Military testing

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This page on the wiki houses trials run within the game by players, with the intention of arriving at conclusions on how certain combat situations work, or just combat in general.

If you want to know more about how to do your own testing go to the DF2010:Arena wiki article. To learn more about the military and how it works in Dwarf Fortress, go to the DF2010:Military article.

The format in which trials are presented here is by no means a strict rule. Feel free to add and change elements but make sure the information is easy to read and understand. Try to provide any information you think is relevant and useful without digressing too much.

Contents

Standard format for testing trials[edit]

Here's an example of how to present your test's information. If you're not sure how to make tables and stuff, just copy this from the edit page and fill it with your own information.

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 6 Grand Master Swordsdwarf
Grand Master Elf-hater
Tower-cap stake
#2: Corinthian Magma Weasel 6 -no skills- -no items-
#3: Tea cup 6 Legendary Absurdist Mustard

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 0 Severed limbs
Bruised internal organs
Tired
Bored
Extreme Pain
Infection
#2: Corinthian Magma Weasel 3 Broken nose
Broken toes
Nauseous Severed head
#3: Tea cup 1 Cracked handle -none- Slippage

Notes: The creatures were placed in tight groups, spaced equally apart. The dwarves died fast from injuries caused by the tea cups the magma weasels were throwing. The weasels died from friendly fire.

Tester's conclusion: The test was meant to test how 3 different sides interact in combat and if any creature uses other creatures as projectiles. As far as this test goes, it seems to be true.

DF2010 (0.31.16) tests[edit]

Dwarves against Skeletal Horses (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 2

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 6 -no skills- full iron armor (with chain leggings and mail shirt),
shield and longsword
#2: Skeletal Horse 3 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags1 Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 6 4 have no injuries
2 badly wounded
Unconscious
Extreme Pain
-N/A-
#2: Skeletal Horse 0 -N/A- -N/A- Fatal injuries

1Refers only to those injured.

Notes: I did this test to see if dwarves can survive horses if they've got full iron armor and weapons. The fight was short and it looks like the skeletal horses charge hard and if they hit, they stun and can kill pretty fast if they're not stopped. I tried it 6:3 because I didn't expect the dwarves to survive a 1:1 ratio against the horses anyway. And yes the amount of trials is pathetic :P

Tester's conclusion: Even if dwarves are fully equipped, skeletal horses are very hard to deal with without casualties or at least serious injuries. Going up to a herd requires at least double the dwarves (if they're unskilled at least) to make sure you'll win and even then you're very likely to end up with dwarves that need hospitalization.

Dwarves against fire imps (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 4 Grand Master Shield User iron shield
#2: Fire imp 6 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 4 -no injuries- -no tags- -N/A-
#2: Fire imp 0 -N/A- -N/A- Fatal damage from shield attacks

Notes: The purpose of this test was to see how shields block fire. In that sense, it was a failure since none of the imps even had the time to attempt fire attacks. The dwarves use their shields as weapons when they don't have an actual weapon in hand and can use it to block at the same time.

Tester's conclusion: Dwarves with shields and the skill to use them can be very deadly and hard to kill as well. That and fire imps are easy to kill :P

Dwarves against Dragon (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 4 Grand Master Shield User iron shield
#2: Dragon 1 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 0 -N/A- -N/A- Severing of the body when incapable of blocking a biting attack
#2: Dragon 1 All toes broken, nose broken
Severe bruising on the rest of the body
Pain -N/A-

Notes: This is a test intended to test fire blocking with shields, in lieu of the previous test which failed at it. Dwarves can block fire breath fine with iron shields and the shields do not get worn.

Tester's conclusion: Again, dwarves capable of using shields properly are very hard to kill. These ones had very high skill and the only way the dragon was able to kill them was by knocking them over or stunning them and following through with a bite, severing them in half.

Dwarves against Dragon (2) (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 4 Grand Master Shield User chestnut shield
#2: Dragon 1 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 3 -no injuries- -no tags- Severing of the body when incapable of blocking a biting attack
#2: Dragon 0 All toes broken, nose broken
Severe bruising on the rest of the body
Severe bruising of internal organs
Extreme Pain
Nauseous
Suffocation

Notes: This test was made to test the effectiveness of non-firesafe material shields against fire. Other than that, the setup is entirely identical to the previous test.

Tester's conclusion: Shield material does not matter when used by a dwarf it seems and it also never gets worn, so technically a shield of any material is just as adequate for defense. The dwarves again used their shields to attack successfully. Fights with dragons also seem to always include the dragon getting all his toes broken and often his nose. It is also apparent that chance is an important factor when attacks that land by one side (the dragon in this case) are almost always fatal and the other side (the dwarves here) is capable of completely blocking the majority of these attacks. This demonstrated by the fact that in the previous test all dwarves died while in this one the dragon died instead, with all survivors being intact.

Dwarves against Skeletal Horses (2) (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 6 Grand Master Shield User chestnut shield
#2: Skeletal Horse 3 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 6 -no injuries- -no tags- -N/A-
#2: Skeletal Horses 0 -N/A- -N/A- Fatal injuries

Notes: This is a followup of the previous test to examine how effective shields are against skeletal horses.

Tester's conclusion: The dwarves are not only capable of killing the horses, but also prevent any injury to themselves. The horses still push them around a bit, but there is little they can do when dwarves gang up on them. The fight is also, quite short.

Dwarves against Horses (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 6 Skilled Shield User chestnut shield
#2: Horse 3 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 0 -N/A- -N/A- Fatal injuries
#2: Horses 3 Light bruising -no tags- -N/A-

Notes: This was done by accident, but serves as a comparison between Skeletal and regular Horses. There seems to be no comparison :P. The intent was to test how capable dwarves are with just a "Skilled" level of expertise with shields rather than Grand Master.

Tester's conclusion: Contrary to Skeletal Horses, the regular ones are much harder to kill with shields. The important point here however is the immense difference of capability a dwarf has at a low skill level contrary to a high skill level. Dwarves at this level do not have a consistent ability to block attacks and use their shields enough to prevent quick death, especially by horses.

Dwarves against Horses (2) (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 6 Grand Master Shield User chestnut shield
#2: Horse 3 -no skills- -no items-

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 3 -no injuries- -no tags- Fatal injuries
#2: Horses 0 -N/A- -N/A- Fatal injuries

Notes: This is intended to test the actual effectiveness of dwarves as grand masters against regular horses, so as to compare to skeletal horses and the previous test that had dwarves using shields at a lower skill level.

Tester's conclusion: Arguably, a higher skill level is a lot more effective, but horses still are very hard to kill without casualties. The difference between fighting a bones-only Horse and an actual muscled Horse is very apparent.

Dwarves against Hydra (tested by: plynxis)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 31 Grand Master Shield User chestnut shield
#2: Hydra 1 -no skills- -no items-

1These are the dwarves that survived the previous test. They're completely unharmed, but I thought it good to mention this.

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 1 Lost a leg Tired Fatal injuries
Severing of the body when incapable of blocking a biting attack
#2: Hydra 1 Severe bodily bruising
Internal organs bruised
Over-Exerted
Nauseous
-N/A-

Notes: This test was not completed, but the eventual outcome is fairly obvious. It was begun right after the previous one in order to compare how a stronger monster would fare against grand master shieldwarves.

Tester's conclusion: Like the dragon, the hydra has a very hard time with the dwarves. The fight is long and even though it can kill them all eventually, the damage it takes in the meantime is definitive. A slightly higher number of dwarves might have killed it and even if a whole squad dies, the threat the hydra poses is practically elimintated as it will probably eventually die on its own anyway.


Bronze vs. Iron[edit]

To simulate Fortress mode, 8 battles of 8 vs. 8. Since goblins only use iron, both teams wore iron armour, only difference between the teams being iron vs. bronze short sword.

Times run: 8

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 8 Proficient Swordsdwarf Full iron set minus breastplate and shield, iron short sword
#2: Dwarf 8 Proficient Swordsdwarf Full iron set minus breastplate and shield, bronze short sword

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Iron team 4 lost rounds, 20 of 14 wounded Severed limbs
cuts
Tired
Pale
Faint
Bleeding
#2: Bronze team 4 lost rounds, 24 of 21 wounded Severed limbs
cuts
Tired
Pale
Faint
Bleeding

Tester's conclusion: Casualty/wounded(bruises and missing tooth/broken noses etc not counting)/intact rates of 67/30/3% for bronze and vs. 72/19/8% for iron would suggest that while bronze might be better in bigger and longer fights, as in all but 1 of the battles the first casualty was for the bronze team. This is probably because all attacks, both edged attacks and both blunt attacks the short sword has were seen to be used and because good part of the attacks that hit armour were deflected(and effectively became blunt attacks), and because bronze as a heavier material works slightly better in blunting, while the iron seems to have a slight edge in edged attacks. This is also supported by the comparably much higher amount of wounded dwarves(presumably having been hit early in the battle, lots of missing feet, at times lower legs, hands, lower arms, ears and noses) in the bronze team, despite them losing less as KIA.

A 52 vs 52 fight was also tested to see how much difference there would be when majority of the kills would be made when dwarves would be tired and suffering from broken bones(presumably the iron team more than bronze), and bronze team slightly more from cuts and missing body parts. The bronze team annihilated the iron team, having only 50% losses. Of its 26 survivors, however, 25(!) were wounded. Only one dwarf remained intact without cuts or body parts missing.

