I just added my name to the list for Asst. Admin for this site - see here.
Okay, going to use this page as a log for my latest fortress. Which, with luck, will be the first of 5 I take to the end, without some fatal n00b oversight early, either by selecting a world without any challenges (no goblins) or traders (not even other dwarves) or without adequate resources (no flux, very little metal of any type), or just bad luck - namely, landing too close to waaay too much fun (for a beginner, anyway).
 Beast Whips
Edit - first of 6 now. This last effort locked up and would not load. Bonus. Try again, same map... I'll keep (some of) the prev comments in italics for comparison.
Edit again - make that first of 7. In my frustration, I embarked off-target, and missed the HFS block. Um... yeah...
I tend to micromanage, and don't play marathons each day, and don't have a powerful PC that can crank through dwarf-seasons in a few minutes - and what this means is that this will go slowly, compared to some others.
 And so it begins... (pre-embark)
 The site
The chosen site is 6x6, with sand over flux (chalk) in 4 of the northernmost tiles, and a savage good biome on 3 of the western most - the two southern most, and 1 extreme NW'ern - trees in these 7 blocks are scarce, at best. It's almost flat, but mostly obsidian (treeless). Magma Pipe just off center to NE, long UG river across the southern half of the map, brook across the northern half near the sand. In lower layers we have more obsidian, some granite (nice!), some gabbro (also nice!) and a lot of diorite (yawn.)
 Starting Seven
Screened my original seven slightly, tossing out the first couple groups - no cat lovers, no real slackers, no serious over-indulgers or quitters. Very slightly diff than before, switching armor/weapon, and bumping the leather skill by 1.
The party now consists of the following:
- Catten Shelretthob - Leader/Security/Outdoorsdwarf: Ambush 6, Axe 6, Armor User 10, Appraise 6, Judge of Intent 6, Architect 6 (black bronze is not nearly as good as aluminum)
- Sazir Zonluk - Miner 10/Siege Engineer 10
- Stinthad Muthkatlensham - Mason 10/Stone Crafter 10
- Sazir Zonluk - Weaponsmith 10/Leatherworker 9 /Armor User 6 (likes steel, and tower-caps - will be our carpenter)
- Tirist Bufutmeng - Armorsmith 10/Cook 10 (also likes steel!)
- Vucar Zulbanthosbut - Mechanic 10/Brewer 10 (nuthin' - he drew the short straw. Pewter, demantoid, crowns, horses... yay.)
- Ushat Lokumning - Gemsetter 10/Grower 10 (likes pigtail plants... meh.)
- (Gone but not forgotten - previous leader Domas "don't call him 'Dumb-ass'" Shakethmomuz (aka dumbass shakethemuthuz) - Leader (liked dogs, and aluminum - would have been a dabbling metalsmith)
- Great name, good preferences. Will be missed.)
- (Any other personal preferences/likes are, well, pretty much dull and pointless. Squares. Trumpets. Siliceous ooze. Yay.)
- (These skill mixes were chosen with an eye to several factors, including future possible moods, time-demands of skills, and when the skill would be needed in the fortress (sooner or later). I'm not perfectly happy with the mason/stonecraft combo, but for me, for my priorities and gamestyle, I like this mix far better than other, more conventional choices.)
The Leader/axedwarf will add in unskilled woodcutter, herbalist and animal trainer, and cover all the outdoor duties with a few wardogs in tow (until they're assigned elsewhere). The miner will do nothing else but mine, all hauling turned off until they're legendary (before Summmer mining in soil), and will be some early reserve military with those attributes. Almost everyone else will be furnace operators, to cover than as it comes up, and almost everyone except the cook will be a butcher/tanner, to cover those duties asap before anything rots (the cook will cook what's butchered, oddly enough). The Weaponsmith/Lthrwrkr will add Carpenter, and cover those duties as well for now - gotta make sure they maintain "Weaponsmith" as a profession, for any mood.
The mason/stonecrafter will have their hands full at first, and I know I'll sometimes wish they were two separate dwarfs (been there before with this mix), but after a few caravans stonecrafts will only take a few weeks out of the year, and at some point a mood will create a legendary one while this concentrates on mason. The Gemsetter is a long plan - personal pref.
 In the wagon
Provisions chosen include:
- (final numbers somewhat variable, depending on availabilities)
- 1 anvil
- 1 copper pick
- 4 dogs (not wardogs, just "dogs")
- 2 cats (to intentionally breed for leather, meat & bones)
- 1 each of every available fish/meat that costs 8 or less
- 11 turtle
- 2 cave lobster
- 11 plump helmet
- 49 alcohol
- 6 wine (first to make, and no one's favorite)
- 11 ale
- 2x 16 each beer & rum (of the 7 dwarves, 3 favor rum, 2 favor beer)
- 6 seeds for quarry bushes
- 4 seeds for plump helmets (more after they're eaten), cave wheat, pig tails & sweet pods
- 2 seeds for dimple cups
- 4 bauxite (there's sedimentary, but just in case, and for immediate fire-safe builds)
- 0/10 bituminous coal (not available - dammit!)
- 1 copper nugget
- 6 tetrahedrite (copper & silver)
- 3 cassiterite (to make bronze with the copper)
- 2 bismuthinite (for bismuth bronze, & for moods)
- 3 galena (for the silver)
- 5 wood (w/ 3 more from wagon)
- 4 leather (for a few quick bags for plant gathering/etc)
I intend to make my own axe for woodcutting and defense, out of bronze, plus a second pick. Bronze is about one third better in combat than copper and actually takes less fuel (2 bars:1 fuel!). Bismuth bronze I'll keep for moods, just in case. (I considered Sphalerite, for zinc, but none is available, so that decision is made for me.)
