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[edit] Assorted Devices

I've put together a few fluid logic circuits using doors (because they react about 100 times faster than floodgates and bridges), and NOT using hatches (because I have trouble preventing them from letting overflow through, especially when the water is pressurized). These setups are awkward to initialize, but once you've managed that, they can do some interesting things.

Door-based fluid logic gates

Set/Reset Latch

Clocked Set/Reset Latch

Data Latch

Data Flip-Flop

Clock Toggle

101 step Repeater

200 Step and Daily Repeater


[edit] Starting Build

The Architect:

  • Level 5 Mason
  • Level 5 Building Designer

A classic combination. There are many buildings and constructions that require architecture followed by masonry (if you're building with stone), so having both skills in the same dwarf can save a lot of walking time.

The Great Leader:

  • Level 1 Appraiser necessary to see the value of objects during trading
  • Level 1 Judge of Intent necessary to see how pleased merchants are with trading
  • Level 1 Pacifier or Consoler helps keep tantrums from starting
  • Level 1 Organizer speeds up the first work order verifications
  • Level 1 Furnace Operator speeds up the first smelting jobs
  • Level 5 Negotiator
  • Level 0 Bookkeeper

The expedition-leader/outpost-broker/manager/bookkeeper, plus furnace operator. Build this dwarf an office as soon as possible, so he/she can become a legendary bookkeeper. This takes all this dwarf's time at first. By the time the records are at highest precision, your smelting should be ready to begin, and your Great Leader will have the time (and agility) to keep everything running smoothly. Having the strong Negotiator skill hopefully makes this dwarf effective at trading, and having a head-start in social skills will hopefully get the Great Leader appointed as expedition leader.

The Engineer:

  • Level 5 Armorsmith
  • Level 5 Mechanic
  • Level 0 Miner activated after arrival

Have this dwarf mine a big space out of dirt to train as a miner. Later, after you've trained some other miners from immigrants, the Engineer can focus on fortress defense: making quality metal armor for your military, and building traps and other devices.

The Artisan:

  • Level 5 Glassmaker only for locations with sand
  • Level 5 Siege Engineer
  • Level 0 Miner activated after arrival

Have this dwarf mine a big space out of dirt to train as a miner. Later, after you've trained some other miners from immigrants, the Artisan can start churning out raw green glass to train a gem cutter and a gem setter, with the occasional break to manufacture and assemble siege engines.

The Plantsmith:

  • Level 5 Grower
  • Level 5 Brewer

With "All dwarves harvest" OFF, the Plantsmith will gain farming skill much more quickly. Brewing can be done in batches while the plants are growing. You may want to have this dwarf forge a silver training weapon to create a moodable skill.

The Chef:

  • Level 5 Cook
  • Level 5 Carpenter

Helps keep your dwarves happy by cooking everything into lavish meals. As a carpenter, builds beds, and barrels and bins during the first few years.

The Hermit:

  • Level 5 Weaponsmith
  • Level 5 Fisherdwarf
  • Level 0 Woodcutter activated after arrival

Yes, really, Level 5 Fisherdwarf. The fishing skill often takes a long while to train, due to the long walk to the nearest pond or brook with fish. As it increases, the sizes of the stacks of fish caught increases. Having an early lead in this skill can give your fortress a large stockpile of turtles, giving you food, shell, and bone, which makes it easy to train a bone carver and satisfy strange moods that need shell. Woodcutting is one of the few jobs a fisherdwarf will prioritize ahead of fishing, which means you don't have to turn fishing on and off when you want the Hermit to do something else. It also gives this dwarf an axe to kill dangerous critters with, which is important, because this dwarf is by far the most likely to be attacked. On maps with magma, the Hermit can usually cut a year's supply of wood during the winter, when there are no fish. Weaponsmith is a valuable skill, but occupies relatively little of a dwarf's time, and is the most likely to be given in a strange mood if you have each peasant forge one silver training weapon.

