Military

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Overview

Managing a decent military is key to the success of any kingdom as you must be able to fend off any assault by invaders to maintain the well being of your gnomes. This guide will walk you through creating a military, assigning it duties and dealing with injuries and enemies.

Invading and Spawning Enemies

Near the start of the each season (each season lasts twelve days) and with enough Total Worth, different kinds of enemies will start spawning in and around your kingdom. The game differentiates between invading enemies and spawning ones.

Invading enemies spawn anywhere at your borders on the surface. Invading enemies include goblins, ogres, two-headed ogres, mants, and wild animals. Wild animals are not exactly invaders; they wander your kingdom for a time before leaving peacefully if you let them. In some cases, enemies can spawn in isolated spots without a direct path to you. In this case they will stay in that area until eventually leaving the map. These enemies make good target practice with a correctly built firing platform. Note that you can still be targeted if you are a single tile above the enemy. A good firing platform is two levels above the ground with a terrace area in the wilderness that allows you to shoot enemies on the same level as your firing platform.

Spawning enemies spawn in dark areas under the earth starting from at least -7 depth. Spawning enemies include zombies, skeletons, golems, beetles and spiders. As you dig further down to harvest the riches of the earth (ores and gems) always place torches to light up your mines. This ensures these monsters will not spawn on your miners or haulers.

Starting Out

At the start of the game, your settlers are given a copper helmet, a copper breastplate and a copper weapon. These items will be sufficient initially but you will want to make additional armor and weapons in the appropriate workshops to grow your military later.

Tip: Given that the game is peaceful for the first several days it is probably fine to ignore your military at the beginning. Concentrate on getting food, drink, and a place to sleep for your gnomes. Start your military as soon as you get your first batch of gnomads.

Finding Suitable Candidates

Having strong and fierce gnomes in your military is crucial for success in any battle. It is therefore important to understand how the skills of your gnomes affect how they fight. The following attributes are very important for judging which gnomes to use:

  • Fitness: Affects how long and how well the gnome will fight.
  • Nimbleness: Affects how agile your gnome is, which helps him dodge and attack. Horticulture raises this stat. Military gnomes should thus be assigned this skill to raise their quickness over time.
  • Focus: This stat is raised by military training and fighting. It's assumed that it helps keep your gnome focused in combat situations and helps you gain initiative.

Combat Skills:

  • Fighting: Fighting without weapons (punching, kicking and biting) and is often the source of many hilarious combat logs.
  • Brawling: Fighting with random objects: chairs, doors, limbs, etc.
  • Sword, Axe, Hammer, Crossbow, Gun: Fighting with the respective weapon, including in hand-to-hand for Crossbows and Guns. Gun covers Muskets and Blunderbusses.
  • Shield: The offensive and defensive use of the shield.
  • Dodge: A gnome's ability to dodge an attack. This gets impaired a little by heavy armor and use of the "Frenzy" perk.
  • Armor: How easily a gnome can move while wearing armor.

It is unnecessary to be too picky as stats and skills will improve with use. You will need around 5 to 10 soldiers at the start of your first summer. You likely won't have enough weapons or armor for them; just assign them an empty uniform with "Way of the Gnome" as their perk. Unarmed combat does damage too, and nine monks and a swordsman make a better military than a lone swordsman.

The Military Menu

This screen is a bit daunting at first, but it gets easier once you understand each section. For the purposes of clarity, start from the rightmost tab, Uniforms, and make your way leftwards.

  1. Uniforms: Here you can customize what weapons and armor a specific gnome will try to equip when assigned to a Position.
  2. Positions: Here you can create new Positions. A gnome assigned to the Position will attempt to equip armor and weapons listed for the selected Uniform.
  3. Formations: A Formation is were you can customize each Position of each slot of the squad. A gnome assigned to slot #1 of the squad will be in slot #1 of the Formation and is thus assigned that Position within the Formation.
  4. Squad: Here is were you actually assign your gnomes to a squad.

