got a few more tips for you if anyone cares for them people managment:
it's generally a good idea to give armour to all gnomes that have to work in dangerous areas. they don't need to be trained in combat, but a well crafted iron- or steeloutfit should keep them alive long enough until your army arrives to save the day.
dangerous jobs include:
- miners (they are usually the first to encounter a skeleton or worse when you can't place torches fast enough)
- butchers (they might run into trouble when picking up goblin corpses for slaughter outside and another enemy is running around)
- woodcutters (unless you only let them work on secure groves)
- builders (if you let them build in unsecured areas of the map)
- engineers (they like to reset traps while your enemies are still happily triggering them, leading to brilliant engineer-suicides. read also the next part "mechanical managment" for a way to keep your engineers alive)
just put all those guys in squads and give them some nice armour that you can afford and don't need for your real soldiers. you can even give them weapons if you like, although all of them will drop their right-hand-weapon when they begin working on their jobs. the left-hand-weapon-slot is generally fine though, so feel free to give them something there, too. shields are a good choice there.
once your gnomes are all in a squad, they will start to equip themselves with armour on their own, but not with weapons.
to make them pick up their weapons, just send each squad to a training ground, wait for them to pick up their gear, and unassign them again. they should keep their left-hand-weapons forever now and continue on with their jobs.
if you also gave them weapons in their right hand, you now have a second army of lots of untrained worker-gnomes as a bonus. a reservist-army, so to say. feel free to call upon them to help fight any threat that your soldiers can't handle on their own. "brave amateurs - they do their part"
squads and uniforms can also be used for your gnomes in non-dangerous jobs, to be easily identified. dress all your farmers in leather for example, or give all your crafters a nice red copper-helmet. now you know the job of a gnome just by looking at him/her. mechanical managment:
traps are great, everyone loves traps. but engineers like to reset traps while there are still enemies marching through them. while giving them armour might keep them alive for a little while, they will still die when there is a major mant-raid going on and your engineers are facing 20-30 angry insects on their way to reset traps. so what to do?
well, put all your engineers in a single squad and send them off to train at an empty training ground while the mants trample through your traps. this way, your engineers will happily punch each others faces for fun while your army and your traps deal with the mants the way they are supposed to. and after the battle is over, you can unassign your engineers from the training ground, and they can safely reset their beloved traps. no dead engineers in your corridor of doom.
levers are also great, but unfortunately they can only be activated by your engineers and not by any gnome. this might become a problem when timing is important. a simple way to deal with that is to use pressure plates instead of a lever, and designating a guard area behind it. this way, you can choose a gnome that might be in the vicinity of the pressure plate at any given time, assign him/her to a squad and simply send that squad over to the guard area behind the pressure plate, triggering your device fast and reliable and without the need of any engineering skills at all.
if your soldiers are guarding/training at your main entrance and you choose to use a mechanical wall as a gate for example, you can use your soldiers this way to open/close the mechanical wall by simply sending them off to another guard area.
but you don't have to use your soldiers of course, you can also put your important switch in the form of a pressure plate / guard area combination somewhere near your workshops, were most of your craft-gnomes are at any given time. then simply create a squad of your craft-gnomes and use them to trigger the pressure plate.
hope this helps.
also please excuse my bad english/spelling, I'm german. if anyone wants to put this stuff on the wiki, feel free to do so and to edit it into better english