[edit] Efficiency Tricks, Hauling, and Stockpiles

Notes on how to save time and make the most of your framerate. Generally, putting the inputs of a workshop in a stockpile as close as possible helps the most, especially if the workshop combines several items into one (as with kitchens), because the worker has to retrieve each item himself, while outputs can be carried away in parallel by haulers. In some cases, especially when the workshop turns one item into many, having an output stockpile as close as possible can save a lot of time by causing the outputs to be placed in a container before being moved further. The farmer's workshop, when processing to thread, is the best example of this, since it turns one stack of plants into many seeds and spools of thread. All the seed-producing workshops (brewery, farmer's workshop, and millstone) can cause problems if the seed stockpile is too far away. Blocks being produced, then transported to a construction site is another example where having an output stockpile near the workshop can be more helpful than transporting items directly to an input stockpile.

[edit] Food Stockpiles

The food stockpile is by far the most annoying. I sometimes divide it into:

  • Kitchen Inputs (anything not mentioned is forbidden, including prepared meals):
    • Meat/Fish: meat, but no fish (nothing that doesn't have the word "meat")
    • Plants: prickle berries, rat weed, and muck root
    • Cheese (Animal): everything
    • Leaves: quarry bush leaves (the only leaf)
    • Milled Plant: flour and sugar, but not dye
    • Fat: everything (fat is processed into tallow, which can then be cooked)
    • Extract (Plant): dwarven syrup, only
    • Extract (Animal): mog juice, only
  • Food, Ready-to-Eat (near the dining room):
    • Meat/Fish: fish, but no meat (cooking fish loses the bones and shell, so my dwarves eat a lot of sushi)
    • Prepared meals (u, one of those annoying interface quirks)
  • Fishery Inputs:
    • Unprepared Fish: everything
  • Brewery/Farmer's Workshop/Millstone Inputs:
    • Plants: everything except prickle berries, rat weed, and muck root (low quality booze)
    • Extract (Animal): milk (cow, one- and two-humped camel, and dwarven)
  • Seeds (two squares, between the brewery, farmer's workshop, millstone, and fields)
  • Alcohol
    • Drink (Plant): everything
  • Dye (near the dyer's shop):
    • Milled Plant: dye, but not flour or sugar
  • Lye (near the ashery):
    • Misc. Liquid: lye (the only one)
  • Trade goods:
    • Extract (Plant): gnomeblight and golden salve, but not dwarven syrup
    • Extract (Animal): venoms (5), and liquid fire, but no milk

Alcohol stockpiles are interesting, since dwarves stop to drink roughly twice as often as they stop to eat, and in turn stop to eat roughly twice as often as they stop to sleep. You can take advantage of this in a couple of ways. One way is to put small alcohol stockpiles close to all major work sites, so that dwarves don't have to walk too far to drink, saving time. One can also make special stockpiles containing a dwarf's preferred booze right next to his workshop, or bed (since dwarves often wake up thirsty), so that the dwarf will get an extra happiness boost. A different, mutually-exclusive, way of using the alcohol stockpile is to put it in a place that can only be reached by traveling through an outdoors square. If you do this, no dwarves will become cave adapted (except those jailed or resting due to injuries for long enough), so your dwarves won't stop to vomit at your entrance. You may wish to do this with your dining room instead, although you'll have to do the same thing to the nobles' private dining rooms too. Bonus points for also making the dwarves walk under a mist generator and across a catwalk to reach their booze, which is what I've done in my current fortress.

[edit] Furniture Stockpiles

I also make many custom furniture stockpiles. All entries under Material, Metal, Core Quality, and Total Quality are allowed unless otherwise stated. Sand Bag is always turned off (u), unless otherwise stated.