Adamantine Axes vs. Silver Hammers (no armor)[edit]

Times run: 10

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 10 Grandmaster All Skills Only silver war hammer
#2: Dwarf 10 Grandmaster All Skills Only adamantine battleaxe

Results:

Side & Creature Wins
#1: Hammer team Won 5 of 10 rounds
#2: Axe team Won 5 of 10 rounds

This study seems to show that (for legendary dwarfs), silver war hammers are about equal with adamantine battleaxes, even with both sides being unarmored. The previous time I ran this test, hammers actually won 6 of the 10 rounds, but this time it was evenly split.

(Is that because a grandmaster dwarf can disable or kill an unarmored dwarf with just one hit with either weapon? Might be worth examining the combat logs.) Bognor 09:08, 3 June 2011 (UTC)


Dwarves against Skeletal Horses (3) (tested by: Stormtemplar)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarfs 6 Proficient Fighter and swordsdwarf, skilled Dodger, Armor and Shield user
Full iron armor&Shortsword
#2: Skeletal horse 6 None none

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarfs 6 1 with minor wounds, one with head bruising and some broken parts 1 unconscious (Dwarf with head bruising)
#2: Skeletal horse 0

Notes: Dwarfs began in a line, horses began slightly scattered

Tester's conclusion: The test was a test of how a middling military would fare against an equal force of skeletal horses. The dwarfs did excellently with only one badly wounded and one other with a minor wound.

DF2012 (0.34.02) tests[edit]

Maces VS war hammers (tested by: hostergaard)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Human male 12 -no skills- Silver mace
#2: Human male 12 -no skills- Silver warhammer

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Macemen 0 -N/A- -N/A- Getting their skulls jammed trough their heads
#2: Warhammermen 12 Some broken hands and fingers. Some smashed open. A few bruises. Some cuts. 1 Unconscious -N/A-


Notes: I want to figure out how good the different blunt weapons are in relation to each other. For now I will test with silver only. I placed them in two groups on different z-levels with 6 from each side in each group. Each side was ordered in lines (parallel to the y axis) with no space between the individuals. The lines from each side was place right next to each other in each group. Group one had the 6 macemen on left (on the x axis) and the 6 hammermen on the right. Group two had mace on the right and hammer on left.

Tester's conclusion:

Leaves little doubt that in case of naked men fighting each other with warhammers and maces the hammers win. The hammerman who lost consciousness fought several macemen before fainting.

Single Unarmoured/Untrained Dwarf Weapon Test (tested by: RokRokRok)[edit]

Times run: 5 Each

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarves 1 None Copper Battle Axe
#2: Dwarves 1 None Crossbow (No ammo)

Results:

Side & Creature Rounds won Injury level Worse Health tags Cause of death
#1: Dwarves 4 Mild Bruising None Torn Brain
#2: Dwarves 1 Cuts None Torn Brain

Notes: I am doing a 1 on 1 with every dwarf weapon to see what weapons are best against what weapons while unskilled. Not counting armor. I will only be recording Injury/Health tags to the winners.

Tester's conclusion: A dwarf bash with a crossbow is no match for a dwarf battle axe. No missing limbs, just a few missing teeth. The one time that the crossow killed the battle axe was infact not with a crossow. The battle axe stuck the hand, disarming the crossbow. The disarmed dwarf proceded to knock out the battle axe dwarf, and smash his skull in with his foot.

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarves 1 None Copper Battle Axe
#2: Dwarves 1 None None

Results:

Side & Creature Rounds won Injury level Worse Health tags Cause of death
#1: Dwarves 5 Minor to Major Bruising & Cuts, one lost ear Nauseous, Pale, Pain None
#2: Dwarves 0 -N/A- -N/A- 3 Torn Brain, 2 Bleeding

Notes: This is to see if the one kill was pure luck or if unarmed was better.

Tester's conclusion: It was pure luck, but one time an unarmed dwarf managed to get the upper hand, bruising the guts, cutting off the ear, but eventually died from a torn brain.

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarves 1 None Copper Battle Axe
#2: Dwarves 1 None Copper Mace

Results:

Side & Creature Rounds won Injury level Worse Health tags Cause of death
#1: Dwarves 2 1 with no injuries, 1 with upper leg bruising -N/A- 1 Suffocation, 1 Torn Brain, 1 Punch out.
#2: Dwarves 3 1 with no injuries, 1 with upper arm bruising, 1 with moderate lower arm/hand cuts & disarmed -N/A- 2 Disarmed & Bleed out.

Notes: Decided to get in detail for injuries since it was pretty evenly matched.

Tester's conclusion: Mace won overall. Once the mace was out of the arms, the axe dwarf won two out of three times. Further Tests coming.

DF2012 (0.34.04) tests[edit]

Iron Spears VS Iron Warhammers (tested by: Naryar)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Speardwarves 9 -no skills iron spear
#2: Hammerdwarves 9 -no skills- iron war hammer

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Speardwarves 6 Minor injuries None Brain damage
#2: Hammerdwarves 0 Brain damage

Notes : Each team was in a 3x1 line. Spears won easily. Now let's try better weapons and skill.

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Speardwarves 9 High Master Speardwarf steel spear
#2: Hammerdwarves 9 High Master Hammerdwarf silver war hammer

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Speardwarves 0 Brain damage
#2: Hammerdwarves 5 3 had multiple fractures, 1 had multiple fractures and a lost hand, 1 had nothing 1 pale

Notes : Each team was right next to each other, no more stacking dwarves like before. Hammerdwarves now won.

3 v 1 Mail Shirts (tested by: Waladil)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarves 12 Grand Master Armor User Steel gauntlets/greaves/high boots/helm, iron battle axe, 1 iron mail shirt
#2: Dwarves 12 Grand Master Armor User Steel gauntlets/greaves/high boots/helm, iron battle axe, 3 iron mail shirts

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 0 Suffocation/Bleeding out
#2: Dwarves 12 Minor cuts and bruises 3 faint, 1 pale

So I've been wanting to test the common knowledge that more armor layering = better, so this is the test I set up. Both sides were identical, except that one team wore three mail shirts rather than one. Using steel as the rest of the armor and iron axes ensured that everything important happened around the iron armor. The battle was slow, almost every hit being stopped by armor. Over time, team one's thinner armor let more blows through, and they eventually bled out or suffocated from lung damage. This test proved that wearing more armor increases protection. However...

Times run: 2

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarves 12 None Steel gauntlets/greaves/high boots/helm, iron battle axe, 1 iron mail shirt
#2: Dwarves 12 None Steel gauntlets/greaves/high boots/helm, iron battle axe, 3 iron mail shirts

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 9 Minor cuts and bruises Some faint/pale
#2: Dwarves 0 Suffocation/Bleeding out

This test was very similar to the last, except that the skill of armor user was set to zero. And that reversed the results. While team two was more protected, they were also considerably slower (606 v. 788) and I think they were also quicker to over-exert and pass out.

Overall results: The added armor is only useful at higher levels of training. I didn't calibrate enough to find the actual midpoint, but it seems that the added layers drop off in efficiency and are not as useful, potentially being harmful if the user is unable to handle the weight.


Steel vs. Wooden Shield (tested by: apostle602)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarves 1*11 Proficient Fighter, Proficient Swordsdwarf, Proficient Shield User, Proficient Armor User Full adamantine armor set, iron short sword, steel shield
#2: Dwarves 1*11 Proficient Fighter, Proficient Swordsdwarf, Proficient Shield User, Proficient Armor User Full adamantine armor set, iron short sword, cedar shield

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Dwarves 3 2 unscratched, 1 missing both hands and a foot 1 pale Bleeding out
#2: Dwarves 9 Mostly unscratched, 1 with hands cut open 1 unconscious Bleeding out

This is a test to determine what would be the best material for shields. Tested with 22 independent dwarves at different places of the arena, it was a long battle and in the end one of the winner dwarves found his way to a still fighting couple, hence total 12 alive dwarves at the end.

Aside from that test I made a couple more with the same idea and always dwarves with heavier shields won only if they bashed opponents with these shields, f.e. if they've lost their weapons.

So at the end the only important parameter for a shield is its weight.

DF2012 (0.34.11) tests[edit]

Axe vs. Spear[edit]

Times run: 2

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 1 Grand Master Axedwarf, Grand Master Dodger, Grand Master Armor User Full steel armor set (3 mail shirts), adamantine battle axe
#2: Dwarf 1 Grand Master Speardwarf, Grand Master Dodger, Grand Master Armor User Full steel armor set (3 mail shirts), adamantine spear

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Axedwarf 0, 1 Severed hand, Torn ligaments and tendons, Severed Nerves, Fractured bones, Opened arteries -N/A-, -no tags- Bleeding out
#2: Speardwarf 1, 0 Severed limbs, Torn muscle, Severed Nerves, Open artery -no tags-, -N/A- Bleeding out

Notes: In the first round, speardwarf got his weapon stuck several times. Axedwarf attacked later, and only twice, missing both times. Speardwarf devastated axedwarf in this round. In the second round, axedwarf charges and topples speardwarf initially, then severs several limbs. Speardwarf landed only one bruising hit. Both made many misses. Axedwarf devastated speardwarf in this round. The victor barely got injured at all in both rounds, and the loser gets mutilated. Because of these polarising results, two rounds were deemed sufficient.

In conclusion, both axes and spears are edged weapons that give a great advantage when making initial lucky strikes/hits against lesser-material armored oponents. The difference seems to be in the types of wounds: Fractured bones and open arteries for spears, and severed limbs for battle axes.

