The Army Arc's basic purpose is to make it so Dwarf Fortresses can send armies and patrols out into the world to scout, and to attack sites and civilizations, as well as to make it so other armies attack each other and you in real-time battles without any scripted sieges or triggers.
The Army Arc is the current project in the on-going development of Dwarf Fortress. Toady One officially began work on it February 28th 2008.
Army Arc Release 1
These are the ten stages that the first Army arc release underwent:
- Stage 1: Dynamic names for eras to reflect what's going on in the world. (Began February 28th- Done March 3rd)
- Stage 2: Specify further how civilizations claim territory so that their settlements don't interlace so much. (Began March 4th- Done March 6th)
- Stage 3: Expand the unit types used by citizens in world generation beyond "peasant" and "guard". (Began March 8th- Done March 12th)
- Stage 4: Have roads spring up between sites and within sites. (Began March 14th- Suspended March 21st- Resumed June 11th Done June 20th)
- Stage 5: Set up the historical framework for wars/battles as nested historical events. (Began March 22nd- Done March 25th)
- Stage 6: Handle world gen wars and very basic diplomacy based on territory/ruler personality/religion. (Began March 29th- Done May 21st)
- Stage 7: Handle some specific army storage issues. (Began May 21st- Done May 22nd)
- Stage 8: Let (Semi)Mega-beasts join in the fun. (Began May 23rd- Done June 2nd)
- Stage 9: Take a look at the migrants that used to exist. (Began June 3rd- Done June 4th)
- Stage 10: Handle Core47 (cleaning excess historical figures) settings. (Began June 5th- Done June 11th)
June 20th to July 12th - Bug fixes and tweaks. July 13th - Version 0.28.181.39a Released!
While in development for the first release of the Army arc, the 'Future of the Fortress' notes had a linear schedule of releases. This no longer exists in favour of a list of the most pertinent dev items in the hope of frequent releases.
Here is a copy of what used to be planned:
"Release 2: Wars between civilizations, life cycle actions like birth/old age deaths and ruler succession throughout the world will occur during regular play involving fleshed-out units rather than simple historical figures. Battles can occur while an adventurer is present, even if the adventurer can't explicitly take sides.
Release 3: Armies that are generated during sieges in dwarf mode will be replaced by actual armies from the relevant civilizations.
There will be subsequent releases after this that will let you raise armies in dwarf mode and use them on the world map."