. Depending on where you embarked, this will be either a nuisance or dangerously fun.

If you embark in a Glacier biome and are slow in moving your embark items underground, you will lose them and the wagon to wear.

Of note is the fact that channeling out and collapsing of the ground under a wagon does not allow the wagon to survive. The wagon will drop three logs and be destroyed, though any items in the wagon will endure.

D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.


In the hands of particularly creative modders, the starting wagon has been known to become a fireball-throwing ultimate defense weapon against sieges. It should also be noted that wagons are dropped by a trained Roc, which is how they can embark on such strange and improbable locations such as a mountain-top, a Roof, or a volcano.

The wagon can at times also serve as an altar to Armok by spawning on top of Fun, like a pair of named alligators

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