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Author Topic: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors  (Read 104456 times)

Pirate Bob

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2012, 04:33:35 pm »

I also have independently been studying this phenomenon for several weeks, and my tests have yielded similar results.  I am glad to see that I'm not the only person crazy enough to undertake such a project, and also applaud Zivilin's results.

In addition to confirming Zivilin's results, I think I may have a few additional insights.  First of all, maybe Zivilin has already stated this and I missed it, but I have found that plate armor is completely ineffective against all metal bolts (other than candy vs. candy).  For the following tests, 864 dwarves wearing breastplates, helms, greaves, 2 gauntlets and 2 low boots were placed 2 tiles away from crossbow wielding dwarves (directly behind fortifications).  In my tests the targets are in a large open area, and can dodge [Edit - I added platinum bolts on 9/11/2012]:
Spoiler: Plate Armor Only (click to show/hide)
*note that iron vs. candy and bismuth bronze vs. silver are missing because the DF macro failed to run properly (sometimes a keypress or two is not recognized, at least running Linux).  I can fill those in later if anyone cares.

The first two columns list the metals used for ammunition and armors (if it matters the crossbows are made from the same metal as the ammunition).  All dwarves were great archers/marksdwarves and grand master armor users (with no other skills).  The third column ("hits") is the number of hits against armor, not counting hits to unarmored parts of the body and "kills" are the total number of dwarves killed. 

I wrote a perl script which analyzes gamelog.txt and records separately for each dwarf the number of hits before he is killed ("hits/kill"), first falls over ("hits/fall"), or first falls unconcious ("hits/KO").  Because I counted these separately for each dwarf, I can calculate the error as the standard deviation over all dwarves divided by the square root of the number of dwarves killed/fallen/KO'd.  This will skew the results too low for cases when not all dwarves are killed etc, as it only counts the number of shots needed for those that are killed, and those that survive would presumably take longer, but this is only an issue for candy vs. candy.   

The "%through" and "%deflected" are the percentages of hits against armor which went through or were deflected.  Note that in candy vs. candy the dwarves are still sometimes killed due to hits against unarmored body parts (neck, upper arms, etc), even through the bolts are always deflected.  Finally, to give an idea if the armor was slowing down bolts significantly without deflecting them, I counted up the fraction of hits against armor which causes chipped, fractured or shattered bones or any tears (%serious) compared with the fraction causing only bruises (%non-serious).  100% of the time (again except candy vs. candy) wounds resulted in serious injury.  I will try to perform analysis more similar to Zivilin's on my data, but I literally had everything ready to post on my own and saw, oh dear, somebody else scooped me :P.  So I am just posting what I have for now.

Now to the main point:  I also ran tests with all metals against unarmored targets, and found no significant difference in the number of shots required to kill or incapacitate armored or unarmored dwarves.  At first glance this appears to contradict Zivilin's results, not that I did not include chainmail for this test.  I had previously run tests with a chainmail shirt added to a breastplate, greaves, helm, gloves, and low boots for armored dwarves, with the following results [Edit - I added platinum bolts on 9/11/2012]:
Here, we see results similar to Zivilin's.  If the armor material is equal to or better than the bolt material (with candy>steel>iron=bronze=b.bronze>copper>silver), then there is a modest but significant increase the the survival of the targets.  More strikingly, there is a 30% chance (except for candy vs. candy and silver vs. silver) that the target receives only bruises from the hit.  With candy vs. candy things are more complicated, as the plate armor also deflects 100% of hits to protected areas, and I'm not sure why there is a difference with silver vs. silver.

Furthermore, I ran a test of steel vs. steel with dwarves wearing only a mail shirt and pants, and found that the rate of nonserious wounds increased to 37%.  Wearing 3 chainmail shirts did not further reduce serious wounds.  I will run a full test of dwarves in only chainmail overnight tonight.

I did run a test of dwarves with mail shirts, breastplate, helm, greaves, gauntlets and low boots (same as above) at a starting distance of 20 tiles from the shooters, but found no significant differences.  I can post the complete results if anyone really wants to see.

Bottom line - plate armor does nothing against bolts, and chainmail provides modest protection against them.  This is quite the opposite of what I would have expected.

