How do I make my citizens defend themselves?

I bought several crude weapons from a trader and have some swords in storage exactly to be able to defend the town from raiders, but I can’t figure out how to make my citizens grab those weapons and use them. In fact, the raiders eventually stole the sword from the warehouse because my citizens wouldn’t touch them.

Only hunters guards and soldiers use them if i m not mistaken. They need a role first, not every civilian can take weapons.

Hunters will be able to equip bows, crossbows, and basic melee weapons but they’re not very effective against raiders (they don’t have armour and can’t equip better weapons).

To defend against raiders you’ll need to use Guard Towers and/or the Barracks. The guard towers can be garrisoned by a guard and they protect a local area. Upgrading it allows more damage and more range.

The Barracks can be used to defend the area around it when garrisoned with soldiers, but it also acts as a standing army. Using the button that says something like “Mark Combat Area” they’ll go to the area and fight raiders or predators in the area. Just remember to click the flag when they’re done fighting and send them back.

There is also gold upkeep and training costs attached to guards and soldiers.


This can work in the gameplay I guess, but it seems very weird for a village of just over 100 people to rely either on a professional standing army, or to let the guards do all their fighting alone. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the villagers to form a citizens militia, with the laborers, builders and foragers rushing to defend their village with whatever weapons they can find, and once you get bigger you can train actual soldiers who are much better at fighting? That would feel more realistic for a small settlement. Guards would have a role in spotting the enemy before rallying the townsfolk to combat, but even they probably would just be citizens of all professions working in shifts to guard throughout all hours of the day.

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You could possibly suggest a peasant militia to the developers. I’m not sure how it would be implemented, since they’d be somewhere between regular peasants and a guard.

Would they just be grabbing for the crude weapons but not have armour and have a slight penalty to damage? 'cause that’d be an interesting workaround. Most of the peasants head to the town centre or their homes for shelter tho.

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I usually mark the combat area and then once the guards come in I draw boxes around clusters of 3-4 villagers and right click on the invaders and they charge into combat. If they live here they need to be ready to defend the village in a pinch.

You can get citizens crude weapons from traders to begin with. You may also hit the garrison mode on your town center during raids. This will call a very large percentage of your villagers to form a unison and take cover into the hall, performing ranged attacks. A general tip is that raiders will almost always focus your trading post and town hall along with storages. Keeps these close with your armory along with your other defenses. Walls will help keep raiders occupied and allow for your villagers to react to your garrison or just to be able to react in time in general. You can also build a militia once you have the gold to do so and tier. However, if the member of the militia dies, you will have to train another with an additional 25 gold cost. You also have to pay for the services. Anytime a trader is offering weapons and shields at a low price, go for it. But, generally you need to stock things like honey for example to trade with. With 300 you can get a couple thousand gold to invest in arming your citizens. But, be sure to take care of the basic needs before you go all out and arm them, otherwise you’ll end up with a bunch of armaments just sitting there with no people. I’d advise to place your armory, trading post, and your town hall within reach of another along with your militia. I’d also place your vault and main storage nearby as those will always be the main targets for raiders 90% of the time. In addition to that, invest in a rat catcher for the storage itself and the houses. Otherwise they will decline rapidly in desirability and you can lose a good amount of items far more than what the raiders may potentially take early on.

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I have dragged/selected multiple villagers and ordered them to attack a raider. I only did this when I had a straggler raider or two messing with part of my town not covered by towers or barracks. (I had a sword tool tip appear when I hovered over a raider with villagers selected.) Now I only have done this when the raider was really outnumbered by villagers, but I was able to chase the raider off without losing more than a villager or two and having the others take a lot of damage. I didn’t have to kill the raider, just give him enough damage so he retreats. I am sure late game raiders may be too tough for this to work.