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The Secretive Earth heads to Spearpost, 1053[edit]

A steep cliff in the middle of a thick forest, teaming with flora and fauna. A narrow ribbon of yellow sand overtop obsidian offers tempting possibilities for the more obscure dwarven arts.

The Original Expedition[edit]

"Cleave" Lekadrith - quick to heal, natural beauty, dislikes helping others

  • Adeq Axedwarf, Adeq Armor User, Adeq Wrestler, Nov Wood Cutter, Competent Teacher

"Boss" Alathstukon - weak, pig tail fiber fabric, picks, way with words, willpower

  • Prof Appraiser, Prof Judge of Intent, Not Organizer, Not Miner

"Nails" Sherikazir - tough, goat hoof, hippo bone

  • Novice Carpenter, Proficient Bone Carver, Novice Animal Trainer, Adequate Bowyer, Novice Ambusher

"Skins" onuldural -

  • Comp Butcher, Comp Tanner, Skilled Leatherworker, Not Grower, Not Herbalist,

"Tinker" Lilarkol - indefatigiuable, short swords, cabinets, chains,

  • Proficient Stone Crafter, Proficient Mechanic, Not Miner

"Doc" Orsharastesh - obsidian, backpacks, traction benches, dogs

  • Adeq in all medical skills, Not Brewer, Not Record Keeper, Not Organizer ?

"Stones" Litastoram

  • Proficient Mason, Proficient Building Designer, Not Miner

Hey. I never had a cook. No wonder that Kitchen never got built.


We arrived just before the first thaws, and have decided to park on this very shrub-free sort of slick surface, near the taller peaks. We surveyed the site, and noticed a large and mysterious ape-like creature wandering through the snow to the south, which has some of the more timid expeditioneers a bit worried. I told them to relax. It's not like the creature would be able to open any doors into our fortress or anything.

We quickly sheared off a slice of the cliff-face, and dug in, tossing our supplies onto the floor of the front hallway as we dug in. Cleave went off to cut some timber. Skins got all excited by some shrubs and started talking about how he'd always wanted to make a "stew."

Within a few weeks, our new home started to thaw out. We also discovered why our wagon parking spot was so smooth -- Doc had parked it on a lake. Sure enough, by 10th Slate, most of our supplies were sinking to the bottom.

It seems we've dug in right where an obsidian layer meets with a strata of white sand. This has been a source of great pain for Doc, who loves obsidian and insists it had beneficial healing qualities. He insists that his combination Hospital/Brewery be dug out of obsidian and not sand. After some shrugging and guess work, we finalized our plans and while the hospital has indeed been cut out of obsidian, it seems his office is still made out of sand, as is his bedroom. He is quite roth, and demands we excavate proper accommodations for him.

27th Felsite, 1053[edit]

We've dug an underground path to the lake, in an attempt to recover the orangutan meat barrels that were lost to our parking errors, in the hope that they'll still be fresh. I was a bit surprised to see they had already broken through to the poolbed before we could install a floodgate, since I had planned to use that lake to pre-muddy our farmland. Now I am faced with the choice of building a separate farming community, engaging in some kind of pond-filling madness, or waiting until next year to start farming.

I dislike the idea of keeping my farmers so separate. I'll build down another level and add some farms there, and then worry about where to put my "above ground farms" later.

15th Hematite, 1053[edit]

An overly-inquisitive fox set off one of our stone traps, which knocked him into the single cage trap we've managed to install in our front door. The poor bugger will be tasty, just as soon as we figure out how to kill him.

18th Malachite, 1053[edit]

We turned one of our unfinished hallways into a temporary dog-fighting pit, and unleashed the fox into it. The fox actually managed to dent some of the dog fur. The poor pup!

23rd Sandstone, 1053[edit]

Word of Spearpost has been spreading, and attracted several odd inhabitants. In the summer, we only had two new migrants. The almost-appropriately named Litast Axedye is a marskdwarf with a fondness for engraving and dying cloth. Tun Ultraglazed was a simple brewer. These two dwarves were a godsend, as their addition to the fortress brought many migrants the following season, all of whom seem to have a colorful history.

  • Kib Siegebell is a Tanner/Gem Cutter with a fondness for picks and menacing spikes.
  • Morul Giltcrushed is an angry, socially inept Cook who cackles when nervous.
  • Stukos Wheeledcages (an excellent idea, wheeled cages) is a sweet-talking Miller who loves crossbows, barrels and buckets. And clouds. He also happens to know how to man a ballista, which he seems to think of as very big crossbows.
  • Fath Counselabbey is a Stonecrafter and Wood Burner who is very reticent to explain why he knows how to walk on crutches.
  • Ushrir itonuling is a Grand Master metalsmith, who is very talented with a knife and shield. He likes to carve bones and catch vermin in his spare time. He's quite imaginative, I'm told.
  • Momuz Enenrovod is a Siege Engineer with who is into Lye, and has a small bit of training in kicking enemies in the 'nads.
  • Feb Bodicepick is a Fisherdwarf who apparently catches fish by sneaking up behind them. He's quite talented, and knows a lot about the price of fish.

