- 1 My Previous Fortress
- 2 Nice Timing
- 3 I love my nobles
- 4 Oh, I'm sorry, the Baron is busy
- 5 A 12 Z-Level Stairwell Waterfall
- 6 A Vile Force of Darkness Has Arrived!
- 7 Deadlock
- 8 Deduk SabreOrbs the Solitary Evenness of Owls
- 9 I, for One
- 10 Ingiz Tiristthum Is Not a Blowgunner
- 11 Made In ChanneledKisses!
- 12 Knock, knock
- 13 One Got Loose
- 14 Gems and minerals in your walls
- 15 Do you hate Goblins?
- 16 Thoughts and Strategies
- 17 Weirdness and a Glimpse of Hell
- 18 A 'Normal' Start?
- 19 Oh, look, Goblins!
- 20 Uh, you got that wrong, Engravers
My Previous Fortress
Good job, Gobbos! You managed to show up right after we'd just finished clearing a large swath of forest and putting up some new walls, but right before the elves came. Enjoy your cages while you can, ya sonsabitches!
I love my nobles
The mayor likes splints. The Count likes doors. And billon. Okay, got it, I'm not exporting splints and doors, because that was my plan all along. And we can make billon stuff, it's not rare. They both have what I would consider 'good character' for a dwarf, and especially for leader types, the Count 'can handle stress, is candid and sincere in dealing with others, is open minded to new ideas, and strives for excellence.' And he was my expedition leader :). Yes, I'm one of those who has special fondness for the first seven. The mayor is more of a social guy, and a good politician. He is also candid and sincere, but he is slow to trust others. He's modest, which is good for a mayor, I think. His only flaw is, he's a bit disorganized. That's okay, he's just the mayor, his job is to schmooze the citizenry. The Count actually the guy who does everything.
Oh, I'm sorry, the Baron is busy
He's updating the stock records. Yes, he's also the record keeper. I know, it seems beneath him, but he's a dwarf of the people. He's also the broker and the manager. Yes, yes, sullying his hands with menial tasks, I'm sure he'll be done no later than when the traders depart. Don't get huffy with me, I've seen you keep dwarves waiting for months while you run around like a maddwarf in some cavern, collecting webs, was it? Is that YOUR job? Oh, of course, I'm sure that is different. Would you like some ale while you wait?
Elevated, you say? Well, you can COUNT on me, ahahaha!
A 12 Z-Level Stairwell Waterfall
Okay, this one is pretty cool. I built a twin wheel reactor powering a 12 z-level pump stack which creates a waterfall all the way down my main stairwell, from the entrance to the bottom "engineering" level of the fort where all the waterworks and levers and reactors and stuff are. Laid out like so:
####### #.....# #.x.x.# #..0..# #.x.x.# #.....# #######
The o is a grate, for safety, and to let people walk under the flowing water and get a rinse. 12 z levels of walking right next to the falls is a lot of opportunities for a dorf to walk through mist and get a good thought. Plus, it's just fricken' awesome. The thing is, when you know how to do it, setting up a big pump stack and a cheater reactor is easy-peasy and takes no time at all, really. I started the project in winter, and had it turned on by the beginning of summer. I have a decent woodworker and a lot of trees, the whole thing took about fifty trees for the pumps, wheels and axles, plus 15 doors, 12 grates, 6 mechanisms, 3 levers, 2 floodgates, and a hatch. I had a bit of a scare when the miner sent to channel out the connection to the stream ducked back down the access tunnel he had just connected. He came running through the door to the lever room just steps ahead of a rushing wall of water, hehe. Good thing dorf doors are watertight. Then I realized that, to turn on my pump, someone would have to walk over the shutoff hatch. Which would then have to be opened, sealing the pump operator into the pump. However, natural flow when opening the floodgate started the thing automatically. But I can't shut it off.
