Dwarf Fortress Bug Tracker - Dwarf Fortress
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0002697Dwarf FortressDwarf Mode -- Combatpublic2010-07-14 20:432020-02-20 21:52
normalminorhave not tried
0002697: Military dwarfs won't shoot through fortifications (though hunters will)
I discovered an odd bug with marksdwarves. I released a caged gobbo in a small room with fortifications carved into all the walls next to my archers' training area. After he had been released the archers still sat around doing ind. training, so I tried using station and kill orders, but still had no luck. At this point my legendary hunter walks by the room and 1-shots the gobbo in the head.

I tested this with another two more gobbos, the dwarfs still wouldn't shoot through forts but took one down after I opened the door.
No tags attached.
related to 0001374new  If squad is assigned multiple ammo types, dwarves with "individual choice ranged" carry wrong ammo, and other ammo bugs 
parent of 0004111new  Dwarves Don't Shoot Through Grates 
has duplicate 0002695resolved Footkerchief Marksdwarves still dont shoot 
has duplicate 0007754resolved Loci Dwarwes don't shoot through fortification (or don't stand close to it?) 
has duplicate 0010743resolved Loci Some marksdwarves never check fortifications on patrol route 
related to 0004617new  Archers/marksdwarves won't shoot through traffic zone 
Not all the children of this issue are yet resolved or closed.
Issue History
2010-07-14 20:43Ceaser57New Issue
2010-07-14 20:55DwarfuNote Added: 0010291
2010-07-14 20:58smjjamesNote Added: 0010292
2010-07-14 21:00smjjamesNote Edited: 0010292bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0010292#r3995
2010-07-14 21:11smjjamesNote Edited: 0010292bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0010292#r3996
2010-07-14 21:16DwarfuNote Added: 0010295
2010-07-14 21:51SykeNote Added: 0010300
2010-07-14 21:52SykeNote Edited: 0010300bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0010300#r4000
2010-07-14 22:16FootkerchiefRelationship addedhas duplicate 0002695
2010-07-14 22:27Ceaser57Note Added: 0010308
2010-07-14 22:33SykeNote Edited: 0010300bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0010300#r4004
2010-07-14 22:39SykeNote Edited: 0010300bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0010300#r4005
2010-07-14 22:39FootkerchiefProduct Version => 0.31.10
2010-07-26 16:04Ceaser57Note Added: 0011112
2010-07-26 16:22FootkerchiefNote Added: 0011114
2010-07-26 16:22FootkerchiefStatusnew => resolved
2010-07-26 16:22FootkerchiefResolutionopen => no change required
2010-07-26 16:22FootkerchiefAssigned To => Footkerchief
2010-07-26 16:22FootkerchiefResolutionno change required => unable to reproduce
2010-08-08 08:09FootkerchiefAssigned ToFootkerchief =>
2010-08-08 08:09FootkerchiefStatusresolved => needs feedback
2010-08-08 08:09FootkerchiefResolutionunable to reproduce => reopened
2010-08-08 08:09FootkerchiefStatusneeds feedback => new
2010-08-08 10:31Kogan LoloklamNote Added: 0011627
2010-08-08 10:37KahunaGodNote Added: 0011628
2010-08-13 13:17Kogan LoloklamNote Added: 0011769
2011-03-03 08:52FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0004111
2011-03-03 08:52FootkerchiefRelationship replacedparent of 0004111
2011-03-03 08:55FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0001374
2011-03-03 10:16NarosIssue Monitored: Naros
2011-03-27 12:01DawideIssue Monitored: Dawide
2011-05-07 10:33FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0004617
2012-04-19 08:41djsmiley2kNote Added: 0022312
2016-10-05 19:25LociRelationship addedhas duplicate 0007754
2018-02-21 23:33LeonidasNote Added: 0037815
2018-05-02 12:26LociRelationship addedhas duplicate 0010743
2020-02-20 17:18ArmokGoBNote Added: 0040151
2020-02-20 21:52Shonai_DwellerNote Added: 0040154

2010-07-14 20:55   
You didn't include a product version, but I'm assuming this is for 0.31.10?
2010-07-14 20:58   
(edited on: 2010-07-14 21:11)
Hrmm, maybe I can check this out in the arena.

It could be some kind of line of sight issue. Could you post a screenshot of the training area and the pit or whatever that you dropped the gobbos into?