Axe vs. Spear (2)[edit]

Times run: 1

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 1 Grand Master Axedwarf, Grand Master Dodger, Grand Master Armor User Full adamantine armor set (3 mail shirts), adamantine battle axe
#2: Dwarf 1 Grand Master Speardwarf, Grand Master Dodger, Grand Master Armor User Full adamantine armor set (3 mail shirts), adamantine spear

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Axedwarf 1 -no injuries- -no tags- -N/A-
#2: Speardwarf 1 -no injuries- -no tags- -N/A-

Notes: Lots of misses. Every attack that hit got deflected by the armor.

Both axes and spears appear pretty useless against equal or better material armor.

Axe vs. Spear (3)[edit]

Times run: 2

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 3 Grand Master Axedwarf, Grand Master Dodger, Grand Master Armor User Full steel armor set (3 mail shirts), adamantine battle axe
#2: Dwarf 3 Grand Master Speardwarf, Grand Master Dodger, Grand Master Armor User Full steel armor set (3 mail shirts), adamantine spear

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Axedwarf 0, 1 Torn ligaments and tendons, Severed nerves, Fractured bones, Opened arteries, Torn internal organs -N/A-, -no tags- Shattered skull and torn brain
#2: Speardwarf 3, 0 Torn muscle, Severed nerve, Opened arteries, Torn internal organs, Severed limbs -no tags-, -N/A- Bleeding out

Notes: Lots of misses again, but relatively less. Though the first fight was concluded with speardwarves ganging up on the surviving axedwarves, in each individual fight from the start, speardwarves dominated. In the second fight, the surviving axedwarf was moderately injured to two limbs. Each individual fight was dominated by one side. Speardwarf kills were faster.

Though again polarizing, these results do show that axes and spears are approximately equally good, albeit only when used for the proper targets. If it is organic and is not clad in adamantine (as according to the previous test), spears will kill it faster. If it is not, and has many limbs, then an axe is superior. This makes spears better for regular use, and axes better against BC's and HFS. For a general-purpose weapon, an axe is therefore the best choice, though it may be worth it to specialize.

Sword vs Axe (tested by: Terranaunt)[edit]

Times run: 4

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 5 Proficient armor user, Proficient Dodger, Proficient Axedwarf full iron armor (with mail shirt), iron axe
#2: Dwarf 5 Proficient armor user, Proficient Dodger, Proficient Swordsdwarf full iron armor (with mail shirt), iron sword

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Axedwarf 0, 3, 1, 4 Torn muscle, Severed nerve, Opened arteries, Severed limbs, Missing Limbs -N/A-; Pale, Unconscious; Pale; Pale, Unconscious Bled to death
#2: Swordswarf 5, 0, 0, 0 Torn muscle, Severed nerve, Opened arteries, Severed limbs, Missing Limbs Pale, -N/A- Bled to death

Third time last axedwarf actually fall into martial trance and finished three remaining sworddwarfs, last sword guy just bled to death while fighting. It seems that the initiated distance of the engagement is a factor, though I'm not sure and this statement requires more tests.

DF 2014 (v0.40.24) Tests[edit]

Sword vs. Axe, with iron armor (Tested by: Gitaxias)[edit]

Times run: 2

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 5 Adequate in all relevant skills Full iron armor including shield, iron battle axe
#2: Dwarf 5 Adequate in all relevant skills Full iron armor including shield, iron short sword

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Axedwarves 2 Severed limbs
Bruised internal organs, mangled body parts
Tired, Extreme Pain, Pale Bled to death
#2: Swordsdwarves 0 NA NA Head smashed by shield bash

Notes: In both tests, all 5 swordsdwarves were killed by a single axedwarf after he lost his weapon arm and began favoring shield bashing attacks. No axe attacks appeared to have caused major injury.

Tester's conclusion: This test was intended to compare the effectiveness of swords and axes against armored targets. It shows fairly conclusively that the battle axe is the inferior weapon against armored targets, and that even if already injured a dwarf using iron shield bashes can still prove extremely deadly against enemies using weapons that cannot reliably penetrate their armor.

Sword vs. Axe, with leather armor (Tested by: Gitaxias)[edit]

Times run: 4

Initial setup:

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 5 Adequate in all relevant skills Full leather armor, wooden shield, iron battle axe
#2: Dwarf 5 Adequate in all relevant skills Full leather armor, wooden shield, iron short sword

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Axedwarves 0, 0, 4, 0 Severed limbs, mangled body parts Extreme Pain, Pale Beheading or bisection
#2: Swordsdwarves 5, 5, 0, 5 Severed limbs, mangled body parts Extreme Pain, Pale Beheading or bisection

Notes: In the first and second tests, the swordsdwarves won easily with token or nonexistent injury. In the third test, the axedwarves won with moderate losses. In the fourth test, the swordsdwarves won with moderate losses

Tester's conclusion: This test was intended to compare the effectiveness of swords and axes against weakly-armored armored targets. It shows somewhat conclusively that the battle axe is the inferior weapon against such targets targets, but that the disadvantage can be overcome with luck.

MASTER-UNARMED vs. Wooden maces + MASTER-UNARMED vs. 2 Cave spiders[edit]

Times run: 2

Initial setup: 2 groups of 8 dwarves 7 tiles away

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf 8 Adequate in all relevant skills NOTHING
#2: Dwarf 8 Adequate in all relevant skills 2 wooden maces

Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: UNARMED MASTERS 7 ,8 broken bones, bruising unconscious nocious head shot
#2: Master Maces 0 extreamley dead dead head explosion

Notes: master strikers and wrestlers are better than armed dwarves

Tester's conclusion: this was a good piece of evidence that wood weapons are ineffective.

TEST#2 Times run: 2 Initial setup: The remains of the previous tests with 2 tiles between them

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dwarf See ABOVE Adequate in all relevant skills NOTHING
#2: Giant Cave Spider 2 NOTHING NOTHING


Results:

Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: left overs of last 2 tests 6, 8 no change no change Bleeding
#2: Giant Cave Spider 0 extreamley dead dead Brain bruised

Notes: I had to force the dwarves to do suicide after so i could go to the next test.

Tester's conclusion: master strikers and wrestlers are better than Giant Cave spiders

DF 2016 (v0.42.06) Tests[edit]

War Hammer material effectiveness comparison (ongoing) (Tested by: Adonkares)[edit]

Test description: After editing the object testing arena into 896 4x1 duel rooms and 84 5x5 5v5 brawl rooms the premise of gold war hammer superiority was put to trial using a variety of different hammer materials. A program was written to populate the arena more quickly as well as equip the dwarfs. (If anyone has any tips on counting the results quickly or via a program, please let me know.)

Acronym explanation: Each test was assigned a number from 1-3. Each row in a table is named after Duel or Group results and is followed by a -s -g -c suffix to denote the material of the weapon equipped. And so 1solo-g means a group of 1v1 dwarf fighters with steel armor and gold hammers.

Information:

Creature Number Skills Items
1solo-s: Dwarf 1 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full set of steel armor plus a steel shield, with a silver war hammer
1solo-g: Dwarf 1 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full set of steel armor plus a steel shield, with a gold war hammer
1group-s: Dwarf 5 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full set of steel armor plus a steel shield, with a silver war hammer
1group-g: Dwarf 5 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full set of steel armor plus a steel shield, with a gold war hammer
2solo-s: Dwarf 1 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Unarmored, with a silver war hammer
2solo-c: Dwarf 1 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Unarmored, with a copper war hammer
2group-s: Dwarf 5 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Unarmored, with a silver war hammer
2group-c: Dwarf 5 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Unarmored, with a copper war hammer
3solo-s: Dwarf 1 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full iron, with a silver war hammer
3solo-c: Dwarf 1 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full iron, with a copper war hammer
3group-s: Dwarf 5 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full iron, with a silver war hammer
3group-c: Dwarf 5 Master in Fighter, Hammer, Dodge, Shield and Armor user Full iron, with a copper war hammer

Results:

Winners Win percentage Sample size Comments
1solo-g: Duelists using Gold War Hammer 56.47% 1792 Slight but consistent edge (more adequately flat) for gold hammers, it is reasonable to estimate gold's superiority over silver to be within 3-8% range.
1group-g: Team of 5 using Gold War Hammer 55.3% 168 Borderline standard error, more tests are needed. Duel results suggest a slight advantage for gold hammers.
2solo-s: Duelists using Silver War Hammer 53.57% 1792 Slight advantage for silver hammers, sample size too small and falls within standard error. For practical intents and purposes copper is equal to silver when used against unarmored opponents.
2group-s: Team of 5 using Silver War Hammer 59.5% 168 Sample size too small, more tests are needed. Duel results suggest no noticeable advantage for either material.
3solo-s: Duelists using Silver War Hammer 53.01% 896 Slight advantage for silver hammers, sample size too small and falls within standard error. For practical intents and purposes copper is equal to silver when used against ironclad opponents.
3group-s: Team of 5 using Silver War Hammer 56.5% 84 Sample size too small, more tests are needed. Duel results suggest no noticeable advantage for either material.

Results: Based on the above 3 tests there's a slight ~5-6% advantage of gold war hammers over silver and by extension copper ones. There is no significant advantage of silver over copper against unarmored and ironclad opponents and whatever advantage there might be it falls within mean error range and requires a bigger sample size. I hope someone found this useful, I sure did when I was doing the tests out of curiosity. In the future I'm planning to include platinum hammers, adamantine armors and increasing the sample size of all tests.


