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About this mod

Dear Bethesda,

Your civil war sucks. Someone else fixed it for you.

Permissions and credits
LE Backport made from HERE

For Skyrim Legendary Edition

This mod attempts to bring new life into the frankly b*llshit Civil War questline. This mod is based off of the original Civil War Overhaul by Apollodown. I have gone and rebuilt the mod from the ground up,
hopefully adding a lot of support and stability in addition to many
enhancements to deliver an improved experience but also sticking to the
vision of the original mod.

But First a Warning:

Skyrim's Civil War is the most script heavy and problematic piece of the game
(hence why so much of it was cut). This mod does its best to fix things
while also adding a lot of other neat things but there is only so much
lip-stick I can slather on this pig. To that end, I am stealing this
list of tips from nexus user Enodoc on Tips for an Efficient and

  • From the Battle of Whiterun until after the Battle of Solitude or Windhelm, make sure that you SAVE OFTEN.
  • Don’t travel directly from one Civil War objective to the next. If you go too
  • fast, you’ll overtake the Civil War script, and things may start breaking - garrisons not changing ownership, quests and missions not starting, etc.If a quest or mission does not start within 60 seconds, and there’s no notification saying it failed, it’s likely the script is hanging. If you’re inside a palace or longhouse, leave the interior; if you’re at a military camp, fast travel to the camp’s map marker. (Forcing the game through a loading screen usually frees up the scripts.)
  • The MCM option has been provided to 'Get CWO Unstuck'. Utilize it if you think that something is not working. 
  • Always keep a backup save from before the Battle for Whiterun (and don’t
  • delete it until after the Battle for Windhelm or Battle for Solitude).
  • If a Failed to Start notification appears for a siege, or something
  • doesn’t work as expected or otherwise intended, stop. As they say in Morrowind, “Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created.”

Here is a list of what this mod does in terms of your Skyrim playthrough

Before the Battle for Whiterun Quest
  • Cities and military camps will have a small chance of containing spies. Spies
  • will seek out an assassination target before vanishing into the night (or day...It doesn't matter they have a potion of invisibility). Before the Civil War since you have not picked a side, you won't be selected as a target. But once you do... (Configurable in the MCM)
  • Added mages and archers to the foot soldier troops all around Skyrim 

During the Battle for Whiterun Quest
  • Troops during sieges will be much more diverse than vanilla, incorporating
  • several flavors of warriors, spell casters and even monsters into the
    fray. Troops have also been properly perked to make them the believable
    trained soldiers that they should be. By default, the variety is
    unleveled but a separate plugin is included to designate leveled troops.
    A separate Zedit Patcher has also been included to tailor the troops
    you want to see to your tastes.
  • There is a small chance that dragons will also crash the party further adding to the insanity.
  • The chance of this happening is configurable in the MCM.
  • In addition to keeping yourself alive, the welfare of your troops needs to
  • be considered. If too many troops fall, you will lose the battle. The number of troops at your disposal will be determined by radiant quest rewards, hold proximity to other Holds that you.. well.. hold and by a multiplier that you can fully administer in the MCM.
  • If you die in battle, you will instead faint and be whisked off to a nearby
  • military camp. This is configurable in the MCM. The percentage of troops left alive on either side will determine the outcome of the battle. So you can still fall but your side will still win.
  • Winning the hold battle will net you unique weapons and armor exclusive to this mod that you will not find anywhere else.