 Strike the Earth! (mark III)
 Day 1
"...ere the wolves get hungry. A new chapter of dwarven history begins at this place, Ferbomrek, "Beastwhips"...
Wow - a name with real balls. Maybe 3's the charm...
I've learned a trick or three, and landed centered right in the middle of where I want to dig, the northern sands - this will go much better than before.
I look (again) for the perfect spot to begin digging, my entrance for now, until I stabilize and then migrate back to the locale of the pipe. In the brook bed I can see obsidian and rhyolite alternating - large clusters, most probably, by their location on the map blocks. I try to take an educated guess to their exact extent of the low-value stone (a 20x40 oval, so not that hard), choose an entry point, and mark out some preliminary mining operations.
Here we go... again...
I order the wagon deconstructed for the wood, mark the sites for a wood burner and smelter, but since the wagon landed only 15 tiles from the back door (only entrance for now) and there's no UG storage excavated yet, I send 4 off across the map to gather plants - get that program going early for a change. (The Weaponsmith/Cook gets designated "Carpenter", on the theory they'll have some amount of spare time on their hands.) There's nothing but camels and horses to worry about for now.
A white sand, obsidian, and alunite jumble. Not going for value or permanence right now, so sand is fine for everything but the dining hall, which I want as impressive as possible - center it there, where I can see obsidian on the surface, and see what we get around it...
 1st week
A respectable kitchen/storage area about 6x12 carved out, inc. six 4-tile UG farm plots, now being planted w/ PH's, sweet pods and q-bushes. The plant gatherers have scored varying successes, and as they come back I put them to work hauling. Charcoal and bronze are ready and forge is being built. Four 3x4 workshop areas carved out, waiting for an occupant. Dwarves are balking at bringing food downstairs - something's off.
 2nd Week
Kitchen up and 2 lavish meals prepared, freeing 8 barrels. Whipvine, wild strawbs, and prickle berry all brewed in brewery and seeds planted. Also hide root, which I'm not overly excited about, but... Plump helmets, Sweet pods and Quarry bushes planted UG. Dining hall excavation begun. One schmuck still can't find a shrub to save his beard.
Forge, leather shop, mason, mechanics all finished w/ orders waiting.
Giant Eagle on the map, too, but on the other side of everything. If it doesn't bother me, I won't bother it... for now...
Herds of horses and camels, but two-humped, which doesn't help my one-humped mare.
 2nd month - end of the beginning
01.02.01 Mining progresses, 2nd level workshops & storage just begun. Mason and mechanic have been busy, first defensive trap and hatches are up. 2nd miner is in training on sand for UG Towercap cavern. Many area blocks to clear for that, time to get started.
All perishable items are safe UG. Expanding 2nd level for carcass stockpile/butcher/tanner/leather combo (under kitchen), additional mason/stonecraft shops to process all the stone, plant storage under the still/kitchen, and prepared meals under the dining hall.
01.02.14 Those who aren't asleep in the dirt where they were working are just waking up - that's ok for now. Have made some good meals, will have 5 beds ready for next cycle. About 500 tiles of UG towercap cavern carved out, doors & mechanisms ordered to be placed for flooding. Miner just made Master (17) and is diving into 2nd level excavation.
01.02.20 Master miner begins system for magma forges, just over 40 tiles long; we lock him in to help him concentrate.
22nd - He's done digging, but spends another full day smoothing and carving fortifications - might be superstitious, but it's going to happen anyway.
 Month 2 - end of the beginning
Not much of interest - carving workshops and halls, finalizing storage, placing furniture. Barrier wall is just a shield facing the direction of the fire imps, but it's ~30 tiles wide. Exposed iron vein about 50 tiles away that is calling.
 01.02.28 accounting
As Slate, month #2, comes to an end, we enter stage two, and take stock of achievements, landmarks and goals...
- 5 dwarves are "quite content", with 1 ecstatic, and 1 "just fine".
- Miner has just made High Master skill level, 2nd miner (Armorer/Cook) retired at Proficient.
- Buildings: Carpenter, Mechanic, Kitchen, Still, Butcher, Tanner, Leather, 2 magma smelters, 1 magma forge, Bowyer (just because the location was carved out and I had an idle dwarf). All constructed w/ obsidian blocks.
- Temp buildings placed - two Mason's workshops, kennel
- Dining Hall (3x3 for now), 2 tables, 2 chairs, 2 statues (all obsidian).
- Excavated: 7x7 plant storage, 7x7 barracks (w/ 5 beds!), 18 x 3 entry hall w/ 90 degree turn, 6 4-tile UG farm plots, 5 4-5 tile AG farm plots, barrel storage, plus ~700 tiles for Towercap farm (no flooding yet).
- ~40/130 perimeter wall completed
- 4 wardogs trained and attached to leader/outdoorsdwarf
- Created Wealth: just over 14,000 (almost twice last run at this point)
Created wealth is only accidental so far, mostly from architecture.
Time to get wealthy. Exploratory mining, steel armor, statues. Tap the UG river and flood the TC caverns.