Kib's skills with gems will hopefully be valuable someday, but in the meantime we'll let him hold those glorious picks he loves so much. Morul will help set up our food industry until we're raising enough crops to lock him in the kitchen.

Stukos will be on crossbow squad with Litast. We're going to need to kill some more animals to get them training bolts.

After much discussion, Fath will be allowed into the Sacred StoneCrafting Hut, but will also be added to the ROTC. It was also agreed that Feb can go fishing, but has to clean his own fish.

Ushrir will be given a military position equal to his skills, as the captain of a new squad. We'll have to wait until a goblin shows up with a knife. Momuz can join his squad and maybe learn how to hold a weapon, or maybe we'll just have to make a spiked pair of boots.

The winter frost has begun to set in, and the lakes are already frozen over. We're discussing the possibility of mining ice out of some of the rivers and dumping them into the farm plots and the pre-maturely filled reservoir, with the hope that they will fill up faster this way.

25th Sandstone, 1054[edit]

The spring saw a huge influx of immigrants, bringing the fortress up to 36 souls. Only a handful of them were the sort of useless wandering itinerants you usually hear about, uneducated trash that wants to do little more than fish in empty pools. Oh, no. Quite the contrary. Many veteran dwarves showed up, Grand Masters of their skills and smart enough to be working on a second trade to keep themselves useful. Warriors skilled in exotic trophy weapons, who spend their free time dying and weaver cloth. A book-keeper who promptly tossed Doc out of the records office and got the whole mess organized in less than a season.

We've assigned all the exotic weapon experts into a squad of their own, plus a distrustful macedwarf spy to keep an eye on them, in case the lot of them turn out to be goblin-raised scum. I wonder if there is some history between Ushrir and Risen. Like Ushrir, Risen prefers to fight using kobold dagger and shield, but he is less skilled in the martial arts. On the other hand, he knows much more about hunting vermin. I suspect the two of them have some kind of history together, as their skill sets clearly demonstrate that they have learned from each other.

The less educated or superflous lot were banded into an ROTC - they work together on feats of large scale masonry, set up trap and other mechanical oddities, gather plants, etc. Since my last update, they've rerouted the irrigation efforts into something slightly more useful -- a moat for the internal fortifications. They've also walled off and roof'd the exterior greenhouses, which promise to generate much more food than our pitiful underground farms.

Seeing them in action, our miners have taken up the challenge. We've turned most of the hillside into cliff-facing, directing any animal that wishes to enter the lower valley through a wall of cage traps, which the Corps built with exceeding speed. The plan has worked marvelously, we've captured have a dozen foxes and raccoons in less than a season! I've ordered an arena to be built to give my soldiers some fun and hands-on practice.

In addition to the horde of specialist farmdwarves, we have a jack of all trades, Sigun, who knows how to do just about everything you could want to do on a farm. Just about the only thing he doesn't know how to do is make Potash. Curiously, neither does anyone else.

The only other skills we're lacking right now is armorers and weaponsmiths. I had some faint hope when Cleave, who knows little besides how to swing an axe, locked himself in the smithy. I was convinced he would emerge triumphantly holding a legendary axe. It seems he is a bit deeper than I suspected though. Don't get me wrong, it is a marvelous harp and we all look forward to the day someone tries to play it, but he emerged from the experience no wiser than before.

Again, I held my breath as Litast Axedye found the same mad glint in his eye, and locked himself in that same smithy. But he emerged holding up a beautifully wrought metal grate. We've used it to replace the one in the hospital. It's true that he has surpassed even the nigh-legendary Ushrir when it comes to such crafts, and the new veins of gold we've dug up suggest we may find a use for these masters soon enough, but first we must stockpile enough coke to keep the furnaces running.

The large vein of white sand runs straight through the center of our fortress. It is a constant frustration, to have such fragile soil run through the center of such beautiful obsidian. In addition to the hospital, it has marred the pristine beauty of my catacombs, my nobles quarters, and every other aspect of our daily lives.

A critical design error has destroyed my plans for a misting chamber in the center of the upper-level housing. The 01 workshops have been dedicated to the farming staff, and I'm tempted to give them their own dining hall and turn the place into a burrow, once I find enough dedicated haulers. Sadly, we have not attracted a single migrant after the first tidal wave. After much debate, I've begun deep mining explorations from the inside of the fortress. It promises to eventually become a strategic liability, but the potential risk to the stone haulers by constantly exiting the building has me more worried.

