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Author Topic: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military  (Read 2941 times)

RedEthmoid

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Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« on: March 29, 2015, 07:41:33 am »

I'm getting better at DF, but I still take too long to get a good army going.  The most I did was manage to get two 10-dwarf squads equipped with wooden shields and axes of various metals.  I had to trade for all my metal, couldn't find any deposits underground, so that was very time consuming.  I was able to cheap out on the shields however, b/c I could just carve them out of wood.  I think part of the problem is that maybe I'm not digging deep enough for metals?

Also, are some weapons less resource intensive or more economical than others, that I should be focusing on?
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utunnels

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 07:51:48 am »

The earlier you start their training, the better. Because once they gain enough shield and dodge skills, they can survive without armors.
As for weapons, axes are OK because you can train using wooden training axe, but hammers are the cheapest if you want to buy weapons. Whips are over powered because they ignore armors.

Cheapest uniform:

leather armor
bone helm
bone gauntlets
bone greaves
leather high/low boots
leather/wood shield
war hammer

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TheFlame52

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 08:29:55 am »

If you've got obsidian, make stone short swords.

Bigheaded

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 09:41:02 am »

Personally, i start every single fortress with 2x fighter dwarves and immediately put them on training when i embark (just put them in the corridor on the entrance.

All they need to begin with is weapons. Getting them shields early helps also (wood is probably the best, try and get good quality ones).

With 2x copper swords or 2x copper warhammers or 2x copper axes and given maximum training time they will slaughter all early goblin rushes (presuming goblins have no/minimal ranged attacks).
If you use therapist, you can see easily at embark, which are you two best dwarves for the role (speed/strength is what i look for mostly, but the other stats matter also), without it, you can just have a good guess anyway. How good they are with weapons matters little, as it will change if you've put 5 points into their weapon ability.
I put 5x points into weapon ability and give one of them 5 points in dodging. Occasionally i will give the other 5 points in armor/shield use, as this helps them learn these abilities one heck of a lot faster. (i.e if you didn't get either of them dodging, it will take ~3 years to get a noticable level of it, whilst if you give one proficient, this will improve +1 per year and the other one will match it in a year)

I will then personally equip them in copper if i can get any (or embarked with ~20 copper ore), if not, i purchase iron and sell roasts (i bring a cook with me also) and use that for new weapons and armor.
This is just a personal way of doing things, i believe using leather is equally effective for armor.


You may say this is very costly, using 2 of your first 7 for your military, but on the other hand, i've used this squad of two, to take out 30+++ goblins and receive no damage in return. It will also possibly save you dwarves, if defending yourself has been an issue.

If you do not wish to use 2 of the starting 7, i suggest using 2 of the next wave, choosing the ones best in weapons (again therapist) and start then. Make sure you can make 2 weapons (i personally don't like training weapons, i very rarely get injuries from training, it only seems to happen when you have a skilled dwarf versus an unskilled dwarf).

Lastly, train them in squads of two, to encourage sparring.
4x squads of two will completely annihilate one squad of 10. Make sure these squads of two use the same weapons, not necessary, but again helps as they train each other in those weapons and learn them faster than mixed (based on own playing, not 100% sure how accurate this is, i do know mixed does work also, but never seems to be as good)

Given that, here's how i defend my fort at x years with ONLY melee and no other defense (although traps are also excellent)
1 year: 2 dwarves
2 years: 2 dwarves
3 years: 2-4 dwarves
4 years: 4-8 dwarves (may get one injured in fighting at this stage, replace should this happen)
5 years: 8-12 dwarves
6 years+: generally should be thinking of other ways of defending yourself. melee can only do so much.
even with ~10-20 melee dwarves, fully equipped in decent iron equipment, you should still reach ~10 years against armies of 80 goblins. My forts usually collapse because they're unhappy their military friends have died in combat and can't seem to get over the spiral.