 Month 3 - the machine starts
Sent miner to find the underground river, shown on the rough map - 4 shafts spaced 12 tiles apart along that area block boundary, and nailed it on the second try! (Long sucker, too - 3 1/2 pages of unpleasantness, including 5 cave crocs.) Now, to set up some flood control, irrigate that area and get all that started... (Found some kimberlite, to explore later). Forges started on the iron that is just coming in. Some copper too, but obv much lower priority.
01.03.10 That was fast - too fast. The exposed vein was badly eroded - just over 40 ore, and that's at a 98% recovery rate. Weak.
Start drilling exploratory shafts in the chalk, on a grid 6 tiles apart, and also 6 deep - as deep as the chalk goes. Nothing but white - then SCORE! 6th chalk shaft, bituminous coal. And close to the forges, or close enough. And so my miner decides it's time to go drinking. Well, we found it, so we gear up for pig iron and steel production. No way charcoal was going to cut it in this desert.
Area around and above forges is clear of debris and ready for stockpiles of ores & flux.
Edit - while expanding access tunnels to the coal, found 5 native aluminum. Swank! Now, to shuffle those into the workshops where they can be forced onto the appropriate production lines...
 End of Spring summary
- Dwarves vary from ecstatic to "just fine".
- Miner is Grand Master rank, 3rd miner didn't get off the ground this season. Bah, wanted some improved attributes for this next push.
- Buildings: Added a Craftshop next to a Trade Depot, and a more permanent and handy mason's shop (yes, the 3rd). Total of 5 magma smelters surrounding the magma forge (half will support a second once I get it), plus 2 more waiting for obsidian blocks.
- ~95/130 perimeter wall completed; (doesn't look like it'll get finished before caravan arrival.)
- ~100 drink (8 varieties!), ~60 food, not including the most valuable (forbidden for now) - this is better than when we landed.
- Created Wealth: just over 25,000 (half in architecture).
Mason is about to change to mugs, 100%. Remaining free labour will now be devoted to steel production, to impress the caravan.
 Summer - month 4, Hematite
01.04.01 Time to get some wealth, gotta impress the merchants if we're going to grow.
Exploratory mining just started, planning to punch shafts down thru the center of each area block to see what's down there, layer by layer. Started first today after nap time... 5 of 7 down, inc. miner, mason, all strong/agile haulers.
 01.04.15 - Pull the lever
A long delay while waiting for mechanisms - about 1000 tiles of cavern irrigated. No measuring system or safeguards, but not worried, it's separated from the main fortress by hard walls and an AG access, there water flow is small, and they can waddle to safety if things go overboard.
On the home front, my now-so-called-Adept Mason is not impressing me - lots of -well crafted- dreck for the merchants. Hope they bring a lot of ore stones with them.
01.04.20 Irrigation goes smoothly - now drying out, first saplings spotted already.
 Month 5
01.05.01 I keep an eye on those imps - they'd have 30 tiles to the wall, and another dozen around it to the "compound". I'm thinkin' I'll wait until I get a kitten, set an ambush point. Camels, horses, a cougar, a giant eagle - not overly harsh, but enough to keep an eye out for.
A half-dozen sapling in the UG cavern - we'll see if that improves.
Not as chaotic as some games - everything seems proceeding steadily. 4 dwarfs on smelter/forge duty.
01.05.15 6 weeks until Fall. Several suits of plate (one exceptional!) and chain armor, couple greaves, couple leggings of varying quality. Only 2 aluminum have been moved - still hoping. Last of iron ore is moved, so maybe now...
~50k of armor puts me over 100k created wealth. So far.
01.05.17 2nd exceptional plate armor. Gotta love an armorer who loves steel. Nobody working - asleep, on break, drinking. My guys, I gotta love 'em.
Finally got the aluminum "dumped" into the Mason & Mech shops (which share a stair atm - not the original plan, and will wall that off.) We'll see what we get...
(Thought about saving 1 for moods, but it's early, and I can use the wealth more for now. We'll find more... I'm sure... how hard can it be?...)
01.05.25 Well, nothing exceptional, but Fine and Superior across the board. A half-dozen tower caps saplings.
01.05.27 GAH! While worrying about unlocking those two, an enterprising lad decided to go collect copper - off by the vent. Zoomed over to him just in time to see him step out of the cloud of a point-blank fireblast - unscathed! By sheer luck, this was Tirist, my 2ndary miner, and so is Very Strong, Agile & Tough - attack! Altho' it squirms to the very edge of the vent, he strangles it - or something. And then another shows. However, he stuns this one, and it retreats - as does he! (Note - no more copper until we deal with this properly - war has been declared. Perhaps right after the Caravan.) We leave the corpse (and the dropped copper) there, for now, but will be back...
Building an outdoor butchery to deal w/ exploding fire imp fat.
Wealth: 143k. Only a few iron left. Ordering weapons made, 1 each steel axe, spear, and hammer, and an obsidian shortsword when mason is free. Let's see if we can't attract some military in the first migrant wave.
A dozen and a half TC saplings, which is already denser than on the desert above it - now we're talkin'. (Marked each "Restricted Traffic" - and easier to keep track of that way, too.)
 Month 6 - prep time
4 week countdown to possible caravan, tho' it always seems to come around the 10th, right after first pups are born. Craftshops keep filling with mugs, keep building more. Now on 5th.