We've not seen a single goblin or kobold in the two years we've been here. The elves have made their threats regarding their beloved shrubs, but brought enough wood for me to pay heed to their request....for now. The human caravans were of little note. I suppose the engravings surrounding the trade depot had something to do with that. Litast is quite fond of stories about humans who've died at the hands of the sasquatch...

Things I wish I had: a male horse, even one brought in by the merchants, a weaponsmith, an armorsmith, two more furnace operators, a large and conveniently located supply of water, magma.

Daggerverse, home of The Big Dagger 1052 (previous game)[edit]

My first fortress since the release of DF2010. Since magma has been nerfed, my usual glass-centric ways are useless. Instead, I picked a location that had lots of obsidian layers, and high rainfall. I did not remember to pick a location with thick trees to make up for the lack of early-game magma. Which is ironic since I've since found more metal veins than my sand-centric maps had back in 40d.

The Expedition[edit]

"Potions" Keskalrithlut

  • Novice in all medical skills, Novice Record Keeper, Competent Brewer
  • She'll get her own little medical aid burrow near the barracks, with a Still and stockpile in the corner. This might make it easier for me to brew a wider selection of alcohols, too. During the initial phases, I'll make him a miner, for the exercise and help.

Potions loves giant bat leather and floodgates, among other things. We'll have to look into putting some of that into her office.

"Boss" Vabokgasol

  • Novice Wrestler
  • Novice Miner
  • Adequate Appraiser
  • Novice Organizer
  • Adequate Negotiator,
  • Novice Judge of Intent
  • Novice Conversationalist
  • Novice Flatterer

Someday, I'll prove the value of all these social skills. The basic gist here is that Boss OrbBreath has the skills to be the Expedition Leader, Manager and Broker. When not doing that, she epitomizes the dwarf lifestyle by cracking rocks. I gave her a level in Wrestling, too, with the intention to train that further, since the leadership position is one I want to keep alive.

"Elfboy" Lornokzan

  • Proficient Carpenter,
  • Skilled Gem Cutter,
  • Novice Gem Setter,

Oh, look at the girlydwarf, playing around with her wood and gems.

"Woodsy" Taronastesh

  • Novice Axedwarf,
  • Novice Armor User,
  • Novice Wrestler,
  • Proficient Wood Cutter,
  • Novice Animal Trainer,
  • Novice Bowyer,
  • Competent Ambusher

Woodsy likes to kill things. Trees, goblins, birds. You name it, woodsy wants to put an axe through their chest. She'll be the head of the military and hunting parties. Giving her Animal Trainer, Bowyer and Ambusher may have been wasteful, in retrospect. The high Ambusher gave her a complete set of leather armor and a crossbow,

"Stones" Ustuthrodem

  • Proficient Mason,
  • Proficient Building Designer

Makes doors 'n' stuff.

"Tinker" Athalolor

  • Proficient Stone Crafter,
  • Proficient Mechanic

In charge of making debris useful to the fortress

"Fields" Tenshedkol -

  • Novice Butcher,
  • Novice Tanner,
  • Competent Grower,
  • Proficient Herbalist,
  • Adequate Leatherworker

Fields starts the game gathering herbs 'n' stuff, until we get the farms built. He's also in charge of the livestock.

Fields likes traction benches. I wish I'd noticed that before I assigned skill points.


Udil Rigothsanreb, Weaver

  • Talented Weaver,
  • Competent Grower,
  • Novice Suturer,
  • Novice Flatterer

Man, anybody who shows up with an entire skill level in kissing ass has got to be put to good use.

Ushrir Asmistem, Farmer

  • Proficient Milker,
  • Talented Dyer

You really have to wonder why he fled whatever town he came from originally. Milking and dying? o.O

Making a Militia[edit]

Note that this is not really a "walkthrough" since that implies these are an intelligent set of steps to follow. Rather, this is more of a series of Field Reports, describing my thought process and attempts to understand the differences between 40d and DF2010.

Commentary and Discussion Encouraged

At Game Start[edit]

Entrance Layout At End of Summer

Before I even unpause the game for the first time, I activate the nobles screen, and assign dwarves to all the positions: Potions becomes my Chief Medical Dwarf and Bookkeeper, Woodsy becomes the Militia Commander, and Boss OrbBreath gets all the other positions except Sheriff, which I leave unfilled.

Being somewhat familiar with the game, and needing more wood than meat in the beginning, I make sure that Woodsy's Hunting labor is off.

