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Author Topic: Custom vs normal stockpiles  (Read 529 times)


  • Escaped Lunatic
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Custom vs normal stockpiles
« on: April 16, 2017, 03:46:37 pm »

What are the pros and cons of having a single custom stockpile that allows hauling and storage of all items vs individual stockpiles for specific categories as is default?


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Custom vs normal stockpiles
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 04:53:58 pm »

It depends on your playstyle and needs. Also whether you mean "use the Custom Stockpile choice in initially designation" (which I never do because...) or (... I instead am always) "designating, say, a Stone stockpile then immediately/later recustomising additional classes of material into it".

In short, though, whichever way you do it you should avoid having "refuse" alongside food and/or clothes, but as an initial underground store to take everything from the wagon into safety it saves time.  But you might want to exclude the "stone" class (as well as refuse) from this take-all stockpile, as gathering stones from your tunnels will doubtless distract the hauliers from bringing the food and anvil underground, etc.

If I do make a master stockpile, though, I will also use it as a memorandum for what further stockpiles I create. Once I create a dedicated Food stockpile, Food will be removed from the "everything" pile (both to shift it and remind me), or if it's a seed stockpile, just the seeds, or if rock nuts get their own stockpile, I remove just them (or remove them from the Seeds stockpile, having removed seeds from the Food stockpile, having removed that from the Everything stockpile, in a multi-tiered act of redelegation).  I may have multiple stockpiles for something (e.g. multiple single-tile stockpiles for alcohol barrels, next to similarly multiple single ones for Prepared Foods, all taking from the respective master alcohol/PF tiles to put sustenance near to dwarves that might need them) but by that stage I am picky about mixing these end products in any coverall...

But that's a personal playing style.

The major disadvantage of a single (almost-)all-inclusive stockpile is, or at least was, job queueing issues. But when your workforce is limited this isn't always so obvious.  If it saves you time designating, use Custom Stockpile (or customise a given base of stockpile to cover more bases) just to save you the worry.  I still start off creating multiple 'strips' of stockpile, though,
 even if they are initially all the same. Once I want to separate tradable crafts (crowns from sveotwrs from rings from earrings, etc), if I have seven or more different Finished Goods stockpiles, I can redifferentiate them down into one subtype each (at least, if not further splitting a larger multiple into quality/material differentiations, too) and wait for the hauliers to stockpile-shuffle them across as necessary, or with a  forced dump/unforbid cycle to encourage this to happen.

But that gets into advanced technique (and personal preferences) territory....


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Custom vs normal stockpiles
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2017, 07:48:25 pm »

An 'accept everything' pile has disadvantages, especially if built underground:
  • Corpses & refuse (vermin body parts, rotten food etc) will degenerate to miasma underground. There are some bodyparts you may wish to be stored (bone, shell etc) but anything'll deteriorate quicker in a 'refuse' stockpile than a dedicated one
  • Furniture takes a lot of room: 1 tile per item in most cases. Dedicate a large furniture pile ASAP when starting & allow it wheelbarrows (furniture takes lots of strength to haul, reducing time per job); you can move this to a more convenient spot later, but in the first few seasons you're likely to be building a /lot/ of furniture (dooors, beds etc)
  • Food (esp. unprepared) needs its own pile, preferably outside due to miasma issues. Rock pots will store items more efficiently & keep vermin at bay, but  once you're overproducing food it /will/ rot! - plan for this
  • Fishing can be equally helpful/harmful: while it's great to have a couple of fishers + 1 cleaner they'll soon overproduce, leading to miasma problems if the product is brought indoors. Assign them their own pile (outdoors, near your fishery) purely for unprepared fish & the waste
  • Having a ammo pile near the entrance(s) helps to allow your xbow/hunter dwarves equip more efficiently; likewise weps/armour piles near your training area(s) (armour/wep stand only takes 1 item each)
  • Any goods you're making to be sold (eg cut gems, crafts, finished goods) should go to custom trade area piles next to the depot (even if only 1 or 2 bins per pile); this cuts down on time taken for bins to be hauled there when you want to trade
  • Specialised piles for your (future) specialised areas aren't a bad idea: cloth/soap/gypsum for your hospital, for instance, or specialised ore/flux/block areas for your smelters/metalsmiths
As a starting point in order to get all gear off the wagon ASAP it can work reasonably well.. provided you remember to set up specialised piles soon after (this is invariably my failing point!)

NEVER set up a general stockpile to accept all stone, refuse, corpses (or wood if in a biome where wood is easily available): the hauling jobs generated will soon overwhelm your dwarves & lead to a full & fairly useless pile. Once you get established it can be useful as a clearinghouse tho..

Once again: a pile set as 'refuse' will deteriorate its contents at a rapid rate, so avoid using it except possibly as a QSP dump for worn clothes etc
« Last Edit: April 16, 2017, 07:50:24 pm by Snafu »


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Custom vs normal stockpiles
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 04:14:42 pm »

I only use the stock leather and wood stockpiles. Occasionally I will set up a stock stockpile of another type but that is always temporary and usually replaced in a season or two.

Here is a custom stockpile example. If I just set up two magma smelters 200 z's into the basement and I want some dwarfs to hang out there and smelt ore to make bronze, then I build some beds, tables and chairs to make a dining area. I set up two 2-square barrel'ed stockpiles, one for Drinks only and one for Cooked Food only. I set those stockpiles to Take from the main Drink and Cooked Food stockpiles so there is always a bit of each available. I set up two stone stockpiles with 3 wheelbarrows each, one for tetrahedrite and one for casseritite. One smelter is set to Take from both of those ore stockpiles and has jobs to smelt the ores (because if you do not link the smelter to the stockpiles, that dwarf who just left the tavern to start a smelt job will decide to hand-carry some ore from up top, down 200 z's to the smelter). The other smelter just smelts the bars into bronze.
How did I manage to successfully apply the lessons of The Screwtape Letters to my perceptions of big grocery stores?