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Author Topic: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?  (Read 1502 times)

Colonel Sanders Lite

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2018, 04:28:47 pm »

So my main question is, what are some things I can do to get a small squad up and running maybe within a couple hours of play time after starting my fortress?

I embark with two soldiers and enough raw materials to make the stuff to fully equip them.

If you want the full details, see here.

These soldiers will start training immediately and get their equipment as soon as the smiths produce it (ASAP).  From there, finding a weapons grade metal and mining some of it is my top priority.  Putting together a simple fortification and enough crossbows and ammo to allow me to draft everyone who is not a professional soldier (up to about 40 dwarves) is my second priority.  Training and equipping new professional soldiers from migrant waves as they come in is my third priority.

Note that these should be interpreted as general rules I use 90% of the time, not 100%.  In some embarks, it may be necessary to do things differently.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2018, 04:33:36 pm »

Goblin siege triggers are for population only, their wealth triggers are disabled (in vanilla DF).
Really? The wiki still says, under Wealth, that sieges, ambushes, and megabeasts are all driven by wealth. If it's wrong, that's a major error.
Yes. It's wrong. Lots of things on the wiki are out of date apparently.

Yeah, this is just the nature of having years of information and lore available for a game that's always changing and evolving.

You should be somewhat skeptical of *anything* you read about DF unless it explicitly states that it applies specifically in the version that you're interested in.

Even then, if you get information from an old beard, you need to be alert to the possibility that the information is no longer accurate and is just being carried over based on the bias that is formed by having played older editions.
--Strokes beard thoughtfully--
So true!

A month or two from now everything we know about sieges probably won't be true any more.

Heck the whole, 'sieges only come from the nearest site to you' turns out to have been changed recently and that's taken almost 4 years to become 'common knowledge'. People will still be citing it on Reddit several years from now...
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Xyon

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2018, 06:19:23 pm »

I haven't played in months, but I have been planning how to get military started.

I think you should plan to have two dwarfs in your embark be given the "teaching" skill and.. "discipline" skill? I'm not sure for the second skill yet, but armor use, fighter, or dodger seem like good candidates as well.

Start off with leather and make some leather armor.  A wooden shield and training weapon would be nice but may be optional. You could also bring material to make them bronze weapons if you really insist they have weapons to begin with.

Get them set up to start training as soon as possible.  They most likely won't need metal armor or weapons until you get more dwarfs anyways, and metal armor will slow them down too much if they are needed and their armor user skill isnt high enough to keep them from being weighed down by their armor.

When you get.. maybe 20-30 dwarfs, have each of your original military dwarfs split off into seperate squads, and then put one additional dwarf in their squad so you have two squads of 2 dwarfs each.  Hopefully they will be able to quickly tutor their single squad mate to bring them up to speed. Then of course, when you feel like you can comfortably field four squads of 5 dwarfs each, split off each of those dwarfs to lead their own squads again, and add in the new recruits.

The main idea is to try and take advantage of the teaching skill to instruct new recruits and hopefully increase their skill gain. By this time your squad leaders should hopefully have high enough armor user skill to wear metal armor, and then slowly their new recruits can switch from leather to metal too.
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FengL0ng

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2018, 04:08:35 am »

I split important skills between them too so they can teach each other.
But usually it takes ages for them to gain skill. Having one as proficient
teacher/spearman might help a lot, good idea!
I found them to run fast enough with mailshirt, highboots, shield and
spear out of copper. They wont outrun Hyennas but they sure get those
Mandrills.
Leather armour seems like a poor compromise once a werebeast pays your
map a visit.
But at least wooden shields seem to be a must have in any case.
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Haytrid

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2018, 09:34:04 am »

I must say I also struggle to get any kind of effective standing military going.  I usually just rush towards self sufficiency underground and wall myself off from the outside world.  I also never play with trade caravans (as I am going to be walling myself off anyway).  In the rare cases I do need to access the surface I have the "trap laden windy corridor" and some chained dogs but I use it sparingly and wall it off as soon as I'm done.

The problem with my method is that I then experience early decadence as I usually can't effectively breach the caverns without some kind of military (or I have to layer all kinds of traps, bridge-falls, etc when I do).  Or I breach and wall off immediately.

