motivating line of the section: You’re better than “taking breaks”!

Militias squads are created with the following steps

  1. Create a militia squad
  2. Add dwarfs to that squad
  3. Set the squad to Active/Training
  4. Create barracks
  5. Set the barracks as the training area
  6. Customize squad

So we’re going to take this one step at a time. :D

12.1  – Squads

1. Create a militia squad

Press “m” for militia and press “c” for create squad. You will be asked what armor you want them to use, or if they are                archers. We will set them to use metal armor, even though we don’t have any (we will buy some when a merchant comes).

2. Now we will add some dwarfs to the squad. My fortress only has 10 dwarfs, so I don’t really have many to spare, so I’m going to make a two-man squad! Move the selector to the right, and then to the right again to choose the first dwarf for the squad. Make sure he/she isn’t vitally important, like your woodcutter, or only carpenter.

Now we have a two-man squad!

3. To activate this squad, we first have to press “a” for alerts. Then go down to “Active/Training” and move the selector right, to your squad’s name. Press enter to set this squad as Active/training. When you are done, your screen should look like this.

4. Now we need to create some barracks to train our squad in. Dig out a barracks room in the following area.

It is good to create barracks close to the entrance and stairs, because those are the two locations that threats come from. Now, we need to create an armor stand or a weapon rack. Or both! Both of which can be created in a carpenter’s or mason’s workshop. While you wait for that to be created, place a door on the entrance to the barracks. Also, you may want to place some beds in the barracks so the militia can sleep there. When the armor stand or weapon rack is created, place it anywhere in the barracks. Press “q”, bring the cursor over the armor/weapon stand and press “r” for “make barracks/armory”. Size the area over the entire room. This is now the barracks, but there is one more thing to do before our squad will start training.

5. Simply press “q” and move the cursor over the weapon/armor stand and press “t” to make your squad train here. Once you do this, you will see members of your squad go into the barracks and on the units screen, you will see they are participating in combat drills or training.

6. Right now, our squad members will pick up any melee weapon they can find, and if they can’t find any, they will train in wrestling, which isn’t all that useful. Let’s create some training swords and axes in the carpenter’s workshop.

When you’re done, let’s tell a squad member to equip a specific weapon. Right now, they are equipping a random melee weapon, and it is sometimes useful to tell them which weapon to use. Press “m” for militia, then press “e” for equip. Now press “W” (CAPITAL) for weapon, and select “specific weapon”. Finally choose one of the training swords or axes (make sure you are selecting the weapon for the right dwarf, which you can change in the middle column).

12.2 – Using a Squad

Alright! Now we have a fully functional squad. Now how do we use it? First, let’s find something to kill.

Press “u” to go to the units screen, and scroll down until you see some wild animals (which you should).

I have a deer and a bull moose in my area. It’d probably be better to attack a deer than a bull moose, so I’m going to zoom to the deer by pressing “c”, the zoom-cre key. I have zoomed into wherever the deer is. Now that I know that, I’m going to press “s” for squads. Next, I select my squad using “a”. Now I give the kill order using “k”.

There are a few options for kill orders, but I just want to kill the deer, so I’m going to select “kill creature at cursor” (enter). Now I just move the cursor over the deer and hit enter. The squad will move out to slaughter the deer.

Unfortunately, the deer was too fast for my soldiers and escaped, but goblins won’t be! When you kill the creature, or the creature escapes and you want the soldiers to continue training, go to the squads menu, select the squad, and hit “o” to cancel the current order.

continue on to 13.0 – Melting and Smelting Metal!