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Author Topic: What kind of metal for military purposes?  (Read 1163 times)

Seolferwulf

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What kind of metal for military purposes?
« on: March 02, 2020, 08:07:52 am »

Hello there,

I've recently started trying out Masterwork and now I'm confronted with the question what material to use for armors and weapons.
Masterwork got a plentiful selection after all.
So I've written a small java program to run some simulations based on the information in https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Masterwork:Metal and https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Weapon.

The results:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

For now only one layer is tested and only for a handpicked selection of materials.
Also only results where the weapon succeeded in penetrating the armor layer are shown here, to keep the list short.
The number at the end of each row means the weapon penetrated the armor layer with one or more of its attacks.

Are the test results making sense to the veterans here?
If not then the simulator probably still got some bugs.

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smakemupagus

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 02:37:55 am »

This was relevant to my interests since I designed some of the materials, and I like data.  But, I'm not sure I understand the results.  Do you only use/test blunt weapons?  Then yes, you best want deep bronze or volcanic, but they are end game materials, not easy to acquire (and only dwarves have access to Volcanic).

Steel will still almost get the job done if you are some kind of little people.  If your obsidian macuahuitl or iron axe isn't gettin er done, you just need to recruit a bigger orc.

For hammers, Orichalcum, ebonglass, deepbronze, volcanic are upgrades.  Probably in that order.  All those are also going to do quite fine for edged weapons.

For light, strong armor or edge weapons mithril or ashglass are good, and adamantine is best.  Those will all be bad for blunt weapons.

There are some other nuances that almost certainly never affect any actual game in any way, and my wife has referred to as "easter eggs for materials scientists who played too much Morrowind and spend their free time browsing the source code of Dwarf Fortress mods," which i choose to take as a compliment. 

Seolferwulf

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 06:57:10 am »

Thanks for the pointers.
I was looking for that kind of information but google coudn't give me anything specific.
I wanted to find out what should be used for rigid armor, mail shirts, edged and blunt weapons, shields, etc. to get the best configuration for most situations.
Hence the java program.

My dwarves already have all the materials needed for deep bronze and mithril, still need to figure out how to make those, though...
In MDF 44.12 the job manager doesn't know how to make deep bronze bars and the reaction materials for mithril seem to differ from the wiki page (silver + flux instead of silver + steel).
Since I got an OCD for efficiency losing silver because I chose the wrong reaction would make my heart bleed.
Did the reaction change by any chance?

The program simulates attacks on a single rigid layer of amor with all of the weapon's attack "modi" available (strike, bash, etc.).
If one attack "modi" punctures the layer an internal score is increased, which is the number at the end of each row.
Tested are both edged and blunt attacks.
Though I'm not sure what's the best measure to assess a weapon's success.
Any ideas for this?
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Meph

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 07:42:17 am »

Testing materials for combat is not very precise due to all the other factors in combat. That's the reason I base most materials on existing metals. Like ironwood or bloodsteel. Even mithril is just lighter steel. I tried to make it easy for the players to learn.
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Seolferwulf

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2020, 11:28:00 am »

I see, seems like I just wasted a sunday :x
I'll play around with the program a little more, maybe something interesting will come out of it.

As for armors:
Assuming one has access to volcanic metal, does it make sense to equip a dwarf with a deep bronze mail shirt underneath to absorb blunt damage?
Or does it slow him down too much for the benefit?
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smakemupagus

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2020, 12:16:43 pm »

Some years ago in response to a thread much like this, we pulled this together.
https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Masterwork:Metal
it gives usage notes as well as the raw numbers.

(edit:  Oops, sorry i didn't see that you were already using this Wiki as your source, i read your original post on my phone.  sorry for any confusion that caused ;) )

According to that wiki page mithril is actually a little better than steel, just a little but enough to be worth the upgrade if you can (for armor and edged weapons only -- it's much too light for hammers).  Since Meph remembers otherwise, I am not sure if that info is still up to date.  Maybe someone with the game at their fingertips will check.  If not i can look it up this weekend. 