  • Empty barrels (near the brewery and fields):
    • Type: barrels, only
  • Empty bags (near the millstone, farmer's workshop, and sand collection zone)
    • Type: boxes and bags, only (must remember to turn off Sand Bags)
    • Material: leather, silk, and plant fiber, only
    • Metal: all blocked
  • Buckets (next to the well, and the farmer's workshop if you have purring maggots to milk)
    • Type: buckets
  • Sand Bags (next to the glass furnace):
    • Type: all blocked, but Sand Bag turned on (u)
  • General furniture stockpile:
    • Type: everything except barrels, buckets, bins, anvils, catapult parts, ballista parts, siege ammo, and ballista arrowheads
    • Material: everything except leather, silk, and plant fiber (keeps empty bags out, while allowing coffers)
  • Empty Bins:
    • Type: bins, only

The separate bin stockpile often isn't needed. You can just let empty bins sit on a stockpile forever, and they'll get picked up and moved only when necessary; but it can be nice to have an empty bin stockpile so you can easily see when you need to build more. I like to decorate imported bins and barrels with turtle shell and green glass, respectively, so I sometimes have a standard-quality-only stockpile near the decorating workshop, which takes from the larger empty-container stockpile.

[edit] Refuse Stockpiles

I usually have three refuse stockpiles: one for bones and skulls, one for shell, and one for everything else. The bones and skulls are separate from the shells only because I usually carve them separately (in time or space), so that bone bolts and skull totems don't get decorated. (I'd rather use my turtle shell on bins, since it's hard to decorate those otherwise.) The general refuse pile includes fresh raw hides, which occasionally causes message spam if you have Auto Tan on (o-W-t), but prevents fresh hides from rotting if your tanner(s) are all on break and/or asleep. If you consider exploiting the fact that miasma doesn't move diagonally an exploit, you can set up your general refuse stockpile like this, which requires a door for each tile of refuse stockpile, not to mention a lot of space, but completely prevents your dwarves from getting disgusted by miasma so long as you have enough haulers to move everything to the stockpile before rot sets in. If you're willing to exploit the diagonals, you can make a stockpile like so (smoothed variant):

= O = = O =
= O = = O =
= O = = O =
= O = = O =

With a butcher's shop on the floor above or below, and more levels if necessary. You can designate the whole stockpile at once, then manually remove the stockpile squares on the stairs. That way you can adjust the settings of the entire stockpile at once instead of one tile at a time. Miasma will be confined to one stockpile square, and dwarves will only enter a stockpile square to drop off refuse when there's nothing there (and thus no miasma), or to pick up bones and skulls, after a corpse has finished rotting away (and thus no miasma).

[edit] Stone Stockpiles

Stone stockpiles are annoying because the dwarves seem to fetch the stones that were mined most recently, rather than the stones which are closest. This can have your dwarves running off to your most distant exploratory mining site to retrieve ores for your smelter or colored stone for your mason, and ignoring the ore and stone sitting next to the stockpile. If you allow masons and furnace operators to fetch their own stone, they'll quickly clear an area, and soon they'll be taking long journeys for each job. One solution is to make a one-tile garbage dump next to the workshop, designate the desired stone for dumping, then unforbid it once it has been dumped next to the workshop. This, however, requires tedious and repetitive micromanagement. It exploits the quantum stockpile, too, but so does my solution. What's my solution? Catapults!

If a fired catapult stone encounters a wall, it stops. If there's open space beneath the stone (a channel in front of the wall, for example), instead of being destroyed, the stone falls down. Catapults have a range of ~100 squares, and the flying stones won't hurt anything until they reach the end of the range. Most importantly, catapult operators seek the nearest usable stone to fire. I use the economic stone mod, which makes every stone economic, meaning that I can precisely control which stones masons, and, incidentally, catapult operators, will use.

My typical setup has a battery of catapults (say, 16, in a 4x4 square) arranged to fire directly into a wall with a channel in front of it. The floor of the channel is accessible by adjacent stairs, but controlled by lockable doors. In the opposite direction, some 75 tiles distant, there's another wall and channel, at the bottom of which are my mason's shops. When I want to, for example, clear my obsidian factory so I can start refilling it with magma, I disallow every stone but obsidian, lock the doors of the channel next to the catapults, and have all the catapults fire at will until all the free obsidian is in the locked room. Later, when I want to use the obsidian, I turn the catapults around, unlock the doors, and start firing obsidian over to the mason's shop. The catapult operators look for the nearest stone, which happens to be in the now-unlocked channel, and ignore the growing pile of stone next to the mason's shop because it's ~75 tiles (and possibly many Z-levels) away. Meanwhile, the mason can efficiently turn the stone next to her shop into furniture.