Scourge versus Whip (Tested By Admiral Obvious)[edit]

Test description: Fiddling around in the arena after installing DF on a public PC which is wiped daily. Attempting to determine which weapon is more effective, and why. Unarmored targets were used for this test. A separate test set will/should be make with armored specimens.

Times run: 10

Initial setup: Single unskilled human, versus unskilled human, given weapons. Test saved prior to start, and restarted after each result.

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Human Male 1 -no skills- Iron Whip, no armor
#2: Human Male 1 -no skills- Iron Scourge, no armor
Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Human Male 1 Chipped Bones Tired, Extreme Pain Passing out from broken limb, followed up by head cave in.
#2: Human Male 9 None Tired Upper spine shattered in the one instance of death, suffocation.

Results: From what testing that was performed, it seemed that the whip was an easy weapon to parry compared to the scourge. This might be in relation to the weapon velocity modifier, or potentially attack preparation time. It was noticed in this test that the scourge user attempted more successful attacks than the whip user. The scourge rarely "one shot" the enemy, however it did chip bones regularly against an unarmored target. The whip on the other hand, when it landed it's shots were far more devastating to the target than otherwise. Further testing will be done with different materials.

Adamantine: Test: 2[edit]

Times run: 10

Initial setup: Single unskilled human, versus unskilled human, given weapons. Test saved prior to start, and restarted after each result.

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Human Male 1 -no skills- Adamantine Whip, no armor
#2: Human Male 1 -no skills- Adamantine Scourge, no armor
Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Human Male 0 Sensory and motor nerves severed, lots of parts cut open. Pale, Severe Bleeding Crippled due to loss of motor ability, bones almost never damaged. Bleeds to death on every test.
#2: Human Male 10 Bruising, occasional broken fingers and toes. Tired, Pain Reset of the universe.

Results: Adamantine is far too light for a whip to have any noticeable impact against the target, only causing minor bruising, and the occasional shattering of a finger or toe. The Scourge on the other hand, being an edged attack weapon seemed to be like the death of a thousand paper cuts. The scourge rarely inflicted any damage to the bones of the target, but every single successful impact against the target cut into the muscle of the target, and in many cases severed motor, and sensory nerves. Getting killed in this way appeared to be torture, especially considering how long it took to run each one of these tests.

Platinum: Test: 3[edit]

Times run: 10

Initial setup: Single unskilled human, versus unskilled human, given weapons. Test saved prior to start, and restarted after each result.

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Human Male 1 -no skills- Platinum Whip, no armor
#2: Human Male 1 -no skills- Platinum Scourge, no armor
Side & Creature Survived Injury level Health tags Most common cause of death
#1: Human Male 6 Many cuts, and broken/fractured bones. Pale, Severe Bleeding, Severe Pain Typical death caused by bruising of the brain.
#2: Human Male 4 Either completely unharmed, or completely crippled. Tired, Trouble Breathing Head "explodes into gore" usually. One other death was caused by ribs puncturing the heart causing a bleedout.

Results: This was a far fairer fight, I assume if I run the test more, the results would average out to be nearly equal. Whip impacts are absolutely devastating, in many instances involving the total collapse of the impacted area. The Scourge is also equally dangerous, but with much less one shot potential, and a quite high tendency to chip, and break bones. The Scourge is inferior in this case compared to the whip, but this is made up with an apparent higher attack frequency.

DF 2018 (v0.44.09) Tests[edit]

Unarmored Peasant Best Weapon Test (Tested by: RoyalAssassin3)[edit]

Test description: My goal in this series of test is to identify the “best” natively producible weapons for random unskilled unarmored peasants. This might be used to stockpile the “best” weapons around the base that can be grabbed in an emergency situation where enemies have breached the fortress and you need to start conscripting everyone to grab something and fight. I did not test maces because previous tests (by hostergaard) have established that maces are in all respects worse versions of war hammers. I also did not test crossbows because they require more finesse to be effective, in close range cells, like my testing environment (or a goblin breach of the main fortress), they are pretty much just glorified clubs. I used iron weapons to simulate the best goblins. After a few slow and tedious tests, I created a modified arena with 20 adjacent 5x12 dueling cells (enough space to dodge and maneuver) with the combatants starting 4 paces apart. Injury Level, Health tags, and Cause of death data were too tedious to tabulate on this scale and so have been excluded.

Unarmed v. Short Sword[edit]

Test description: Baseline test. If all is right in the world unarmed unskilled peasants should get slaughtered by swords.

Times run: 25

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Unarmed Dwarf 1 -no skills- Unarmed
#2: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Unarmed Dwarf 0 wins (0 ties) 0% (0% ties)
#2: Sword Dwarf 25 wins (0 ties) 100% (0% ties)

Results: Unarmed Peasants predictably slaughtered by armed peasants

Unarmed v. Hammer[edit]

Test description: Gitaxias in a prior test found that unarmed was superior to wooden maces. Could unarmed peasants be better than Warhammer equipped peasants? Perhaps the warhammerers would get exhausted and pass out before doing enough damage with their inept swings?

Times run: 25

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Unarmed Dwarf 1 -no skills- Unarmed
#2: Hammer Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Warhammer
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Unarmed Dwarf 5 wins (9 ties) 20% (36% ties)
#2: Hammer Dwarf 11 wins (9 ties) 44% (36% ties)

Results: Close, slight edge to hammer. Two stalemates ended with both dead, 7 both sides passing out.

Axe v. Sword[edit]

Test description: We already established above that swords > warhammers vs. unarmored. But what about swords v. axes? I read axes have a larger cutting effect. Perhaps that will prove advantageous against unarmored peasants?

Times run: 25

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Axe Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Battleaxe
#2: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Axe Dwarf 10 wins (1 ties) 40% (4% ties)
#2: Sword Dwarf 14 wins (1 ties) 56% (4% ties)

Results: Close, slight edge to sword.

Sword v. Spear[edit]

Test description: The best weapon tournament continues with the previous round’s winner (swords) facing the challenger (spears). I expect that swords will be superior with their cutting effect.

Times run: 25

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron short sword
#2: Spear Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron spear
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Sword Dwarf 13 wins (0 ties) 52% (0% ties)
#2: Spear Dwarf 12 wins (0 ties) 48% (0% ties)

Results: Although swords won, but this is really too close to call. I’m calling this a tie.

Hammer v. Spear[edit]

Test description: Hammer performed pretty poorly vs. unarmed. Was that a fluke? I decided to test vs. the spear which was pretty much the same as the sword so far.

Times run: 25

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Hammer Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Warhammer
#2: Spear Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron spear
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Hammer Dwarf 4 wins (1 ties) 16% (4% ties)
#2: Spear Dwarf 20 wins (1 ties) 80% (4% ties)

Results: Clear win for Spears (and presumably swords). Untrained peasants shouldn’t be wielding hammers vs. unarmored enemies.

Pick v. Spear[edit]

Test description: Picks are often overlooked, but very “dwarfy.” I don’t expect these to fare well vs. a military weapon.

Times run: 35

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Pick Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Pick
#2: Spear Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron spear
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Pick Dwarf 21 wins (4 ties) 60% (11% ties)
#2: Spear Dwarf 10 wins (4 ties) 29% (11% ties)

Results: Surprising clear win for Picks. I read that picks were in fact “cutting” weapons, which bears itself out in the wounds detail with heads getting knocked off regularly. Good news for dwarfiness.

Pick v. Sword & Shield[edit]

Test description: Pick is our tournament winner based on single weapons. But what about vs. the classic sword and shield combo? I expect that a shield will give sword the edge.

Times run: 20

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Pick Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Pick
#2: Sword & Shield Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron short sword & iron shield
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Pick Dwarf 7 wins (1 ties) 35% (5% ties)
#2: Sword & Shield Dwarf 12 wins (1 ties) 60% (5% ties)

Results: As expected, a shield gave sword the edge.

Pick & Shield v. Sword & Shield[edit]

Test description: This test is to see whether X + shield combos follow the same pattern of effectiveness as weapons alone. If so, the win percentage of pick & shield vs. sword & shield should match with the previous pick v. spear test (assuming swords and spears are equivalent).

Times run: 20

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Pick & Shield Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron pick & Iron Shield
#2: Sword & Shield Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron short sword & iron shield
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Pick & Shield Dwarf 12 wins (0 ties) 60% (0% ties)
#2: Sword & Shield Dwarf 8 wins (0 ties) 40% (0% ties)

Results: Pick & Shield wins. The 60% win rate for Pick & Shield exactly matches the win rate of Pick in the Pick v. Spear test. This validates two premises. (1) X + shield vs. Y + shield = X vs. Y; and (2) Spear = Sword for unarmored unskilled opponents. The first premise is consistent with a shield giving a fixed percentage chance of deflection irrespective of weapon type.

Overall Tester Conclusions for Peasant Weapon Testing: Pick & Shield > Pick & Sword > Pick >> Spear = Sword > Battleaxe >> Hammer > Unarmed. Pick & Shield was the surprise best.

It is worth noting that according to the weapon article a significant percentage of dwarves are not big enough to wield both a pick and a shield. In the testing arena, none of the pick & shield dwarves dropped their picks or shields which suggests either (1) the arena uses different rules; (2) size affects whether dwarves will pick up a pick and shield, but once they have it in their hands they don’t drop it; or (3) size and wielding limitations has changed since the weapons article was updated. I suspect (2) is the answer, but further testing is needed. Sword and shield might be more reliable.