I have also been pursuing adjusting the force of crossbows such that a more reasonable number of deflections occurs.  I found no difference in deflections or survival at Force=100 (standard Force=1000), and 90% deflection off equal or better metals (as define above) for Force=10.  For Force=42, there is 20-30% deflection off of steel, with heavier metals deflecting less, and 90% deflection off of candy, and no deflection off other metals.  In all cases where there was no deflection, even with Force=10, the survival rate did not change significantly.  For all these tests dwarves were wearing a full suit of armor with chainmail, as above.  Given that deflections max out at 90%, and the remaining 10% is the area covered by chainmail but not plate, I suspect that the all deflections are coming from plate armor and not chain mail, but I need to verify this.  I will post further results in this area soon.  I am hoping to find an optimum crossbow force that allows a reasonable fraction (but not 100%) of crossbow bolts to deflect off of superior armor.

I may also investigate decreasing the mass of DF bolts somewhat.  By comparing the masses of other DF weapons and armor to masses of real world objects, I estimate that one DF bolt/arrow weighs about 500 grams.  The largest weight I've found for a bolt/arrow online is ~100g.  I think the excess weight of bolts is a well known problem, so I don't think it's worth discussing here, other than as a possible parameter to tune to achieve more realistic projectile behavior.

Edit: I have posted the scripts etc. used for this testing to DFFD.  If anyone really wants to see all the logs, I can post that too, but its over 30 MB.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 10:26:03 pm by Pirate Bob »
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Zivilin

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2012, 06:36:12 pm »

I'm wondering what else we can squeeze out of the existing data.

For one type of bolt and one type of armor, what percentage chance is there of each damage description? To simplify, choose one piercing case (Steel bolts vs Copper armor) and one blunt case (Copper bolts vs Steel armor).

I'm trying to determine how likely each individual bolt is to cause a certain type of damage (i.e. brain tear instant death (i.e. BOOM HEADSHOT) is about 0.0528*0.60=0.032 or 3.2% probability). Or even more detailed - for all steel bolts which penetrated copper greaves on the right upper leg, did they all cause the same damage or was there randomness? We can at least detect the presence or absence of extra variables using existing data.

Again, I'm not asking for a new experiment, but to look at the data collected differently.

I can compile this information. This might take longer though depending on the level of detail required. For example, the head was easy:

| Tear| Fracture| Upper Spine Tear| Brain Tear| Total
Steel vs Copper| 4| 51| 198| 397| 650
Copper vs Steel| 4| 45| 301| 575| 925

Or, in percentage terms:

| Tear| Fracture| Upper Spine Tear| Brain Tear
Steel vs Copper| 0.62%| 7.85%| 30.46%| 61.08%
Copper vs Steel| 0.43%| 4.86%| 32.54%| 62.16%

This works because there are effectively only 4-5 injury messages:

Tear Muscle -> Fracture/Shatter Skull -> Tear Brain
            -> Tear Upper Spinal Nervous Tissue

However, other body parts have additional complexity: Upper legs and arms have hip bones and shoulder bones, hands and feet have finger and toes, and the upper body is a mess of ribs and organs. A single shot can shatter a [true/false/floating] rib and tear a [right lung/left lung/liver/stomach/gut/heart] - so there is a large combination of variables there.

I would suggest this, at least for the upper body: classify all types of ribs as a generic "rib" and all organs as a generic "organ". Then verify the number of time a shot caused terms such as "fracturing [generic rib] and tearing [generic organ]" or "chipping [generic rib] and bruising [generic organ]" and so on. Perhaps treat the heart separately, due to the lethal effects of it tearing.

[...]

Sorry for stealing Your thunder. If I had known this line of research was already being pursued I probably would have directed my efforts elsewhere :P But it is good to have confirmation that we have similar results. And I wouldn't have though that most of the damage damping effect is solely due to chain mail. I'll be looking forward to your results on those armor deflection tests as well.

Concerning the tests made from a distance of 20 tiles, how did You perform those, exactly? Did You use a row of fortifications and Elite Marksdwarfs, who can ignore fortifications according to the previous posters?

This my link to the processed data from my experiments. I think they can be easily transformed to represent your %serious, %non-serious, %deflected and %through. I don't really have the hits/fall and only somewhat of hits/KO. I also didn't gather values on individual dwarfs, so You can't gather standard deviation from my results (I could tweak by script a bit to get them, though. It would take some time)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 06:38:45 pm by Zivilin »
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Pirate Bob

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2012, 07:42:28 pm »

Sorry for stealing Your thunder. If I had known this line of research was already being pursued I probably would have directed my efforts elsewhere :P But it is good to have confirmation that we have similar results.
I am actually quite thrilled that you have been looking into this as well.  This is my first !!SCIENCE!! project, so I am very glad that someone with much more experience with DF mechanics tested this.  Before seeing your thread I was kind of worried that it might be difficult to convince people of the validity of my results.