A similar setup, possibly using the same catapults firing in a different direction, can supply the smelters. The only disadvantage seems to be that one can't supply the smelters at the same time the mason and/or mechanic is building things, because everything but the ore has to be temporarily disallowed. There's also one last, big, advantage: the haulers gain experience as siege operators, which can buff them up quite a bit. If you have a small pool of haulers, they may reach legendary as siege operators before the economy kicks in, which can save you a lot of evictions.

It amuses me to watch a continuous stream of stone harmlessly hurtling across my factory floor, while my dwarves obliviously move around on the same Z-level. Think of it! Stone being hauled to the mason's shop without haulers. No repathing as dwarves get in each other's way! The stone moves by itself. (Seriously though, this is still an unsatisfactory solution, because the catapult loaders fetch the stone that's nearest as the mole burrows, even if getting to the stone three floors directly below involves a detour to the other end of the map. I'll be glad when stone stockpile behavior gets updated.)

[edit] Bar/Block Stockpiles

Everything off by default.

  • Fuel (near the smelters and glass furnaces)
    • Bars: coal, pearlash
  • Potash (next to fields or kilns, depending on what you're doing with it)
    • Bars: potash
  • Ashery inputs (often combined with the lye stockpile, a type of food stockpile, if you can believe it)
    • Bars: ash
  • Metal Bars (near the forges)
    • Bars: Metal: all except Pig Iron
  • Rock Blocks (near mason's workshops and megaconstruction sites)
    • Blocks: rock
  • Glass Blocks (near glass furnaces and megaconstruction sites)
    • Blocks: green/clear/crystal glass

A separate stockpile for pearlash might be necessary if your glass furnaces aren't near your smelters. (Mine are nearby, because they both run off magma.) Potash sometimes requires micromanagement if you want to use it for fertilizer and to produce pearlash. You usually only have one bar of Pig Iron at a time, which promptly gets made into steel, so it's better not to have a hauler attempt to place it in a stockpile. Rock block stockpiles are quite difficult to work with, since there is no way at all to discriminate between different types of rock blocks. The best I've been able to do is forbid (or dump) all except one type of block, and work with that until another type of block is needed. This may be one reason so many megaconstructions are made of glass blocks instead of rock blocks.

[edit] Gem Stockpiles

Rough gems and glass by the jeweler's shop used by your gem cutter, and cut gems and glass by the jeweler's shop used by your gem setter. (Although, with the kind of aggressive exploratory mining I do, I often have a large reserve stockpile of rough gems feeding into the one by the cutter's shop. My current fortress has a backlog of 24 bins of rough gems waiting to be cut, with the small stockpile being tweaked to pull out specific types when I want them.)

It makes lots of sense to separate cutting and setting, since they use different skills and have different input requirements. The setter's shop needs to be near stockpiles of decoratable items (either furniture or finished goods) as well as cut gems, so there won't be a lot of space nearby to squeeze in rough gems too. On the other hand, if you use rough glass to train your jewelers, there may be an enormous flow of haulers from the glass furnace to the cutter's shop to the setter's shop, so it's wise to put them reasonably close by. Make your own judgment call on this.

[edit] Finished Goods Stockpiles

  • Sewn-image-able (near clothier's workshop):
    • Type: all
    • Material: leather, silk, plant fibre
    • Metals: none
    • Quality: all except artifact
  • Miscellaneous (near gem setter's workshop):
    • Type: all except skull totems
    • Material: all but leather, silk, plant fibre, and green/clear/crystal glass
    • Metals: none
    • Quality: all except artifact
  • Meltable (near smelter):
    • Type: all
    • Material: none
    • Metals: all
    • Quality: all except artifact
  • Glass (somewhere well away from the decorating industries):
    • Type: all
    • Material: none except green/clear/crystal glass
    • Metals: none
    • Quality: all except artifact
  • Artifacts (in a vault deep in the fortress):
    • Quality: artifact only
    • Everything else: all
  • Skull totems:
    • Type: skull totems only

Vast quantities of narrow goblin clothing end up getting images sewn onto them in my fortress, as well as wagon-loads of dwarf clothes. Hence the specialized stockpile. The skull totem and artifact stockpiles are for flavor rather than practicality. The glass stockpile is for the large green glass gems generated in quantity as I train jewelers. If they don't get decorated with bone or shell, you can trade them to the elves. The glass stockpile will also hold glass vials, which can be useful if you wish to trade extracts to the elves. (More on that later.)

