All can equip various weapons and armor, and all will fight to defend themselves. Every townie will engage in combat if a hostile comes within their line of sight. If the Town has an available Hospital, they will visit it once they are wounded enough and are not in combat. When someone dies, all equipment they were wearing disappears.
Civilians have statistics such as Attack, Defence and Damage. These can be increased and augmented by equipping them with certain Weapons and Armor. Unequipped Civilians can be easy pickings for the various beasties that roam the plains.
Civilians can be changed to Soldiers via the right-click menu: 'Convert to Soldier'. Soldiers can be switched back to Civilians in the same way. Soldiers differ from Civilians in that they do not do the manual labour that Civilians partake of. Be sure to equip them prior to conversion!
NOTE: In versions 0.40.2 and previous, a barracks was required to convert Civilians into Soldiers. Barracks were removed in Towns 40.2
Soldiers can be assigned one of three tasks: Guard, Patrol, and Supervise.
- Guard: The default task given to a Soldier when he/she has been switched from a Civilian. Guards will stay idle until a fellow townie is engaged in combat with a hostile. They will go directly to that area and assist the townie. When the enemy has died, the guard will idle at that location until another hostile comes within his/her line of sight or another townie is in need of help. Guards will not come to the aid of heroes in combat.
- Patrol: Soldiers can patrol a set of assigned waypoints. Initially, the Soldier on patrol will not undergo any patrolling until waypoint(s) are set. Waypoints can be set via the right-click menu: Simply right click the location you want the Soldier to patrol, choose 'Add patrol point' and then choose the Soldier. They can be removed in the same way or by changing tasks/converting to civilian. Soldiers on patrol will randomly switch between waypoints and will attack any hostile within their line. They will not go out of their way to help other townies in combat. Note: Setting waypoints on a Soldier is a great way to manually explore an area.
- Supervise: Soldier can become a supervisor to help speed up production time. An exclamation mark above the Soldier indicates that they are shouting orders. They will cause their target civilian to move and work considerably faster for a short period of time but at a price: their happiness will decrease. Additionally, they will only attack hostiles within their line of sight and will not come to the aid of a Civilian in need.
If you keep your populace happy and keep extra Personal Rooms, eventually you will receive the notification "Immigrants have arrived!" and your Civilian count will increase, but sometimes they won't be able to find their way to the town because it may be blocked so keep the path from being obstructed.
With heroes, it's a little different. Every single type require different prerequisites and an available Tavern (and Tavern rooms if required). The maximum number of heroes you can have in your town depends on the number of citizens living there. Generally it's the square root of the number of citizens: i.e. 3 heroes for 9 civillians, 5 heroes for 25 civillians, and so on.