Edit: I just checked and it looks like a marksdwarf doesn't have any issues with firing through fortifications, but we haven't ruled out a line of sight issue.

2010-07-14 21:16   
Also, 0002695.
2010-07-14 21:51   
(edited on: 2010-07-14 22:39)
I had this problem. I had set up my 'live-fire' archer training room: A set of fortifications and some goblins trapped on the other side. Some of the dwaves would shoot, others wouldn't.

It's a big fort, so hard for me to narrow down what was going on. But:

It seems that the dwarves that would not shoot had two crossbows equipped, both in the same hand.

It might not have had anything to do with fortifications. It's just that 99% of the time my marksdwarves are behind fortications if they're shooting and, the rest of the time, they all would run up with my melee mobs, and I wouldn't notice. (The archers are happy to use their dual-weilding crossbows as clubs.)


I managed to get most of my archers down to one crossbow each and tried it again, but there are still some that refuse to shoot. I've uploaded a save.

http://dffd.wimbli.com/file.php?id=2693 [^]

(The 'firing range' might be just south of where the save loads up. I've got my archer squad stationed there. Should see at least one of them happily pegging off creatures, and the others just watching...)

2010-07-14 22:27   
Sorry, yes this is 31.10

Didn't seem like a LoS issue, I had the dwarves move all around the fortified area but none of them did anything until I opened the door (yes, they all shoot normally otherwise). My hunter on the other hand had no problem shooting him when he walked by.

Here's a shot of my archers' training room + fortified killing room.
http://imgur.com/nucei.png [^]

The hunter was one z level below to the south when he took out two of the gobbos I was trying to give to the archers. The archers didn't have any luck from where he shot from either.
2010-07-26 16:04   
I experimented with this a bit but couldn't get it to reproduce reliably. I suspect it may have had more to do with ammo assignment and strange targeting behavior. Mark it as resolved if no one else has had issues since latest release(s).
2010-07-26 16:22   
Alright, done.
Kogan Loloklam   
2010-08-08 10:31   
The problem appears to be due to the initial engagement of marksdwarves through fortifications. It still exists as of 31.12

Basically what happens is that unless a marksdwarf is right next to the fortification where they can get a shot at an enemy squad, the marksdwarf will not recognize there is an enemy there at all. Once the marksdwarf has engaged the enemy, it will recognize that the enemy exists and engage it normally.

It does not act to protect squadmembers if combined in a squad where part of the squad is operating in the area it wouldn't engage, as can be discovered from my save here: http://dffd.wimbli.com/file.php?id=2916 [^]

I am unable to make a movie of the event in arena mode, but if you create a pillbox in arena mode, a 5x5 space, put one creature outside the pillbox 2 spaces from the fortifications and one inside the center of the pillbox, both with bows, you will see they do not make any active hostile moves until one gets next to the fortifications. It's this inability to start the engagement through the fortification that is causing this bug.
2010-08-08 10:37   
So it sounds like what the workaround is, is to only have a single tile hall behind the fortifications, right?
Kogan Loloklam   
2010-08-13 13:17   
That workaround does seem like it will work.
2012-04-19 08:41   
The wiki says:

"An archer must have a skill level of accomplished or higher to shoot through fortifications from a distance; otherwise they must stand directly next to the fortification to shoot through it"

... Not sure who or where this information came from though.
2018-02-21 23:33   
I don't see this as a bug at all, but rather a consequence of how fortifications work. Fotifications completely block bolts from shooters lower than accomplished, unless the shooter is adjacent. Shooters accomplished and higher ignore the fortification at any range.

What's missing is a tweak to marksdwarf AI that has them step up against a fortification to allow them to shoot through it. But it would be a better use of Toady's time to revamp fortification functionality towards something less arbitrary.
2020-02-20 17:18   
I can confirm this is still present in 0.47.03. I built/carved fortifications 1 Z-level and <15 tiles away from an invading goblin army and my marksdwarves refused to fire at the army, even if the dwarves were adjacent to the fortifications. They will fire/charge if there's nothing in between them and the enemies.
2020-02-20 21:52   
And can confirm that in 47.03 marksdwarves with some experience are happily shooting through fortifications at enemies some distance away while adjacent to fortifications.

These are fortifications carved from a built wall, in case it makes a difference. And on the same z-level. Defend burrow order, one-tile wide burrow against the fortifications.