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v0.31 Talk:Weapon

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I broke his head with my shield while training[edit]

I'm a little confused as to what happened exactly, but I saw this turn of events:

1. Mayor has tantrum 2. sheriff has tantrum 3. another dworf was doing some sort of training demostration with sheriff 4. sherrif hits mayor with wooden buckler(I think), mayor has brain damage and dies 5. "another dworf" dies from some unknown cause (I dont recall :S) 6. Tantrum ends

My question is, did they only get killed because it was a tantrum, or is it possible to kill a dwarf during training, using a shield (As its not classed as a "training" weapon? --Djsmiley2k 10:01, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Thijser wants people to test things[edit]

A lot of tests should be put here http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/User:Thijser/Test so that we can gather as many results as passble. Maybe someone could put this on the basic page aswell. unsigned comment by

Weight of the weapon[edit]

Weight now seems to play a significant factor in determining a weapon's effectiveness. A weapon that is very light (made of adamantine, for instance) will not be as effective as a heavier one. This needs more research. -Moved discussion material to the discussion page Studoku 03:03, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately it is a great deal more complicated than just the weight of a weapon. If the weapon an edge(such as a sword or axe) then the shear values of the material used become important. On the other hand, mass seems to be much more important to blunt type weapons such as mauls and war hammers. But it isn't know exactly how any of this works. It is all very unbalanced right now anyway, partly because Toady intends to add item damage to the combat system in the "soon™". Some of the counter intuitive quirks that are observed are because of the incomplete physical modeling. Some are bugs, others are design decisions that seem to stem from compromises in other parts of DF. Explanations of how the weapon/armor/wound system work from Toady are needed to understand what is going on, though a broad understanding may be possible on the basis of empirical testing. Regardless, extensive empirical testing is necessary to establish and test balance issues. It is all very much still a work in progress, especially given the current rapid rate of bug fix roll outs. It might not be a bad idea to start by creating creature like format pages for each of the weapons and materials, sense they are all in the raws now. -PencilinHand 18:27, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Table of weapons?[edit]

I propose a table of weapons on this page. The list of weapons from the raws follows. --StrongAxe 16:28, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


--I wholeheartedly second this suggestion. This was quite helpful for making a custom shop, so it should either be put here or in a page about item_subtypes. 14:14, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


The military system is bugged as hell right now, but given that, how are training weapons intended to work? It seems like dwarves treat training weapons exactly as any other weapon, and will only train with training weapons if manually equipped or part of their uniform. Is it possible to have dwarves train with wooden weapons and then make a quick switch to real ones in case of an attack without having to wait on the arsenal dwarf to sign off on the changes? -Slothen -- 19:54, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, it's simply incomplete. The only real function you could have for them now is to have separate training squads equipped with them. They seem rather irrelevant considering that the only training I've seen my dwarves do is individual combat drill.The Architect 02:26, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
There's a minor bug, wooden training axes can be used to cut down trees. --TomiTapio 22:57, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Foreign Weapons[edit]


I had a dwarf make a blowgun via a mood. Is this expected behaviour or a bug? Either way I think it should be noted that you can create foreign weapons via moods. EvilGrin 23:28, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

I have seen this too: my strange mood weaponsmith made an iron scourge. I've reworded the opening sentence to reflect this reality. Timbojones 00:22, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Did the dwarf had a certain affinity for blowguns or was he a blowgunner?-- 23:09, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Wooden Weapons?[edit]

Each time I get elven traders, they have wooden weapons and armor for sale. e.g wooden long swords and wooden breast plates. It doesn't say that they are training weapons either. But in the wiki here, it says that you can't get wooden weapons. 05:45, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

If you read the notice on the Foreign Weapons section, you would know that those "allowed materials" are actually useless for unmodded dwarf mode. Since I don't think this page is about modding, I'll remove the materials. --Dree12 16:28, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Wait, what? I've traded for wooden swords et al. from the Elves. Are you saying my dwarves can't use them in melee? If that's true, please include it in this wiki page. I presume they're usable in weapon traps? Please clarify. -- Maunder 05:28, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
You can USE them (if they're not too large, like pikes and halberds), you just can't MAKE them. In general, the "made of wood" bad trumps the "non-dwarven types" good, and you're better off with homegrown weaponry. --DeMatt 05:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Can Dwarves Use These?[edit]

