It was not my smartest decision. I had played Dwarf Fortress before, but all the promises of 'fun' had been dashed upon the rocks like a rose given as an insincere apology. Dwarf Fortress was not fun, but a confusing mess of micromanagement and menu navigation. So why had I come back? Perhaps it was pride, but I knew that I had given up before, and I wanted to be able to give it a second go.
This is the documentation of my dwarves' adventure into the wilderness.
The world seems so much more blocky from this far away.
This is the world of Angsturbuzong, a fragmented land of myth. Apparently. I decide that it would be best to settle my unseasoned dwarves in a warmer area, along a small, isolated mountain range. I'm no expert geologist, but I feel that they will be able to find the right raw materials here. I have made the mistake of placing my dwarves in a place without accessible wood before; dwarves can make almost anything out of rock, but rock doesn't make very good fuel.
The Eastern side seems to be the best, as there is a brook available for irrigation. However, cycling through the different map viewers, I realize that there are apparently some cliffs around this area, and a couple of especially dangerous drops. I sincerely hope that my dwarves don't have suicidal tendencies as I've observed far too many times. Perhaps there is a waterfall that will cause some mist, which dwarves apparently like. I eventually settle here, in this 4x4 area. The game warns that there is a potential for drowning all my dwarves in this area. I choose to ignore the warning.
Why does everything have to be so ominous?...
In preparing for my journey, I've gotten rid of most of the finished goods that are offered to me. Instead, I take only an anvil, a couple of picks for mining, an axe for woodcutting, and a generous supply of food and alcohol. Getting a sustainable food source is a pain, so I hope to survive off my starting provisions for a while. On top of that, I decide to get a little of each type of sand -- not because I need sand, but because sand comes in bags, and buying bags costs more than buying sand. Essentially, I've confused the merchant into giving me free bags. I also decide to bring two war dogs, as risking my first few dwarves against any form of enemy isn't something I want to do. To tether them to my fortress' entrance, I bring two ropes. Lastly, I reluctantly bring a single cat to keep vermin out of my food supply. It's not that I don't like cats, it's just I've had terrible things
happen to me.
Beasts? No one said anything about hungry beasts...
My early game goals are going to be pretty simple. Because my woodcutter and furnace operator is also my fisherman, I want to establish a replenishable food source outside of fishing before I get my metal industry going -- that way my woodcutter won't be stressed out with too many jobs at once. In order to do that, I'm going to need a farm. This is perhaps the most annoying thing to try and do early game, and probably my second-least favorite thing about Dwarf Fortress -- the first-least favorite being the management of new arrivals, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
First thing's first: I have to dismantle the wagon that they came in for wood. Keeping the wagon is pointless, considering your dwarves never go anywhere that's not on the map. Immediately I remember why I don't enjoy playing Dwarf Fortress that much: dwarves are stupid. Everything either needs to be done for them or they need to be told directly what to do. For example, early in the game, you'll realize that your dwarves will simply leave all their supplies from the wagon on the ground where they fell unless you designate a stockpile for them to keep it in. If you don't stockpile your food, it gets eaten by wild animals or rained on.
My baldest dwarf laments the lack of an actual water source. Turns out the brook is dry.
I tell my miners to get to work digging out the new house, and they immediately strike sapphires. This would be fantastic news if I had a use for them right now. It just started raining and my food is still outside; the last thing I need is sapphires. At least the rain is filling the brook up again, looks like I just might save the farm after all.
To be continued...
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