Things are (more) under control, but need more material - time for exploratory mining. Sinking shafts to the bottom, dead center in area blocks. Looks like maybe 6 layers of chalk, and 3 area blocks adjacent to the north - nice. With luck, I'll hit something coal-like sooner than later. Just as soon as my ace miner gets off break...
Found several colorful but valueless stones immediately below the forge area, but several layers of olivine - and that means platinum, and my gabbro layers. And MUCH more exploration, but good to know.
Struck petrified wood in my 3rd area block shaft - never actually seen that before. A completely meaningless change from generic colored rock.
Out of curiosity, I checked my legendary (extremely agile) miner - 25 frames to dig each tile of sand, including stepping up to reach the next one. Nice.
01.06.03 4th center shaft, and score! First, bauxite - always a relief. Then magnetite (which means hundreds) PLUS platinum! Woot-city! And tetrahedrite down below that - da bonus. Back in business.
01.06.06 Oh, and no migrants this season. No surprise there, butcha never know.
The the nearest tenth of the magnetite gets carved out, and all the platinum (at 120/nugget!) with a closer access shaft. But it's over 60 to the workshops - bleh.
 Aieee! Macaques!
01.06.19 A tribe of thieving macaques has infiltrated my (still wide open, ahem) compound, 6 plus one more killed, probably a wardog's. I only noticed because a hauler was interrupted, but he's my burly legendary miner - without a pick atm. On the plus side, they've cornered themselves in the one section that is finished, and that's above where I've made some weapons - on the down side, I've only that 1 dwarf nearby. We'll see who wants to wrestle, while the rest answer the call... for macaque stew!
3 wrestlers & 1 axedwarf pile onto 6 macaques, and 3 drop while the other half scatter. 3 more are chased down (attribute building ftw!), but 3 more show up from off-screen! Can't turn my back on these little shits - gotta hunt them down. (Right into some camels... hmmm...) Now I really wish I'd had time to equip with the crossbow.
21st - 2 dwarfs still off chasing down last 2. Macaques are not something I want to leave on the map, except as refuse. I think they might be faster than 1, but the edge of the map is coming up... Whoaho! Axedwarf knocked his 27 tiles - broke him into 6 pieces, one landing another 7 from there! One to go...\
23rd - Fast bugger - got around my dwarf and headed for the map center again - almost - re-Activated one dwarf to come back and head it off - double teamed and toasted. Time to get ready for the caravan... past time! (9 corpses, with at least as many misc. parts scattered about - worried that some of these might not last until butchered/stored - all within the walls are getting stockpiles placed under them!)
5 days - focus back on the immediate task.
As the season ends, a typical double-edged gift from my Mason/Stonecrafter - an Exceptional shortsword! As a weapon, it rocks (no pun intended), but it's worth... 150. (If steel, more like
+2 muskox calves, both male. (meh, needed at least one - the pregnancy was from a wild herd.) +3 kittens - two females (into the stewpot soon enough!)
- Cages will have to wait for the caravan...
Have widened the entrance to allow passage of the wagons, and 3 staggered rows of stone traps (so cages can be added up front later without removing all of them!). They're not enough, but all for now. Cages will come with trading, not enough wood to spare to build any. For now, 100% focus on wealth, weaponry, and some throw-away workshops to lure desirable migrants. Loom and clothier, and jeweler's shop, specifically. Maybe a glass furnace if there's time, make some early glass pumps for training - but I'd bet against it.
 End of Summer summary
Wow. The difference between prep and producing has been huge. I'm having trouble grokking the final numbers, so I'll break them down at the bottom...
- 4 dwarves ecstatic. The rest vary in high contentment.
- Buildings: Carpenter, Mechanic, Kitchen, Still, Butcher, Tanner, Leather, Mason, Crafts, 6 Magma Smelters, Magma Forge, Craftdwarf, Bowyer, Trade Depot (verified accessible)
- Needed: Loom, Clothier, Glass furnace, (permanent location for mason?)
- Temporary buildings: kennel, 2 extra mason's, 2 additional craftdwarfs*, AG butcher
- Farmplots - UG: six 4-tile; AG: 5 4-tile
- 4 wardogs attached to Leader/Outdoorsman
- Dining Hall - sucks ("decent"), needs work, needs expanding (6 tiles big atm), no decoration. Mason on it now. Meager office for broker.
- Compound Wall - no changes, need about 30 stone placed.
- 3 rows of stone traps (3 wide each)
- Towercap farm: Same size, 5 more sprouts visible. Hardly "dense", but hella denser than the desert above it.
- ~160 drink, 80 food, not including the most valuable (forbidden for now) - this is about 3x what I left with, and with the caravan on the horizon and the macaques not yet butchered.
- Created Wealth: ...almost 180,000 (13.5k in architecture (Aluminum statues aren't up yet), 15.5k in furniture, 90k (so far) in armor (a new category), 6k in weapons (likewise), 7k "displayed" (also new), 12k in "other".)
- +2 more recently deconstructed for caravan access - floor around depot is littered shin-deep with mugs.
Get those aluminum statues and levers up, it'll all jump. I figure I have a week and a half...
 Autumn, month 7
01.07.03 Mason sleeping (and actually in a bed!). Dining room up to Royal w/ 2 statues in place - Legendary just around the corner. Now trying to top 200k in wealth before caravan arrives - looks like it'll be tight.
01.07.07 More platinum statues, and wealth is doin' fine. Expecting 2nd set of puppies any day - and the caravan. Accepted that some macaques may rot - 3 butchered, but once caravan arrives that can be a priority, what ever's left.