As for the 20 tile tests, I just used a layout like this:
...
MF..................TP
MF..................TP
MF..................TP
...
where "M" is the marksdwarf, and "T" is the target.  I set up rows like this from top to bottom.  There is nothing stopping the targets from dodging or moving closer to the shooters, but they don't tend to move much as they fall over in less than 2 hits.  Still, when I say "2" or "20", those distances are approximate.  "2" is actually probably much worse, as the shooters can attack targets say 2 over, but 18 down.  I should probably put in walls so that it's 1v1.  It's on my "to do" list, but I won't get to it for a while, so if you wanted to do that let me know.

I will have a look at your processed data when I get the chance.  I kept the raw gamelogs for mine, so it might actually be easier to analyze my data using your methods, as your analysis seems more detailed in most respects.  If you're interested, I can post the gamelog files (>30 MB) or you could show me how to do your analysis if you prefer. 

Hans Lemurson

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2012, 07:43:48 pm »

I think your data clearly show that the "Totally Overpowered" nature of Crossbows lies in their ability to deliver incapacitating bruises under any circumstances.

Material matters so little in the realm of causing an injury because the non-penetrating impacts act as though the target had been hit by a sledge-hammer.

Crossbows are like freaking hammer-guns or something.
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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2012, 09:18:33 pm »

Looking at the excel data, I can verify that 3.2% of survivors die per volley for volleys 1-5 in the blunt damage cases. In the piercing/tearing damage cases, an additional percentage (1.8%?) die 2 volleys after they are hit in the heart/throat and bleed out. Also in both cases an additional percentage (1.8% again?) suffocate 5 volleys after a spinal hit.

...
I can compile this information. This might take longer though depending on the level of detail required.
...

I don't think I need the info, since it appears that there is no chance of getting "just a flesh wound" on an important body part.

Pirate Bob

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2012, 09:50:46 pm »

I think your data clearly show that the "Totally Overpowered" nature of Crossbows lies in their ability to deliver incapacitating bruises under any circumstances.

Material matters so little in the realm of causing an injury because the non-penetrating impacts act as though the target had been hit by a sledge-hammer.

Crossbows are like freaking hammer-guns or something.
I would say this is only partly true.  It is true that if you are wearing chainmail you get terrible bruises etc.  The problem is that bolts go through plate armor like it's not even there.  They react sort of reasonably to chainmail (I wouldn't expect chainmail to be that effective against bolts anyway).  I need to redo my analysis to make this more clear (something more like Zivilin's), but if dwarves are wearing only plate armor, they get no bruises - all chips, tears, fractures, etc.  There are no bruises because the bolts are not slowed down at all by the armor, and instead cause tears, or worse...

@Urist Da Vinci
Quote
I don't think I need the info, since it appears that there is no chance of getting "just a flesh wound" on an important body part.
I'm not sure what you mean by "just a flesh wound", but I definitely see cases where bolts cause only bruises.  For example:
Code: [Select]
The flying {copper bolt} strikes Dwarf 580 in the lower body, bruising the muscle and bruising the guts through the small adamantine greaves!I don't know how bad bruising guts is?  I guess on the next line the dorf got sick, so maybe kind of bad?  There are also many cases where the heart/lungs/kidneys etc are bruised, which is probably not so good, but maybe not immediately fatal/incapacitating?  I'm not sure.

I definitely DO agree that part of the problem is the momentum of bolts is just ridiculously unrealistically high.  I think this is partly because bolts are too massive, and largely because the force applied by crossbows is too high.  I will investigate the force part more this week, but as I've already posted it is definitely possible to adjust it so that bolts become less deadly to armored dorfs - I'm just not sure if its possible to make it "reasonable", without completely nerfing bolts.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 10:04:02 pm by Pirate Bob »
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omg_scout

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2012, 02:17:38 am »

I find these results to be highly disappointing.

TL;DR : use any metal bolts vs armoured oponents, and pretty much anything vs unarmoured opponents.

IRL there are arrows and *ARROWS*, which makes the difference between killing the target of bouncing off his armour. Or even completely missing him. Also there are crossbows and CROSSBOWS, just look at modern military crossbows which are as deadly as professional sniper riffles, while waek ones barely kill a rabbit. And in df no matter what you shoot and no matter what you shoot with, just shoot. Shhoting anything but copper or silver is a waste of good metal. Good you make studies like that, maybe Toady will change some values a bit, to make some differences.