Okay, some thoughts on waterfalls. There are two solutions to the problems of leakage. How do you ensure the water has someplace to go when hitting the bottom? You either need extra z-levels of space, or at least a 3x3 cistern under the waterfall, to give the water room to spread out. For the 3x3 cistern to really work, you need to put 8 grates around the space where the water falls. Any water that slops over will flow down through a grate. But this leaves a hole your dorfs can fall through. It would be on the bottom level of your fort, away from potential danger, so maybe not a problem. But the extra z level approach is probably the best way to keep water in the system and off your floors. Just channel down on a single square a couple z-levels before connecting to your intake tunnel that leads to your pump stack. Sure, you need more pumps, but the result is worth it, the perfect waterfall.
A Vile Force of Darkness Has Arrived!
Oh noes! It are a Vile Force of... hey, waitaminute, this doesn't look any different from a REGULAR force of darkness. I feel gypped, no insult intended towards gypsies. Where are the trolls? Where are the flying mounts? Where are the frighteningly huge numbers of regular enemies? Goblins, I've seen worse from you in an ambush, fer cryin' out loud. Wow. That was over quickly. Except for one minor chink in my defenses revealed by said seige (there was a back door from the bailey or outer yard into the barracks, and the barracks was in an outside pit without walls, letting archers snipe dorfs within,) everything went smoothly. Traps trapped, ballista bolts impaled, crossbowdorfs attacked from the tower. I only wish my "meatgrinder" was fully armed and operational. It's a thirty tile long tunnel with lever controlled doors on either end and thirty retracting menacing spike traps controlled by a single lever. Just let in a bunch of goblins, close the doors, and put 'pull lever' on repeat. But getting thirty traps at the edge of your fortress hooked up to a lever in the middle takes a while.
I saw a funny thing today. I'm digging out a pit trap, and I've accidentally dug out underneath. You know, you deisgnate channel down on two levels, they channel down one square on the first, then descend and channel out underneath before channeling down from above? Anyway, I have this three tile wide tunnel I'm digging out, and I'm designating three tiles at a time for channeling. So two guys head over, one after the other, first guy removes the first floor tile, then the second guy gets there. One of them stands on one tile and begins digging the other, which the second guy is standing on digging out from under the first, and it's a four z-level drop down. But they both realize what they are about to do, stop, back off, then start the exact same thing again. I watched them do a merry dance for a minute to see if they would stop on their own, or actually start digging under the other guy, but nope, they just keep doing the Chip and Dale "After you, nononono, after you, I insist, no you first," bit. I eventually de-designate one tile to get them to stop.
In computing, we call that a deadlock.
Deduk SabreOrbs the Solitary Evenness of Owls
That's his name. Don't wear it out. He is a militia commander at ChanneledKisses, and until Irith killed the giant, the best fighter around. He's a great teacher, too. I picture this Zen Master wardorf patiently drilling his recruits in the arts of war. Usually the long names come out kinda goofy, but "The Solitary Evenness of Owls" actually makes sense. Owls are solitary, and pretty calm, one might even say even tempered.
I, for One
I for one would love to know how dwarfs make cages. I just caught a cyclops. Good thing, too, steel bolts weren't doing much. Bastard went straight for my 'adorable puppy on a leash' trap. I guess they just can't resist stomping puppies, the bastards. Rock traps didn't do much either, but by the time the squad got down off the walls, he was caged in the first cage trap, he never even got to the menacing spikes by the puppy. Those cages must unfold out of another dimension or something. Cool, now I've got a cyclops for the zoo. Maybe I'll get a dungeon master eventually, if I can beat the liaison bug. I just haven't had a reason to want anything more than a mayor until now. But a War Cyclops, now THAT is tempting. Oh poop, I just looked it up and they are not PET_EXOTIC, so no training, but I bet I can make a pretty awesome cyclops trap. Just wall him into a pit with a retracting bridge over it, mwahahaha!
I was wondering how they would carry him, the answer is "very, very slowly." The poor dorf lugging him to cage storage is very quick to tire, too.
