Got some good observations from Bill Harris and started working on some solutions.
Today, Repair Chickens were added. They slowly 'heal' any blocks nearby to them, and you can use them to keep your carefully constructed fort from falling into total ruin.
Also nerfed some monster weapons to make your structures less fragile.
Been meaning to do this for a while, ever since I entertained ( and discarded ) the idea of health bars on monsters - comic-style 'biff', 'pop' particles on impact that are color and size coded to correspond to hit potency. Makes it easier to tell if you got a 'good' hit.
Lots of other stuff to do!