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Author Topic: A New Way to Breach Aquifers: The AFM!  (Read 1485 times)

NordicNooob

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A New Way to Breach Aquifers: The AFM!
« on: April 17, 2019, 08:13:06 pm »

The Advanced Freezing Method
A revolutionary new way to breach shallow to middle depth aquifers in freezing biomes!



What is The Advanced Freezing Method?

The Advanced Freezing Method (AFM from here on out) is a fancy new way to breach aquifers in freezing biomes. It is extremely fast and can breach up to three layers of aquifer within a season, even using a single miner! It is unfortunately limited in the amount of places that it can be performed, as the method can only breach three layers of aquifer before fizzling out. It must also be performed in a freezing biome1, as the ending walls will be made from ice.

A unique part of the AFM is that it can function as an addendum to the regular freezing method. Those familiar with the method know that using the freezing method requires a pit whose size is dependent on the depth of the aquifer you want to breach, which follows the formula of (2x + 1)2 to determine the area of the first layer you dig, where x is the depth of your aquifer. The AFM allows us to subtract three from x, which would mean that when you try to breach a 6z aquifer, instead of having to make a pit 169 tiles in size, you would only have to make a pit 49 tiles in size. So for our theoretical 6z deep aquifer, we would do the regular freezing method for the first three layers and then switch over to the AFM for the last three.

The AFM itself is rather complicated (hence the advanced in the name), but when done properly it is the fastest way to breach aquifers in a freezing biome. If you are not comfortable with the game's mechanics regarding fluids, light, and z levels, then instead take your time and pursue the regular freezing method. While the AFM isn't extremely easy to mess up, the third layer gets somewhat tricky and you can still flood the bottom of your stairway irreversibly.

The AFM also requires a single tile capable of being used for construction, as well as, obviously, a pickaxe. In a challenge embark where there is no ice (the AFM traps all resulting ice in ice walls, so you can not use any ice from it) and you have brought nothing but the anvil and copper nugget needed to forge your pick, the ash you used to make your forge (or the extra copper bars from the nugget) can be used. Four construction materials is preferred for maximum speed, but you can make do with one if need be.

I first found the AFM in a challenge fort, when I was attempting to quickly breach an aquifer using the freezing method. The aquifer was much deeper than I had planned for, and so I had to quickly attempt to re-design my failed breach method in order to get by. Unfortunately, I messed up while working on the third layer of the now-developed method, which resulted in the fort starving to death with only a single layer of aquifer between it and the caverns.




Doing the Advanced Freezing Method

The numbers presented on each layer references what layer they are in the game menu's top right corner. Layer negative three is above layer negative four. Layer numbers with an A after them are aquifer layers. The left image in each step is what designations are made in that step and the right image is what the end result should look like for that step.

Step 1
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Step 2
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Step 3
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Step 4
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Step 5
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Step 6
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Step 7
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Step 8
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Step 9
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Step 10
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New Discoveries

As a new discovery, the AFM is merely the true form of the regular freezing method rather than its own method. All three layers can be done with any size staircase or channel-hole (only the centermost staircase is suggested, for larger shafts the outer stairs will need to be removed to allow freezing), although due to the third layer taking an excessive amount of time it may be more efficient to just have a slightly wider hole. I have personally tested this in a real situation where I underestimated the depth of my embark's aquifer (which is becoming a disturbingly common occurrence), and had completed the third layer of the AFM. I did step three and four on the lowest level of my regular freezing method's hole, which gave me an extra z level to perform steps five through ten on the original AFM hole, albeit transcribed down one z level.

I may have to post pictures to better describe the exact machinations at work in the situation, but for now text can describe that you can indeed make much larger staircases through an aquifer using the AFM, and also apply the principles of the regular freezing method to enable much more effective and rapid aquifer breaches.



Further Development

I don't believe that the AFM is fully developed. It may be possible to breach the fourth layer, but due to strangeness with tile classifications, I have been unable to get any farther than three.