Despite the superiority of shields, I would probably recommend using only picks (not picks and shields or swords and shields) as an emergency defense fallback. This spares dwarves the extra time of having to hunt around for BOTH a pick and a shield and thus gets them into the fight faster. It also avoids the aforementioned possibility of not being able to wield both a pick and a shield leaving your dwarf potentially running into battle with just a shield. Pick also has an advantage over sword & shield in that using picks provides extra insurance against the situation where your miners fall into hot magma or down a cave dragon’s throat with the fortresses only picks and you don’t have metal to replace them.

Iron Armored Peasant Best Weapon Test (Tested by: RoyalAssassin3)[edit]

Test description: The previous tests established that the pick was the best peasant weapons vs. unarmored foes. But that’s only half the equation. Goblins sometimes show up wearing up to iron armor accordingly, this test is to identify which weapon does best against max goblin armor. I encased both sides in full iron armor (defined as Iron Helm, Iron Chain Mail Shirt, Iron Breastplate, Iron Gauntlets, Iron Greaves, Iron High Boots) so that the only difference between the sides is the weapon being used.

I originally used an arena of 10, but decided I needed a larger sample size and so switched to my 20 test arena and added those results.

Armored: Unarmed v. Short Sword[edit]

Test description: Perhaps the blunt force of unarmed will do better vs. armor?

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Unarmed Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Unarmed
#2: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Unarmed Dwarf 9 wins (6 ties) 30% (20% ties)
#2: Sword Dwarf 15 wins (6 ties) 50% (20% ties)

Results: Sword Dwarves still won vs. unarmed but much closer than vs. unarmored.

Armored: Axe v. Short Sword[edit]

Test description: The axe is primarily a slashing weapon so vs. armor I expect it to fare poorly compared to a sword which has more versatility.

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Axe Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Battleaxe
#2: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Axe Dwarf 14 wins (0 ties) 46.6% (0% ties)
#2: Sword Dwarf 16 wins (0 ties) 53.3% (0% ties)

Results: Surprisingly close. Slight edge to swords, but effectively a tie. Glad I ran this again because in my first 10 tests swords won 7 to 3. Large sample sizes are good.

Armored: Short Sword v. Spear[edit]

Test description: I expect spears to have difficulty vs. armor since they are penetrating attacks.

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Short Sword
#2: Spear Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Spear
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Sword Dwarf 14 wins (4 ties) 46.6% (13.3% ties)
#2: Spear Dwarf 12 wins (4 ties) 40% (13.3% ties)

Results: Inconclusive. Slight edge to sword, but statistically a tie.

Armored: Hammer v. Spear[edit]

Test description: I expect hammers to dominate spears since hammers are made for bashing armor.

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Hammer Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Warhammer
#2: Spear Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Spear
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Hammer Dwarf 14 wins (2 ties) 46.6% (6.7% ties)
#2: Spear Dwarf 14 wins (2 ties) 46.6% (6.7% ties)

Results: Surprisingly an exact tie. In my earlier run of 10 tests spear actually won.

Armored: Hammer v. Unarmed[edit]

Test description: I expect hammers to win as fists deflect off armor.

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Hammer Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Warhammer
#2: Unarmed Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Unarmed
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Hammer Dwarf 18 wins (5 ties) 60.0% (16.6% ties)
#2: Unarmed Dwarf 7 wins (5 ties) 23.3% (16.6% ties)

Results: Hammer wins v. unarmed. Matches fairly well with the sword v. unarmed test above which further validates the hypothesis of sword = spear = hammer = axe vs. armor.

Armored: Pick v. Spear[edit]

Test description: The moment of truth. Will Pick maintain its edge against armor? (pun intended)

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Pick Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Pick
#2: Spear Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Spear
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Pick Dwarf 15 wins (4 ties) 50.0% (13.3% ties)
#2: Spear Dwarf 11 wins (4 ties) 36.6% (13.3% ties)

Results: Pick wins vs. Spear.

Armored: Pick v. Sword[edit]

Test description: I want further validation that pick is best v. armor. This can also help determine whether sword > spear or sword = spear by checking the previous test where sword slightly edged out spear. Based on the sword v. spear test earlier, sword should do slightly better against pick than spear.

Times run: 30

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Pick Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Pick
#2: Sword Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Armor + Iron Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Pick Dwarf 15 wins (1 ties) 50.0% (3.3% ties)
#2: Sword Dwarf 14 wins (1 ties) 46.6% (3.3% ties)

Results: Pick and Sword statistically tied. This validates sword’s superior performance vs. spear.

Overall Tester Conclusions for Peasant Weapon Testing: Pick = Sword > Spear = Hammer = Battleaxe Surprisingly, pick maintained its superiority vs. armored (although now tied with the short sword). Accordingly, I think I can conclusively say that the pick is best for emergency base militia use. That makes the dwarf in me happy.

Testing Armor vs. Higher Tier Weapon (Tested by: RoyalAssassin3)[edit]

Test description: I read that higher tier weapons slice through lower tier armor like butter. If that is the case, will someone wearing low tier armor do worse (due to encumberance) vs. an unarmored opponent wielding a higher tier weapon? These tests seek to answer that question. As with the tests above, armored is defined as: Helm + Breastplate + Chain Mail + 2 Gauntlets + 2 High Boots + Greaves.

Copper Armor Iron Sword vs. Iron Sword[edit]

Test description: Will copper armor just slow you down when fighting iron weapons?

Times run: 10

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Copper Dwarf 1 -no skills- Copper Armor + Iron Short Sword
#2: Unarmored Dwarf 1 -no skills- Iron Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Copper Dwarf 9 wins (0 ties) 90% (0% ties)
#2: Unarmored Dwarf 1 wins (0 ties) 10% (0% ties)

Results: Pretty clear that copper armor provides some significant protection even vs. iron. Always armor your military vs. goblins.

Copper Armor Adamantine Sword vs. Adamantine Sword[edit]

Test description: So maybe iron doesn’t cut through copper like butter. But Adamantine should. Will that tilt the balanced from the copper armored dwarf? Or will the dexterity of the unarmored dwarf win?

Times run: 20

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Copper Dwarf 1 -no skills- Copper Armor + Adamantine Short Sword
#2: Unarmored Dwarf 1 -no skills- Adamantine Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Copper Dwarf 8 wins (0 ties) 40% (0% ties)
#2: Unarmored Dwarf 12 wins (0 ties) 60% (0% ties)

Results: This time unarmored wins. These tests validate that armor is still useful vs. slightly superior weapons, but not vs. highest tier weapons.

Super Stacked Ad. Armor vs. Ad. Armor (Tested by: RoyalAssassin3)[edit]

Test description: From the armor page you can stack ridiculous amounts of armor and clothes onto one dwarf. Waladil previously tested 3 mail shirts vs. 1 mail shirt proving that stacked armor helps. But what about someone wearing: 1 Adamantine (“Ad.”) Helm + 6 Ad. Hoods + 1 Ad. Breastplate + 3 Ad. Mail Shirts + 6 Ad. Cloaks + 2 Ad. Trousers + 1 Ad. Greaves + 2 Ad. Gauntlets + 2 Ad. Mittens + 2 Ad. High boots + 2 Ad. Socks = Super Stacked Armor. Will super stacked armor make a difference vs. regular adamantine armor (1 Breastplate + 1 Mail Shirt + 1 Helm + 2 Gauntlets + Greaves + 2 High Boots)? Times run: 10

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Super Stacked Dwarf 1 -no skills- Super Stacked Ad. Armor + Ad. Battleaxe
#2: Regular Armored Dwarf 1 -no skills- Ad. Armor + Ad. Battleaxe
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Super Stacked Dwarf 7 wins (0 ties) 70% (0% ties)
#2: Regular Armored Dwarf 3 wins (0 ties) 30% (0% ties)

Results: Super Stacked wins, but not overwhelmingly so. Unless you are swimming in adamantine, it is probably better to not waste your time super stacking armor.

Quality vs. Quantity Tests (Tested by: RoyalAssassin3)[edit]

Test description: I once sent a squad of well-trained adamantine armored and armed dwarves out against a goblin siege and they got utterly slaughtered. These tests are designed to test quality vs. numbers by pitting a Super Stacked (defined above) Adamantine Armored Grandmaster (in everything) aka. “The Uber Dwarf” vs. 10 worse equipped and worse skilled dwarf opponents pretending to be goblins.

Uber Dwarf v. Iron Knights[edit]

Test description: In this test, Uber Dwarf fights probably the best equipped goblin troop he is likely to face. Full Iron armed and armored with “skilled” in all skills. Who will win?

Times run: 10

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Uber Dwarf 1 All Grandmaster Super Stacked Ad. Armor + Ad. Battleaxe + Ad. Shield
#2: Iron Knights 10 All Skilled Iron Armor + Iron Shield + Iron Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Uber Dwarf 0 wins (0 ties) 0% (0% ties)
#2: Iron Knights 10 wins (0 ties) (62 survivors) 100% (0% ties)

Results: I was surprised to see no wins by the Uber Dwarf so I started tallying survivors. Knights won with an average of 6 survivors. Not terribly surprising though given that the Knights were decently skilled and equipped.

Uber Dwarf v. Copper Knights[edit]

Test description: Previous tests showed adamantine slicing through copper like butter. Likewise with copper swords the knights should just end up rubbing butter all over the Adamantine clad Uber Dwarf. Will Uber Dwarf emerge victorious this time?