Setting up Your First Squad

Now that you know the interface you can put a squad together. Since you do not have enough weapons and armor, your first squad will consist of only one gnome. The default Uniform, Positions and Formations tabs are sufficient for this purpose.

  1. In the Squad tab, create a 'New Squad'. You can generate a new name or rename the squad yourself as desired.
  2. Select the Formation that the squad will use. If no Formation is selected, your gnomes will fight without any equipment as they will not be assigned a Position and consequently no Uniform.
  3. In the squad's first slot, find and select your chosen gnome. Gnomes that are already in a squad will have an (S) beside their name.

That's it - you now have a squad. However, if you click on the Overview screen, it will say the squad is idle! This is because the squad needs to be assigned to active duty. You can do this by giving them a location to guard, a path to patrol or a place to train.

Patrol Routes

Patrol Routes are simply points your gnomes will patrol; they will engage any hostile they encounter along the route. To create a Patrol Route open the context menu and select Designate Area -> Patrol Route. Select the starting tile where the patrol will begin and then create any number of additional patrol points. When you have finished placing your points left click on your last placed point or your first patrol point. A menu will appear asking for a name for the Patrol Route and also which squad to assign to the route. This is where you select the squad you created. You also have the option of looping your patrol route, which means that when gnomes get to the end of the route they will go back to the beginning and patrol it again.

Guard Areas

Guard Areas are just areas where your squad will stand and engage any hostiles they spot.

Training Grounds

Training Grounds lets a squad train by having mock battles against each other. Training will stop if anyone spots a real enemy, so it's like a guard area with the benefit of enhancing your soldiers' skills.

You'll get a better effect if the squad isn't filled as each individual gnome gets more fighting time. However, many combat perks like "The Best Defense..." get a bonus for every member in the squad; a smaller squad would thus perform less effectively in a real combat situation.

Notes:

  • Gnomes will leave Patrol Routes, Guard Areas and Training Grounds when they become exhausted, starved, or extremely thirsty. They will return to duty once they've sated the relevant need.
  • Gnomes in squads that are not assigned to any of the above will go back to the jobs assigned in their Professions tab, including hauling. This can cause them to drop whatever weapon they were carrying in order to do their task which is problematic as they can enter battle without their proper weapons. Idle squad members will hang out at your Great Hall and eat, drink and sleep with their armor and weapons.

Recovering from Battle

The unfortunate side of protecting your settlement is that it's possible for your gnomes to get injured, seriously injured, or die in battle. A Tailor can create bandages to help your injured gnomes survive; make sure to have several always available for your military and civilians just in case. Bandages can deplete quickly, so monitor your stock and replenish as necessary; using the Tracked Items tab under Stocks at the top of your screen can help.

  • Light Injuries and Bleeding: These can be handled with Bandages. Bleeding can kill if left untreated.
  • Serious Injuries: Serious injuries persist unless you have a Hospital with a Medic and available Bandages to treat them. These injuries include inability to walk and blindness.
  • Dismemberment: This is usually caused by a lack of armor protecting the affected limb(s). If a gnome lose an arm, they may be unable to use two-handed weapons or carry two items, while losing a leg impacts their speed. Gnomes without arms are unable to feed themselves and may die if not cared for by those with the Caretaking job. Currently there is no way to replace lost limbs.
  • Death: This can and probably will happen. Currently there is no way to have funerals for fellow gnomes, so the best you can do is put them in a body stockpile. Tombs are coming, though.

Tips for Different Enemy Types

Golems

Golems are weak against slashing damage. They do not bleed but can be dismembered. They get more difficult the deeper they are encountered.

Goblins

Goblins are weak against slashing damage, can be dismembered, and can bleed out. They initially start off unarmored and unarmed but as your kingdom's Total Worth rises they start appearing with better equipment in combat. The armor the later goblins wear offsets their weakness against slashing damage; this makes iron or steel clad goblins quite sturdy adversaries. This can be countered by wielding hammers, claymores or even shields against them.

