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This article is about an older version of DF.

Dwarf Fortress Mode

(See the Military article for a full discussion of how to manipulate squads and options with your military, like arming or armouring them, among many other important concepts. This article is for unarmed, immediate response only, the most basic concept.)

The military menus (plural) can be confusing at first. You should learn how they work. But if you haven't done that, and all you want/need to do is deal with a minor target right now, without any complex preparation, no armour or weapons, perhaps a thief, perhaps a creature, this is the easiest way to do it (short of relying on attack animals or complex traps)...

  • 1) Pause the game (by hitting spacebar).
  • 2) In the nobles menu, assign a "militia commander". Select a dwarf you don't plan to use for this skirmish - maybe your Doctor, who you never want on the battlefield. When you do that, you'll notice a new position appears at the bottom, "militia captain".
  • 2.1) Assign one of the dwarves you do want to use for this skirmish to "militia captain". Another slot for "militia captain" will appear below that - ignore it, and Esc out of that menu.
  • 3) Open the military menu. Use the up/down arrows to highlight the "militia captain" and hit create squad. This squad, led by the dwarf you've already chosen, will be the ones you send to deal with the problem.
When prompted, use the up/down arrows to highlight "no uniforms", and hit Enter. You should see the name of the squad and the captain you just assigned.
  • 3.1) Use the left/right/up/down arrows to highlight an "AVAILABLE" slot, and then choose the next dwarf you want in that squad. You can Escape to check the map and ID your dwarves and then come back to this military screen to finish filling in the squad.
  • 3.2) Once you have all the dwarves you want, hit u for "supplies". Use the -/+ keys to select "Do not carry water", and the // * keys to select "Do not carry food". (You do want fast response, and not a long-term patrol, right?) Hit Esc to return the map, or positions to add some more dwarves.
  • 4) Now open the squads sub-window.
  • 4.1) Hit All (capital "A") to select all the members of that squad.
  • 4.2) Hit k to attack (kill!) a target. Now you have several ways to choose your target - or more than one target, depending on the method...
  • If you move the cursor over the target, you can hit Enter.
  • Hit list for a list of possible targets. The actual creatures/targets will flash on the main map with their identifying letter to aid you in differentiating.
  • If you have a number of targets, you can move the cursor and hit Enter to form the opposite corners of a (highly visible!) rectangle - all non-friendly creatures within that area will then be targeted.
The squad should now be listed as assigned to "Kill _____", flashing in red at the top of the sub-window. Once you see that, hit Esc...
  • 5) ...And un-pause the game.
(When the deed is done, simply go into the military screen, select that squad, and delete that squad. Since the dwarves have no equipment/weapons, they won't drop anything, and will simply find a new job and wander back to work.)

If the target escapes from the map or otherwise becomes inaccessible, then the order to kill may be cancelled without deleting the squad. Go to s squad, a select exclusively, o cancel Order. (Note that drowning does not count as "inaccessible" - a dwarf will cheerfully jump off an edge and fight a drowning rhesus macaque until he drowns 12 squares out in the open ocean)

Note that unarmed, untrained dwarves are not very impressive in their death-dealing abilities, not even against minor opponents - and one with a knife can prove to be quite dangerous. Sending four or more against a goblin/kobold thief will eventually kill the little bugger, but not before some injuries to the home team.

For a truly safe response system, you need regular military - and to expand on this by reading and understanding the military and related articles.

Adventure Mode

There are two kinds of attacks in adventure mode: manual and automatic. When you bump into an enemy, you will automatically attack it, except in the times where there is more than one on the square, whereas you target the enemy you wish to hit. Manual targeting is based on the A key then the letter which corresponds the enemy you wish to attack, which allows more than just attacking manually. It allows you to wrestle an enemy by pressing Enter in order to change attack modes from punching/weapon attacks, to wrestling, enabling you to choose in a list of using any body part that allows you to grab an enemy, and later being able to do more than just holding onto them. You can also use a takedown technique, that allows you to put them to the ground, plus a strangling technique, which enables you to slowly kill your enemy. It's the same as the way you attack in dwarf fortress mode: Fight to kill.

You do not need to worry about attacking friendly targets, as auto target prevents it. It instead replaced both squares both units were on to move to their own squares, instead of attacking. Manual attacking gives a confirmation before attacking, which will also cause any other civilization unit to attack you, however, other civilizations will remain unaffected.[Verify]

Military and defense
Managing soldiers
Design tips