01.07.09 3 more puppies, inc. 2 females. Expect caravan arrival imminently. Chaining up 2nd wardog at entrance as thief security. (Largely illusory, as there are a half-dozen access points in unfinished compound.)
01.07.15 Caravan is late by my watch. (It would be darkly funny if yet another game were corrupted and they didn't come.)
Butchered 5 of the 9 macaques and tanned 5 skins, but rains came and other 4 are lost - miss the leather the most - might be able to save some bones for crossbows & bolts.
 Fall Caravan
01.07.17 I don't know the exact moment that wealth is assessed, but when the liason arrived it was 299k - and 307 (steel chain mail, 7200db) before the 2nd wagon hit the map. That's double anything I've done before for a caravan - we'll see what the immigrants bring me.
But first, we'll see what the caravan brings me... 1 bazillion (= ~150) mugs to the Trade Depot, stat!
01.08.05 Watching that much stuff get moved is slow. (Hey, if it had all been moved to bins earlier, it would have been the same number of jobs, plus moving the bins - the bins I don't have in this desert.) But it gives you time to look around... at the giant eagle... right outside my compound...
But it drifts away... slowly... for now...
Take this opportunity (the Trade Depot) to call for all that distant magnetite, platinum and tetrahedrite to be hauled in - at least it'll be closer.
01.08.17 30 days, leaving soon. Just ordered Leader to do that trade thang - and he's off hauling platinum... one... step.. at... a... time...
01.08.18-28 Trading over. Dumped a mess of stuff, the last trades were largely give-away (about 4k in mugs) for a better caravan next year. Dumped all my lower-quality furniture, except doors - my mason seems to be producing almost nothing but +doors+ - annoying.
Got some good loot - 2 iron anvils, a leather bin for armor, mess o' gems, two -steel crossbows- and a +steel shield+ (plus their random lesser-metal weapons, as a backup armory & eventual weapon traps), 4 cages and some ropes for the animals and entrance traps, and a corkscrew for a pump (altho' glass forges are on the short "to do" list.) Bought several heavily decorated bins and barrels and unneeded clothing "just because I could", and to pad the caravan's wallet. Also used the TD to lug several magnetite up from the mines just before they left - nice. Created wealth when they left was almost 330k.
And on their way out, they met the Giant Eagle - left some dwarf chunks and a steel spear, but everyone made if off the map. Gotta deal with that...
Mason seems to have woken up - made 2 exceptional doors, and a masterpiece door and hatch! Randomness.
To do list:
- Mine more stone and finish AG enclosure wall. Drawbridge for entry.
- Defense tower over entry.
- AG Statue garden, well, improve Dining Hall to seat 6(+)
- Breeding pens
- More traps in welcoming hall
- Set up 2nd forge (& 3rd, but lower priority), & get full armor for all (steel &/or leather suits)
- Siege weapon practice area before immigrants arrive
- 2nd kitchen
- magma glass works, & ashery
- massively expand cap caverns, wall off from outside, interior access only (currently via outside w/ doors).
- five weapon/armor stockpiles, sorted by quality, in rooms off Brx.
- BookKeeper (currently at lowest)
- pump exercise room
- ...plus a mess of busy work, like doors on workshops, better stockpile organization, cook some of the new food, brewing (both long delayed but in good shape for now), remove/re-place temp workshops, more bins, etc etc etc.
 To Autumn's end
The next two months pass quickly and without significant event, as larger projects settle into routine. AG compound wall is close to finished, a 33x34 enclosure to span the brook and allow several different access points to the dining halls, kitchens, and two barracks. Possibly too big, but... meh. 3 drawbridge doors, constructed but need to be linked (so they can close!) - and will have to defend those with archer towers. Plus one more retracting bridge over entry - no hard defense against building destroyers, only an archer's tower by the entrance and platforms by the enclosure gates, but this won't be the permanent entry - hope to start moving by middle of next year, once a few immigrants are trained up as full-time miners.
Some slackers have smelted a dozen iron, and pig iron is just being started for the next wave of armor and weapons. Start of weapon/armor organization for squads.
Created wealth: 350k
 Winter is upon you
And on day 2, the last gate is linked, and the compound snaps shut. An archer's tower stands, functional but un-fortified, in front of the entry, which has its gate working as well. 3 weapons traps are on order, putting 4 rows of traps between the fortress and unpleasant types.
A few more traps, but not as many as I'd wanted - hope defenses prove up to the task, but I fear "adequate" will prove to be a deceptively inaccurate goal.
Gobbos are around the corner, and military is almost non-existent: 1 Novice axedwarf who can wear chain armor without a problem, a couple suits of metal, and all the weapons I want. Time to get some leather armor up, even if it's going to be garbage. I hope the first immigrant wave dodges anything unpleasant, and brings some military of its own...
01.10.16 Guard tower is fully functional, with fortifications and a roof to "stay inside". Now working on quick corner positions over those three gates.
No immigrants yet... maybe I drew the short stick for Winter - that would hurt.
Not even a "The fortress attracted no migrants this season" message - very odd.
Corner fortifications finished. New ideas inspired by obvious weaknesses.
 Year 2
Over 2 dozen, including children - oy! Now I really wish I'd had a few in Winter, to prepare for this rush.
Odd - they came in two waves, about 2 days apart. Never seen that before. They are...
- Wood Cutter, who has a preference for clear glass and windows - he gets a scholarship to Glassmaker CC.
