v0.34:Sally port

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This article is about an older version of DF.

A sally port is a type of large and extremely effective trap. In essence, a sally port is a long corridor leading into your fortress from a secondary entrance, with two bridges linked to levers on either side. When your fortress is under attack, seal off the main entrance and enemies will search for any alternate paths. As soon as they cross the first bridge, you pull both levers to raise the bridges and trap the creatures inside. This is one hundred percent effective: raised bridges act as constructed walls, and thus cannot be destroyed by building destroyers. This works equally well both above and below ground, and only takes some mining, some masonry, some architecture, and six mechanisms (two for the levers and four for the links).

Although you can just leave a trapped foe as is, it's much more fun and dwarfy to turn them into something useful. A captured goblin siege or titan can be used in a large variety of ways, all of them violent.

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A simple sally port

[edit] Militaristic amenities

If you build two sally ports you can trap two groups of enemies. Add a connection between them in the middle and watch with satisfaction as the remnants of last month's goblin siege fight for their lives against a bloodthristy hydra. To winner goes next month's elven caravan!

You can also use it for organic waste disposal. The more amusing way to do this is to build a bridge so that it can fling useless nobles through a hole in the roof into the dragon's mouth, but the easier way to do it is to build a small holding room, draft them into their own little squad, tell them to move to that point, close the gate behind them, and then let whatever's inside have at it.

A sally port with fortifications constructed or dug into its sides can be used for training your marksdwarves on live targets, provided whatever is inside doesn't have a ranged attack of its own. Simply order them to move in behind the fortifications, and they will render whatever is inside into bloody pincushions. If it's something really big, even better; you may want to temporarily ban your military from metal bolts, as weaker wooden and bone bolts means more shots are needed to kill and thus more experience. Because the crossbow skill cannot be trained with danger rooms, a captured stone or metal titan is a blessing to a properly equipped fortress, as they can be pelted with wooden bolts for eternity without suffering any ill effects.

A sally port with fortifications constructed or dug into the end can be used to train your siege operators. A couple of floodgates leading into your fortress from the side of the room is fine, and will not block the view of a stack of idle ballistae at the end. This works much like marksdwarf training, except that it is slower and significantly less effective. It does work against ranged attackers, though, since siege equipment has a longer reach and is thus (usually) safe to use against enemy bowmen and the like.

All of these design ideas can be combined to build one truly all-purpose trap!


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A more fully featured sally port

[edit] Drowning chambers

Warning!

Whatever you do, do not combine a sally port that has fortifications along it with a drowning chamber. It might be obvious to some, but sometimes players look over this kind of detail, resulting in a very aquatic fun experience.

Main article: Drowning chamber

Drowning chambers are basically just extra-fancy traps that can be filled with water (or magma) to drown (or melt) your assailants. A large drowning chamber is a bit of a megaproject, and is a more complicated alternative to a military training trap. It's a big enough topic to warrant its own, separate article.

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