All this being said, I really need to start a game where I focus, at the outset, to do military so I actually learn it and stop being lazy.

What is the most current and/or useful guide on 'all things military'?
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Werdna

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2018, 12:11:18 pm »

This is long but very thorough.  I play no traps/no turtling/extra attacker civs so I rely on military intensively:
  NCommander's Ultimate melee guide

A quick summary:
- Get in the habit of taking two dwarves from embark and/or a third of your first migration wave, and set up your first squad for training.  Don't worry about teaching, or discipline, or prior military background yet - that's all min-maxing, and interesting for advanced players, but it is really NOT necessary.   They'll train just fine without it!
- What is necessary is establishing the habit of setting some dwarves aside early, and getting them training non-stop.  It's a wall of initial set-up to get squads started and equipped - follow NCommander's screenshots - but it's followed by virtually no management whatsoever, if you've done it right.  They just train. 
- For vanilla DF, for no turtling, no traps defense, I recommend a military to civilian ratio of 1:4.  The key thing is training and armor - the earlier you start training, the more badass the dwarves will be, keeping them ahead of the threat curve, and minimizing losses. 
- Start with making them non-metal armor sets, then move up to metal armor later.  Metal is heavy and slows down training early on.  If you start your training early enough, they'll be ready for metal armor by the time you've got a metal industry going (assuming you don't embark-allocate with one ready).

It is totally possible to mow down 100's of goblins per siege within a few years of embark with just a few squads of melee military without the slightest reliance on traps, bridges, animals, or marksdwarves.  It is really only a question of getting them drafted, equipped, and training early.  The trade-off is a labor-deficit on early fort development that you'll need to mentally hurdle, and bruising your brain a bit with the military screens - which thankfully are mostly set once, and forget.

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Dragonborn

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2018, 06:31:27 pm »

To smelt everything up I need:
1 Anvil -> 100pts
10 Tetrahedrite Ore -> 90pts
1 Coke -> 10pts
10 Bituminous Coal -> 60pts?

I use the Coke to burn the first stack of bituminous coal, which yields a net gain of 7 coke I think.
The 100 blocks I take should be 600pts. Usually I take Rutile, because I like purple : D
Those 10 Tetrahedrite yield 30 copper and 10 silver, I think. So enough to smelt the mechanisms
for the trap, spears, shields, mail shirts, gauntlets, high boots and helmets. I'll add breastplates
later. Oh and a battle axe and one or two picks. If you can get Malachite take Malachite, but I
usually don't get lucky with that.
The rest of the points are skills and food. So you can get a full start for your tool and armour pro-
duction with roughly 260pts. And you will have fuel for days.

This is pretty much what I do.  Though I will point out that unless you are in a evil or hostile biome, I would set up your furnace on the surface and make your metal bars there.  Ores and rocks are heavy.  If you try moving that stuff underground ASAP, you'll tie up your dwaves in a lot of lengthy hauling.  It's no big deal if you wait for your migrant wave.  I try to minimize hauling time for the starting seven.  Bars are a more lightweight.  I've found it easier to smelt everything I have ASAP and then move the resulting bars to an underground stockpile.
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Xyon

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2018, 11:05:41 pm »

To smelt everything up I need:
1 Anvil -> 100pts
10 Tetrahedrite Ore -> 90pts
1 Coke -> 10pts
10 Bituminous Coal -> 60pts?

I use the Coke to burn the first stack of bituminous coal, which yields a net gain of 7 coke I think.
The 100 blocks I take should be 600pts. Usually I take Rutile, because I like purple : D
Those 10 Tetrahedrite yield 30 copper and 10 silver, I think. So enough to smelt the mechanisms
for the trap, spears, shields, mail shirts, gauntlets, high boots and helmets. I'll add breastplates
later. Oh and a battle axe and one or two picks. If you can get Malachite take Malachite, but I
usually don't get lucky with that.
The rest of the points are skills and food. So you can get a full start for your tool and armour pro-
duction with roughly 260pts. And you will have fuel for days.

