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Missions are commands in Fortress mode that send one or more of your squads to visit sites outside of your fortress. They are created in the Civilization/World Info screen (accessed by pressing in the main fortress view). There are multiple types of missions, such as raids, explorations, artifact recovery, and citizen recovery.
 Raids and explorations
A raid is a general mission to an occupied, foreign site, usually in the name of pillaging artifacts and death-dealing (although artifact looting seems to be the primary focus of most raids). An exploration is a general mission to unoccupied sites, including those previously inhabited by your civilization, and these missions focus almost entirely upon finding artifacts that might be held at these locations.
Raids and explorations are created by selecting a site on the Civilization/World Info map. If the site you're viewing holds or is rumored to hold artifacts or prisoners, these will be listed. At the bottom of the screen, a prompt gives you information about the type of mission you're creating (i.e. 'r: Raid/Explore this site'). If a site is unable to be visited, the prompt will appear grayed out, and the text will explain why you cannot create the mission. Missions cannot be sent to occupied sites that are members of your civilization, but can be sent to unoccupied/abandoned sites, as stated above. They also cannot be sent to locations that are impossible for your squads to reach (i.e. across oceans/glaciers). If all is well, you can then press squad selection.to create the mission and move into
Raids come in three flavors, these being the standard "raid", "pillage" and "raze". In a raid, your dwarves will sneak in and attempt to steal items from the site, especially if it's an artifact. It will usually train your ambusher skill, so it may be useful if you want to raise that particular skill quickly. On a pillaging mission, your dwarves will openly attack the site, and if successful will result in your dwarves stealing livestock and loot if you have those options selected in the [d]etails menu. When razing a site, your dwarves will both openly attack and attempt to destroy the site, resulting in a more prolonged attack. If you are sure that your army will win against the opposing one, and you want that site gone, a razing mission is probably what you want to perform. Your dwarves will still bring home loot and livestock if you have these options selected.
The pillaging and razing options both use the military tactics skill of each army's highest-leveled tactician, giving the side with a better one major advantages in the battle. Standard sneaky raids, however, will use the ambusher skill.
Note: Raiding a site of a civilization you are at Peace with, for any reason, could cause them to declare war on your civilization. Act with care when choosing sites to pillage.
 Artifact/Citizen recovery
An artifact recovery mission allows for a specific artifact to be selected as the objective of a mission. This usually involves traveling to the last known or rumored location of said artifact. If your squad manages to encounter a bit of fun on any form of mission, members of those parties can be captured as prisoners by the inhabitants of the site you attempted to raid. When this happens, you can create a citizen recovery mission, whereupon the assigned squads will attempt to rescue the prisoner from whatever site they are held at. Other prisoners you rescue can come back with your squad and seek sanctuary at your fortress. Sometimes, uninhabited tombs can even contain "prisoners" that you can rescue.
Artifact recovery and citizen recovery missions are created by selecting the desired recoverable from either the missing citizens menu (accessible with) or the artifact menu (accessible with ). Once you've selected something, press to create a new mission, and move into squad selection. Although you can technically select recoverables that belong to sites of your civilization, squads on these missions will almost instantaneously return, and will deliver no report data.
 Squad selection
Squad selection, as the name implies, simply involves selecting a squad (or multiple squads) to be sent out on the mission. Even if you do not select any squads by exiting the selection, the created mission will remain extant and active, albeit with no squads assigned to it.
Once an active mission has one or more squads assigned to it, the dwarfs in those squads will automatically prepare themselves and leave the map's edge.
 Other notes
- Pressing on the Civilization/World Info screen will show a list of active missions. You can reassign squads and delete missions on this screen.
- When a squad returns from a mission, an announcement to the effect of "<squad name> has returned" will be generated, and a mission report will be visible in the eport menu. In the report, the path the squad took is traced on the map, and the events that took place along the way are revealed.
- Pets and other animals on missions can be killed or injured.
- The mission will NOT start until all dwarves assigned to the mission exit the fortress. This includes military dwarves that are imprisoned and dwarves that get hospitalized before leaving. This can be fixed by removing the problem dwarves from the assigned squads.
- The mission will also NOT start if any assigned war animals have not left the fortress. Ensure no assigned animals are caged, chained, or roosting if your squad is gone for a long time.
 Mission reports
Mission reports have an animated map on the left side of the screen. A path is traced out from your fortress to the destination and events are "revealed" on the right side of the screen.
 Mission events
- This list is incomplete and might contain errors, please feel free to contribute
- Found nothing
- Slipped into (settlement) undetected
- Searched (settlement)
- Stole (artifact)
- Asked about (artifact)
- Caroused in (site)
- Freed the (species and name of prisoner)
- Confronted the (species and name of confrontee)
- The (species and name of combattee) fought with...
- (Name)'s (body part) was torn out/ripped off
- (Name) was struck down
- (Item/Artifact) was looted from (former person holding it)