- Jeweler - Gem Cutter 6, Gem Setter 6 - he'll go gem cutter, and put to use the product from the glass trainee.
- Bone Carver
- Fish Cleaner - crystal glass, another scholarship.
- 4 peasants
- 3 children
- Furnace Operator
- "Farmer" - Tanner 6, Dyer 6, Milker 6 - he likes Billon, so he'll be my one MetalCrafter mood candidate.
- Farmer - who will join my main one as a Grower apprentice. Pig tail fabric preference also puts him in line as a weaver/clothier.
- Pump Operator
- 2 peasants
- 1 child
The clock is now ticking on moods, so over the next two weeks, any lacking make 1 appropriate item, and soon all have moodable skills based on preferences, except the 3 candidates for advanced training, who are working hard toward those goals of glass or metalcrafting. That includes 2 armorsmiths, 2 weapon smiths (one steel, one adamantine), an adamantine mason, a couple smiths, a couple weavers, a couple specializing in different types of glass, another bone carver, a clothier, no-preference leatherworker - aside from not enough armorsmiths, a nice spread.
Kittens and puppies, and one of the children is revealed to be a cat sympathizer. We'll see...
Gotta make a decision about a sheriff; want to hold off on a jail until new area, but only training new miners now on 2nd and 3rd tower cap areas. Still no mature caps, but saplings are moderately dense (about 1 in 10) in the one I have up and running.
And another non-craft masterpiece! A gym screwpump... and somehow I used a generic block instead of all the obsidian blocks my Combat Engineers (mason/wood cutters) have been turning out as practice pieces. This game mocks you.
Assigning 4 military to spar - first want to designate an empty barracks off a weapons rack. So I first need to build a weapons rack (have a 7x7 area reserved already.)
02.04.14 - Human caravan arrives - let's see what they brought...
02.04.17 - ...they brought a goblin ambush, is what. Fortunately, the ambush was sprung on the male cat, who was outside near the entrance, which puts the 3 goblin wrestlers and 3 macemen right between my new corner fortifications and guard tower - if we can respond fast enough. Unfortunately, the spar-ers were not in armor yet, so they'll gear up for the real deal while 6 archers jump up without armor (no goblin archers revealed...) The cat is already unconscious, looks like he bought it on the first blow or so.
Well, the good news is that the humans took one out on their way in - the bad news is the gobbos are chasing the Guild Rep toward the corner of the map...
...Fortunately, he proves to have been cornering the market on attributes in his spare time, and outruns them - and the archer tower is a winner! 3 1/2 kills, and by then the armored squad waddles out to mop up the rest - no losses to the good guys, except 6 partial stacks of steel and bone bolts. (And the cat - meh. The kid'll whine, but they'll get over it.) One crossbow wielder even went from no-skill to a marksdwarf from that one engagement! Plus somewhere in there, a goblin thief landed in a cage trap in the entry hall - mwahahahaha. (Did I mention the elves gave us a grizzly bear as a Spring Equinox gift?) (Hmmm... but that's only seven... didn't they come in 8's?)
02.04.02 2 weeks later, all loot is inside, and guards stand down, to help finish loading the TD - 1 week to go. Still trying to train a backup appraiser - we'll see how that goes.
02.04.15 Humans have come and gone, some good loot, and a solid backup appraiser.
Expanding the corners of my wall into firing platforms. Experimenting with different sizes, tho' placement of access drawbridges too near the corners is cramping that a bit.
Captured four thieves/kidnappers - the lever method is too slow, need a combat pit - nothing fancy for now, just functional.
Start irrigation/muddying of 2nd and 3rd TC farms, each about Limestone 02.07.05
My first mood - about time! Only a metalsmith, but that'll be handy for crafts and trade, and allow my mason some time off to do more building.
Throw all the preferred skills into quick military training now that they can't catch a mood for a while anyway...
7.10 - 3 more puppies.
7.11 - Odur Mozir, "the Root of Routing"... say what?! Meh, whatever - it's an iron and pigtail bucket w/ some decorations of dwarves surrounded by dwarves - I was hoping for a fire imp, but no luck. Time to make the well the meeting place...
The creator becomes Extremely Strong and Extremely Agile - hauling duty for him! Altho', I have been needing a third miner...
Dwarf Liaison & co. should be arriving soon.
7.13 - and here they are. 7.15 - 1 puppy. And a child snatcher in a cage. 7.19 - Two. 7.21 - Three.
26th - floodgates (well, drawbridges) are closed - 2 new TC farms have been flooded, and are now evaporating, one about 1500 tiles, the other about 2300. I have about 8 miners, from legencary to novice, working on clearing the edges of the flooded areas (yes, I overdid it.)
 Ambush (yawn)
28th They cleverly hung out outside my entrance - between the archer tower and the new corner firing position. The 3rd marksdwarf didn't have time to respond - 4 shot dead, plus 2 more dead from traps and 2 in cages. Grand pit fight soon.
8.01 2 Musk ox-etts
 Month 8 - Ambush!
8.05 - and while I'm not worried for my dwarfs, an ox calf strayed outside and being chased...
8th - The calf was finally caught, and the gobbos are wandering back. Meanwhile, 3 marksdwarfs are in the tower stairs, ready to pop out to the firing level, and 6 out of 9 recruits likewise ready to charge down the entry hall to speak harshly to these party crashers. Of course, two of those 6 are my two traders, and the caravan is about to leave - okay, so only 5 - let's do this...