Ingiz Tiristthum Is Not a Blowgunner
He has no skill in blowguns. He isn't carrying a blowgun. He is skilled in crossbows, which he carries. Why then, do I read that Ingiz Tiristthum has become a Blowgunner? I just checked his actual inventory, rather than the equip screen, nope, no blowgun. Standard steel chain armor, steel crossbow, individual choice melee which he has filled with a steel short sword.
Whoah. Did you know DF records kills on weapons? I just looked at that masterful short sword. Five Notable Kills: four goblins in one raid, one kobold thief who came knocking on the wrong door. This is the sword that beheaded the kobold I was just writing about! Two other kills, pestiferous raccoons I got annoyed with and sent the squad after, hehe. Sakzul Urnjoy with four kills, the four goblins. He was a brilliant fighter, may he rest in piece, but the dumbass rushed them. Sure he took out four of them before he got clobbered, but as they said of the charge of the light brigade at Balaclava, it was magnificent, but it was not war. It was madness.
That is a fairly epic sword you carry now, Ingiz Tiristthum, Blowgunner. Use it well. I expect to see more than just dead kobolds and raccoons from you, lad!
UPDATE: Igiz Tiristhhum no longer has any hands, so he has been released from the military. In the end, he comported himself well in battle. Just not well enough.
Made In ChanneledKisses!
Am I the only one who is endlessly amused by making lead based toys for export? I've even come up with an advertising slogan to promote our goods: You Can Taste the Kisses! Go Ahead, Try! Maybe I'll start making lead pipe sections for export, too. And lead flasks. I crack myself up.
Knock knock knock, Oh hi! Large bronze dagger salesman, could I interest you in a large bronze dagger? Kobold thief? Me?!? No, ahaha, no, I'm a traveling kobold salesman. Not interested? I'll just show myself URKH! So a Kobold thief decided my upper barracks looked like a nice back door into my fort. Too bad for him that two full squads were inside training with their pair of War Jaguars. He made it one step into the room. He might have made it back out, had he not lost his head. Silly Kobold, tricks are for mechanics. Did you really think it would be that easy? Have any of your compatriots in crime EVER even made it inside?
One Got Loose
So a goblin axeman prisoner escaped, I forgot to lock the door before pulling the lever and he somehow escaped. Next spring, and no ambush yet. Coincidence? Probably. Okay, it has now been over a year since the last attack. When I looked at the Goblin civ before, I could swear they had some kind of general as well as a leader type. Now they don't, they only have a 'Master.' What happened? Is it possible for a civ to be destroyed during play, as they might be during world-gen, or wekened to the point they will no longer attack? Goblins are far, far away from me on this world, could that have something to do with it? Maybe I'm just not worth their while.
UPDATE: I went two years without a raid, then the Goblins jumped a band of Elven traders, I off two squads with ease, losing three guys who get unlucky and have things lopped off by Goblin Supreme, as I call this one goblin with an iron axe who seems really hard to kill. Well, he eventually croaks, the merchants are right at the gate and I give everyone the day off, good work boys, get some food and drink and go have a lay down at the hospital if you need to. Ooops, there's the third squad of Goblins, swooping down off their hiding place on the hill, killing one merchant and scattering the rest off the map before I get the squads formed back up, grr. But I'm rockin' 90 dorfs now, with three full squads of ten, most of whom are pretty good with crossbows. It will take more than a raid to phase me. I wonder when I'll get a siege?
Gems and minerals in your walls
Once I build out rooms, I'm often left with tempting gems and minerals in the walls. Do you take them out or leave them to engrave and add value? For me, it depends on the room, and how much I need the stuff right then, but mostly I try to leave them. I picture the dorfs using the shape of the clusters and veins when they engrave, dwarven eyes gleaming with red grossular anger at the Goblin begging for his life.
Do you hate Goblins?
