With its deep and engaging turn-based strategy, sprawling armies and epic battles, The Creative Assembly’s Total War series is known for stealing days, weeks and months at a time from its players - such is the breadth and depth offered by these types of games. Add user-made mods to this hearty post-release mix and that stretch can easily extend to years.
The latest entry, Total War: Warhammer [official site], marks a distinguished departure from the norm. Gone are the historically accurate campaigns the series is best known for, and in their place are the fantastical wargrounds and combatants of Games Workshop’s best known dystopian fantasy world. It's the perfect platform for expanding in wild and inventive ways. As such we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up some of the best Total War: Warhammer mods available right now.
Until very recently, Total Warhammer was also set to be the first Total War game without modding support due to licensing issues between Creative Assembly and GW. Luckily that’s all sorted now and mods are officially allowed via the Steam Workshop.
Some of Total Warhammer’s best features include its rolling battlegrounds and wonderfully designed dwarfs, vampire counts, Empire soldiers and the likes, yet in its standard state camera functionality is a touch restrictive. Keeping your lovely armies alive is a pretty integral part of winning any war, and so too is being able to see where you’re sending your troops at all times.
Better Camera Mod does exactly what you might expect, then, letting you climb much higher and dip much lower than the generic camera view allows for. Zoom all the way in and see what your orcs have stuck between their teeth (I bet it’s smelly), and then shoot all the way out to better plot your plans of attack and defence. Creator kam2150 suggests that this mod makes capturing action screenshots a whole lot easier too, and that the inclusion of some nifty hot keys, that let you toggle the UI on and off, allow for more cinematic views. Best move over, Attenborough, we’ve got this covered.
Conquer Anywhere & Diplomatic Options, Home Region Movement Bonus and Legendary Lord Unique Start Position
By Dresden and Magnar respectively
One major difference Total Warhammer has over its series forerunners, besides its lack of historical accuracy, is that certain factions are prevented from invading certain regions in-line with Warhammer lore. Dresden’s Conquer Anywhere & Diplomatic Options mod not only lifts this ban by letting any non-chaos faction conquer any settlement they so choose, it also lets all factions confederate. Whereas the generic restrictions do make sense within this world, there is definitely something to be said about holding adject rule over each and every corner of the realm.
With your new found all-conquering power, why not push you influence a little further then, dear warrior? Home Region Movement Bonus Mod - another from Dresden, who you may recognise from previous Total War mods - is a nifty tweak that increases army movement by 10% within your own regions. So long as you’re not in charge of the Chaos faction (they can’t own territory, yeah?) you’ll be rewarded with a further reach, but beware: AI can take advantage of the extra help too. (There’s also a variation of this mod that extends movement to 25%.)
While we’re on the subject of battlefield maneuverability, wouldn’t it be nice to give our Legendary Lords their own unique starting points out there? It’s a small gripe, granted, but one thing that irritates me in particular about Total Warhammer’s vanilla setup is the fact you can’t do this. Whether you’re directing Balthasar Gelt or Karl Franz, they’re still gonna wind up starting out in bloomin’ Altdorf which doesn’t seem right. Enter Legendary Lord Unique Start Position which places one of each race's Legendary Lords into another faction of that race. This spreads your Ledge Lords out and lets you play co-op as the same race, in turn adding a bit more variety to proceedings.
By MadJonat and Zaskar70 respectively
So we’ve pretty much locked down the logistics of battle up to now but we could really do with, well, more variety in our army. Maybe you’d like to lead a wider-flung ensemble of minor powers into this dystopian warworld. Perhaps you fancy a mod that’d unlock all unique factions in co-op play with full tech tree functionality. Folk like the Skaelings, the Vargs, the Tilea, the Estalia, the Nordland, the Necksnappers, the Crooked Moon, the Skull-Takerz (Horde), the Top Knotz...DEEP BREATH... the Mousillon, the Karak Norn OR the Kraka Drak? Factions Unlocker Campaign lets you do exactly that and you can even take charge of the Bretonnia, so long as you’re willing to use the Ork’s tech tree in doing so.
And you shouldn’t stop there. Summon the uber-cool undead Blood Knights from classic Warhammer fiction while you’re at it with the Vampire Counts mod. Creator Zaskar70 provides a pretty detailed account of the Blood Knights' place in Warhammer lore, and also informs that their variation are "a bit tougher than Grail Knights as the lore claims that not even the Grail Knights could go lance to lance vs them." Both lance and dismounted infantry are available to send valiently over the parapet.
