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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0002697Dwarf FortressDwarf Mode -- Combatpublic2010-07-14 20:432020-02-20 21:52
Assigned To 
PrioritynormalSeverityminorReproducibilityhave not tried
PlatformOSOS Version
Product Version0.31.10 
Target VersionFixed in Version 
Summary0002697: Military dwarfs won't shoot through fortifications (though hunters will)
DescriptionI 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.
TagsNo tags attached.
Attached Files

- Relationships
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 0002695resolvedFootkerchief Marksdwarves still dont shoot 
has duplicate 0007754resolvedLoci Dwarwes don't shoot through fortification (or don't stand close to it?) 
has duplicate 0010743resolvedLoci 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.

-  Notes
Dwarfu (manager)
2010-07-14 20:55

You didn't include a product version, but I'm assuming this is for 0.31.10?
smjjames (reporter)
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.

Dwarfu (manager)
2010-07-14 21:16

Also, 0002695.
Syke (reporter)
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. [^]

(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...)

Ceaser57 (reporter)
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. [^]

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.
Ceaser57 (reporter)
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).
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-07-26 16:22

Alright, done.
Kogan Loloklam (reporter)
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: [^]

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.
KahunaGod (reporter)
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 (reporter)
2010-08-13 13:17

That workaround does seem like it will work.
djsmiley2k (reporter)
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.
Leonidas (reporter)
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.
ArmokGoB (reporter)
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.
Shonai_Dweller (reporter)
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.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2010-07-14 20:43 Ceaser57 New Issue
2010-07-14 20:55 Dwarfu Note Added: 0010291
2010-07-14 20:58 smjjames Note Added: 0010292
2010-07-14 21:00 smjjames Note Edited: 0010292 View Revisions
2010-07-14 21:11 smjjames Note Edited: 0010292 View Revisions
2010-07-14 21:16 Dwarfu Note Added: 0010295
2010-07-14 21:51 Syke Note Added: 0010300
2010-07-14 21:52 Syke Note Edited: 0010300 View Revisions
2010-07-14 22:16 Footkerchief Relationship added has duplicate 0002695
2010-07-14 22:27 Ceaser57 Note Added: 0010308
2010-07-14 22:33 Syke Note Edited: 0010300 View Revisions
2010-07-14 22:39 Syke Note Edited: 0010300 View Revisions
2010-07-14 22:39 Footkerchief Product Version => 0.31.10
2010-07-26 16:04 Ceaser57 Note Added: 0011112
2010-07-26 16:22 Footkerchief Note Added: 0011114
2010-07-26 16:22 Footkerchief Status new => resolved
2010-07-26 16:22 Footkerchief Resolution open => no change required
2010-07-26 16:22 Footkerchief Assigned To => Footkerchief
2010-07-26 16:22 Footkerchief Resolution no change required => unable to reproduce
2010-08-08 08:09 Footkerchief Assigned To Footkerchief =>
2010-08-08 08:09 Footkerchief Status resolved => needs feedback
2010-08-08 08:09 Footkerchief Resolution unable to reproduce => reopened
2010-08-08 08:09 Footkerchief Status needs feedback => new
2010-08-08 10:31 Kogan Loloklam Note Added: 0011627
2010-08-08 10:37 KahunaGod Note Added: 0011628
2010-08-13 13:17 Kogan Loloklam Note Added: 0011769
2011-03-03 08:52 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0004111
2011-03-03 08:52 Footkerchief Relationship replaced parent of 0004111
2011-03-03 08:55 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0001374
2011-03-03 10:16 Naros Issue Monitored: Naros
2011-03-27 12:01 Dawide Issue Monitored: Dawide
2011-05-07 10:33 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0004617
2012-04-19 08:41 djsmiley2k Note Added: 0022312
2016-10-05 19:25 Loci Relationship added has duplicate 0007754
2018-02-21 23:33 Leonidas Note Added: 0037815
2018-05-02 12:26 Loci Relationship added has duplicate 0010743
2020-02-20 17:18 ArmokGoB Note Added: 0040151
2020-02-20 21:52 Shonai_Dweller Note Added: 0040154

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