'Cause I REALLY hate Goblins. I have never felt such righteous anger towards an ASCII character before. No game has made me care this much, not even when "I" die in a first person game. It was Limpy Dog that did it. This poor dog they crippled, always limping after his master, showing up right when Master gets done and goes off someplace else, then slowly limping after him. It got to the point I couldn't even have Limpy Dog on-screen, it was just too sad to watch. Goblins must pay for this. At least my Goblin Blood Waterfall alleviates the pain somewhat. Just throw a bunch of Goblins in a murky pool and drain it into your waterfall, viola! Instant homage to Dwarven vengeance.
UPDATE: Limpy Dog got better! It took two years, but he gets around just fine now. Oh Limpy Dog, I shall ensure that when you finally pass, you get a fine tomb. Who is a good boy? Who is? You are! Yes you are.
Thoughts and Strategies
I would rate my skill level at DF at, hmm "dabbling." After about 200 hours of play I think I'm starting to figure things out. I had the best fortress ever, a volcano with limestone! It lacked one crucial thing, though: enemies. No goblins at all. I had siege engines and full metal kit before the second spring, and no one to use them on but megabeasts. Boring. So I abandoned, little did I know how RARE a volcano with sedimentary stone is. Now, I'm trying to get a very dorfy fortress up and running. I know dorfs can make it anywhere, but I want METAL! and STONE! Dorfs are not made for leather and cloth. So I'm playing chalk/limestone/dolomite biomes for the HEAVY METAL (guitar licks and head banging ensue.)
My current strategy, 1 leader/speardorf, 1 mech/axedorf, 1 doctor/carpenter, 1 brewer/leather worker, 1 cook/gem cutter, 1 mason/architect, 1 brewer/metalsmith. No miners, I train 'em up in dirt right off the (giant) bat. First dig a huge farm room and flood it. Then build entry hall... OF DEATH! Then dig a big stairwell down seven levels. Near the top, arranged in a spiral around the stairs, four workshops: mechanic, jeweler, mason and carpenter. At the bottom, the initial living quarters. One floor above, the kitchen complex. One floor below, the engineering level with control room, plumbing, cisterns, and my pride and joy, the indoor waterfall which took me five tries to get right. Pro-tip: make a water reactor separate from your pump stack, don't try to build a reactor/pump stack all in one, couple them up with a gear. The reactor wants a full load of water in it to run right, the waterfall wants as little as possible to avoid overflows.
A free keg of dwarven ale for anyone who gets the reference in my username!
Weirdness and a Glimpse of Hell
Okay, whoah. Just started a new game. I normally get 100 FPS up until I've got twenty dorfs or so. I'm getting about 3-20 now. Anyone know what this means? Here's another clue, I've got half limestone and half obsidian on my map. Any guesses? I know what it means, and I can't wait to get below to see it, because it truly is an impressive sight. I only hope things even out a bit so my FPS gets high enough to actually get down there in any reasonable time frame. I won't play a regular game on this map, of course, but I think I'll delve down right away to find what I think is going on down there. I'll save the map if that's the case so others can see it, I've only seen it once before. I'm just surprised I haven't gotten a string of cave in messages...
Okay, crud, this map is 140 levels deep. It probably isn't happening in the first cavern level, based on the fact that I didn't get any cave in messages. Probably way down deep.
Yup, it is down deep, and I've stepped in a situation, too. I hit the first cavern level. The magma pipe goes up through it, but it's empty up here. I can't even see the magma. But I am willing to bet that somewhere down below, it is flowing in great rivers through a cavern level. That is the only explanation I know of for my FPS drop.
My problem is Batman. Or more accurately, bat men. I just dug straight into a nest of them and I don't even have a mason's shop set up to make hatches.
Okay, hmm, they are hostile but seem content to stay where they are. Still, I think I'm going to save this map and move on. I'm trying to proof my QuickStart instruction, not find a natural wonder.
