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40d Talk:Crossbow

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Training with Crossbows, Wooden/Bone Bolts more than preferred[edit]

Dwarves will automatically use only wooden or bone bolts, you needn't worry about metal bolts being wasted on practice.

Based on classic DF, bone or wooden bolts will indeed be used to fight if the dwarf doesn't have anything else though, and they sometimes would just coincidentally have a handful of "practice" bolts when they went out to battle thus having a useful backup. Especially nice when they're very highly skilled and 35-45 bolts isn't enough to last the duration of a fight!

Out of ammo[edit]

Is it worth noting (on this page) that dwarves will use the hammer skill to bludgeon with their crossbow if they run out of ammo? --Matryx 09:22, 5 November 2007 (EST)

I think it is, if only to warn that if they run out of bolts while they're fighting something, they won't immediately run back to the stockpile to get more. --Xazak 09:26, 5 November 2007 (EST)
What triggers them to resupply? They seem to stand around after finishing off their bolts. Do I need to stand them down to trigger the resupply? --Aristoi 19:24, 22 January 2009 (EST)
The trigger is setting their military preferences, from the squad menu. I think. Squad chases opponents, I think is the one that needs to be changed. If it is set to chase, they will NOT reload. --Zchris13 20:59, 25 February 2009 (EST)

Xbow material[edit]

Do someone know if your crossbow hit harder, or do more damage, when it's made of metal rather than wood or bone in the same way a melee weapon would? --Eagle of Fire 02:42, 28 November 2007 (EST)

When it is used in melee - crossbow material is important as all other melee weapons. In ranged only material and quality of the bolt affect it's damage potential. Crossbow's quality level is directly added to the soldier's effective marksdwarf skill increasing his accuracy and rate of fire.--Another 13:11, 9 December 2007 (EST)

training =[edit]

Does say, hunting with a crossbow increase marksdwarf skill? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shadow archmagi (talkcontribs)

Yes it does. Unfortunately it will also increase hammerdwarf skill ;) --Koltom 23:53, 27 February 2008 (EST)05:45, 11 December 2008 (EST)
Well, it's to be expected - ambushing is sneaking, marksdwarf is shooting...hunting does both, practice at the range only the latter --Koltom 23:40, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
"Hunting" with a crossbow doesn't train any weapon - hitting and killing things with that weapon does. Don't confuse "hunting" with "using a weapon" - the latter is needed at some point, but they are two different processes. Hunting (ambusher) gets the dwarf close without spooking the animal - the weapon is then used for the kill. (Why would anyone practice sneaking close to a target on an achery range?)--Albedo 20:34, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Got another training question. For some reason my marksdwarves hardly ever seem to want to practice, even though I've got a number of archery ranges, they do have crossbows (and do kick butt in fights with goblins), are all off-duty and have plenty of bone and wood bolts. Occasionally I get some message about there not being enough floor space or something, which I don't understand what to do about, one of the ranges is out in the free air with PLENTY of room. Every now and then a single dwarfs shoots a few bolts, so I know that the ranges are at least partially functional, but I obviously do something wrong. Any ideas anyone? /Alk 17:24, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

If they're complaining about floor space, the ranges are probably pointed in the wrong direction. Also, make sure every archery target is defined as its own shooting range. --Quietust 17:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that was my thought too, but I checked them all and they're correct. And as I said, I occasionally see the dwarves use them. One of the ranges (just outside my cave entrance) was used quite regularly in the beginning, but hardly at all now. /Alk
Addendum: I had a single range that was in the wrong direction, and since I fixed that I don't know if I've seen any more such messages, so you are probably right. Time will tell I guess =) But I still have the problem with them not practicing =/ They all suck at marksmanship. /Alk

dual wielding[edit]

I set one of my marksdwarves to wield 2 crossbows, and he's currently holding them both in the same hand. Can he use them both like this or does it mean he'll just going to be using one of them? --Tachyon 18:18, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Late as hell, but for the record no dwarves truly dual wield in DF. When they carry 2 weapons, it's just in case they lose one in an enemy or it shatters in the middle of a fight. --ThunderClaw 14:59, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Shatter? Wow, I've never seen that.--Maximus 15:20, 3 November 2008 (EST)


Are crossbows two-handed when used at range? You'd think they'd be two-handed for re-loading, and one-handed (at the very least, two hands are more accurate) for firing, but I don't know if DF supports this.StrawberryBunny 10:34, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

On a more important issue; will a Dwarf be capable of carrying a shield while using a crossbow in case he was forced into melee? Would he only equip the shield up close? How would it affect his ability to carry bolts in his off-hand?