This is pretty much what I do.  Though I will point out that unless you are in a evil or hostile biome, I would set up your furnace on the surface and make your metal bars there.  Ores and rocks are heavy.  If you try moving that stuff underground ASAP, you'll tie up your dwaves in a lot of lengthy hauling.  It's no big deal if you wait for your migrant wave.  I try to minimize hauling time for the starting seven.  Bars are a more lightweight.  I've found it easier to smelt everything I have ASAP and then move the resulting bars to an underground stockpile.

Depending on whats available to your civ for taking on embark. I like to bring malachite and casserite.   One unit of fuel and one of each ore will make 8 bronze bars. Bronze is better than copper for weapons/armor, and you can use less fuel making the bars which saves some fuel for making items.
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Colonel Sanders Lite

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2018, 09:19:53 am »

This is long but very thorough.  I play no traps/no turtling/extra attacker civs so I rely on military intensively:
  NCommander's Ultimate melee guide

Just a little above this post, I mentioned that you should be very careful about information for old versions of the game.  I haven't read it in full detail recently, but there is at least one example of a major error in the linked guide.


For sparring, a dwarf must be at least novice in their weaponskill. Dwarves with unequal skill levels *will* spar, but not frequently.

This information is definitely not correct in v43.05.  I'm not sure when it changed exactly.

Sparring requires fighter 3.  No other skills.  In recent experiments, I found that dwarves with high skill levels where far more willing to spar, regardless of the skill levels of their potential partners.
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Werdna

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2018, 10:50:11 am »

This is long but very thorough.  I play no traps/no turtling/extra attacker civs so I rely on military intensively:
  NCommander's Ultimate melee guide

Just a little above this post, I mentioned that you should be very careful about information for old versions of the game.  I haven't read it in full detail recently, but there is at least one example of a major error in the linked guide.

Agreed, and apologies for not reminding folks while posting the link.  However, I believe that guide is still quite relevant and valuable for its guide of how to set up the military screens.  If there's a more recent or more clear guide, I encourage people to post it, and I'll remove the link in deference.  I'd be more than happy to bookmark it myself.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 11:03:07 am by Werdna »
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Colonel Sanders Lite

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2018, 09:06:51 am »

Sure, it's still pretty relevent, and useful to a new player.  I'm just reinforcing the point that you can't take anything that even a good an information source says as ironclad.
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Pyrite

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2018, 04:57:25 am »

I tend to build an initial tiny fortress, and then as I dig deeper I convert that fortress into my fortress' Tavern, which is open to the public, and has inn rooms available. I use said rooms to recruit tons of mercenaries to fill out my squadrons.
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Sutremaine

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2018, 03:04:50 pm »

Sparring requires fighter 3.  No other skills.  In recent experiments, I found that dwarves with high skill levels where far more willing to spar, regardless of the skill levels of their potential partners.
Interesting. I've noticed lately that dwarves seem unwilling to spar unless I send them out to throttle the wildlife first. It's definitely Competent level? Do all parties need that skill level, or can a skilled dwarf invite an unskilled one to spar?

Edit: Well. I had one dwarf at Competent Fighter, another at Adequate, and the first thing the latter dwarf did after enough live combat to boost him to Competent was go to a sparring session. Better send that last dwarf out to bust some capybara heads.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 04:10:04 pm by Sutremaine »
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I am trying to make chickens lay bees as eggs. So far it only produces a single "Tame Small Creature" when a hen lays bees.
Honestly at the time, I didn't see what could go wrong with crowding 80 military Dwarves into a small room with a necromancer for the purpose of making bacon.

Xyon

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2018, 06:26:18 am »

I had two military dwarfs in my fort training together for 2 years, were high master in a lot of skills, legendary discipline, etc.   They didn't spar as frequently as I figured they would, did a lot of individual combat drills.  I did have 2 dwarf training orders set for their squad.
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alpha

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Re: How Quickly Can You Raise a Military in Your DF Games?
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2018, 06:27:54 am »

The importance of starting early can not be stressed enough. For me military starts with first migrant wave.
Wooden shields, sharp weapons from bronze or iron (and/or silver warhammers) depending on what's available. Added later are metal helmets, and mail shirts, gauntlets, greaves.
By year 2-3 they are axe/spear/hammer lords, also good at shields, armor and dodging.
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