Times run: 10

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Uber Dwarf 1 All Grandmaster Super Stacked Ad. Armor + Ad. Battleaxe + Ad. Shield
#2: Knights 10 All Skilled Copper Armor + Copper Shield + Copper Short Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Uber Dwarf 0 wins (0 ties) 0% (0% ties)
#2: Knights 10 wins (0 ties) (74 survivors) 100% (0% ties)

Results: Not only did Uber Dwarf still lose, but there were even more survivors than before. That was pretty shocking. Was that mere chance? Further testing re: copper vs. iron may be warranted.

Uber Dwarf v. Copper Militia[edit]

Test description: Uber Dwarf fared pretty poorly vs. the simulated goblin knights. So I downgraded the knights to militia. These poor saps have mere adequate skills in everything and due to budget cuts only get bare bones equipment (Copper Mail Armor + Copper Helm + Copper High Boots + Copper Sword).

Times run: 10

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Uber Dwarf 1 All Grandmaster Super Stacked Ad. Armor + Ad. Battleaxe + Ad. Shield
#2: Militia 10 All Adequate Copper Mail Shirt + Copper Helm + Copper High Boots + Copper Sword
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Uber Dwarf 0 wins (0 ties) 0% (0% ties)
#2: Militia 10 wins (0 ties) (51 survivors) 100% (0% ties)

Results: Ok, this is starting to shock me. I expected Uber Dwarf to make mince meat out of these guys, but he utterly failed. At least Uber Dwarf killed more of them than the knights. Clearly numbers matter.

Uber Dwarf v. Peasants[edit]

Test description: Uber Dwarf is feeling pretty sad right now. Perhaps slaughtering some unarmed unskilled peasants will help him feel better. If he can’t beat these he needs to retire or find some friends.

Times run: 10

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Uber Dwarf 1 All Grandmaster Super Stacked Ad. Armor + Ad. Battleaxe + Ad. Shield
#2: Peasants 10 -no skills- Nothing!
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Uber Dwarf 0 wins (0 ties) 0% (0% ties)
#2: Peasants 10 wins (0 ties) (46 survivors) 100% (0% ties)

Results: So apparently a mob of 10 unarmed unskilled peasants can take apart the most legendary warrior possible to obtain in Dwarf Fortress. Uber Dwarf retires.

Dragon v. Shielded Peasants[edit]

Test description: So the Uber Dwarf failed and the peasants are getting uppity. Time to test Dragon vs. Peasants. This is intended to see whether size matters. Peasants can batter a dwarf hero to death with their fists, but perhaps several feat of dragon muscle is too much for a dwarf fist to penetrate. I gave peasants shields to nullify the dragon’s breath weapon. Wooden shields because they are peasants and I read wooden shields work just as well. Oaken shields naturally.

Times run: 1

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Dragon 1 All Grandmaster Nothing
#2: Peasants 50 -no skills- Oaken Shield
Side & Creature Wins (ties) Percentage Win (ties)
#1: Dragon 1 wins (0 ties) 100% (0% ties)
#2: Peasants 0 wins (0 ties) (1 survivor) 0% (0% ties)

Results: So it was hard to see what happened with all the smoke but the peasants died pretty quick. Hypotheses: (1) Burning grass roasted the peasants; (2) The first peasant to die from dragon claws got turned into a bonfire when the dragon next breathed which created a chain reaction of roasted peasants; (3) the shield of the first peasant to die became a bonfire and a roasting chain reaction; (4) wooden shield no longer block dragon fire. Further tests coming.


Amusingly, a single dwarf survived. I suspect he teleported through an adjacent wall since he was uninjured.

DF 2020 (v0.47.04) Tests[edit]

Combat fatigue and the skill 'Armor User' (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

Long fights makes dwarves very tired. When a dwarf gets too tired he or she will fall unconscious and become an easy target for the enemy. Can the skill 'Armor User' help a dwarf to fight for longer?

When someone is unconscious in combat, their foes start to do targetted head attacks with increased force. This can sometimes be seen in the combat log, a copper edged weapon that earlier couldn't damage a copper helm can now both damage and break that helmet. It's pretty rare but dwarves have also been observed using a "remove helm" action and immediately follow up with a deadly head-hit, this specific head targetting points towards an unconcious target. Strangulation appears to be the most common type of death, but that could be because of the test design and may not be true for real combat.

I don't know the attribute values of arena dwarves. My assumption is that they are identical, because dwarves in the arena all seem to tire around the same time. The median Endurance value of a dwarf is 1000, so this might be what Arena dwarves have. Since Fortress dwarves can double their initial attribute by training, one can expect them to do a bit better than an Arena dwarf.

Times run: 100 per set

Initial setup: Only dwarven females (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room, fighters start at opposite walls

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1a: Dwarven elite, Armor User 0 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
Copper mail shirt
Copper helm
Copper breastplate
Copper greaves
2 Copper gauntlets
2 Copper High boots
#1b: Dwarven elite, Armor User 14 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Armor User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
Copper mail shirt
Copper helm
Copper breastplate
Copper greaves
2 Copper gauntlets
2 Copper High boots
#2a: 5 dwarven peasants 5 none none
#2b: 7 dwarven peasants 7 none none

Results:

Side & Creature Victories Comment
#1a vs #2a: 1 elite (Armor User 0) vs 5 peasants elite won 75/100
#1a vs #2b: 1 elite (Armor User 0) vs 7 peasants elite won 21/99 1 match ignored (stalemate, no winner)
#1b vs #2a: 1 elite (Armor User 14) vs 5 peasants elite won 78/99 1 match ignored (stalemate, no winner)
#1b vs #2b: 1 elite (Armor User 14) vs 7 peasants elite won 24/100

Tester's conclusion: Endurance is a big factor in these fights, easily seen by the many flashing X's that appear. The fighters also gets the Tired, Exhausted and Over-exerted statuses. I run 100 matches at the same time, and the 1v7 took almost twice as long as the 1v5 to resolve, which hints at just how tired and useless they are near the end.

A high Armor User skill does not appear to help against exhaustion, since 0 and 14 skill have the same outcome. The slightly better performance of the Armor User 14's is not large enough to mean anything, it could be random noise. In the test below, no armor is used, and they actually perform better than in this test, very likely because they don't get tired as quickly.


Fighting outnumbered in open and narrow terrain (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

This test looks at the performance of a single very skilled fighter against a group of rookies in two types of terrain, a 7x7 room and a 1-wide tunnel. The win ratios will show us if the terrain has an impact on the outcome.

Times run: 100 per set in open, 50 per set in narrow

Initial setup: Only dwarven females (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room / 1x15 tunnel, fighters start at opposite walls

Side & Creature Number Skills Items Terrain
#1a: Dwarven elite 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
7x7 Room
#1b: Dwarven elite 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
1x15 Tunnel
#2a: 1 dwarven peasants 1 none Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#2b: 3 dwarven peasants 3 none Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#2c: 5 dwarven peasants 5 none Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#2d: 7 dwarven peasants 7 none Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#2e: 10 dwarven peasants 10 none Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield

Results:

Side & Creature Victories Comment
#1a vs #2a (1 elite vs 1 peasant) elite won 100/100 7x7 room
#1a vs #2b (1 elite vs 3 peasants) elite won 100/100 7x7 room
#1a vs #2c (1 elite vs 5 peasants) elite won 87/100 7x7 room
#1a vs #2d (1 elite vs 7 peasants) elite won 46/100 7x7 room
#1a vs #2e (1 elite vs 10 peasants) elite won 4/100 7x7 room
#1b vs #2a (1 elite vs 1 peasant) elite won 50/50 1x15 tunnel
#1b vs #2b (1 elite vs 3 peasants) elite won 50/50 1x15 tunnel
#1b vs #2c (1 elite vs 5 peasants) elite won 48/50 1x15 tunnel
#1b vs #2d (1 elite vs 7 peasants) elite won 44/49 1x15 tunnel, 1 match ignored (stalemate, no winner)
#1b vs #2e (1 elite vs 10 peasants) elite won 23/50 1x15 tunnel

Tester's conclusion: The narrow tunnel clearly gives the elite solo fighter an advantage. Exactly why is harder to say, probably many factors, below is some speculation.

A successful dodge always seem to move the character. Private tests I have run show that Dodge is more effective in 1v1 matches in open terrain, and less effective in a 1-wide tunnel. This is detrimental to the elite in the tunnel, since the high skill is wasted. On the other hand, one can suspect that a surrounded fighter will also suffer a reduced effect from Dodge since there are less free tiles to move to.

It is known that facing is a thing. Meaning that flanking attacks probably can't be shield blocked. The 1-wide tunnel should then make the shield more important since the solo fighter can only be flanked if the group can pass through him first.

A surrounded target should suffer more attacks in the same time-interval, increasing the odds of getting killed.

Endurance might play a role too. If the surrounded solo fighter must perform more defensive actions, she will get exhausted faster.


Combat skills and win ratios (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

A series of 1 vs 1 fights to see how important 'Weapon skill', 'Fighter', 'Dodger' and 'Shield User' is to the outcome. As well as a test to roughly estimate the importance of each skill at a specific skill level.

