23 October 2013

Another Dwarf Fortress part 3: The Second Siege

I am playing Dwarf Fortress again and here I am, writing about what befalls my fortress. Check out the first and second part, before reading this one.

After the attack, several of the dwarves became depressed, having lost friends and family in the fighting. The dwarven children on the other hand were more content, as the dead invaders had brought clothes for them to wear (producing clothes is something I still haven't quite figured out). The population was growing and I was preparing for the next attack whilst also working on the betterment of the fortress.

I thickened the walls to double stength, mostly for stilistic purposes as I have yet to encounter anything that can break walls in the game. I started enlarging the living quarters and built a large second meeting hall, as well as a statue-garden and more kitchens on the second level below ground. Furthering metal-production, I was dead-set on getting all my close-combat dwarves into a full set of metal armor before the next big attack came. Food production would be advanced by creating more farming-plots underground on the third floor below ground. I also set up a prison, even though i do not know how to use it.

After a while, my two injured militia dwarves, the heroes of the battle of '253, were recovered enough to get back to sparring and training with the rest of their squad. By early 254, all ten members of the close-combat squad were equipped with full iron armor in addition to the weapons of different sorts of metal they already had. When another migrant-wave arrived, getting my population up to 151 dwarves and including quite a few dwarves of martial skill, I started considering the formation of a third squad, another unit of close combatants.

An elven caravan arrived at the fortress and the dwarves started hauling cut gems to the trade depot, which was situated in the kill-zone in the fortress-entrance. It seemed routine and nice enough, the ice of the river had just melted, it was the summer of 254. Then the goblins came.

It was three groups of invaders, this time. The survivors of the first raid had obviously told their friends back home that a dozen goblins wasn't gonna cut it with this fortress. Two identical squads of goblins came from the south-west and the north-west, each of them consisting of thirteen pikemen and a leader clad in steel armor, armed with a two-handed scimitar. The third group came from the south, eight large trolls armed with clubs. The invaders almost outnumbered my military by 2:1.

The first victims are, of course, dwarves outside, working on lumberjacking the forrest to feed the coal-ovens needed for the production of precious metal. As they have brought their babies around to work, they die with their dying children clutched in their arms. It is a horrible sight but there is nothing I can do. There are three squads of attackers and I have only two squads of my own and I know that the crossbowdwarves are dead when outside on their own. My militia needs to stay inside the kill-zone, ignoring the wails of the dying brothers and sisters outside.

When the trolls enter the outer gate, the elven traders on the trade-depot panick and charge into the waiting military dwarves as well as dwarves carrying stone outside the fortress. The ensuing chaos is terrible, blood and screams and dying everywhere in the cramped passage between outer and inner wall. Civilian dwarves die by the score and the elves aren't helping at all (unlike human and dwarven caravans, apparently elves aren't really into defending their trade-goods). Distracted by so many targets, the trolls are easy prey for my close-combat squad as I order them to attack though.

Meanwhile, my militia-commander, leader of the crossbow-squad, has somehow got himself stuck outside, not in the arrow-slit-bunker that overlooks the kill-zone but infront of the outer wall. There are panicked civlilians fleeing back and forth and the commander camly stands there, loading his crossbow, firing it at the goblins, reloading and firing. As it didn't seem like the crossbow-squad had been firing from its bunker in the first place, I order them and the close-combat squad to the front of the fortress, hoping that they can save some of the civilians being butchered infront of the main gate. This would prove to be a mistake.

I had gotten bold by the easy victory over the first four trolls that had entered my fortress. None of my militiadwarves had gotten hurt and I figured, the iron armor was working even better than I had anticipated. While the two groups of dwarven fighters scrambled through the masses of wounded and panicked civilians, elven traders and elven pack-animals in the kill-corridor, my militia commander made his last stand infront of the gate. Firing bolts at a group of goblins coming for him, missing, hitting one but not killing them, then they were on him, their leader killing him with a single swipe of his mighty scimitar. The crossbow-squad wore only (cat-)leather armor that offered no protection. My militia leader didn't suffer.

The rest of the military finally scrambled out the main gate. Two more trolls fell onto them and there were some stray goblins around but the second group of goblins was somewhere in the northwest, chasing around a panicked miner. I positioned my crossbowdwarves at the main gate and sent the armored, hardened close-combat squad around the fortress so they might help the poor miner. They were too late.

As the miner dropped dead, the goblins charged into my squad of assorted melee-weaponry. In the open field and on a roughly 1:1 basis, the goblins were more dangerous than in the tight confusion of the kill-corridor full of civilians. Warhammers actually drove bones crushed bones through organs, pikes severed nerves inside legs, scimitars took off hands - the fighting was incredibly bloody. Meanwhile, the crossbowdwarves at the gate fired on the remnants of the first goblin-squad, peppering them and their retreating leader with bolts.

When the fight in the northwest died down, one of the milita dwarves was dead and most of them quite badly wounded. Only one dwarf was unhurt and listened to the command to get back to the gate to help out the crossbowdwarves. But he was more than enough. Mebzuth Cagithmonom was a hammerdwarf who had, at this point, killed eight goblin pikemen and a troll in this battle alone. He had been one of the two heroes of the battle of 253 too, having slain two goblins on that occasion. He ran back to the gate, followed the trail of blood that the goblin leader was trailing behind as he was trying to crawl away from the dwarves. He bashed his head in with his mighty warhammer and the remaining five surviving goblins and two surviving trolls fled.

The victory had come at a very high cost though. My population had dropped by thirty, even though I had only lost three militiadwarves. Twenty percent of my population had died, and I had yet to find out how many of the militia were ever going to be able to fight again. Mebzuth was immedeatly named new commander of the militia for his incredible bravery and proficiency with that warhammer of his. I will need to be better prepared the next time. It is time I finally look into burrows, so I can actually tell my civilians to hide inside the fortress, once the enemy shows up...

No comments:

Post a Comment