|This article is about an older version of DF.
All physical weapons have one of two attack types: blunt weapons, which deal damage through crushing blows that break bones and penetrate armor, and edged ones, which deal damage by cutting into and slicing through foes. Edged weapons can be further broken down based on the shape of the blade, into "slashing" weapons that aim to slice into your foe, and "piercing" ones that penetrate vital organs. Some weapons have more than one attack type: for instance, the multipurpose short sword has a slashing cut, a piercing stab, and a blunt pommel strike. For a greater discussion on the properties of the weapons themselves, see weapon.
Blunt weapons inflict just that, blunt damage, distributing strong blows along a wide surface area; examples include war hammers, maces, melee attacks with crossbows, and even whips. For these types of weapons a high mass and density are the most important material properties (for this reason the best blunt weapons tend to be both heavier and slower than their edged counterparts). Blunt attacks do little contact damage but have an extremely high degree of armor penetration, breaking bones even through the best of armors. On the other hand, though blunt weapons are very good at breaking foes they are terrible at actually killing, and seeing your hammerdwarf knock a foe unconscious and then proceed to break every bone in their body is not an uncommon sight. Blunt weapons are most effective against heavy and heavily armored foes that can be incapacitated with internal injuries and pain.
Slashing weapons have a long, sharp blade that is designed for cutting and severing limbs. Examples of slashing weapons include short swords, battle axes, and scourges. Of the three weapon classes they do the most damage, hacking through tissues and severing limbs and heads, especially those of smaller and weaker creatures. Slashing weapons are at their best cutting through small organic creatures, but fare extremely poorly against armor of equal or better material parity, which converts most of the blow into weak blunt damage. Thus high material quality is paramount for effective slashing weapons.
Piercing weapons focus large forces on a single sharpened point, allowing deep penetration on even the largest of creatures. The weapons often get stuck within their targets, allowing your dwarves to leverage them into tearing apart your foes internally. This gives piercing weapons such as spears, daggers, bolts, arrows, and pikes combat properties between those of the blunt and slashing weapons, not quite as good at piercing armor as blunt weapons, not quite as good at cutting off things as slashing ones. Piercing weapons are the most effective weapon class at killing large, unarmored creatures due to their ability to penetrate vital organs: although hits to the limbs will be largely ineffective, it doesn't take much for a spear strike to puncture a lung or a kidney, so it's possible (although unlikely) to kill even a dragon with one decisive hit from a spear or pike. Piercing weapons remain viable against equivalent and better armors, although they do not maintain blunt weapons' levels of penetration.
|Ranged and ammunition
|See also: Attack types