Military Squads are a fundamental part of players’ defenses in the construction and management simulator video game Dwarf Fortress. A Squad is defined as ‘a group of military dwarves who share the same schedule and active military orders.’ As Squads carry out all the orders players give them, one’s ability to manage these iron-blooded dwarves could spell the difference between a successful fort’s life and death.
Players that hope to thrive in Dwarf Fortress need to spend some resources toward defending their bases with Military Squads capable of performing both offensive and defensive maneuvers. As players explore the current state of Dwarf Fortress, the latest graphics, villains, and crooks present a challenge for them, but the ability to create a powerful Military force helps to alleviate some of that challenge. In order for players to build and manage Military Squads in Dwarf Fortress, they can look at the ‘Military’ and ‘Squads’ screens within the game.
For players hoping to establish a Military Squad in Dwarf Fortress, the first thing they’ll want to do is designate a Militia Commander. A player’s fortress can only have one Militia Commander, who serves as the leader of the first squad. Squad Commanders can be designated in the non-ASCII art-designed Dwarf Fortress by clicking on the crown icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen, then through the Nobles and Administrators menu, clicking on the plus sign next to “Militia Commander.” Dwarf Fortress players can then select a dwarf with relevant skills to assign them to the role.
Once a Militia Commander has been assigned, players will need to create a new squad. For players to accomplish this, they should click on the blue flag icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen to open the Squad sidebar, then click on “create new squad.” Here, players will be prompted to select the armor set in Dwarf Fortress that the squad’s members will wear, which can be changed later, meaning this preliminary decision should not require much thought.
After the new squad is created, players should assign a leader (who reports to the Militia Commander), as well as members, to that squad. From inside the Squad sidebar, players should see a listing for the new squad, where they can click on the dwarf’s head icon to open a menu where they can select a dwarf with a relevant skill (if one is available) and assign them as the leader of the squad. Once a leader has been designated, players who can’t resist Dwarf Fortress can assign other dwarves with relevant skills to membership positions within the squad.
With Dwarf Fortress squad leaders and members now assigned, players should put them into training inside a Barracks zone. To create this area, players should click on the place zone icon at the bottom of the screen, click on Barracks, select a capable location for construction, then click ‘accept.’ Information about the Barracks zone will appear above the Zone Placement menu, where players can click on the icon of a blue flag with a plus sign. From here, players who can get Masked Lovebirds in Dwarf Fortress can also set the Barracks as a space for training by clicking on the axe icon next to the squad name.
When the training Barracks are established, players should return to the Squad sidebar, click the empty square above their squad, and then click on schedule to choose a training regiment. To keep it simple, players should start by choosing ‘constant training.’ Players can always refine this schedule later after creating additional squads and becoming more familiar with the training mechanic.
As the final stage of creating a Military Squad, players will need to arm its members for combat in Dwarf Fortress. Regardless of how a player obtains their equipment in Dwarf Fortress, they should click again on the empty square in the Squad sidebar and then click on ‘equip’ at the bottom to check the status of their squad’s gear. Although squad dwarves equip gear automatically, players may need to click assign uniform in the Equip menu to ensure they are wearing it. Once players have decked their dwarves out in the armor of their choice, it’s time to take their Military Squad into battle.
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