I noticed that the 2010 version has no notes about dwarves not being able to use things like pikes, mauls, two-handed swords, and great axes. Has this changed since 40D? I get a lot of pikedwarfs. Aussiemon 16:13, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

I think they can use pikes and other large weapons if you decrease the weapon's required-user-size. --TomiTapio 22:57, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Ammunition for Ranged Weapons[edit]

How can I make bolts. Or I should trade them instead? unsigned comment by Trepach

As crossbow bolts are native dwarven weapons, you can make bone and wood bolts at a Craftsdwarf's workshop, or metal ones at a forge. Try looking at the page for Bolts instead of just the generic Weapon page. --DeMatt 16:14, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Ranged Foreign Weapons[edit]

Poison on ammunition/weapons[edit]

All the underground races wear only spears or blowguns. The blowgun darts poison the attacked creature. How? Cause they are poisoned. And the poison is on the BLOWDARTS! Just View them and look at the blowdarts. As far as I saw they have either cave spider venom or GIANT cave spider venom on them. So you can poison you weapons by dropping poison on them, but how? --Niggy 18:37, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Dwarves don't have that option. We can extract venom from phantom spiders and cave spiders, but we can't apply it to anything. See Extracts. unsigned comment by Illeist

Immigrant skills[edit]

I've had immigrant dwarves with skills to use bows and blowguns. So I gave them appropriate weapons I traded or fought for. But I can't make nor trade for the ammunition? What? This should be considered a bug. Either let us make arrows/darts, or don't give dwarves the skills. -- Maunder 05:38, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Elves often have arrows. Humans sometimes do. Darts are more a cave civilization thing, and you can't trade with them. --DeMatt 05:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

One-handed or two-handed?[edit]

It would be helpful if it showed whether weapons were one-handed or two-handed on the wiki. I looked in the raws and on each weapon there seems to be a two-handed tag with an accompanying number. I would assume that number is the minimum size at which a creature can wield the weapon one handed, but I'm not 100% sure about that. Also, I recall some talk in the forums about whether there is a bonus to wielding some weapons two-handed, stemming from a test wherein speardwarves without shields fared better than speardwarves with shields. I'm not sure how the weapon's one handed versus two-handed status would be shown, as it appears to vary based on the race you are playing, but if it can be shown without too much confusion, I feel it would be for the better. A section explaining one-handed versus two-handed weapon use would be useful, if only to have it officially unknown what the effects are. Monkeyfetus 21:17, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps this is old, but I think the wiki does not indicate that it is possible to wield two-handed weapons single-handed. This sounds -and is- odd, but my adventure-human has a 2-handed sword in one, and a shield in the other hand, which must mean that he uses both. One should note that he is both "Large for a human" and superhumanly strong (imagine a 2.2m high pile of flesh, with a very, very big toothpick in his hand). In fact this could be the answer! Anyone knows how I can find out how large he actually is so I can compare with the according numbers?-- 22:15, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Maces vs. Hammers[edit]

They are both blunt weapons of same size, so what is the difference between the two?

Training with a warhammer increases the hammer skill, which is also used by marksdwarves when they run out of ammo and beat their enemies with their crossbows. If your weaponsmith has a preference for either weapon it makes sense to make that one. According toItem value, warhammers are worth twice as much as maces. But whether there's any difference in combat between the two weapons, I don't think anyone can yet say. If there's a difference it should be discernible by testing in the arena. Bognor 07:36, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
The raws for the two weapons are as follows

[ITEM_WEAPON:ITEM_WEAPON_HAMMER_WAR] [NAME:war hammer:war hammers] [SIZE:400] [SKILL:HAMMER] [TWO_HANDED:37500] [MINIMUM_SIZE:32500] [MATERIAL_SIZE:3] [ATTACK:BLUNT:10:200:bash:bashes:NO_SUB:2000]