Times run: 100 per set (some tests were rerun for better precision, all data is included as separate sets)

Initial setup: Only dwarven females (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room, fighters start at opposite walls

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1 and #2: Dwarf 1 Fighter
Axeman
Dodge
Shield User
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield

Results:

Side & Creature Victories Comment
skills 1 vs skills 0 82/98 (2 stalemates)
skills 1 vs skills 1 46/99 (1 stalemate)
skills 1 vs skills 2 16/99 (1 stalemate)
skills 1 vs skills 3 3/99 (1 stalemate)
skills 1 vs skills 4 2/100
skills 5 vs skills 6 27/100
skills 5 vs skills 6 32/98 (2 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 7 15/99 (1 stalemate)
skills 5 vs skills 7 16/99 (1 stalemate)
skills 5 vs skills 8 11/100
skills 5 vs skills 9 8/100
skills 10 vs skills 11 37/98 (2 double kills)
skills 10 vs skills 11 27/95 (2 stalemates, 3 double kills)
skills 10 vs skills 12 21/98 (2 double kills)
skills 10 vs skills 12 27/98 (2 double kills)
skills 10 vs skills 13 19/99 (1 double kill)
skills 10 vs skills 14 11/97 (1 stalemate, 2 double kills)
Side & Creature Victories Comment
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Fighter 0) 52/97 (2 stalemates, 1 double kill)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Fighter 0) 60/98 (2 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Dodger 0) 58/92 (2 stalemates, 6 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Dodger 0) 60/96 (4 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Shield User 0) 81/98 (2 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Shield User 0) 70/94 (2 stalemates, 4 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Shield User 0) 65/96 (1 stalemate, 3 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Shield User 0) 72/95 (5 double kills)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Axeman 0) 87/99 (1 stalemate)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Axeman 0) 90/99 (1 double kill)
skills 5 vs skills 5 (but Axeman 0) 89/98 (2 stalemates)

Tester's conclusion:

At skill level 5 in a 1 vs 1 match between naked dwarves inside a 7x7 room, the order of importance of the skills investigated were: Weapon > Shield User > Dodger = Fighter.

Armor weight and combat fatigue (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

Does heavier armor weight make a dwarf more tired? The idea behind the test is to make an armored fighter so tired that she looses about half of her fights against unarmed opponents. Then, by changing the weight of her armor, it should be noticeable in the win-ratio if heavier or lighter equipment make her fall unconscious from exhaustion earlier or later.

Times run: 100 per set

Initial setup: Only dwarven females (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room, fighters start at opposite walls

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1a: Elite naked dwarf 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#1b: Elite leather dwarf 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Armor User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
chicken leather armor
chicken leather helm
2 chicken leather gloves
2 chicken leather high boots
#1c: Elite armored dwarf 1 Fighter 14
Axeman 14
Dodge 14
Shield User 14
Armor User 14
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
mail shirt
helm
breastplate
greaves
2 gauntlets
2 high boots
#2: 6 dwarven peasants 6 none none

Results:

Side & Creature Victories Comment
1a vs 2: (elite naked vs 6 peasants) 83/98 (2 stalemates)
1a vs 2: (elite naked vs 6 peasants) 80/100
1b vs 2: (elite leather armor vs 6 peasants) 60/99 (1 stalemate)
1b vs 2: (elite leather armor vs 6 peasants) 55/98 (2 stalemates)
1c vs 2: (elite copper armor vs 6 peasants) 59/100
1c vs 2: (elite bronze armor vs 6 peasants) 60/99 (1 stalemate)
1c vs 2: (elite iron armor vs 6 peasants) 55/98 (2 stalemates)
1c vs 2: (elite steel armor vs 6 peasants) 57/99 (1 stalemate)
1c vs 2: (elite adamantium armor vs 6 peasants) 59/100

Bonus tests (not very good ones, but just to test some extra stuff)
1) add more weight, replace wood shield with copper shield
2a) try partial armor: copper helm, 2 copper gauntlets and 2 copper high boots (no chain shirt, no breastplate, no greaves)
2b) try partial armor: copper shirt, copper breastplate, copper greaves, 2 copper high boots (no helm, no gauntlets)
3) try a lighter weapon, replace axe with copper short sword
4) replace armor with woolen clothing: robe, dress, trousers, cap, hood, cloak, 2 socks, 2 mittens, 2 gloves
5a) added wool clothing to copper armor (the elite dwarves threw copper helmet and gauntlets on the ground at the start)
5b) added copper armor to wool clothing (the elite dwarves threw away wool mittens at the start)

Side & Creature Victories Comment
1) elite copper armor + copper shield vs 6 peasants 63/99 (1 stalemate)
2a) elite partial copper armor vs 6 peasants 51/100
2b) elite partial copper armor vs 6 peasants 62/96 (4 stalemates)
3) elite copper armor + copper short-sword vs 6 peasants 54/97 (3 stalemates)
4) elite wool clothing vs 6 peasants 71/99 (1 stalemate)
5a) elite copper armor + wool clothing vs 6 peasants 67/98 (1 stalemate, 1 all died)
5b) elite copper armor + wool clothing vs 6 peasants 54/99 (1 stalemate)

Tester's conclusion:
It almost seems like all kinds of armor are equally exhausting to fight in. Which would mean that armor weight only influences the movement speed.


Mutilated and mangled corpses per weapon type (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

Mangled corpses can't be re-animated.

note: When the pickaxe was tested, the raws were edited so that it uses the Axe skill instead of Mining, since the Mining skill can't be increased in the Arena. The default file is ...\DF\raw\objects\item_weapon.txt but each save also has its own copy of it.

Mutilated corpse = missing a limb (examples: neck, hand, lower body) (not: teeth, nose, ear, finger)
Mangled corpse = head, upper body or lower body destroyed (examples: cloven asunder, explodes into gore, crushed)

Examples of damage and resulting corpses

Item(s) on the ground Damage Type Combat log
Dwarf 26's corpse Bleeding Dwarf 26 has bled to death.
Dwarf 151's corpse Edged Dwarf 51 hacks Dwarf 151 in the lower body with her copper battle axe, tearing apart the muscle and spilling her guts!
Dwarf 176's neck
Dwarf 176's mutilated corpse
Edged Dwarf 76 hacks Dwarf 176 in the neck with her copper battle axe and the severed part sails off in an arc!
(no lost limb found)
Dwarf 114's mutilated corpse
Edged Dwarf 14 slashes Dwarf 114 in the lower body with her copper short sword and the severed part sails off in an arc!
Dwarf 51's mangled corpse Edged Dwarf 151 hacks Dwarf 51 in the head with her copper battle axe and the injured part is cloven asunder!
Dwarf 140's left foot
Dwarf 140's mangled mutilated corpse
Edged Dwarf 40 hacks Dwarf 140 in the left foot with her copper battle axe and the severed part sails off in an arc!
Dwarf 40 hacks Dwarf 140 in the upper body with her copper battle axe and the injured part is cloven asunder!
Dwarf 60's corpse Blunt Dwarf 160 bashes Dwarf 60 in the head with her copper war hammer, bruising the muscle, jamming the skull through the brain and tearing the brain!
Dwarf 165's mangled corpse Blunt Dwarf 65 bashes Dwarf 165 in the head with her copper war hammer and the injured part explodes into gore!
Dwarf 187's mangled corpse Blunt Dwarf 87 bashes Dwarf 187 in the head with her copper war hammer and the injured part is crushed!

Observed mutilations by weapon type
(Found by searching the combatlog.txt for "sails off in an arc!". Upper body decapitation has not been observed in a limited sample between dwarves.)

Weapon Part cut off
Battle axe head, neck, upper arm, lower arm, hand, lower body, foot
Short-sword head, neck, upper arm, lower arm, hand, lower body, foot
Spear neck, hand, foot
Pickaxe head, neck, upper arm, lower arm, hand, lower body, guts, upper leg, lower leg, foot

Times run: 100 per set

Initial setup: Only dwarven females and male giants (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room, fighters start at opposite walls

Raws were edited so the Pickaxe uses the Axe skill instead of Mining, since Mining can't be increased in the Arena.

Side & Creature Number Skills Items Comment
#1: Dwarf 1 Weapon skill 5 Copper weapon
#2: Dwarf dodger 1 Weapon skill 5
Dodge 14
Copper weapon Used against #3, because #1 died too much
#3: Giant 1 none none Giant has size 9 million, chosen to represent anything large. A forgotten beast has size 10 million.

Results for dwarf kills:
Matches were both dies are ignored, because the winner will then be dying from blood loss and that will skew the numbers incorrectly towards regular corpses and mutilated corpses.

Side & Creature Weapon Dead dwarves Regular corpses Mutilated corpses Mangled corpses Mangled Mutilated corpses
#1 vs #1: Battle axe 90 (10 double kills were ignored) 8 49 26 7
#1 vs #1: Short-sword 86 (14 double kills were ignored) 2 20 48 16
#1 vs #1: Spear 94 (6 double kills were ignored) 18 16 51 9
#1 vs #1: War hammer 95 (5 double kills were ignored) 63 0 32 0
#1 vs #1: Mace 91 (9 double kills were ignored) 36 0 55 0
#1 vs #1: Pickaxe 92 (8 double kills were ignored) 4 45 28 15

Results for giant kills:

Side & Creature Weapon Dead giants Regular corpses Mutilated corpses Mangled corpses Mangled Mutilated corpses
#2 vs #3: Battle axe 95 (1 stalemate and 4 losses were ignored) 95 0 0 0
#2 vs #3: Short-sword 97 (3 losses were ignored) 94 0 3 0
#2 vs #3: Spear 99 (1 stalemate were ignored) 90 0 9 0
#2 vs #3: War hammer 95 (2 stalemate and 3 losses were ignored) 0 0 95 0
#2 vs #3: Mace 85 (2 stalemates and 13 losses ignored) 0 0 85 0
#2 vs #3: Pickaxe 98 (2 losses were ignored) 20 0 78 0

Tester's conclusion:

Dwarf 28: How fragile we are... I must not succumb to fear!

edit: All weapons used in this test were made out of copper. In a recent fort I played, a dwarf with an Adamantine battle axe were able to mutilate a giant with a hack to the head. Not sure how other materials will perform.