Having learned my lesson during 40d about creating defensive strategies in layers, I spend some time checking out the terrain to choose a suitable fortress location, and plan out several stages of defensive preparation which have successive completion stages. I pick a location which has a small nearby hill, which I can later turn into an archery tower, and lakes nearby and above, which can be redirected into moats and waterfalls . I then build a long, 3-tile wide front hallway which leads to 2 5x5 rooms. The first room will be my Trade Depot, the second will start off as my Dining Room, and later become my barracks.

To the east of the dining hall, I build my Medical Burrow. I choose a 6x6 room since I have no idea what that all really requires, a 3x3 room for the Still, another 3x3 room for the Office of Records Doctoring, a bedroom, and a stockpile room for the Still.

During mining, I discovered a metal vein leading north, which I mine out and turn into a refuse room. Otherwise, I keep the north side of the main entrance untouched. Later, I can add additional defensive features, like a series of arrow slits behind a moat, or maybe add a U-turn with ballista.

South of the dining hall, I build another long corridor wide corridor. Off of it, I build a barracks/dormitory, 3 workshops (initially Carpenter's, Mason's, and Mechanic's), and several 5x5 rooms (a mistake, based on 40d farming habits). Behind the workshops I put in a large stockpile room. It just happens to be adjacent to the still's stockpile room, so I merge those two rooms. Later, I'll move the Mason's and Mechanic's room down below, and replace them with a Bowyer shop (since my bowyer is also a woodcutter, this makes it convenient for him) and a Jeweler's Shop (since my jeweler is also my Carpenter).

At the end of this 2nd corridor I put a set of stairs down to my workshop area.

This makes a good initial defensive layer, since the 1st attacks will confront the caravan guards, and one which can be augmented in the short term with stone-fall traps, outdoor training areas and bunkers, etc. In the long term, I can add the ballista hallway or arrow slits, moats, the archery tower, etc. This additional features can also be adjusted to include happy-makers, like a pleasing waterfall, or extending the archery tower to wall in an "aboveground" farm.

One Season Later, The Military Screen[edit]

Woodsy has cleared out a lot of trees in the immediate area, and seen some tasty horses wandering around. My 1st two (2) migrants have arrived, and both of them are parts of industries that I haven't built yet. It's time to start thinking about my military, maybe even designing a hunting party.

Somewhere along the way, I built 2 training axes. I also have the crossbow from having an Ambusher. What I don't have is bone bolts, extra armor, or any understanding of the new military system.

I want Woodsy to train another axedwarf, and I want to put that crossbow to good use. I also want to further Boss OrbBreath's wrestling career.

Reviewing the info on the wiki, this sounds like 3 squads to me:

  • Axedwarves: Woodsy and Asmistem. I'll need a set of leather armor for the ass-kisser.
  • Marksdwarf: Elfboy, since there are so few trees on this screen anyway.
  • Wrestlers: Boss, and some others. I'd prefer this to be a larger squad, but everybody is doing important work right now, so I'll just use the two Farmers, until I get the farms set up.

Maybe alternating schedules so that Woodsy is chopping trees while Elfboy is practicing with his crossbow. The wrestlers are a reserve force, and so I'll try to get them to train 1 month out of three. I need bone bolts, armor, and to swap Potions out with new miner.

One Month Later[edit]

One Squad is Training, the other 2 are off-duty

Setting up military squads is fairly easy. Two notes worth making:

  • You need to be careful about which squad slot has been "highlighted" in color, as this is the position which will be filled by whoever you select to add to the squad. This can be particularly problematic with the first position in a squad, accidentally making someone a Captain.
  • Note the difference between assigning a soldier equipment, and creating uniforms.

If your experience is anything like mine, you'll spend more time worrying about how to activate your squad and get it to train, then it will actually take to train the squad.

You need to set up a barracks, and define it as a Training area for each squad. After that, you just need to make sure they'll have the right equipment, and then set them to the pre-existing Active/Training Alert Condition. This will cause them to be on active duty until they are manually switched to the Civilian Alert.

I haven't tested to see if this will work for the archer unit, since it took the whole month to talk my butcher into slaughtering the mule (I still haven't talked him into setting up his Tannery), so we're still waiting for bone bolts. I got rather confused by the existence of an Archer Uniform, which isn't nearly as complete a template as I was hoping it would be. It does set them up to be wearing the correct uniforms, though.

Next up will be trying to set up a rotating training schedule between my axedwarf squad, wrestling squad, and marksdwarf, and seeing if there is any way to require different uniforms for different alerts. After that, I may try to actually send my axedwarves a-hunting.

Oh, one other thing: Potions finally sat down and counted the inventory. I'm very impressed to see that he managed to count all the giant cave spider silk webs down in the cavern 30 levels beneath me, even though we haven't dug down that far. Meep.

Got bored, thought I learned some stuff worth starting over for. Didn't even last a year. How silly.