I remember hearing that the only difference in the initial v0.31 release was the smaller contact area of the warhammer, but it appears that the size of the mace has increased since then. Now, the mace has twice the size (and therefore, mass and weight) as well as contact area of a warhammer. The mace is heavier, and may slow your troops down slightly more, but it should deliver the same force per square inch (or whatever unit you wish to use), and do it over a larger area, which I 'think' would make it more deadly. I'm not an expert on Dwarf Fortress combat, so if you want more detail or more reliable answers you could check out the forums. Monkeyfetus 21:52, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I just tested them in 0.31.12 in the arena by a mass melee of 18 macedwarves vs. 18 hammerdwarves, all of them decked out in bronze armor with an iron mace/warhammer, and each at "skilled" level in all basic (non-weapon-specific) combat skills along with "skilled" the appropriate weapon skill (mace/hammer). It ended with 12 hammerdwarves still standing and all macedwarves dead, and in a second test with 13 hammerdwarves still standing.
I went on to test similar setups (regarding armor, skill setup, and iron weapons) with the other weapons. Swords and axes were close with swords being perhaps slightly better, with spears, maces, and hammers doing better than either of those. Spears seemed like a bit of a wild card; mostly they would overwhelmingly lose against maces or hammers, but sometimes they would just about break even (once with 20vs20 spears vs hammers, only 2 hammerdwarves survived). So, from my testing, it seems to me that against armored opponents, the progression is something like: axes>swords>>>spears>>maces>>hammers. I did a quick unarmored test out of curiosity with swords vs hammers (I did give them shields, though), and it's perhaps no surprise that the swordsdwarves won pretty overwhelmingly in that case two times in a row (11 and 13 surviving, respectively). I ran 4 unarmored hammer vs. mace battles, and hammers won 3 out of 4 of those with around half surviving, with the fourth battle being barely won by maces. So without armor, hammers still seem to be the better weapon of the two, if not by as much. Then again, the RNG might have just been throwing me some crazy results the whole time. --Janus 19:20, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
One can analyze the arena combat logs in a spreadsheet, by sorting the events (by ",in the bodypart" and ",through the X armor") and counting successful and failing hits. Pretty easy to do 30 vs 30 test, the boring part is adding the armor to the dwarves. --TomiTapio 22:57, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

We dont have wooden training hammers but...[edit]

Can't we use ammoless wooden xbows as hammers?-- 23:13, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Dammit, that's brilliant! Dunno why I never thought of that. I don't think training weapons are necessary for sparring (sparring injuries are rare or absent in 0.31.12), but this trick could extend the time for hammerdwarves to beat unarmed goblins or whatever in live training. Bognor 10:38, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Artifact Weapons[edit]

How does a weapon made in a mood affect the weapons effectiveness? Does it at all? Also when weapons are named what difference does this make?

Artifact weapons have the highest quality modifier, which AFAIK makes them hit more accurately and penetrate/cut more effectively than lower-quality weapons. I don't think naming a weapon changes its performance, just whether it's mentioned in Legends mode and in artwork. --DeMatt 05:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Columns Mean Whatnow?[edit]

The data in these tables is not useful to new players, and there is no discussion of how to interpret these tables. What is the tradeoff between a larger penetration and greater velocity? Why are some of the numbers in parentheses? --Romeofalling 20:05, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

You're right - the numbers aren't useful. That's because we don't know what the formulae are. Judging from the variables present, Toady seems to be trying to model the physics much more accurately than your average RPG; if you're really interested in optimizing your combatants that much, digging out some university-level physics texts and running through the sections on elastic collisions and material deformation would be helpful. The parentheses, at least, indicate that the value present in the raws is irrelevant - BLUNT attacks don't actually penetrate.
If you're just being confused by the big lists o' numbers, forget 'em and ask yourself if you want your dwarves to be waving around axes or spears or whatnot. Then make lots of your choice. --DeMatt 01:16, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm trying to figure out if I should equip my Talented Lasher immigrant with the (+iron scourge+) and/or 3 (bronze whips) harvested from my first goblin ambush. I've also got 4 Knife Users - Talented, Professional, Adequate and Novice. No daggers yet, though. (You've already given valuable advice about the availability of arrows for my Novice Bowdwarf, DeMatt. Thanks for that.) Trying to get a sense of relative damage potential by the skill/weapon combos is....well, impossible, I guess, given that we don't have the formulae. Still, it's cool that dwarves can now wear goblin-forged armor. --Romeofalling 02:07, 2 October 2010 (UTC)


still like steel? unsigned comment by

No.unsigned comment by


battle axe evidently needs 4 wafers. Short sword needs 3unsigned comment by


Since blunt weapons damage is related to the weight of the weapon would it make sense to make War Hammers out of a heavy metal. like lead if that is possible.unsigned comment by

Yes. Silver is the easiest to make them out of.unsigned comment by

Material effectiveness?[edit]