Skilled Miner vs average soldier (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

Mining is very easy to train up. But how good is a miner with an armor piercing pick in a fight? Training soldiers can take a long time. In this test the soldiers only get half the skill of the miner. Please note that soldier training also boosts the attributes more than mining does, the effect of that is unknown.

note: When the pickaxe was tested, the raws were edited so that it uses the Axe skill instead of Mining, since the Mining skill can't be increased in the Arena. The default file is ...\DF\raw\objects\item_weapon.txt but each save also has its own copy of it.

Creatures

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Miner 1 Pickaxe 14
(Mining skill by default)
Steel Pickaxe
#2: Soldier 1 Fighter 7
Axeman 7
Dodger 7
Shield User 7
Armor user 7
Iron battle axe
Fungiwood shield
iron mail shirt
iron helm
iron breastplate
iron greaves
2 iron gauntlets
2 iron high boots

Times run: 100 per set

Initial setup: Only dwarven females (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room, fighters start at opposite walls

1v1 Results

Side & Creature Victories
#1 vs #2 Miner won 38/91 (1 stalemate, 8 double kills)
#1 vs #2 Miner won 39/86 (1 stalemate, 13 double kills)

10v10 Results

Side & Creature Victories Comment
#1 vs #2 Miners won 18/99 (1 all died) 74/1000 miners alive, 448/1000 soliders alive

Tester's conclusion:

Skilled unarmored miners can definately put up a fight in 1v1. But they perform poorly as an army.

Hit locations (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

What body parts are hit the most?

This test is done with armor to prevent mutilation. It is untested if a lost limb can be hit again, it's just assumed that it can't. The face however can't be protected by armor, so parts like ears and noses can still be lost, and this can have an effect on the outcome.

Each test is only run for a few seconds to prevent fighters from falling unconscious (from pain or fatigue). Since an unconscious target always seem to be hit in the head, this would skew the result.

A script was used to count the hits and their locations. But the script wasn't perfect. Some face hits damage multiple parts, a tongue hit can/will also do damage to the cheek for example, which will result in double counting in those particular cases. There can also be other errors that are undiscovered. That is why the total number of hits are slightly lower than what is obtained by adding all individual hits together.

edit:a script error was found, hands and fingers as well as feet and toes were counted together, column labels have been adjusted to show this, no data has been changed

Creatures

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1: Soldier 1 Fighter 5
Weapon 5
Copper weapon
Copper mail shirt
Copper helm
Copper breastplate
Copper greaves
2 copper gauntlets
2 copper high boots

Times run: 100 fights per set, for just a few seconds to avoid unconsciousness as much as possible

Initial setup: Only dwarven males, fighting in a 7x7 room, fighters start at opposite walls

Results for dwarf vs dwarf

Weapon used Weapon hits Head Neck/Throat Upper body Lower body Upper arm Lower arm Hand + Finger Upper leg Lower leg Foot + Toe Only fingers Only toes Face parts (has double-counting)
Battle axes 1743 137 45/0 99 89 106/113 133/139 143/126 51/41 57/55 146/138 10 6 130
Battle axes 1961 157 51/2 129 131 168/141 133/128 162/130 52/41 69/56 152/130 10 7 138
Short-swords 1543 141 37/0 90 101 104/115 112/98 117/125 57/38 34/32 109/134 12 5 105
Short-swords 1629 133 38/2 99 94 115/123 116/117 114/117 60/57 59/41 126/103 11 5 121
Spears 1915 147 55/1 134 135 132/137 150/135 155/144 50/58 62/46 127/124 22 4 131
Spears 1774 141 51/1 126 124 123/153 119/133 134/133 54/43 51/50 119/127 10 1 93
War hammers 1210 97 38/1 75 79 100/92 101/93 101/92 40/40 30/23 81/81 11 1 48
War hammers 1496 159 35/4 83 89 108/103 114/101 131/115 35/38 45/39 105/120 9 3 74
Maces 1410 118 48/1 95 76 109/96 109/92 117/101 54/37 52/35 101/102 10 1 68
Maces 1372 133 39/1 85 89 107/96 92/118 111/94 48/41 38/33 102/97 2 2 49
Pickaxes 1679 159 37/3 113 105 118/125 132/126 130/121 39/46 49/49 111/140 9 7 78
Pickaxes 1413 110 37/0 100 83 105/92 109/123 108/117 35/38 41/39 123/102 9 0 53

Averaged results in %
The face hits value is uncertain since it is known to contain double counting. By using the value for total number of hits, the double counting can be adjusted for, and it is found to be 0.8% units too high. When all % values are added they become 99.4%, the missing 0.6% comes from rounding.

Comment Head Neck/Throat Upper body Lower body Upper arm Lower arm Hand + fingers Upper leg Lower leg Foot + toes Only fingers Only toes Face parts
Left/Right bodypart 8.6 2.7 / 0.1 6.4 6.2 7.3 / 7.2 7.4 / 7.3 8.0 / 7.4 3.0 / 2.7 3.1 / 2.6 7.3 / 7.3 0.6 0.2 5.6 (adjusted value is 4.8)
Combined 8.6 2.7 / 0.1 6.4 6.2 14.5 14.7 15.4 5.7 5.7 14.6 0.6 0.2 5.6 (adjusted value is 4.8)

Combined averaged results in % with hands/fingers and feet/toes separated

Comment Head Neck/Throat Upper body Lower body Upper arms Lower arms Hands Upper legs Lower legs Feet Fingers Toes Face parts
Combined 8.6 2.7 / 0.1 6.4 6.2 14.5 14.7 14.8 5.7 5.7 14.4 0.6 0.2 4.8

Armor pieces and their % chance of recieving a hit

Armor piece approximate % chance of getting hit
Mail shirt / leather armor 35.6
Helm 8.6
Breastplate 12.6
Greaves / leggings 17.6
Gauntlets 30.1
High boots 20.3
Low boots 14.6

Tester's conclusion:

It appears that all weapons use the same hit location calculation. There is one minor trend where the left limbs of the body are hit more, which could be explained by the attacker holding the weapon in his right hand. War hammers and Maces have 9.5% and 9.0% head hits respectively, slightly higher than average, I think this can be explained by the fact that blunt weapons can kill through helmets and after that happen that particular fight is over and no longer generate any new hits and this will skew the numbers in favor of the head.

A thought on low vs high boots: Even though gauntlets are more likely to break, the boots are also hit fairly often. If there is a concern about them breaking, the low boots would be the better choice, since the legs have a low chance of being hit the greaves / leggings are pretty safe already and the lower body have several overlapping armor pieces. The lower legs have a low chance of getting hit, so having double armor on them is not that important, especially when compared to the risk of loosing the boots entirely if they were to break. An item breaks the 5th time it takes damage, and blunt weapons of any material, especially the war hammer, can damage and break all kinds of armor (not tested on adamantium).

As a side note: Leggings have both the [shaped] and [elastic] tags, which seems incorrect since they should be mutually exclusive. It appears as if leggings can stop blunt damage just like greaves do, but they will never get damaged by blunt hits.

Shields vs Bucklers in melee combat (by NeckRomancer)[edit]

Straightforward test, one side has shields and the other bucklers, who wins the most? Trying both a 7x7 room and a 1x15 tunnel.

Creatures

Side & Creature Number Skills Items
#1a: Shield soldier 1 Fighter 5
Axeman 5
Shield User 5
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#1b: Skilled shield soldier 1 Fighter 5
Axeman 5
Shield User 10
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood shield
#2a: Buckler soldier 1 Fighter 5
Axeman 5
Shield User 5
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood buckler
#2b: Skilled buckler soldier 1 Fighter 5
Axeman 5
Shield User 10
Copper battle axe
Fungiwood buckler

Times run: 100 per set

Initial setup: Only dwarven females (gender should not matter), fighting in a 7x7 room / 1x15 tunnel, fighters start at opposite walls

Results

Side & Creature Victories Comment
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 40/98 (1 stalemate, 1 double kill) 7x7 room
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 44/97 (3 double kills) 7x7 room
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 44/98 (2 double kills) 7x7 room
#1b vs #2b (skilled) Bucklers won 47/100 7x7 room
#1b vs #2b (skilled) Bucklers won 40/97 (1 stalemate, 2 double kills) 7x7 room
#1b vs #2b (skilled) Bucklers won 50/98 (2 double kills) 7x7 room
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 23/47 (1 stalemate, 2 double kills) 1x15 tunnel
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 25/50 1x15 tunnel
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 23/46 (3 stalemates, 1 double kill) 1x15 tunnel
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 19/48 (2 double kills) 1x15 tunnel
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 19/48 (2 double kills) 1x15 tunnel
#1a vs #2a Bucklers won 21/47 (2 stalemates, 1 double kill) 1x15 tunnel

Tester's conclusion:

Shields perform a bit better in melee combat than bucklers.