Dwarf Fortress Bug Tracker - Dwarf Fortress
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0003209Dwarf FortressCombat -- Generalpublic2010-09-12 17:482012-02-20 18:53
0003209: Bludgeoning weapons and upright spikes still fail to kill anything except on a critical strike to the brain
It seems that bludgeoning attacks cause almost no blood loss at all, whether bruising the skin, tearing the muscle or shattering the bone. On subsequent wounds to the same area, this is literally no blood loss at all, and it doesn't look like there's any mechanism for death beyond "jamming skull bits into the brain" that would cut short a beating. Very occasionally the bruising of a lung will cause suffocation eventually, but this takes a very long time and it's more likely that brain trauma will end the creature's life before then.

This is the same case as with retractable spikes contact a creature - the creature will take damage, but lose no blood and will survive indefinitely until their brain is pierced. This appears to be a case of incorrectly identifying upright spikes as blunt instead of edged, though.
Reproducible in any combat scenario where blunt weapons (including fists) are involved, though unarmed wrestlers occasionally choke their enemies to death - which results in the 'X has bled to death' announcement.
Internal haemorrhaging would probably be the cause of death for anyone pounded repeatedly with a steel warhammer, but I don't know how simple that would be to model.
bleeding, combat, wound
duplicate of 0002327resolved Toady One Blunt weapons extremely ineffective, extended single combat with groundhog 
Issue History
2010-09-12 17:48miskatonicNew Issue
2010-09-12 18:42CaliteNote Added: 0012604
2010-09-13 02:36Olith McHumanNote Added: 0012607
2010-09-13 06:22KennelTag Attached: bleeding
2010-09-13 06:22KennelTag Attached: combat
2010-09-13 06:22KennelTag Attached: wound
2010-09-13 07:41CrytenNote Added: 0012611
2012-02-20 18:53FootkerchiefRelationship addedduplicate of 0002327
2012-02-20 18:53FootkerchiefStatusnew => resolved
2012-02-20 18:53FootkerchiefResolutionopen => duplicate
2012-02-20 18:53FootkerchiefAssigned To => Footkerchief

2010-09-12 18:42   
While this does seem true, it also seems very easy for untrained dwarves using good blunt weapons to get a fatal hit - even when the enemy is wearing armor.
Olith McHuman   
2010-09-13 02:36   
iirc, this bug exists because there is currently no way to aim an attack. Once that feature is implemented, blunt attack deadlyness should be about on par with other weapons. The bleeding part does seem like a bug (rather than a lack of a feature).
2010-09-13 07:41   
A report on this issue: 0002327