Monday, October 18, 2010

Dwarf Fortress

I have absolutely no clue why, but I have found that I've gotten absolutely addicted to this game. Indeed, last night (I think it was last night), I spent half the day, literally, doing nothing but playing Dwarf Fortress. Had the headache of my life after spending 12 hours straight of staring at ASCII.

Now, I'm not new to this game. I don't remember how long I've been playing, but it wasn't a few months ago. I've gotten quite used to the game, its mechanics, the UI, etc. DF2010's military was a bitch, but I've gotten the basics of it down, now. Still haven't harnessed its full potential, mind you, but I've gotten to the point where I no longer complain about it being too hard and can at least see the potential of what I can do there. Ah, regardless, I've been playing it for a time, which is why I have no clue why it is only now that I was stricken with the "I'll stop right after I do this...I should do that too, but I'll quit right after" bit.

Oh well.

I have to say, this current fortress of mine is the only one where I have had a problem with hauling. It always seems I just lack enough hands. Even now, with Spring bringing me at least 10 dwarves, I still have a hard time getting them to work instead of hauling things. Currently, it seems like I have tons of wood cut, and everyone is pitching in to haul it to my inner storage. Two years past, I had about 800 units of meat outside, and it took ages to haul it all in. I was afraid it'd all rot! Still haven't gotten around to putting it all in barrels, but at least it's inside.

I was pretty lucky with my site. Not only does it have enough obsidian to build a Temple to Armok (which I will be doing soon enough), but it also came with elephants. A couple cages here and there, and I have more than 15 war elephants, with 5 more waiting to be trained as soon as some trainer stops hauling wood long enough to train them. I find it a bit annoying how, when assigning war animals to a dwarf, I don't have a choice in which animal to assign to them. I have a couple war dogs, and that's annoying as hell, as I'd rather keep the dogs chained in various locations for thieves, and the elephants as personal war pets.

The land is flat as hell, but that's what I was looking for in this particular fortress. Now, I'm not some prissy elf, nor am I a damn human, but there's something about having a small fortress above ground that extends miles underneath. Reminds me of a glacier.

My defenses are pretty poor, though, and basically consist of hoping my cage traps nab them all. I had a squad of about 6 sword dwarves, all equipped with obsidian weaponry and leather armor, but a goblin ambush of axemen made short work of them. The two human mercenaries killed them all on their own; a spearman and a wrestler, I think they were.

Anyway, as I speak, an ambush of Goblin bowmen attacked. Fortunately, they're on the other side of the river, the only way across which is a small bridge I made.

Unfortunately, a woodcutter is on that side. Also unfortunate, he managed to scout a second ambush squad, this time consisting of Goblin pikemen. I have ordered the men to triple the amount of cage traps nearest our entrance. Hopefully those not caught at the bridge will get caught by our small brigade of War Elephants. And hopefully those that get passed them alive and still have the will to fight get caught in our 'Last Bastion' outside hall.

It's a shame both ambushes came from the same side. Though the majority of the land here is flat, there is a small mountain to the Northeast. I have had the miners smooth the mountain's sides except for a few various strategic locations.

Though, that may be a blessing in disguise. Our entire western front is completely exposed.

In any event, I've received word that the fortress' woodcutter managed to weasel through the two ambush groups, made it past the bridge, and is on way to the fort to eat something, suffering only two arrows through the leg and left hand. Fortunately, he uses his axe in his right.

The Goblins regrouped and are passing the bridge in full force, their forces combined. Their numbers must have been smaller than I first thought, though, as it seems all but three has been caught on the bridge traps. The three remaining appear to be staring in disbelief that their comrades have been taken, and must be reevaluating their goals. We have one sword dwarf remaining, and I have sent an order that he wait just beyond the bridge, to draw them across into the remaining traps. Being bowmen, it will be tough, but he is tough.

Alas, it seems he was too rash, and disregarded orders to retreat, instead charging head first into the fray. He managed to wound one of them quite a bit, hitting him in the gut before slashing both his hands, lower leg, and one of his arms. The wounded goblin is currently passed out in its own vomit and blood. Unfortunately, an iron arrow shot to my Arm's head pierced his brain, and he died instantaneously.
That makes our military numbers to a full zero. Fortunately, last spring gave us enough migrants to afford a small squad of marksmen, and the men have been ordered to cancel their hauling and proceed immediately to training.

The wounded goblin awoke from its stupor and, in a rage, charged passed the bridge, consumed with desires for revenge upon the race that gave him his wounds perhaps. He was immediately caught in a cage. I have made a note of his name so that he may be encased in the room of the Arm. The murderous Tode Dostngospmutog, killer of the Arm, is still biding her time at the bridge with her comrade, ever wary to cross it. When she does, I have given the order that she be sacrificed separate from the rest of the rabble, when the time comes.

It is unfortunate, as I just received word that the cage trap additions to our Last Bastion have been completed. Perhaps they'll  be used some other time. As for now, perhaps that Sacrificial Temple should be moved up a bit in my list of things to do, now that there are sacrifices to the Gods. I have also taken the liberty to designate a safezone for the dwarves to work in aboveground, away from the bridge, as well as a new area of trees to cut. It's just a matter of time until the Goblins cross, and when they do, we will act then. There is no use in acting as if we're being besieged if the enemy isn't even near our walls.

So we shall wait.

Update: It seems one of my newest marksdwarves was already quite skilled with the crossbow. I sent him out, alone but for two war elephants (who never showed up) to draw the two remaining bowmen into cages. Naturally, they opened fire on him almost immediately as he came in range. Fortunately, they missed every shot, and "Lorbam Netdream" returned fire, moving sideways to where I told him to wait while letting loose bolt after bolt. Without my even telling him, he focused all he had on Tode, seeking vengeance for the death of one of our founding seven. He shot Tode multiple times in the chest, to the point where Tode was blacking out from the pain and bloodloss, before Tode realized she feared death and ran across the bridge, stepping on every cage trap already sprung by her encaged comrades, and tried to dart off to safety.

Lorbam would have none of that.
He shot Tode in the leg twice, causing Tode to fall face forward and black out as she hit the ground. By this time, her comrade had spent all his ammo, and charged forward to attack him in melee with his iron bow, planning on smashing Lorbam in the face to save Tode from death.

Lorbam would have none of that.
With a single shot, as Tode's comrade was just a few steps away, Lorbam readied his crossbow and shot him straight in the face with a single bolt, piercing the brain and downing the goblin without even blinking an eye. Lorbam began firing into the unconscious Tode multiple times, in the hands, feet, legs, chest, gut, carefully avoiding her head. Finally, still with two bolts left in his quiver, he walked up to Tode, and Tode died decided death would be preferable to facing this angry dwarf. Tode died as Lorbam was standing over her body.
All alone, Lorbam didn't get a single scratch from those arrows that had fallen the Arm.
He avenged the death of one of The Seven.

 It is unfortunate that we could not capture her, but such a death by he who replaced the Arm as Military Commander of the fortress is more fitting.


  1. I tried dwarf fortress but the ASCII made my eyes burn. I have a friend who plays it religiously and I enjoy hearing his dwarf fortress battlestories.

  2. I could never really get into it...mainly due to the ASCII style. I don't doubt it's a great game though.

  3. Real men start off with 187 cats (no points in any dwarf and no items.)

  4. >I could never really get into it...mainly due to the ASCII style.

    When starting out it's sometimes helpful to use tilesets. It won't be perfect but it's a little easier on the eyes/mind then pure ASCII