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40d:How do I construct a wall from a particular direction

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This article is about an older version of DF.

It often happens that you need to construct a wall, but your dwarf insists on standing on the wrong side of it during construction, trapping himself.

Diagonal method[edit]

Dwarves will only build walls from a non-diagonally adjacent square.

@░@ <-- to build this wall, a dwarf will only stand at one of the @ signs

If you consider this when planning constructions, you can ensure that they are built in the right order:

  1. Designate the walls that you want constructed.
  2. Find places where the builder might be trapped.
  3. Plan a diagonal "escape route" from that area, and qsuspend the tiles along that path.
  4. Wait for the non-suspended walls to be built.
  5. Un-suspend the suspended walls.


Suppose you want to build a 3x3 ring of walls, enclosing a central square.


If you designate it all at once, it is possible for the first seven walls to be constructed this way:


Your builder might stand at either @ sign to finish the last wall, and if he picks the one in the middle, he'll be trapped. If you're unlucky, your first sign that this has happened will be the alert about him starving to death.

However, if you suspend construction of the northeast corner, you'll end up with this:


This time, both of the places where your builder might stand to finish the last wall are outside of the ring, so you can be confident that he won't be trapped.

Suspended construction method[edit]

  1. Press bCw
  2. Designate a "temporary" wall to be built in the location where you do not want the dwarf to stand
  3. Open the Set Building Tasks/Prefs menu, q
  4. Move over the temporary wall
  5. suspend its construction
  6. Build your other object (wall, floodgate, etc.) like normal
  7. Wait for this other object to be fully constructed
  8. Open the Set Building Tasks/Prefs menu again, q
  9. Move over the temporary wall
  10. Cancel its construction x

This does not work in all situations; sometimes you cannot specify that you want a wall built in a certain location due to what is already built there. Specifying other structures instead of a wall may work, if any of them are permitted. You could also place a statue in the location where the dwarf isn't supposed to stand.