Booya. Happens too fast to see, except for one 30+ tile hammer blast. 8 gobbos down, est half by the 3 crossbows. And we're out.
8.14: 3 kittens
Been ignoring military training, focusing on attributes and armor - now throw 8 into the sparring ring with full steel chain under plate, have to resort to a few minumum +fine+ quality pieces, some masterwork.
 Month 9, Migrants
9.09 Only 7, but including a mardswarf and an engineer, w/ a level of siege operator. And an engraver who likes hematite, to tempt me to transform the several veins I've found into rooms. To make up for that, 2 cat lovers.
9.12 Been digging a new tunnel to map center, and just broke ground up and out. Started a security/guard tower, plus some scratchings for mason's quarters (will become the siege engine defenses.)
9.25 Decided to make use of my one Legendary skill, and make some steel anvils - just for style points (and created wealth). Masterwork, right off the bat. Which puts created wealth over 1M - 1,018,466.
 2nd Winter
02.10.01 Working on new digs, new entryway with some real defenses. Want to go "orcs" next fortress - need the practice. Mistake only having one Architect - one "main" one, yes, but need another - too many things delayed. And only 4 Combat Engineers (mason/woodcutter/mech/plant gatherer - not enough. Need 2-4 more.)
Grower became Legendary, with only one apprentice since first wave.
10.04 - 1 donkey foal
10.05 - Searching for the Chasm, Gold on the lowest level.
10.09 - and that reveals the chasm. With only 9 gold easily available, and a few more scattered across the fingers of the chasm's end. Great. But rock crystal nearby - woot! Let's see... Kimberlite, opals, dead giant moles, ratmen... and garnierite! And more of the earlier - gems, lots of gold, some tetrahydrite, more possibility of diamonds, gremlins, 2 giant cave sss...swallows... sweet deal.
Month 11, 12 - dig, dig, dig the new digs...
 Year 3
1.03 Puppies, musk ox, kittens, more kittens.
 Plant Article
There was a recent thread titled "seeds" that was hoping to get "world gen seeds" - but [s]it's now[/s] it was slipping toward page 3, before I accidentally bumped it. ::)
Anyway, these were the 2 responses...
I thought you meant strawberry seeds or something. Now I have nothing to contribute :(
Yeah, I was hoping to learn something new about seeds, but alas...
mmmm... "seeds"... indeed... well, deep on page 2 doesn't look like "world seeds" is taking off... ok, by request of 2 posters, some thoughts on plant seeds and related topics, targeted at a variety of game experience levels. Don't know how much "new" this will be, but I was struck by a strange mood...
First, let's talk about the planter, your Grower. Plant stack size is based on the Grower doing the planting, not the harvester. A better Grower means fewer seeds are needed to produce the same number of plants, and your farm plots can be smaller, saving irrigated space and keeping farmplots closer to your kitchens/stills/etc (which should all be in the same area, and near the Dining Hall - but we digress.)
With the exception of Quarry Bushes (which pad out prepared meals nicely, but usually a food industry is not up to that level in the first couple seasons), plants are mostly for booze, at least to start. [i](Later, flours and such - but not at first.)[/i] You can trade, hunt or breed for all the food you need, but the 1st caravan won't bring enough booze, and you shouldn't rely on them later. Booze is the lubricant of a Fortress, and without it will, quite literally, come to a grinding halt. Plants give you your booze, and Growers give you your plants.
If you count all the tasks, from planting to drinking, Grower is THE single most important skill in DF for multiplying its effect on the labour force. A Legendary grower saves something like 30 tasks for each stack of plants that are brewed. Yes, thirty per stack - it's just absurd. (See the wiki on grower for a detailed breakdown.)
By embarking with a proficient Grower and with only 3 of each UG* seed type, you will have more seeds than you need for planting later seasons - the multiplier is huge and the demand low. (If you collect them all and destroy none, 3 seeds -> ~8+ next season -> 20+ and you're set unless your plots are larger than that, which is a bit over-enthusiastic unless you only have 1 or 2 crops.)
(* UnderGround, vs. AG, above ground. You can only buy UG plants and seeds at embark. There are 4 UG booze plants (all are also edible, some can be processed into other food-stuffs), plus Quarry Bushes, plus the non-edible Dimple Cups.)
While I cannot emphasize how strongly I, personally, recommend starting with a Proficient Grower, it is also true that an unskilled Grower, if set to "Only Farmers Harvest" and with only 25 tiles or so of crops, will train to Proficient easily within a year. But a Proficient will be Legendary in just over a year, and then you're unstoppable. (They'll be Professional or so by the time your first migrants are expected to show, and a single unskilled apprentice back-up Grower (to help w/ harvests) won't crush the production during planting.)
On the flip side, if using unskilled growers, a 1:1 production of seed:plant seem to be the standard, and so replanting at the same scale requires that 100% of the plants are either eaten or brewed with no seeds eaten - no cooking, no eating seeds, no bad luck (harvests of "stack = 0"), or it's a losing proposition. (Smaller plots mean "bad luck" is easier to come across!)
Splitting the diff and putting only ~2-4 ranks into Grower at embark wouldn't be a dealbreaker by any means - ample to avoid "bad luck", and you'll get a few larger stacks for brewing/cooking. (Some micromanagement is necessary to save the larger stacks for processing and only let the smaller ones be eaten raw.)