Ogres

Ogres accompany goblins at higher Total Worth. The two-headed ogres that appear much later are tougher variants. They are very tough and take a long time to kill; their hides are exceptionally resilient against blunt damage and thus they should be countered by axes and swords. While ogres can theoretically bleed out, it's not very likely in practice as it takes a very long time.

Insects

Insects are weak against blunt damage, mainly hammers.

  • Beetles: Stronger than Mants. If left alone they create cocoons that spawn more beetles, which can get very dangerous if left unchecked.
  • Mant Scouts: Scouts appear alone at higher Total Worth and will wander around your kingdom. It will fight if it sights your gnomes or other creatures but will otherwise depart after a period of time. Its departure will trigger a Mant invasion. They can be dismembered and bleeds rarely.
  • Mant Workers: Part of a Mant invasion force. The higher your Kingdom Worth, the greater the number of Mant Workers comprising this force. Additional Workers appear if you stockpile more than 2,000 food and drink combined. Like Scouts, they can be dismembered and bleeds rarely.

Undead

  • Skeletons: An undead being that wields random weapons and armor. They can be dismembered but do not bleed.
  • Zombies: An undead being capable of infecting gnomes with a Zombie Virus. They can be dismembered and do bleed. For more information about the Zombie Virus, see Gnome Health.

Spiders

Spiders are the toughest enemies in the game and spawn only at the lowest levels. Think less "daddy long legs" and more "Shelob" from Lord of the Rings.

General Tips

  • If you want to use ranged weapons properly remember to craft Quivers (Leatherworker) or Ammo Pouches (Tailor) depending on whether your gnomes use a Crossbow or Blunderbuss/Musket, respectively.
  • The higher your Total Worth, the more likely it becomes that invading enemies will attack in bigger groups, thus becoming more difficult to defeat. Goblins will have improved weapons and armor. Thus it is wise to keep upgrading the gnomes' weapons and armor in anticipation of this greater threat if you do not intend to strictly control your Worth.
    • At lower Enemy Strength (which is set at world generation), you have more leeway in terms of Total Worth before the goblins upgrade their equipment.
  • The deeper the level wherein you encounter spawned enemies, the harder or more numerous they will be.
  • It can be a good idea to make enough military squads to enroll every gnome. They do not need to be assigned to a particular duty; put them into a formation and set them to use "Any" equipment in the Uniforms tab. This will cause them to equip any weapons or armor they can find. Once leather or metal armor can be made the gnomes will soon all be armored and less vulnerable to surprise attacks. Use the "Avoid Enemies" option if you do not want your gnomes to fight unless as a last resort.
    • Note: Armor of any sort will slow down a gnome, with metal armor being the worst in this regard. This can affect the productivity of working gnomes.
  • If you have access to coal but lack the ores to craft weapons, Torches can be a good choice for the early game. They deal more damage (burn) than fighting barehanded and utilize the Sword skill. Torches increase vision range, and after you replace them with weapons or shields they can be used for lighting. Any Furnace can be used to turn any log into a lump of coal.
  • You can wall yourself in to protect against enemies by creating a dirt wall or digging a trench around your settlement. Walling an entire side of a map makes that area safe but can prevent gnomads, ambassadors and merchants from appearing from that direction; if you wall all edges of the map nothing will appear at all. Keep a designated "gate" where you can mine out a dirt wall and have a single square stockpile of dirt close by. Mining it down will open up your town, and choosing Build > Terrain > Wall > Dirt (or Build > Terrain > Floor > Dirt for trenches) in the context menu will close it back up again.
    • Walling yourself in has become less of a perfect defense as of 0.9.8. If Goblin Raiders cannot find a way into your settlement and leave empty-handed, they will return with Tunnelers who will take some time to construct a tunnel inside (this does not destroy terrain). These Tunnelers can be intercepted and the tunnels deconstructed by gnomes. You can however also bribe them with weapons, armor or crafts to leave you alone; currently there is no minimum value but this may change in a future version of Gnomoria.
      • Walling off all edges of the map remains effective but will still hinder the arrival of gnomads, ambassadors and merchants.