I would suggest if the cost is an issue of getting 2x proficient weapon users, one with proficient dodging to use copper short swords. (if cost is really an issue, bring copper and forge your own swords). Whilst these are pretty poor later on, they are good enough for 3 years until you can trade for better weapons.
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Loud Whispers

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 09:57:22 am »

Crossbows and marksdwarves are your friend. Wooden bolts, wooden crossbows, wooden shields, metal bolts if you have any metal to spare (copper is usually always in abundance) - massed ranks of marksdwarves will ruin goblin sieges, and no matter how many run away or are incompetent, the mechanical power of a crossbow will more than make up for the individual dwarf's lack of skill. Cross train your marksdwarves with a melee weapon so as they become more experienced and seasoned soldiers, you can transition into a more expensive and heavy infantry army.

In general, swords (blade quality metals like copper and above or obsidian) and warhammers (copper or silver) are the cheapest melee weapons. If you're not too worried about losing too many dwarves, just stock up on swordsdwarves and hammerdwarves. Speardwarves if you expect to face giant organic creatures. Axedwarves are a long-term goal, and rather expensive - doesn't hurt to have three axedwarves in your army though.

Pwned dwarf

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 10:54:14 am »

iron, is as abundant as copper on some sites, and is much better for armor & cutting weapons
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Saiko Kila

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 01:35:06 pm »

If you bother with wooden shield, then at least make a small team of executioners. Two should suffice. Preferably with picks (iron, bronze or steel), you can first train them as miners and then disable mining and enlist. Otherwise your marksdwarves will faint from over-exertion before they pulp that troll's head with their shields. And don't even start with goblins with copper helmets.

It's very easy for marksdwarves to make goblin unconscious, it's something entirely different to make him dead. Goblins rest comfortably while being bashed, then rise up and show your dwarves how to do it properly.
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RedEthmoid

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 03:15:50 pm »

I like the idea of having a crossbow based army, but would that cost a lot of bolts for ranged training?
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Loud Whispers

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 03:56:27 pm »

I like the idea of having a crossbow based army, but would that cost a lot of bolts for ranged training?
Metal bolts are made in stacks of 25 and wooden and bone can be farmed from functionally infinite resources, provided you have a tree farm or animal farm. Add that to an archery range with channels on either side to recollect as many bolts as possible (with some designs offering 100% bolt recover rate, and some smelting arrangements allowing you to actually screw thermodynamics and make more bolts than you started out with) and training comes cheap. Archery demonstrations also use no bolts, as they are just a dwarf teaching the other marksdwarves what they know about marksdwarfship. Skill in marksdwarfship is also of less importance than the other martial paths, with enough Dwarves all goblins will be incapacitated. Killed is another matter, but they will be rendered incapable of killing your Dwarves. Place aforementioned marksdwarves behind fortifications and they will be nigh on unkillable by anything that isn't also ranged.

Saiko Kila

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 04:16:18 pm »

I like the idea of having a crossbow based army, but would that cost a lot of bolts for ranged training?

Yeah, mine use thousands. Copper and bones are probably the best for training (because copper and bones are abundant, and you train weaponsmiths and bone carvers), and can cope with goblins too. As for training, if you assign archery targets for dwarves, then they train even without scheduling (schedule inactive), as civilians. That means if a dwarf is generally lazy (or underused, like cheese makers or threshers) but likes to shoot, then he will be spending most of his time at the shooting range. Or in barracks.

BTW, it's probably good to have their barracks overlapping with shooting targets. Then they don't waste time travelling and switch between individual combat drill and shooting. I.D.C. trains discipline, which is useful for any military. I put beds in such barracks. Dwarves can have a job named "Individual Combat Drill/Resting". They are apparently so lazy that they train while resting.
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AceSV

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 06:04:34 pm »

I'm getting better at DF, but I still take too long to get a good army going.  The most I did was manage to get two 10-dwarf squads equipped with wooden shields and axes of various metals.  I had to trade for all my metal, couldn't find any deposits underground, so that was very time consuming.  I was able to cheap out on the shields however, b/c I could just carve them out of wood.  I think part of the problem is that maybe I'm not digging deep enough for metals?

Also, are some weapons less resource intensive or more economical than others, that I should be focusing on?

If there's Iron on your map, it's always close to the surface and never very deep.  Tetrahedrite (copper/silver) can form anywhere from the surface to the bottom.  Gold is weirdly ubiquitous, but not helpful for military. 

I usually find silver and copper much more readily than iron or tin (for bronze), and silver warhammers are arguably the best melee weapon as it is the heaviest weapons grade metal.  Copper should also be decent for blunt weapons.  However, most enemies will not be wearing armor, which makes edged weapons a better deal in the long run, and silver and copper are not great at cutting. 