I've seen mentions of the different materials having "Sheer" and "Density" qualities that make them good for slashing/piercing and bludgeoning attacks respectfully, but I haven't seen any explanation, or even a list of which materials are better than others for each category. Can someone help me here? --Twilightdusk 02:20, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Not well no.unsigned comment by
You could try looking at the Metal page, and see if that helps you out. --DeMatt 05:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


This question has been popping up forever and given the absurd amount of decorations possible (especially on artifacts) I think it is rather important that we learn; do decorations increase weight for weapon effectiveness? Has anyone tested this?unsigned comment by

No, decorations don't weigh anything. I've got a slate door artifact with nine decorations, two of which are of reasonably weighty materials (iron and more slate), and it weighs the same as a plain slate door. --DeMatt 05:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Preferences and Attachments[edit]

I have a (Swords)dwarf who has not killed anything other than boredom, and only recruited for about 6 months now. Already he has grown attached to two steel items. A steel spear, and a steel shield. After checking the preferences, I found that he is fond of steel. Maybe preferences influences attachment speed?--CrazyMcfobo 01:22, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

How about picks?[edit]

I tried picks -vs- axes in the arena. It seems like picks are much better at armor penetration that axes. But how do you make a pick user skillful in the arena?

Can you arm soldiers with picks? Do they use mining skill to attack?

Picks use the mining skill in combat. Your legendary +5 miner would be quite effective as early defense against goblins snatchers, kobold thieves and macaques. As a civilian skil, mining cannot be adjusted in arena mode. --Blur 18:46, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Named weapons[edit]

I got three weapons named, one spear, one mace, and one shield. The dwarf which named shield and mace liked the material they were made of. This could also be important. The namend weapons do not have a kill list anymore. --Blur 15:46, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Material Cost[edit]

Can someone please add a list of how many bars/wafers every weapon needs to be made? It would be very helpful for me.--Joejr50 04:43, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

One. Currently, due to a (minor and possibly intentional) bug, every forge product requires only one bar/wafer. --DeMatt 23:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. But for future reference,(as in when its fixed, if at all) how many is each supposed to use? --Joejr50 00:16, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

War Hammers vs Mauls[edit]

Which one would be more effective if both were made from the same material? The War Hammer or the Maul?

Edit: testing shows interesting results that I should have expected after reading slightly closer. when armored even in lowly copper, war hammers won outright against the mauls every time with equal skills and materials for the weapons. Removing the armor from both victims reversed the battle, with the no injuries victory jumping to the maul-wielding dwarves instead.


I haven't done extensive testing, but anecdotally and in a few initial tests, I've found silver whips consistently outperform silver war hammers in both armored and unarmored humanoid vs. humanoid battles. I even ran one test with 2 dwarf lashers fighting it out and 2 hammerdwarfs fighting in opposite corners of a room, and not only was it a lasher to survive, he actually finished off his opponent first and walked over to join the fray with the other two.

Any testing on whether this is in fact true? Ideas about why it might be so? -- 21:18, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Whip testing[edit]

I have done some arena testing, even unarmored dwarves with silver whips slaughtered any weapon/armor combo, I have tested. Silver warhammers eventually come close, but other weapons have no chance. Armor is useless against whips, armored lashers lost to unarmored ones. All dwarves had all skills at grand master level.

Yep. It's well-established that whips and scourges work like lightsabers right now. It's a quirk of the way they're modelled: the movement speed is extremely high - as the tip of a whip should be - but they're modelled as though they were rigid, sort of as if the entire whip was moving as fast as only the tip should be. The only things I'm aware of that are effective against goblin lashers are traps and reloads. Bognor 12:11, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

tools as weapons[edit]

I noticed the new carving knife, boning knife, and meat cleaver aren't on the statted out list.

Significance of Attack Types?[edit]

While the article does a good job of explaining the different implementations of contact and penetration in regards to different attack methods (Slashing, stabbing, bludgeoning) it doesn't really indicate any other implications of the methods. While the raw figures are indeed useful, and the difference between 'edged' and 'blunt' weapons are noted, are there any other considerations to be made? Common sense supports piercing-type attacks being more successful at bypassing armor, but I don't know if any !!SCIENCE!! has been performed on the matter. Similarly, are slashing attack methods more likely to sever tendons/muscles/nerves, or stabbing attacks more likely to pierce internal organs? If the information is contained elsewhere, it may be useful to replicate here, since the Weapon article does an otherwise excellent job of detailing the variables involved with most standard attacks. Relentless 18:34, 15 July 2011 (UTC)