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Author Topic: Tired of losing  (Read 966 times)

Fikilili

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Tired of losing
« on: February 21, 2021, 05:21:28 pm »

Losing is fun. Alright, I know. Git Gud, I know.

It is in an exhausted mood that I share to you the grim tale of my incompetence. And sometimes, I feel like I'm looking for all of this. All these fails, all these mistakes.

So I just lost another fortress. To a first siege. Again.
I can't stop being overwhelmed by migrants, or stuff to do. Last time I was razed by a siege, I was determined to have a full on military power as my next fortress. But then came the priorities; "Oh, I gotta get the dwarves some drinks", "Oh yeah, they need a well, so I need to dig", "Oh, we need metal for our armor, but there's not hematite or whatever", "Oh, we farms and food", "Oh we need stonecrafters to sell stuff to merchants", and then I end up doing another fortress with little to no military. The fact that the military screen is confusing, and making armor and weapons, and assigning those to the dwarves is so freaking LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.
So I'm like "Okay, you can't get to fight. Alright. So how about a bridge to protect the dwarves?". Even though I suck at defenses, I'm relatively good at keeping dwarves fed and well. I can basically set up an underground colony and have enough food stocked for years to come so that my dwarves don't need to go outside while a siege last. The "Brigde" strategy has worked a total of three times. But I keep failing because; One, my english is ass, and two, I keep forgetting how to make bridges properly, or even pay attention as to how they retract. So everytime I ask dwarves to pull the damn lever, the brigde just simply disappears! And they all die like idiots because none of them are bothered to learn anything from their training.
Sometimes, the sole source of defense of my fortresses are the rangers. I always had plenty of luck regarding them. They always come in masse and make Hunter Guilds. And they learn how to shoot with crossbows faster than my lazy, pint-drinking, good-for-nothing militias. But then, you know how these lads last when a siege arrives.
I'd be tempted to do something with traps, but I'm not too knowledgable on them.

Anyway, I'm tired of dying to one simple siege and wish to make my militias actually worth something while keeping a functionning fortress. Any tips besides linking me the wiki's guide?
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HMD Majesty

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 05:57:17 pm »

What you could try is setting the Entrance inside a Pit, which you then cover with a retracting Bridge.  This has been Our preferred Entrance Design for some Time.

If you choose to do this, you will need to remember to build a Second Entrance.  We normally use Stairs, and when the Entrance is complete We have a Wall built within the Stairwell to destroy it.  Another option would be a permanent Second Entrance covered by another Bridge.

Also, it is possible to order Squads to train while inactive.  We use this to make Our Dwarfs train as Wrestlers before We obtain Equipment, as even unarmed and unarmoured Dwarfs are dangerous when you have Fifty of them.  They will still obey Civilian Alerts so long as they are not training.

We hope this has been of Use to you.
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Salmeuk

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 06:22:07 pm »

I feel you. Losing is FUN if you feel like you had a fighting chance, but otherwise, it's a drag.

I would focus entirely on military, so much that you struggle to feed or clothe your dwarves, as this will help you understand how little it actually takes to get a trained, equipped military.

Give 4 starting dwarves military skills, like Swordsman or Dodge or Shield User, and use all 10 points. Embark with your weapons of choice, and dig a small room to turn into a barracks. The other 3 dwarves can easily keep everyone fed and while growth will be slow, you can rest easy knowing you have 4 military captains training 24/7.

With your first migrant wave, recruit almost everyone into 2 squads, with the most skilled of your starting 4 acting as Captains. This will jumpstart the recruit training. Meanwhile, focus on building a fighting arena or a place to funnel invaders so you can control the fighting. Some sieges can only be fought a little at a time - let some goblins inside while trapping the rest outside.

In a year or two you will have a couple of equipped, trained squads. However, combat is random in nature, and sometimes things don't go your way. That's when LOSING is FUN, imo, after you gave it your best.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 06:36:46 pm »

Echoing Salmeuk: Losing and learning from the experience is interesting and useful, while just being stomped into the ground for no apparent reason isn't.