By Prime Minister Sinister
If you’ve a tendency towards the Empire then both of these mods are for you. Both created by the fantastically named Prime Minister Sinister, Empire of Sigmar adds a host a brand new empire units, complete with new unit stats, that hark back to the tabletop classics of yore. Recruit the likes of the Knights Panther, dismounted Reiksguard, Ricco’s Republican Guard, and Voland’s Venators into your squadron at will, but do note that this mod will probably empower the Empire beyond competition. Then again, that’s what you’re after, isn’t it?
Pair this with Prime Minister Sinister’s Men of the Empire - a cosmetic mod that reskins Empire troops to better resemble pre-eighth edition Warhammer tabletop fare, and brings with it new armour, chainmail, and other such loyalist-favoured equipment.
By Litharion and The Roman Republic respectively
Don’t get me wrong, when I go to digital war I think big. I think committing hours on end, planning meticulous strategy, sending hundreds, if not thousands, of folk to their demise. I want my guys to beat your guys and I want to tower over anyone who dares stand in my way. Although, actually, I don’t really think my Legendary Lords need to be that tall, do they? I mean, come on, in their standard state they look like those football figures with the big heads that were all the rage in the mid 90s. Resized Lords and Heroes is pretty self-explanatory in its aims as it shrinks Lords and heroes down to a more respectable, more proportionate size on the battlefield. That’s better.
Although maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe bigger is better and that’s what everyone really does want. You’ll still cause the same motion in the ocean as before, mind, but The Roman Republic’s Bigger Giants, Terrorgheist and Arachnarok Spider mod boosts the size of the those three monstrosities making them a shit sight larger and more imposing than their original state. Is bigger better? That resized army of spiders and giants and ‘gheists would certainly suggest so!
By Hermann Ze German and Bladeuk respectively
Above all, the most formidable soldiers to have defending your corner are your veterans. You know, the guys who’re there from the outset, who last the pace and cover your back until the bitter end. The fact that Total Warhammer enforces a level 30 limit cap on your generals and heroes, however, means they’ll struggle to reach their true potential. Well, fret not dear vets, because Maximum Level 60 For Generals (my goodness Total Warhammer’s mods are so unoriginally named) ups that cap by a stonking 100%, meaning your longest-serving crew can treat their skill trees to their heart’s content via the intervening levels.
Similarly, Valuable Veterans recognises the time and effort your stalwart strong holders throw onto the battlefield and rewards them with significant morale and leadership bonuses. This in turn boosts their melee attack and defence prowess and whereas vets are normally only marginally more proficient than the rest of your squadron (as is the case in most Total War games), this mod makes them your strongest force by a country mile.
Any of you who’ve played Total War games in the past and have subsequently dived into its modding world will undoubtedly recognise the name Radious. They’re an award-winning team of modders who have the most Steam Workshop subscribers to Total War games for a reason - their mods rework just about everything. As total overhauls, this mod brings new values to combat, enemy AI, tweaks territorial management, rebalances stats, and the list goes on. Here’s their words on what their Total War: Warhammer mod is all about:
"Complete game overhaul mod, which offers to players big changes in campaign AI, diplomacy, land battles, reworking abilities, spells, magic, changes buildings, re-balances all unit stats and costs, reworks experience system and much more with additions of custom made units for all in-game factions."
Masters vs Minors
Virtual real-time strategised war can be a cruel place for some and a cake walk for others. While this list should help both novices and pros alike, the following groupings should either help make Total Warhammer easier to get into, or more difficult to master.
Feeble Green Horns
No Aggressive Agent
Tired of enemy agents turning up with ridiculously high levels? This mod prevents AI aggression so you can first get the lay of the land.
Less Op Agents
By Chugger Ugger
A step up in skill from the previous mod, this ‘un doesn’t remove AI aggression completely, but does prevent them from launching a repetitive string of aggressive attacks over and over on you. AI agents will also be debuffed if/when they assassinate one of your characters.
More Skill Points
Adds more skill points per level to every character.
Fearless Green Skins
A More Aggressive AI
With this mod, AI is more likely to declare war on surrounding neighbours. It also raises the priority for the AI to go on the offensive when war is declared.
Double Building and Research Times
This mod doubles both building and research times, which leaves less time for botched strategy. Choose wisely.
That brings us to the end of our best Total War: Warhammer mods collection. But which ones have we missed? Let us know in the comments below.