An alternative to producing weapons is to produce large volumes of textiles for trade.  A large crop of above-ground textile plants can produce enough wealth per year to buy out half of the trade shipment, and it's incredibly easy to set up.  Almost all biomes should have at least one kind of above-ground textile plant, rope reeds and hemp being the most common.  Gather Plants, Process Plants at a farmers workshop and boom, you've got a bunch of seeds to start your textile farm.  Pig Tails don't work so well because they only grow for half the year.  The trade-off for this plan is that above-ground farming requires a more complicated defense strategy, definitely involving constructions.  Note that goblins can totally climb walls. 

The other alternative to making weapons is taking weapons.  A weapons trap full of wooden spikes can probably knock out a goblin or two, leaving their buddies too scared to go past the trap and leaving their weapons lying on the ground for you to take when the siegers get bored and leave.  You can also just seize the weapons from an elven or human caravan, or use dirty tricks to steal from the dwarven caravan. 

Also, live training is way better than sparring.  Rather than let your squads sit around pinching each other, order them to kill any wild animals that wander into your map.  This will also give you an idea of how fast your militia can be deployed.  This is kinda dangerous, but very few surface animals will try to fight back, and fewer still are actually capable of damaging dwarves with weapons and armor. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 06:09:21 pm by AceSV »
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m-logik

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2015, 07:57:11 pm »

Dwarves can have a job named "Individual Combat Drill/Resting". They are apparently so lazy that they train while resting.

This happens when a dwarf becomes tired while training. The ones that do that are your hard workers; they're exhausting themselves and still train on.
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Sanctume

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2015, 11:52:32 am »

1 Dwarf to equip them all.
Wood burner +1
Furnace Operator +1
Armorsmith +2
Weaponsmith +2
Metalsmith +2
Metal Crafting +2

Embark with :
Anvil
10 Cassiterite
10 Malachite

Smelt Bronze: 1 cassiterite ore + 1 malachite ore = 4 bronze bars.

10 metal bars is neeeded to make a set of armor: mail shirt (2 bars), helmet (1), gauntlet (1), high boots (1), greaves (2) and breastplate (3). 

1 bituminous coal = 8 coke (fuel)
1 lignite ore = 3 coke (I think)

I like to bring 3 turkey hens + 2 turkey gobblers.  But their poult when hatched, takes 2 years to become grown turkey.
However, if I want early leather, I bring 1 turkey (6 pts), when butchered give 1 leather, +meat, and +bones.
For uniform, I like to make leather: cloak, hood, mitten, and trouser. I skip socks.
That's 4 turkeys for the cost of 24 embark points. 
Backpack, and waterskins can wait until caravan.

krenshala

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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2015, 04:27:24 pm »

Embark with :
Anvil
10 Cassiterite
10 Malachite

Smelt Bronze: 1 cassiterite ore + 1 malachite ore = 4 bronze bars.

10 metal bars is neeeded to make a set of armor: mail shirt (2 bars), helmet (1), gauntlet (1), high boots (1), greaves (2) and breastplate (3). 

1 bituminous coal = 8 coke (fuel)
1 lignite ore = 3 coke (I think)

Actually, its 1 cassiterite ore + 1 malachite ore (or copper nugget) gives 8 bronze bars when smelted.  It takes additional fuel, but if you bring tetrahedrite instead of malachite or copper nuggets you can turn them into bars to get (0-2) silver plus the copper you are after, giving you the materials to make bronze bars for both bronze bladed and silver bludgeoning weapons.  Using malachite or copper nuggets is definitely simpler to manage, however, especially if you need to get tools/weapons made asap.

1 bituminous coal gives 9 coke, but requires 1 fuel to make, for a net gain of 8 fuel.  Lignite provides 4, but requires 1, for a net gain of 3.  I usually embark with 1 log specifially to turn into charcoal to get this process moving without having to scuttle the wagon for wood to start the smelting process.
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Re: Need Advice for Creating a Cheap, Fast Military
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2015, 04:36:20 pm »

If your using chain shirts and high boots you can forgo greaves according to the wiki. Saving metal.
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