Using bridges: After hooking up the bridge to a lever, TEST the lever to verify that the bridge works as desired (hooked up to the correct bridge, the bridge being of the correct kind, etc. I always make my bridges [that don't actually bridge a gap] two tiles long because single tile bridges don't give a visual cue to their state).

I've been using passive defenses (cage traps) rather than military because:
- Cleaning up the post siege mess has been mentally crippling for the haulers (should be improved in the latest release)
- Cleaning up the mess takes forever and diverts all my low pop fortress hauling resources to that rather than productive hauling, and often isn't finished when the next siege shows up.
- DF military is suicidal and can't be controlled: once released they'll spread out and fight until killed or victorious (using bridges you can create kill zones with a limited number of enemies, though, and thus kill the enemies a few at a time, and once a batch has been killed off you can control the morons again).
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anewaname

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 07:55:53 pm »

It is difficult to create a militia that can fight off early goblin sieges, and early undead sieges will crush a militia. But, make a militia to attack predatory animals.

Your earliest defense can be a narrow tunnel with two doors. When invaders arrive, 'q' to lock the doors and order dwarfs to construct a wall in the tunnel to block it. You can de-construct the wall after the siege is over.

If you are not familiar with traps, start with "cage traps". I had a happy fort with maybe 2000 prisoners and maybe 300 cage traps.

Traps and raising gates can be exploited to completely protect your dwarfs, and while you are learning, you should use those exploits.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 07:16:50 pm »

If you're still unused to things and feeling overwhelmed, then pause.  All commands should be given while paused.

Likewise, militaries are hard to get down when you're new.  Look up how to build traps (and I don't mean just one-tile traps, but whole engineered death chambers), and rely upon engineering solutions rather than military ones.  Put walls up that invaders have to path around, and then put cage traps and stonefall traps in the corners they're expected to go through.

Make your main, useful entrance have a drawbridge and close it tight when a siege starts, then open up your "siege entrance" that requires going through a zig-zagging narrow ledge filled with weapon traps and above a deep moat.  Make sure you have a marksdwarf tower set up to fire through battlements at this shooting gallery.

If the enemy gets too close, just close that drawbridge and open the other one to force them to go back the way they came.  Close that drawbridge then, and open the "siege entrance" again once they've left.

In fact, a simple, yet highly effective early-game delay tactic is to just build doors.  Doors take a long time to break down, so make an entryway filled with 20 doors.  If you need a more permanent defense, a hatch over a ramp where those outside the fort need to enter from below is unbreakable.  (Also, put doors just behind your fortifications, so that they're only open when the dwarf is standing next to the fortification.  This prevents dwarves from trying to fire from far away from fortifications, and also reduces return fire's likelihood of hitting those not standing up on the battlements and firing down.  Remember, you want a "lip" outcropping at least 2z-levels high to prevent climbers.)

A lot of experienced players will refer to tactics like these as cheap and prefer to "fight like real dwarves", but it's a well-known fact that you can just "turtle up" by making all your entrances impossible to destroy (such as raised drawbridges) and never, ever fight fair until you're more confident.

Also, in general, just read the wiki.  My first time playing, I went through the wiki for about 3 days trying to look over all the advice there, and my first game lasted until a game-killing bug (a "siege" that never ended even after killing all the enemies), but by then, I'd made a fully mature fort with a queen and everything.
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TheyreAllGullyDorfs

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 04:28:46 am »

NW_Kohaku has the right idea.  Traps!
Make deep pits and have bridges over them set to pressure plates right behind them so the first goblin dooms those behind him to plummet down the deep pit you dig and place spikes at the bottom.
Training archers is a lot of effort right now and their combat deployment is so specific its almost better to think of them as wizards, my advice for you is make traps, make lots of picks and do insane amounts of mining to train your pickdorfs to master level.  Skillfully wielded picks are devastating against humanish size targets.

Traps traps traps

Quantity over quality, make the weapon trap with 10 crummy weapons in it, use all weapons that aren't high quality as traps and keep only the best weapons for your soldiers.  Cage traps and boulder traps always work so use your lower quality mechanisms there, save your highest quality mechanisms for weapons traps because they help the weapons hit!