The results of the simulator looks a little off to me.  In game, edged weapons will do fine, and "piercing" (very small contact edged weapons) will do very fine, at penetrating armor.  Especially if armor is of metal inferior to the blade.  From your description it doesn't seem like the tool takes into account the weapon user's size or strength, which matters very much.  Small wielders might want to stick to spears, large or strong wielders can use blunt or wide-bladed weapons.   

In Dwarf Fortress, as IRL, armor can deform without failing, hurting or mangling the wearer inside, which I'm also not sure the tool is telling you anything about.  There is enough fidelity in DF's metallurgy model to capture that metals can be strong (not deform much) or tough (not break easily), or both.  Steel is pretty good on both counts so it is a good baseline.  Crystalline weapons (ashglass or ebonglass) are strong but brittle -- their fracture toughness isn't better than steel, but they shouldn't deform and crush you inside at all before they break.  Orichalcum and especially deep bronze are very tough, but still somewhat deformable. 

Finally, different metals can have relatively better resistance to impact (orichalcum) or shear (mithril).  So, if you are really detail oriented you might want to layer mail and breastplate of different materials.   

Volcanic is superior to all other modded metals for everything, so if you have that, basically you should use it. and adamantine is still best for armor and blades. 

I didn't think dwarves can make deep bronze.  But I haven't played a full game in dwarf mode for a very long time.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:33:02 pm by smakemupagus »
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smakemupagus

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2020, 12:21:29 pm »

Assuming one has access to volcanic metal, does it make sense to equip a dwarf with a deep bronze mail shirt underneath to absorb blunt damage?

Nope, for armor, volcanic is superior on all counts.  Only switch out for adamantine.

Make your blunt weapons out of deep bronze or ebonglass though.  (edit:  because they're so much denser)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:29:58 pm by smakemupagus »
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Seolferwulf

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2020, 01:08:17 pm »

Thank you, that answers alot of questions.
Then I guess I'll have to get deep bronze from somewhere else, if dwarves can't make it.
I somehow had just assumed they'd be able to.
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Meph

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2020, 03:14:01 pm »

They had very limited access to it due to archeology. It's one of the random treasures you can find sometimes. Otherwise no deep bronze.

And yes, volcanic was designed as high end material. :)
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::: ☼Meph Tileset☼☼Map Tileset☼- 32x graphic sets with TWBT :::
::: ☼MASTERWORK DF☼ - A comprehensive mod pack now on Patreon - 250.000+ downloads and counting :::
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Seolferwulf

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 06:03:37 am »

Buying relics and stuff would be an option, since the treasury isn't short on finances.

https://imgur.com/a/xysrSQV (image tag doesn't seem to work...)

Regarding the simulator:
Creature size and strength are actually taken into account; dwarven average of 60000 and 1250 for size and strength respectively.
Deforming on the other hand is not considered at all.
Maybe something is still bugged or the combat formulae on https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Weapon simply aren't up to date.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 06:08:12 am by Seolferwulf »
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Meph

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 08:28:50 am »

Maybe I misunderstand something, but how are the results to be read?

I only see a long list of:
Artifact Adamantine Mace vs. Well crafted Copper Armor: 1
Artifact Adamantine War Hammer vs. Copper Armor: 1

Edit: nevermind, I got it. Read the description again. It's only about armor penetration. I'm curious how it translates to actual fortress combat. For example volcanic-clad dwarves are much slower than mithril-armored ones. Who might be better against a group of archers?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 08:33:25 am by Meph »
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Seolferwulf

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Re: What kind of metal for military purposes?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 03:20:44 pm »

If the mood strikes me again maybe I'll continue where I left off.
Right now I'm pretty occupied with unhappy dwarves (44.12 really isn't making this easy) and a balrog infestation on the surface.
https://imgur.com/sSBZVlS
Damn things popping out more of them as soon as the creature limit allows.
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