By the way, I bought Fallout: New Vegas yesterday. I haven't even opened the package. I've got Fortress Fever!
Okay, forget it, I'm going down. I got the hatch in place before the bat men attacked, and I bypassed the first cavern level.
Oh. My. God. No, no, no, nonononono! It wasn't what I thought. It wasn't what I thought at all. Well, this should be over quickly. And it should be instructive, I've never seen it first hand before.
Literally five minutes into this game, I've somehow hit an OPEN eerie cavern.
Oh HAH! HAH to the HAH-HAH power. No horrifying screams from the darkness below. It appears the magma has flooded Hell. How else would the cavern be open? I don't even know what to say here. I'm just saving this game in a very special place and moving on.
That was certainly exciting. I'm creating a stock new medium sized world, and recording the seeds. I'll find a good site therein. I think that will be better than having newbs download a 40MB map. Oh, the only change from stock params is 1800 embark points, we'll start the newbs out with decent dorfs and gear.
A 'Normal' Start?
Oh HAH! This game, I swear to you it is haunted by the ghosts of tricky nobles slain by exasperated players. It does things. It lives. Do you know what I found on this first stock map I generated for educational purposes? Well, I didn't find sedimentary flux stone with a warm climate, a river, and some trees. Nope. What I found was a volcano with trees around it, and get this, sedimentary stone in the same 4x4 zone. Rock salt, but the volcanic biome has marble for flux. A river, too, if you are willing to expand to 5x5 and take less forest. Goblins are present, but far, far away. All dorf civs are pretty far, too, I don't know how that affects immigration. Obviously, this is not a normal start. Stock worlds have one volcano, the odds of finding one like this are next to nothing.
You want the seeds, don't you? 3507106834 480448902 3609199234 165037949
It is on the eastern side, near center north to south.
Oh, forget it. It's one of those lame volcanoes that sticks out weirdly above the ground. Those are just lame. And it's frozen at embark. I don't want to play a map like that, well, back to finding a 'normal' start for newbs. Okay, no, the top is frozen but the bottom isn't, that makes sense but I've never seen it before. There are murky pools. It is twenty four z-levels up to the lip of the magma pool, and it isn't entirely outside the ground, meaning it can be mined for magma. Not too bad, actually. Kinda chunky and artificial looking for my tastes in landscape, you can see the square boundaries clear as day, but then I've only really found one volcano that wasn't that way. Plenty of sand. I haven't seen the rock salt anywhere yet, nor the coal it should contain, and I'm afraid things are going to be a bit spread out. Still, it looks promising. The only question is, should we start the newbs out on such a 'perfect' map?
Oh, look, Hoary Marmots. They are such Hoars.
Oh, look, Goblins!
So, you know, I played through 1058 on a really nice fortress, one of my first. Volcano with limestone, wow. But no Goblins! It was too easy. The occasional giant beasts were never a match, they never even made it to the Pillar of Smash and the triple ballista battery before my squads cut them down. Well it is amazing the difference with Goblins present. I was right to quite that fortress, it was WAY too easy. I had too much time, and without the constant threat of death, I had over 100 citizens within a few years. With Goblins, you never have enough time or dorfs.
I've pretty much got the military thing down now. Training is working correctly, including archery practice, demonstrations take place, sparring takes place, all militia and guards have civilian and military skills, nobody gets unhappy going on or off duty, nobody starving or dying of thirst. Everyone has marksdwarf and at least one weapon skill. Last ambush, I moved them around right, putting them up on the battlements, then reopening the front gate to lure the Gobs in. The had top charge through a hail of bolts from above, it was awesome, except for the one idiot who always thinks charging them is a great idea. We lost a woodsman and hunter who were outside, one of them had his kid with him, they killed the dad and stole the kid. Man this game is brutal.
Uh, you got that wrong, Engravers
Nobody refused her. She didn't 'depart the position.' She was 'killed by Goblins.' Okay? Sheesh.