For newer players, be aware - eating plants leaves seeds, brewing plants leaves seeds, but [u]cooking plants destroys seeds[/u]. This can be controlled in the z-kitchen menu. ((I'll also presume to draw your attention to the fact that cooking seeds also destroys seeds - as does eating seeds. This is usually only a dealbreaker for early fortresses, but it does happen. Forbid some if you want to be paranoid.)
(And while my rambling refers mainly to food-plants, dye-plants work similarly. They are separate from plot-size discussions, as they feed your cloth industry ([u]if[/u] you have one), not your dwarves.)
So, making seeds into more seeds is the job of a Grower, and now we all understand the trade-offs there.
One seed can produce a single stack size of anywhere from 0-5, with larger stacks being reliably produced only by higher skilled Growers. (Also larger if fertilized.)
So, you don't need to start w/ a lot of seeds if you have a Proficient grower. 1 seed will produce a stack of maybe 2-4, on average, so let's call it 2.5 to be on the safe side. At x5 for booze production, that stack will on average become 12.5 booze. That means that 3 seeds should become [i]at least[/i] 7 plants or 35+ booze, which is more than enough to for 8 thirsty dwarfs for a season. That times your 4 different UG plants [i](Pig Tail = ale, D'n Wheat = beer, Sweet Pods = rum, Plump Helmets = wine)[/i] is... well, more than enough. (4x35 = 140 booze/season, which would keep 35 dwarves/season lubricated, plus more from trading.) And that's only 3 seeds for each of 4 crops, with extremely conservative estimates for stack production.
So, starting with 3 seeds each for your 7 dwarfs is ample, even if you're going to let that grow as the fortress does. (If you can get your crops in before the end of the 1st Spring, you're in good shape; before end of 1st Summer can be a bit tight if you have a large migrant wave early.)
Some players do fine with a single 5x5 plot of Plump Helmets* [i](at least for up to 60-100 dwarves, depending on Grower, fertilization, other food sources and Trade)[/i], but dwarves like a variety of booze. Some combination of UG & AG plots that equal around 25-30 tiles (don't count non-food plants) is adequate unless they're going to be trade exports (or you lose your Proficient Grower). That means 2x2 of each is too big if you have a lot of AG crops; 1x3 seems about right w/ your favorites at 2x2, and [i]possibly[/i] some few larger (sun berries, PH's, quarry bushes?). A strip of adjacent plots, w/ some 1x3 sticking out and seed stockpiles placed in the indents for the 2x2 plots works well for me.
(* If you're going with only 1 or 2 crops, spend the 1 dwarfbuck at the start for 1 seed and a free bag for the other crops. But you still really don't need much more than 3 seeds each, as they'll multiply quickly enough, depending on your use of raw plants, and you should be bringing about 60 total booze to last until the 1st caravan, unless you have a personal plan that calls for another approach.)
So, 1x3 or 2x2 each seems a good size for most crops to start, unless you're going to use plant products as trade exports. (Same w/ UG size plots.) 25 tiles total of [u]food[/u]-plant production is "common wisdom". (Don't count plants that produce only dye/etc.)
Sample layout for 5 edible crops w/ 4 seed stockpiles (1 doubled up):
- 1 1 2 3 4 5 5
- 1 1 2 3 4 5 5
- s s 2 3 4 s s
- (At a total footprint of 3x7, this is only 17 tiles of food production, and so while adequate for your 1st 7 this needs either some expanding or some AG food crops to back it up before your fortress grows too big.)
Note that walking on seeds/farm plots/crops doesn't seem to hurt them, which is not true of wild plants or saplings. Food does not take "wear".
Alternately, a larger number of 1x2 plots lets you easily tweak the total output if one plant type is needed more or less, and easily add just a little more here or there if something is weak. While this may seem like a hassle at first, the flexibility is huge later in the game, rather than have to tear down a farmplot and/or build a new one, which may require new irrigation.
Seeds are stored in bags - 100/bag max (so getting 6 free bags at embark is a good move, but you won't get any more than that). And then the bags will be set into barrels. If your settings are on "mix food" (<o, m>), then 1 barrel can hold all you need - but you can easily customize your food stockpiles to have no barrels at all. I like to set 1-tile large stockpiles customized to accept only that one seed adjacent to the plots they will serve - makes planting (and visually checking your seed supply) too easy. (While the bags might get wear from being walked on, the seeds won't suffer - put them in hallways if you have to, and/or use <d, o> to set Restricted traffic on them.)
I like to send a quick, large wave of unskilled Plant Gathering out early in the game, 1st Spring or Summer (once everything is nearly underground but before real trouble shows up), to get a nice selection of AG plants, and then brew those up (or forbid all other foods and let them get eaten first) to get the seeds asap for a Summer planting.
Cooking with seeds is a great way to get rid of them in later game as they start to reach triple digits each, but turn off all "cook" orders early on (again, in the z-kitchen menu). This is critical with newly acquired plants/seeds (from Plant Gathering or Trade), as otherwise your Cook might decide a SunBerry Seed Roast is just the ticket. Oh noes.
There. I've probably mispoken somewhere, so I trust the veterans will come along and rub my nose in it and correct me. And/or suggest valid alternatives, and invited to do so - a complete discussion was my goal.
I also have made some strong personal recommendations that are just that - my personal opinion, no apologies. There are many ways to approach DF, and to have fun (in all its forms) - this is just one solid way to get there from here.