And if you want to get REAL crazy try to make a minecart track with powered rollers to send minecarts launching down the corridors at invaders or loop them in endless loops to batter and crush any invader! Just be careful to have a couple ways of turning the powered rollers off so you don't end up killing your own men.
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recon1o6

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 05:36:37 am »

Something else, civilian burrows. In my fortresses I always have two safe rooms so to speak with pickaxes, food and drink and a couple of metal bits and a forge that can be sealed by drawbridge or better still, indestructable artifact door.

When a siege happens, all none disposable civilians are sent to them as a precaution and entrances blocked. This ensures even if my military has a few bouts of artifical stupidity too many, my actually valuable workers are safe and I can build back up once the siege gets bored and leaves.

btw, smallhands over in community fort, went down to 2 living dwarves and 1 undead, later one of the living died. Smallhands clawed its way back from that and has entered the halls of legend. So if even a single dwarf survives, your fortress will survive

Lock that vampire in the switch room!
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towerator

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2021, 06:21:42 am »

From my experience,  the key to a successful fortress is to start your metal and armor industry pronto. You'll want to produce your first bars of whatever you can manage before the end of the first year, and start armor production and militia training as soon as the spring migrant wave comes in. A few cage traps should deal with any early bird problems such as cyclops or small goblin raids, and your militia should be strong enough to be sent in a real fight by the end of year two or the beginning of year three, as your population exceeds the 80 threshold.
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Cathar

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 07:49:50 am »

Any tips besides linking me the wiki's guide?

The big ones :
Do not embark near a goblin civilization.
Do not dig through acquifers.
Food and alcohol production is more important than anything else. Start by that, do that all the time.
Do not drink water.
Do not do anything harder until you have completed a fort in the easiest setting
Play with the wiki open.
Enjoy losing. If you're not ready to lose DF is just not the right game. DF is made to crush your hope and slap your whole psyche into introspective mode. Losing is fun, it's not just a funny catchphrase, it's the game design philosophy.

The military :
Start your military as soon as you have a migrant wave, keep their numbers at roughly 20% of your population. At first train them with your spare wood axes, keep the metal to make more axes, equip them with leather armors. You can buy leather to your civ. Upgrade to metal armor when your military is on the tracks.
Copper axes and wooden shields are enough for most non military threats.
Enclose your fort, leave only one or two entrances, and have military training near it.
Attach guard animals to ropes so you detect threats early.
Cage traps.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 09:10:38 am »

There are many possible approaches that are usually successful if implemented correctly.

The easiest one is to ensure you can lock yourself in and wait out the siege (one season or one year, with a small number of oddball exceptions). This means ensuring food and drink gets indoors and that you have to ensure sufficient building materials to keep going is present. The key dangers are to screw up you your entrance blocking measures (such as not hooking up the bridge or making it retracting rather than raising), wait too long to close it in the hope of saving that last straggler who is trying to save that precious boulder from the invaders, and early weres wreaking havoc because you haven't been set up were warning stations (possibly because you haven't had time to do it) so they're effectively inside before you detect them (visiting weres are extremely dangerous).
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 04:08:36 pm »

Are visiting were's still a thing in 47.05?
Would have thought they come under "stopped shapeshifting visitors" fix.

Not that that fix seems to have worked properly...

--
Oh, I see on Reddit that someone's had a visiting werepanther in 47.05, oh well....
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 04:16:17 pm by Shonai_Dweller »
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Fikilili

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2021, 03:53:21 am »

Enjoy losing. If you're not ready to lose DF is just not the right game. DF is made to crush your hope and slap your whole psyche into introspective mode. Losing is fun, it's not just a funny catchphrase, it's the game design philosophy.
Call me an amateur while you're at it
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Cathar

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2021, 07:20:59 am »

I wouldn't dare - you are an easily tired professional.
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towerator

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Re: Tired of losing
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2021, 08:26:10 am »

Enjoy losing. If you're not ready to lose DF is just not the right game. DF is made to crush your hope and slap your whole psyche into introspective mode. Losing is fun, it's not just a funny catchphrase, it's the game design philosophy.
Call me an amateur while you're at it
There are two kinds of DF players: amateurs who think they know the game, and amateurs who think they don't know. Any rumors of a skill level beyond that is faker than elven heroism.
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