[edit] Leather Stockpiles

Simple: one big reserve stockpile, and a smaller leatherworker's shop input pile taking specific types of leather from the reserve. I usually request giant cave spider and giant desert scorpion chitin from the caravans, but hold it in reserve until I have a legendary leatherworker. Some leather goes to backpacks, quivers, and waterskins, but the bulk becomes images, at least in my fortresses.

[edit] Cloth Stockpiles

Separate thread and cloth stockpiles. Simple, right? Problems occur because dyed and undyed cloth and thread can't be separated, but the various types of cloth and thread can be sorted. Among other things, you can use this to make certain your clothier trains on plant fibre and cave spider silk before touching the giant cave spider silk.

[edit] Wood Stockpiles

Wood stockpiles next to carpenter's workshops, wood furnaces, and siege workshops. Nothing special.

[edit] Weapons, Armor, and Ammo Stockpiles

I usually have one big stockpile of meltable items near my smelter, which also serves as my armory. It contains all metal ammunition, weapons, armor, non-artifact finished goods, and non-container furniture (including especially anvils). Wood and bone ammo go near the archery range, where the marksdwarves can use it. It's also helpful if the archery range is near the craftsdwarf's workshop which produces bone and wood bolts, and therefore near the bone stockpile. Remaining non-metallic weapons and armor usually end up with the sewn-image finished goods or miscellaneous finished goods, depending on what they're made of. Trap components go to their own special stockpile near where they'll be used.

[edit] Animal Stockpiles

Main animal stockpile goes next to the animal-trainer's kennel. Empty cages get taken to a stockpile where they'll be decorated and sold off to the caravans. Extract-bearing vermin go to a special stockpile near the butcher's shop.

I run a big trapping operation in my fortress. I have a separate kennel set on "Capture Live Land Animal (R)". Since dwarves will eat unforbidden wild vermin, but leave tame ones alone, I tame all the useless vermin and stuff them in a cage well away from the main meeting areas, since almost all dwarves hate at least one type of vermin. Forbidden wild vermin in an animal trap can be tamed, and won't be eaten in the middle of the job. Taming them also allows them to be sold to caravans. (Wild vermin promptly escape if you attempt to take their cage to a trading depot.)

However, tame vermin can't be used for extracts, so extract-bearing vermin get sorted into special cages near the butcher's shop, and forbidden in the cage. (t to look at the contents of a cage seems to be the easiest way.) When the time comes, an entire cage full of wild vermin can be reclaimed and then converted to extract in one job, minimizing the chance they'll be eaten. (I recommend not allowing your military to carry rations, though, since they seem to take all the vermin in a cage if they decide to use one as a ration.) Each vermin is converted into five units of extract. With my fortress built around a magma vent, I get a lot of fire snakes, which produce 500☼ worth of liquid fire each, which can be sold to the elves in undecorated glass vials. Cave spiders are less valuable, producing 100☼ worth of extract each.

Purring maggots aren't destroyed when they're milked. Milking takes one purring maggot and one bucket, and produces one unit of dwarven milk. Jobs are automatically generated to take the maggot out of its cage and put it back, which is nice, but having to unforbid one purring maggot at a time to be milked, once per season, is very annoying. Probably not worth the trouble until wild vermin handling is improved, unless you really love the idea of making your own dwarven cheese.

Actually, the whole process of vermin trapping requires a lot of micromanagement, since you have to forbid and tame and cage them individually as they get caught. On the whole, a healthy cat population doesn't seem so bad now.

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