BTW from reallife ballistic point of view silver bolts would be useless.
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MaximumZero

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2012, 02:22:27 am »

Holy ‼SCIENCE‼, Batman!
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Sus

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2012, 04:05:03 am »

This, indeed, is ☼Science☼.
Of course, as an engineering major, I'm mostly interested in the practical applications, i.e. optimal bolt-making materials, which seem to be silver and steel (the latter being much more resource intensive).
Conclusion: Silver is the optimal material for bolts in terms of both availability and damage potential.1) (Fake) bone seems an adequate supplement, although the results are, of course, only approximate in that case.

In any case, I salute your impressive statistical analysis.
♪ so the ‼Science‼ gets done
and you make some neat *silver bolts [20]*
for the dorfs that are
Still Alive...♫

1) This seems to be a significant deviation from real-world physics, where iron and bronze are far superior bolt materials. Steel, of course, is quite effective in real life as well.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 04:20:07 am by Sus »
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Zivilin

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2012, 06:13:20 am »

As for the 20 tile tests, I just used a layout like this:
...
MF..................TP
MF..................TP
MF..................TP
...
where "M" is the marksdwarf, and "T" is the target.  I set up rows like this from top to bottom.  There is nothing stopping the targets from dodging or moving closer to the shooters, but they don't tend to move much as they fall over in less than 2 hits.  Still, when I say "2" or "20", those distances are approximate.  "2" is actually probably much worse, as the shooters can attack targets say 2 over, but 18 down.  I should probably put in walls so that it's 1v1.  It's on my "to do" list, but I won't get to it for a while, so if you wanted to do that let me know.

I would think that doing it 1vs1 would produce more reliable results - it eliminates some randomness from the experiment. I shall be directing my time now towards testing the effect of Marksdwarf/Archer skills on crossbow performance. Some of my preliminaries have been quite surprising...

I think your data clearly show that the "Totally Overpowered" nature of Crossbows lies in their ability to deliver incapacitating bruises under any circumstances.

Material matters so little in the realm of causing an injury because the non-penetrating impacts act as though the target had been hit by a sledge-hammer.

Crossbows are like freaking hammer-guns or something.

In light of Pirate Bob's revelation about plate armor and chain mail, I redid two Copper vs Steel experiments, only one had defender dwarfs equipped with steel caps instead of helms, and the other had 6 hoods in addition to a steel helm (like the wiki Armor page advises).

There was no significant difference in the results: around 60+% of headshots cause brain tear, 30+% cause upper spinal tear, there is around 5% of skull fractures and single incidents of only muscle tears - same as helms only. It seems that head gear offers practically no protection against projectiles. Only when the materials deflect (e.g. wood/bone vs candy) do these percentages change.

So it seems You are largely correct, since any non-deflecting bolt has the same chance of getting a headshot and killing the dwarf. The chainmail factor protects from heart tears and throat tears (converting them to heart bruises and throat bruises), but there is no such way to protect the head. Only deflections can save dwarven heads, and these practically never occur in regular circumstances.

TL;DR : use any metal bolts vs armoured oponents, and pretty much anything vs unarmoured opponents.

The definitive conclusion of this study, really :P I should have used that as the title.

Conclusion: Silver is the optimal material for bolts in terms of both availability and damage potential. (Fake) bone seems an adequate supplement, although the results are, of course, only approximate in that case.

It depends on the map, in the end. I always seem to find copious amounts of tetrahedrite, so I'll usually be going all copper in the ammunition department. I prefer to keep the silver for high value furniture/crafts, and silver doesn't have all that large of an advantage over copper (also, with tetrahedrite I have 4 times less silver than copper :P )
 
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Pirate Bob

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2012, 07:01:14 am »

I would think that doing it 1vs1 would produce more reliable results - it eliminates some randomness from the experiment.
I agree totally that 1v1 is more reliable, and I will update my testing arena to allow for this when I get the chance.  Unfortunately this means rewriting all my macros, which is non-trivial...

there is no such way to protect the head. Only deflections can save dwarven heads, and these practically never ever ever occur in regular circumstances.
I think between us we have recorded ~10 million hits, and say maybe a million of these to the head, and never seen a single deflection of metal bolts.  I think this is close enough to 5 sigma that we can just say "never" :P.

Also, to state more explicitly what you're saying, chainmail does not cover the head, just the neck, ears, and maybe face?  It definitely doesn't protect the brains.  Even if it did, it would probably just convert "fracturing the skull and tearing the brain" into "jamming the skull and bruising the brain". 