I set a team of marksdwarfmen to use crossbows and bucklers at the same time, once. Despite an assortment of available bucklers, no Dwarf ever picked one up to use with his crossbow. My guess is that Dwarfs can not ever utilize their second hand without releasing the buckler, and can't store the buckler anywhere else on themselves. --FJH 01:13, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I have two marksdwarves that practice at the range with their crossbows in their left hands and copper shields in their right hands. I cannot get them to pick up quivers however. Did the above-mentioned dwarves have them equipped? Michaelmuffin 00:02, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Toady has stated that currently (40d) the two-handed code is broken as intended. Where that leaves us is anyone's guess. But what "you'd think" or what "would only make sense" is right out the window. I do know that marksdwarfs use bucklers, not shields, when they do at all.--Albedo 04:59, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Are you making a distinction between using and holding? My marksdwarves' inventories list "(Iron crossbow), Left hand" and "-Copper shield-, Right hand" at all times, including while firing bolts. Michaelmuffin 18:43, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Z-levels and Range[edit]

How does firing up or down affect the range of a marksdwarf? Gairabad 17:15, 10 November 2008 (EST)

From what I've seen, marksdwarves can shoot up or down with little problem. The range of a marksdwarf is pretty finite anyway, something like 20 squares.--Maximus 17:36, 10 November 2008 (EST)
The range of a bolt is longer - maybe 30 tiles or more - but a dwarf doesn't open fire until 20 tiles. It might hit something further out by accident. Changes in z-level actually seems to hurt range, either way - firing from a higher elevation hurts range slightly.--Albedo 20:36, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


Do bolts even have a quality rating, and if so does it affect damage? --Juckto 00:12, 22 November 2008 (EST)

They do have a quality rating. It's hard to tell for the other question, but it should. Ammo is treated like weapons in most other respects. --Navian 00:55, 22 November 2008 (EST)

I just had to shout somewhere that I can't wait for re-stacking to be implemented, or the quiver fixed as a container, so I never again have to worry about a dwarf charging into combat with a single reclaimed bolt rattling alone in his quiver. --Jellyfishgreen 11:37, 13 February 2009 (EST)

Do you have any recommendations on what to do with single crossbow bolts so they don't litter the landscape and so that the Dwarves don't kill themselves because they can't count and strategize on the same hand? --FJH 16:12, 20 February 2009 (EST)
One word: Dwarven_Atom_Smasher --Myroc 16:19, 20 February 2009 (EST)
I mark them for melting. Sure, you don't get much metal from them, but at least they are gone! Others here have recommended using them with traps, but my dorks dwarfs always load the large stacks!--Kwieland 12:48, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Dont hunt. That keeps littered bolts closer to your fortress (only military). Trade them away. A steel bolt isnt even that cheap. I mark them all for dump (from the stocks screen), when caravan shows go on break, unforbid, mark in depot for trade. play on. done. Of course you can leave them just as well in the dump, but i like a nice clean bolts roster :) --Birthright 00:46, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Experience gained from making bolts[edit]

Forging a weapon gives 30 xp. How much xp is gained by making bolts? (wood, bone, metal) This answer should be found immediately as the future of dwarven kind depends upon it!--Jpwrunyan 20:18, 25 February 2009 (EST)

I am intrigued as to how we know that forging a weapon gives 30 xp?--Mrdudeguy 08:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Because we know that to go from one level to the next is 100 xp x the lower level, and it takes 17 (+510) to go from No Skill to Novice, another 20 (+600) to go from Novice to -no label-, and so on. Possibly also from the code, don't know about that. But it's been confirmed several times.
If Jprwrunyanqwertyuiop really cared, it'd be trivial to run an experiment and find out. --Albedo 11:07, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
It gives the same amount of experience.--CrazyMcfobo 19:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Reading this thread just gave me 10 xp. Is anything in this thread factual? Keizo 29 January 2010
Tools such as Dwarf Companion and Dwarf Therapist can tell you exactly how many points of experience a dwarf has in a particular skill, so all you need to do is note their experience beforehand, perform the task, then refresh and see how much it increased. In this case, it will increase by 30 points. --Quietust 00:36, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

XBow Quality[edit]

I'm confused about this line from the main page: "The quality of a crossbow is added to the marksdwarf/ambusher and hammerdwarf skills." Does that mean that higher quality xbows result in better accuracy? 3lB33 13:42, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Masterwork ammo[edit]

"If you are ever so "fortunate" to have a weaponsmith create masterpiece ammo, be sure not to use it - trade it away at the first opportunity. Broken masterpieces create bad thoughts, but traded don't, and bolts do tend to get broken."

This runs directly contrary to my experience - I've had marksdwarves go through many quivers of masterwork bolts, both metal and bone (especially bone, which tends to get used up almost immediately at the archery ranges), and I have yet to see a single unhappy thought on the dwarves that made them. The only problems are with gathering up individual bolts and atomsmashing them (which gives the usual "A masterwork of Urist McBoltmaker has been lost!"), allowing kobolds to steal bolts from the battlefield, or allowing a goblin to escape from the map with a masterwork stuck-in. --Quietust 13:51, 4 March 2010 (UTC)