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v0.31:Make your own weapons

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This article is about an older version of DF.
Please note that this article may be outdated due to changes since version 0.31.18.

The aim of making their own weapons for most players is to save embark points and/or starting a metal industry early. In older versions anvils required 1000 embark points. So, taking one with you didn't spare much for skills and required items like axes and picks. If you don't take an anvil with you, you have to buy one from traders, and if they don't offer some by their first visit, probably wait another year.
Today, anvils are much cheaper and cost only 100 embark points. But you can still save points for other items needed or wanted. Just keep in mind, that you'll need time until axes and pick are ready, and your miner and wood cutter will possibly stand around doing nothing useful that time. Also, you'll probably have something else to do than forging in your first year. Think wisely.

Nevertheless, making your own weapons is quite easy. Also, your training axe (which somehow fells trees) can be made at the Carpenter's workshop (and a better one forged later with the abundance of minerals), so only one copper nugget for a pick, one anvil, and one stone is needed for a minimalist build.

The embark savings are very high, as buying the default pick and axe costs 112 embark points, the same as the anvil and two copper nuggets (and with the second deal, you get an anvil for making whatever!). The training axes at embark save a lot, only costing 61 with the pick. The anvil, one wood, and one copper nugget only cost 109 points, only 48 points more expensive (and as before, you get an anvil).

Keep in mind that these plans don't include the cost of any skills, or of any reusable tools. You don't need the skills - an untrained dwarf will produce gear every bit as good as what you buy, although it may take some time. And the reusable tools, such as an anvil and the stones you need to build the furnaces, are REUSABLE; you should be bringing the anvil at the very least.

[edit] Bring Bronze Supplies

The basic item selection in "Prepare for the journey carefully" comes with two copper picks (at 44 points each), two copper battle axes (68 points each), and an iron anvil. Since copper ore and cassiterite costs 6 points a piece, and wood costs 3 points per log, you can carry the supplies for SIX bronze items for the cost of one of those copper battle axes:

  • 3 copper ore (any type): 18 points
  • 3 cassiterite: 18 points
  • 3 wood (to be converted to charcoal and then used to smelt the bronze): 9 points
  • 6 wood (for charcoal, and then to forge each item): 18 points
  • Total: 63 points

If you've got the patience, then you can add in bituminous coal at 3 points per piece and save on wood:

  • metal ore as above: 36 points
  • 1 wood (to be converted to charcoal and then used to smelt the first coal): 3 points
  • 1 coal (for coke, and then to smelt the other coal): 3 points
  • 1 coal (for coke, and then to smelt the bronze): 3 points
  • 2 coal (for coke, and then to forge each item): 6 points
  • Total: 51 points

NOTE: If your embark has at least 7 trees, you can skip on bringing any wood. Choose one of your ores and remove the economic designation for it under the "Stones" z-menu, and use it to build your first wood furnace. Deconstruct your wagon to yield 3 logs, and convert one into ash and two into charcoal, then use the ash to make a smelter. Smelt one set of bronze bars, deconstruct the smelter, use the ash for a forge, and make one battle axe. Cut wood as necessary to smelt the rest of your bronze and create the rest of your equipment as necessary. This process takes a little longer, but saves 27 points on wood, or 15 from the coal process, allowing you to bring only the ores and the anvil. Remember to set your ore as economic again!

NOTE: If you don't like the idea of building workshops out of ash, you can bring granite, or other magma safe rock for 3 embark points.

[edit] Bismuth Is Pretty

If you don't mind spending more, you can replace some of the tin ores with bismuthinite and make bismuth bronze items:

  • 4 copper ore (any type): 24 points
  • 2 cassiterite: 12 points
  • 2 bismuthinite: 6 points
  • 1 wood (for charcoal, and then to smelt the first coal): 3 points
  • 3 coal (for coke, and then to smelt the other coal): 9 points
  • 3 coal (for coke, and then to smelt the ores into bars): 9 points
  • 1 coal (for coke, and then to smelt the bars to make the bronze): 3 points
  • 2 coal (for coke, and then to forge each item): 6 points
  • Total: 72 points

Unfortunately, what you gain by reducing the cost of your ores, you lose by having to smelt your ores into metal bars before converting them to alloys.

[edit] Steel Supplies are Expensive

Unfortunately, iron ores will cost you 24 points each, so if you're hoping to go directly for steel equipment, be prepared to spend:

  • 2 iron ore (any type): 48 points
  • 2 flux (any type): 12 points
  • 2 wood (for charcoal, and then to smelt the iron): 6 points
  • 2 wood (for charcoal, and then to make pig iron): 6 points
  • 2 wood (for charcoal, and then to make the steel): 6 points
  • 2 wood (for charcoal, and then to forge each item): 6 points
  • Total: 84 points

Coal does help, if your civilization has it:

  • iron ore/flux as above: 60 points
  • 1 wood (for charcoal, and then to smelt coal): 3 points
  • 1 coal (for coke, and then to smelt coal): 3 points
  • 1 coal (for coke, and then to smelt iron/pig iron): 3 points
  • 2 coal (for coke, and then to smelt steel/forge items): 6 points
  • Total: 75 points
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