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Archery is the practice of shooting ammunition at things -- either at enemy combatants, wild animals, or archery targets. This skill increases the accuracy and finesse of every ranged weapon a dwarf may use.
In order to engage in archery, a dwarf needs four things: a ranged weapon, some ammunition, a quiver to hold the ammunition, and a target.
Assignment of ranged weapons is done through the military equipment screen (m -> e). If you only have a few ranged weapons, military squads get first pick, and then hunters can choose from the leftovers. Squads can be assigned a particular type of weapon, but hunters cannot be controlled so finely.
Assignment of ammunition is done through the military ammunition screen (m -> f) for both military squads and hunters. Ammunition must match the weapon: bolts for crossbows, arrows for bows.
A living target can be selected from the squad menu, by selecting the squad(s) you wish to have attack, then selecting attack target. You can then select a single target with the cursor, a number of targets by enabling selection by rectangle, or selecting a number of targets through a list. Note that if your dwarves don't have the required ammunition, quiver or bow/blowgun/crossbow, the squad members missing these components will attempt to engage the target in melee. There is no way to force dwarves to only attack from range, but adequately equipped dwarves stand the best chance of remaining at range.
To practice archery, follow the steps found on the archery targets page.
- If you assign both arrows and bolts to the same group, dwarves who are holding a crossbow may grab arrows, and dwarves who are holding a bow may grab bolts.
- The way weapons are assigned is bugged. #535 The basic problem is this. Say a hunter that is equipped with a crossbow goes on duty as a marksdwarf. This dwarf will look for a different crossbow than the one he is carrying. One workaround is to have lots of spare weapons.