BreakingModern – Total War is an award-winning strategy gaming franchise and many people think it’s the greatest ongoing series out there. I agree that the games are good. But they’re not perfect. Everything can be improved.
The Total War modification (modding) community is determined to go above and beyond the bounds of the original games. God bless ‘em. Here, in no particular order, are some of the best Total War mods out there.
Europa Barbarorum (Rome: Total War)
Rome: Total War has a great game engine, but its historical accuracy was absolutely terrible. The barbarians looked like Hollywood stereotypes. And the Egyptians, instead of living in an historically accurate Greek culture, resembled the villains in Return of the Mummy! Fortunately, Europa Barbarorum fixes all of this by combining extreme historical accuracy with awesome gameplay. In this mod every faction has equal representation, which means each culture has its unique set of buildings, units and government types. Plus the map has been greatly expanded beyond the original game, balancing factions like the Seleucid Empire (which was a complete dud in the original game).
Third Age: Total War (Medieval II: Total War)
Do not take me for a conjurer of cheap mods! Even the eye of Sauron can see how epic this modification is. As you can probably guess, Third Age: Total War is set in J.R.R. Tokien’s Lord of the Rings universe. If you want to lead the Riders of Rohan into battle against the forces of Isengard, go ahead. If you want to reenact the Battle of the Five Armies, knock yourself out. Giant spiders, Ents and oliphaunts are all here. There’s even a fellowship campaign to represent Frodo’s quest to destroy the one ring.
Broken Crescent (Medieval II: Total War)
The original Medieval II: Total War focused on Europe and parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Broken Crescent, on the other hand, looks at the entire Middle East at the time of the Crusades and spans a map from Greece to India. The campaign centers around both the presence of crusaders, represented collectively as the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but also among the three Islamic groups of the Arabs, Turks and Persians. Besides expanding the campaign map into another area of the world, Broken Crescent offers the opportunity for regional recruitment. This gives a unique challenge to Medieval II: Total War veterans.
Stainless Steel (Medieval II: Total War)
Stainless Steel is like the Medieval II version of Europa Barbarorum, except it isn’t made by historical buffs. Instead it’s a mod that’s designed to enhance the original campaign of Medieval II: Total War. First off, it expands the campaign map and adds a whole host of factions, including Kievan Rus (medieval Ukraine), the Teutonic Knights and Ireland. It also adds many units for existing factions. Finally, there are new mechanics introduced in Stainless Steel that weren’t present in the original game. For example: the Holy Roman Empire is excommunicated and its highest priest becomes the anti-Pope. In a word: Yikes!
Invasio Barbarorum (Rome: Total War)
Invasio Barbarorum covers the period of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire and is an enhancement on Rome: Total War’s expansion, Barbarian Invasion. The timeline of the fall of Rome was a natural choice for the original game, but the fact that it has only 10 playable factions was a huge letdown. This mod expands the faction list with other nomads such as the Hephthalites and Roman usurper factions like the Gallic Empire. Invasio Barbarorum is actually a series of four campaigns centered around four points in the decline and fall of Rome. The game also increases the unit roster of existing factions and allows you to dress them however you wish.
Darthmod Series (Rome: Total War to Total War: Shogun II)
After playing Total War for years, many veteran players crave additional challenges. That’s why this guy (who titles his modifications after the famous Star Wars character) has decided to enhance every Total War iteration from Rome to Shogun II. Not only does he write a more challenging campaign but he adds fun perks too. For example, battle flags in both Empire: Total War and Napoleon: Total War are enhanced from basic national emblems to historically authentic battle standards.
And that wraps it up. These are my six favorite Total War mods. If there are any that you think I missed, feel free to add them in the comments below.
All Screenshots: Puching Zhang