So it’s been almost two months since the release of Total War: Warhammer. I have completed a long campaign as Empire, and have campaigns ongoing in most of the other current factions. The developers are apparently still working on the game, and have given information on future release of content here. The first thing to be released officially is ‘Blood for the Blood God’ which is just a cool name for the inclusion of gore into the game, a practice which they have done in the last few games despite people always complaining about having to pay (£2) for something that really should be free if not in the game to begin with. Not a good start on the official new content then, but let’s hope that improves.
Now onto what I really want to talk about, the mods. Modding for the game started seemingly within seconds of the game being released. Unsurprisingly these were mostly very simple mods, and since then there have been an abundance of little tweaks all over the place. This is probably going to make up the majority of the mods going forward as well, due to the fact that Total War games have been harder and harder to mod with each new release. Gone are the days of the almost entirely new games like Third Age TW, but oh well. There are still some great things to be found for Warhammer already, and now that I’ve played the vanilla game a fair amount, I’m ready to dive in.
The most popular mods at the moment are the usual small cosmetic changes, which is understandable because they provide clear improvements with no downsides. Also very popular are what are essentially cheat mods. There are tons of these, and they do all sorts: give you more money, make diplomacy easier, make your armies move faster on map, allow you to conquer anything, make enemy agents useless, give your heroes and generals more xp, remove your faction’s downsides entirely. The list goes on. So for those people out there who want to breeze through the game with zero challenge, great, you can mod it all out in a few minutes and probably be done with the game just as quick. Thankfully though, there are a few great mods that are in progress and add some cool content to the game. So without further ado, here is my first look at a few of the more interesting mods for Total War: Warhammer…
I usually immediately go for the big unit packs when it comes to mods for a Total War or any RTS game. So far this looks to be one of the better options, mostly because of the sheer amount of new units it adds. A lot of these units can seem like filler, but I’m assuming they are included for Warhammer lore reasons, such as the multiple new knight units for The Empire, seemingly styled to be from different knightly orders. To be fair they may be similar, but they do at least have varying stats and bonuses in all cases.
Overall this mod adds 37 new units to the game across most of the factions, which is an impressive amount that only seems to be rising. A few of these, like i said are variations on the same thing, such as the same unit with different weapons, or with and without shields. Some of my favourites are the new ranged troops for Empire, such as Nuln Engineers with either repeater handguns, grenade launchers, or Hochland long rifles. Also the Marksmen unit which is simply longbowmen for Empire, which I love because I missed my proper archers from other Total War games.
The main concern with a mod that dumps a ton of new units into your game like this is the potential for imbalance, so it’s really recommended to at least start a new campaign when installing this, and maybe testing things out in custom battles for a bit. Thankfully the mod creator for this is fairly active and appears to take feedback on balancing and bugs so far.
This mod adds a bit more than just units to the game by making a few more factions playable in the campaign. There are quite a few mods that simply make a faction playable but this one goes further by making them more unique. When I was playing my Empire campaign, I was a little disappointed that most human factions that weren’t Bretonnian were just complete copies of the Empire faction itself. While this makes sense for the areas around where you start that are considered part of the Empire provinces, it doesn’t make as much sense for the realms further away to have that same German style.
So what this mod does is it adds over 25 appropriately styled units to the Estalia, Tilea and Eastern Border Princes factions, with some overlapping between them. On top of that it changes other things to make the factions feel different such as new general and hero skills, custom tech trees, new building chains and appropriate garrisons. I like this mod a lot, and i look forward to seeing it maybe be even more fleshed out in addition to the great work that is already there.
Like the previous mod this one fleshes out, adds units to, and makes playable a new human faction. This time it’s Kislev which is the Russian styled faction to the North-East of the map. The mod was originally made in Russian, which I suppose is appropriate, but has thankfully been translated into this English version
It’s not quite as in depth or extensive as the Southern Realms mod, and it has some crashing issues at the moment when you try an research tech, but it still adds some great units, balances them, and edits the UI and building chains. The creator also added bear cavalry, which sounds pretty awesome, but unfortunately is only a retexture of the demigryph knights from Empire, so looks pretty silly right now. Overall though this mod is an awesome start and I’m really hoping it continues to be worked on and polished. I think Kislev would be a fun and challenging alternative human faction to play.
This mod is more of what you would call an ‘overhaul’ mod as it aims to completely change the Vampire Counts faction into an entirely different Warhammer one; The Tomb Kings. So far it is very much an early version, and is a work in progress. It is also the creator’s first ever mod, so they have said not to get high hopes. Even so, they’ve done a great job so far, and hopefully their work is added to by other more experienced modders in collaboration with them.
What the mod does so far is add a few units and one leader, and restricts recruitment to other Vampire Counts skeleton units for now so that it has a generally correct unit roster, if a small one. The mod doesn’t simply add the Tomb Kings into the game, but actually just places them starting in the south and partially ready to take over the Vampire Counts, as they are apparently arch enemies in the lore. This mod actually recommends a couple of what I consider cheat mods usually, these being the ones that allow you to conquer anywhere so that you are able to take the orc settlements in the Badlands, and the mod that delays the Chaos invasion, otherwise this mod would be very limited.
A Few Smaller Mods
I also have been using a few smaller mods for a while now. They don’t really impact the game that much, but just give a little flavour where its appreciated. The first mod I started using in Warhammer is Varied Generals – by Grizzly. This is a very simple mod that just adds a few different unit parts such as helmets, armour, other equipment, just so that your generals look a bit more distinct from one another, as I was starting to get confused between about four of my Empire generals who all had the same hat, face, and facial hair.
Next up is Full Plate Greatswords/State Troops – by Valius Forta. This is a couple of mods that either adds fully covering plate armour to your infantry or just greatswords for Empire. I like the Greatswords one because it makes them look more formidable, and the one for the others is good to use when you unlock the tech that increased armour for your troops, allowing you to add a cosmetic change at that point to match it if you wish.
A very subtle one, that I think is nonetheless very nicely made is Building Progression Icons – by SPARTAN VI. What this does is edit the UI icons for the buildings to make them show which level the building is at rather than just relying on a little roman numeral in the corner of the constantly same image.
And finally one called Greenskins Teef Currency – by Cataph. This edits all images and words mentioning gold to ‘teef’ when playing as the Greenskins, as this is the appropriate and accepted form of currency among Orcs. 😉
(If you want to see any of the mods mentioned here, click the mod titles for a link to each one)