Mechanics

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There are five kinds of mechanisms: linkages, switches, devices, power sources and self-powered traps. All mechanisms, excepting self-powered traps, require power to operate. Mechanisms can be connected together into networks. If the total amount of power supplied to the network by the sources is sufficient, the devices function. Note that the linkages are lossy and need to be powered as well.

Mechanical items.
The hatch and mechanical wall are powered by the windmills through axles, a gearbox and a lever.

Contents

Self-Powered Traps

Traps are self-powered mechanisms and therefore do no require power sources or linkages to operate. There are currently two types of traps - blade traps and spike traps. Both operate similarly. A trap can be placed on any floor square. Once placed, the trap will trigger when an enemy creature steps on that space. The trap will make a single attack on the enemy which can be dodged or blocked just like a normal attack. Once the trap triggers it will have to be reset by a gnome before it can fire again.

Traps strength is affected by the metal they are made of (steel being the strongest).

Robobob may add powered, continuously attacking traps as well as a mechanism for resetting traps automatically.[1]

Device

Mechanical walls, hatchs and pumps are devices. They all require power to operate.

  • A mechanical wall requires 20 power to operate. It act as a floor when unpowered, and as a wall (with a floor covering it, if there is not already one above it) when powered. When activated, if there is a floor above them, they will crush any creatures on top of it, killing them instantly; therefore, in addition to being able to make an impenetrable doorway, it can also be used to make a deadly trap. If gnomes are likely to pass through, it is advisable to dig out the spot on top of the mechanical wall, to avoid unfortunate accidents. Mechanical walls can also be used as a water pump or a canal lock.
  • A hatch requires 10 power to operate. It can only be placed over a hole. It acts as a hole when unpowered, and as a floor when powered. This can be used to make either a type of drawbridge, or (when combined with a pressure plate and a mechanical wall) a pitfall trap.
  • A pump require 20 power to operate. Pumps can only be placed over a hole in the floor, but there must also be empty space beneath it. It does not matter if there is water beneath the pump or not.

Power Source

Handcranks, windmills, and steam engines are power sources. They supply power to your mechanical systems in order to operate devices. Handcranks are pre-built like other mechanics, and placed on any floor. A gnome with the Mechanic skill must manually turn the crank in order to provide power, making them a less-desirable source of power. Windmills must be constructed outside (i.e. nothing above it), but once built, they produce power automatically. A steam engine can be built anywhere, but requires coal to operate.

  • A hand crank supplies 10 units of power when being cranked.
  • A windmill supplies 20 units of power.
  • A steam engine supplies 200 units of power when fuelled.

Linkage

All constructed mechanical items transmit power to others next to them on the same z-level (but not diagonally). To get power any further, you need to build axles and gearboxes as linkage. A horizontal axle will transmit power from one side to the other. A vertical axle will transmit power from the top to the bottom, or vice versa. A gearbox will transmit power to everything it is adjacent to on the same z-level. To deliver power on a new level, you need to get power vertically to a gearbox by building a gearbox and a vertical axle on the same spot, on the same z-level.

An axle requires 1 unit of power.

A gearbox requires 3 units of power, and cannot be placed on a floor (it can, however, be placed on top of a wall, so you can simply use Remove Floor to make room for it).

Hint: You can show/hide axles with the Q key. When axles are shown, the axle will be rotating if it has enough power for the entire system. If it has no power or insufficient power it will not be rotating.

Switch

Levers and pressure plates are switches. They do not consume power. A gnome need the Mechanic skill to interact with switches.

  • A lever is explicitly switched. By clicking on the lever, you can set a task for a gnome to pull the lever. When pulled, they act as a linkage. When not activated, they block power. Note that levers, unlike axles, need to be supported by floors.
  • A pressure plate is switched by something stepping on it. The sense of the pressure plate, whether it transmits power when pressed down, or fails to transmit power when pressed down, can be changed; like a lever, you click on the pressure plate and set a task for a gnome to come change the setting.

Machines

One Way Door

Requires
A windmill, pressure plate, and hatch or mechanical wall.
Directions
Build windmill in a viable location, connect it to a pressure plate in front of a hatch/mechanical door.

██↓██
██P██
██M██

P=Pressure plate
M=Mechanical Wall

Power is brought to the pressure plate by an axle through the wall.

When something steps on the pressure plate, the wall will rise and block its path.

If something comes the other way, the wall will only rise after they have passed it.

Push Button

Requires
A Level, pressure plate, (Windmill)
Directions
Build windmill in a viable location, connect it to a pressure plate in front of a lever. The idea is the Gnome has to step on the pressure plate and activate / deactivation of a mechanism.

██W██
█LP██
██|██
██H██

P=Pressure plate
M=Mechanical Wall
L=Lever
|=Axel
H=Hatch
W=Windmill


The hatch could be where you the destination of a drop trap protecting the gnomes from getting killed by falling bodies.

If you replace the Lever with a steam engine the mechanism will get tripped every time the steam engine runs out of coal. Once every 1.3 hours or so.


Automatic hatch trap

██↓██
██M██
█HP██
██M██

P=Pressure plate
M=Mechanical Wall
H=Hatch

Power is brought to the pressure plate by an axle through the wall.

When enemies step on the pressure plate, the mechanical walls rise and trap them. They only have one spot to go to: the hatch that closed when they stepped on the plate. As soon as they step off the plate and onto the hatch, the hatch opens.

Below, you can for example have a very deep pit that will instantly kill them, or a larger, shallower pit around which your ranged soldiers can pick them off.


More information, including building costs, can be found on the items page.

Chase Breaker

Upper Level

██↓██
██S██
██H██
██H██
██H██
██P██

Lower Level

█████
██S██
██ ██
██ ██
██ ██
█████

P=Pressure plate
S=Stairs
H=Hatch

  • Change the settings of the pressure plate to "Disengaged when pressed".

Power is brought to the pressure plate by an axle through the wall.

When a trail of units walks through, the first unit will step on the pressure plate and all the hatches will open and drop any units following the first into the lower level. The first unit will proceed through while the rest must attempt to reenter.

Ultimately, the rate if which units enter your kingdom is controlled. The rate can be slowed by adding more hatches.

Note that the Chase Breaker also acts as a one-way door. A problem may arise when your gnomes try to perform a task that requires them to exit your kingdom. In this case, the Gnomes will walk towards the Chase Breaker and then cancel the task. This may be fixed by providing an alternative path, which is longer than the Chase Breaker's path.