I also have a few open ended curiosities about some various portions of the method, which I'll list here, as well as my best guess. I might pursue answering some of them myself, but others (like "Is there a fourth layer to the AFM") will remain unanswered because I've already tried my hand at answering them.

What is the deal with the "weird" ice tiles? Can dwarves walk over them? Do they behave normally in all aspects?
   Guess: Weird ice behaves normally in all aspects.

What happens when ice melts while there is a wall constructed over it? Is the water annihilated or does it flow out?
   Guess: Water will flow out of the constructed walls rather than being destroyed.

Can the middle staircase be made into a 2x2? How about a 3x3? Can it be of arbitrarily large size?
   Guess: Yes, any size staircase should function the same.
   EDIT: The correct answer is yes, you can!

Is it possible to add a more crude method to the bottom of the AFM, or is the aquifer breach doomed to fail if you try to breach four layers with the AFM?
   Guess: No, your aquifer breach will fail if you try to breach more than three layers using only the AFM.
   EDIT: The correct answer is yes! It is annoying, but by expanding your hole in width you can gain extra layers without completely starting over.

Is there a fourth layer to the AFM?
   Guess: No, it is not possible to remove all the ice walls above at the same time, thus barring you from ever being able to freeze the fourth layer.



Updates

4-17-2019: Created
4-19-2019: Multi-tile breaches tested



Footnotes

1 With some modifications (replacing ice with walls via the method used in step 7, as well as having a drain area at the end of your staircase for the resultant overlapping ice walls that may or may not melt), speed, and a little luck, it should be possible to do so in a cold biome, but I can't recommend it.

2 Yes, I hate that they're both slightly off-sync and that only one of them uses show priorities. The priorities are shown on purpose so you can see what I recommend for doing step 1 all in one designation. I suggest prioritizing your channels even if you do dig the staircase first.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 10:31:17 pm by NordicNooob »
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!!SCIENCE!!
The AFM
Stories:
Badwild
Suckerdungeons

Hans Lemurson

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Re: A New Way to Breach Aquifers: The AFM!
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 03:01:33 am »

I'm always partial to new Aquifer-piercing techniques! 

I just embarked into a freezing biome (with an aquifer) to try out various digging techniques, but one of my miners got encased in ice, and then the aquifer layer proved to be only one tile deep.  I'll need to find a suitable embark location to give this a proper test.
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Foolprooof way to penetrate aquifers of unlimited depth.  (Make sure to import at least 10 stones for mechanisms)
Toughen Dwarves by dropping stuff on them.  (Nothing too heavy though, and make sure to wear armor.)
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Robsoie

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Re: A New Way to Breach Aquifers: The AFM!
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2019, 11:51:07 am »

It's always a good idea to keep working area small when piercing frozen aquifer so indeed the piercing go fast, and still be very cautious about who is involved.
In the past i had a lot of fun with doing that but on a large zone
http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=15096.msg6728490#msg6728490

Well not that fun obviously for a specific dwarf.
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NordicNooob

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Re: A New Way to Breach Aquifers: The AFM!
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 08:58:59 pm »

In the past i had a lot of fun with doing that but on a large zone

Freezing your miner is a pretty common happening, yeah. The freezing method can be dangerous for this reason; your only miner encasing themself in ice with your only pick can be quite problematic. I have lost a miner this way before, but granted, I was not using the AFM at the time, which is a little safer due to the lesser amount of channeling needed.

Being careful with your designations can be a biggie, but there's still a small possibility that Urist McMiner will channel a tile, then go grab a drink, pathing right into the freshly dug tile just as water fills the hole in and freezes. As a more complete fix, restricting pathing on the level below the one you're channeling should fully prevent this stupid pathing, but it seems a mostly unnecessary precaution.

Multiple miners in the same hole can also cause problems by channeling stuff out from under each other, but there's not much that can be done about that. In theory you could design your designations in such a way as to make that impossible, but the impairment on your own time is too great for that to be worth it.
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!!SCIENCE!!
The AFM
Stories:
Badwild
Suckerdungeons