Since we're talking about chainmail, I have partial results for dwarves wearing only chainmail:
Of those hits on armored areas, about 38% are converted to bruises, provided the armor is equal or better than the bolts.  Note that wearing only chainmail doesn't improve its effectiveness - because I only record %(non)serious for armored areas, I get %30 for fully armored dwarves with mail shirts as many of the hits to armor hit areas covered by plate but not chainmail.  Given my results to date, I propose that the best equipment for dwarves might be helm, breastplate, mail shirt, mail leggings, gauntlets and low boots.  I do not know how mail leggings would compare to greaves for melee combat, but they are clearly better (but still don't really do that much) against arrows, and are also much lighter.  Also, presumably high boots are preferable, but not readily available in fortress mode.

Hans Lemurson

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2012, 08:16:22 am »

Wait, so am I understanding this correctly that your results indicate that wearing a Breastplate over Chainmail actually offers a NEGATIVE protection value against bolts?
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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2012, 10:45:53 am »

Wait, so am I understanding this correctly that your results indicate that wearing a Breastplate over Chainmail actually offers a NEGATIVE protection value against bolts?
No, that is not correct, but I'm glad you asked.  Plate armor does nothing against bolts, but also is not negative. 

My data is somewhat confusing, because I only count %(non)serious hits against armored areas.  When dorfs are wearing full plate (breastplate, helm, boots, gauntlets, greaves), there are areas which are covered by plate, but not chainmail.  These get counted in my tallying of serious/nonserious wounds through armor, and bias the results towards more serious wounds.  I tried to explain this in my post about the chainmail only data, but I guess I wasn't clear enough.

I really need to analyze the %(non)serious as a function of body part, more like what Zivilin has done, so that it is clearer that in both cases areas protected by chainmail have some damage reduction, and that plate provides no protection.  Unfortunately its not as simple as just looking at which armor is penetrated in the logs, as it only lists one of the armors in cases where there are multiple layers, but it can be worked out from recording hits vs body part.

My current hypothesis is that chainmail converts edged damage into blunt damage if it is made from an equal or better material than the bolt.  I'd like to test this by modding bolts to do blunt damage and compairing with hits vs. chainmail at some point, but I probably won't get to this for a while.

I suspect that plate armor has a chance to deflect a blow if it is made from equal or better material and if the momentum/energy/??? of the blow is not too high.  Currently metal bolts are way too high.  I am unsure if metal armor does anything to limit the penetration of the bolt if it is not deflected.  I have some initial data suggesting it might, but again not enough to slow down supersonic javelins :P.

Regarding the bolt momentum/energy, as I indicated above, I estimate that DF bolts weight about 500 grams by comparing the weights of weapons/armors with their real world counterparts, however the weight wiki page suggests that weight in Urist is equal to weight in kg, and I have confirmed that steel bolts weight 1.17 urists (117 for a stack of 100).  Does anyone know if it is true that urists=kg?  In either case this is VERY heavy for a bolt/arrow.  The bolt velocity is determined by the [SHOOT_FORCE:1000] and [SHOOT_MAXVEL:1000]  of [ITEM_WEAPON:ITEM_WEAPON_CROSSBOW].  My testing indicates that you have to reduce [SHOOT_FORCE] below 100 to have any impact on performance, which suggests that all bolt speeds are determined by [SHOOT_MAXVEL:1000] with the 34.11 parameters.  This would help explain why heavy (silver) bolts seem to perform slightly better than lighter bolts.  Note that I have not carefully confirmed this yet, so it's possible that the speed does change at higher forces but just not in a way I can detect.  Anyway, I am curious if anyone has any idea what a velocity of 1000 means in DF?  Toady had indicated "This is just to make sure a near-weightless object doesn't go faster than the string could possibly go", so it seems like it must be very fast.  Are the units tiles/tick, meters/second, urists/break?  If they are in some strange units, is there a way to convert to real-world units?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 11:09:05 am by Pirate Bob »
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MaximumZero

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2012, 12:30:55 pm »

I wonder what the outcome would be if you used modded metals? Given lead's density, it may be hellaciously damaging (it always seems to be in my games.) Platinum should have the same effect, but moreso. Aluminum, being light and stiff, would probably turn out like candy...

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Re: Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2012, 01:25:24 pm »

Hi everyone. Someone linked me to look at this study and I, having nothing better to do, typesetted it in LaTeX. Then someone suggested me to show this to the author, so here it is!.

(I also did the last one by OP) I like your style, keep it up!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 01:38:27 pm by andycyca »
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