20 November 2013

Another Dwarf Fortress part 5: Breaking the Cycle

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

A human caravan was camping out in my fortress entrance and I was desperately enlarging the tombs so all of the dead dwarves could  be buried. The question on whether I could manufacture coffins faster than the dwarves were dying was answered with the first ghosts appearing in front of the fortress gate. Bummer. I also noticed that the cistern was being haunted, as some dummy dwarf had managed to drown in it. Still, the dying was slowing down and the dead militiadwarves were replaced soon enough.

Building more burial space...

When summer came around, the human caravan was still there and the trading-post had somehow broken down. I quickly built an new one when a dwarven caravan came around. The traders did their thing and I bought a lot of alcohol for my populace to drown their sorrow on. The humans were still there with their pack-animals, not doing too much. I didn't mind, as I could use the extra swords. When my dumping-pit started fuming with miasma, I made the tragic decision to take off the roof above it, creating a hole in my central entrance to let the fumes out so dwarves would still be able to dump garbage in there. A lethal mistake for the outpost liaison, who decided to hang around on the spot that was being trenched away on top. I imagine that not much was left of the guy after falling for ten z-levels...

A small goblin attack massacred the humans and yaks encamped in the fortress entrance. A yak went on a rampage, attacking my dwarves but it was stopped when Mebzuth, my militia commander and most heroic combatant punched it in the snout with his iron-greave-clad fist. Yak-teeth flew everywhere and the beast collapsed.

Red Y: Dead yak. Little white 2s: Teeth. Yep.
When summer came around and the river finally thawed enough for water to flow again, I emptied the cistern with the drainage-system I had built into it so the dead dwarf on the bottom of the stairs could be buried and the water was no longer haunted. Refilling it took most of the summer and I also decided to add a hatch on the top of the stairs leading into the water so no more fisherdwarves got the idea to go fishing and drowning down there. As the river in this area is frozen 3/4s of the year, the cistern is very important to the survival of my dwarves.

Sweet, sweet potable water rushing into the cistern.
When the next goblin attack came, I felt more ready than usual. Sadly, the dwarves lacked the discipline it would take to wait for the enemy to come to them, individual dwarves rushing forward and getting killed when they should have waited behind. Me sending the rest of the close-combat squad after them to save them, only to end up in a position with no fire-support from the crossbow-team... I lost a lot fewer dwarves though, as by now I had learned to confine my civilians to the underground-part of the fortress. Five dead militia and only four dead civilians. Also, Mebzuth ripped out a goblins tongue:

"He doesn't really care about anything anymore." is code for "doesn't-give-a-fuck-badass".
The next step was to implement traps. If goblin sieges would eventually become as large as I had read online, losing five dwarves to ten goblins wouldn't cut it anymore. I'd need effective static defenses. And I just happened to have dozens of goblin weapons lying around...

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