I am a conscientious objector in the Total War war. I fight for neither side, and I shall declare no opinions about the controversies surrounding the release state of Total War: Rome II. All I shall do is report the facts, ma'am. Today's fact is that devs the Creative Assembly have just released a beta version of the game's Assembly Kit mod tools, which have been long expected/demanded by the TW community. That is a fact.
"The Assembly Kit contains a series of tools to help modders edit ROME II’s database and variants, and process data such as textures, models, animations and campaign-game start positions. A suite of exporters also enables users to then edit unit models and animations using third party software," it says here, factily.
Another fact: completed mods can be whacked straight onto the Steam workshop from the Rome II launcher, so expect that to fill up with tweaks minor and major rather quickly. This'll be the Skyrim of RTSes in that regard, I reckon. Wait, that's not a fact, it's a projection. I do apologise.
Oh, here's a fact to get us back on track: the Assembly Kit download contains a bunch of example data for the likes of animations, soldiers and ships, as well as "the complete ROME II database backend." There's also a wiki containing some basic instructions right here. The Assembly Kit itself can be downloaded for freesies from Steam's tools section, presuming you own Rome II already.
Those are today's facts. Here's another one for you: dogs can't look up.