So you won (or lost) the battle for Whiterun
  • The Civil War questline now opens up as a fully radiant questline. If you
  • lost the battle for Whiterun, your side is set as the defender for a hold that you already own. If you won, you will be on the offensive and then you will be sent to the military camp in an enemy hold.
  • Holds will now know what side you are on and will openly attack you while in a
  • hold occupied by the enemy. A lightweight disguise feature is included to allow you to enter enemy cities without trouble. This feature is configurable in the MCM.
  • Once a hold is selected, I make use of the powerful but ultimately unused CWCampaign to act as a quest manager.
  • This quest manager keeps track of campaign "phases" which are the number of missions that will happen before a City Siege. In the MCM, you can control how many radiant missions will be assigned before being ordered to attack or defend the hold's city. The default number of missions between city sieges can be set to 4, 2 or none for offense, or 2, 1, or none for defense.
  • If you on are the defensive, you will receive the missions prior to the city defense via the Courier. He will
  • show up after a few days so its best to just to play around as normal until he shows up (the time to wait before he shows up is configurable in the MCM but we all know that the Courier is pretty problematic so don't bother waiting around for him). The radiant quests consist of defending the fort or a garrison within the hold. Successfully defending the fort and or garrison will give you bonuses to the number of troops in the city siege defense.
  • If on the offensive, you be given missions by your commanding officer (unless you selected 0 missions in
  • the MCM to which they will just skip to ordering the attack on the city). The base game only included 4 missions whereas CWO incorporates those 4 and restores 6 additional missions cut from the base game (more details on that included here The dialogue by the commanding officers are fully voiced as it was all recorded but cut dialogue. Again, finishing the quests successfully will reward you with additional troops and even some new allies for the city siege.
  • If you are on the offense but hanging around in a city that you control, there is also a small chance that there will be a
  • squad to your doorstep intending to sack the city. This chance is configurable in the MCM (under 'Spanish Inquisition').
  • In the base game, only 3 cities were eligible for Civil War sieges. Now all 9
  • will be up for grabs and the battle for each city will determine who will  maintain or relinquish control of the hold. Again, like Whiterun, winning the battle will put you on the offensive while losing will put you on the defensive of the next hold. 
  • Markarth and Riften city proper will have additional debris and barriers set similar to Whiterun
  • to make things a little more interesting.
  • Winning the battle at minor cities will also trigger a scene with the Jarl handing over control to the player.
So only Windhelm or Solitude remains, what next?
  • Windhelm and Solitude now both will have you go through the city exterior to reach the front gate like the other major cities.
  • If on the defensive, ready yourself for your final stand against the
  • enemy. If the enemy breaks through, your side loses the war.
  • If on the offensive, once you reach the city gate the Solitude/Windhelm
  • interior sieges will play out like normal along with a final unique prize given out by your respective generals.

After the Civil War
  • The rest of the game should remain as though you completed the Civil War
  • questline normally (but it was hopefully a lot more fun :) )

Additional Features
  • A compatibility section has been added to the MCM. Since several
  • locations are now used as battlegrounds for the Civil War, heavily modded lists can see some issues. (particularly if you made significant changes to the exterior of Solitude and Windhelm)
  • A leveled patch has been added. The original CWO was unleveled so I added a patch
  • to level gate some of the higher level NPC's that could be added to a siege. If you want to stick with the original craziness, simply untick the CWOLeveled.esp file.
  • The Season Unending quest has been tweaked so support this mod. In addition,
  • depending on how you do in that quest, you can potentially be kicked out of your faction and defect to the other side.


  • Mods like Open Civil War is not compatible unfortunately. Think of this mod
  • and Open Civil War as being two different imaginings of a better civil war experience. Just pick one. Unfortunately the Civil War is just too complicated to combine them.
  • Many, many, many vanilla script files pertaining to the Civil War have been changed. I do not pack them
  • so conflicts should be easy to spot if you use a mod manager. But these scripts cannot be overwritten.
  • This mod restores exterior sieges for Solitude and Windhelm. Some folks tested with some hefty load
  • orders and did not have any issues but some mods like City Entrance Overhaul - Windhelm since it gets rid of the portcullises on Windhelm's entirely will definitely need a patch. Before the Battle of Windhelm, you can turn Windhelm Exterior siege off in the Compatibility section.
  • Armor replacers and mods that add additional troops are compatible and totally fine
  • Mods that add additional skirmishes like Warzones are also compatible


Q: I am totally stuck. The Civil War quest (after Message to Whiterun cus
CWO doesn't do anything before that) is not progressing? How could you
not have fixed Bethesda's busted engine?!?!?

A: This is usually when you should probably follow the steps here and open an issue. But what you can try doing first is ticking the "Help
get quests unstuck" and hopefully it might shake everything into working

Q: Music does not stop after the Siege

A: So the music should stop earlier but keep in mind that City Sieges are
not over until you completely leave the hold for where the city took
place. If it still does not stop, tick the 'Stop Music' option in the

Q: When I enter a city, everyone attacks me.

A: So that is part of this mod but that functionality does not happen
until after the Battle for Whiterun and also should stop after the war
or during the truce in Season Unending. If this disguise mechanic
happens during those times, tick the 'Stop Enemy Territories from
Attacking' in the MCM to calm everyone down.

Q: The Whiterun Bridge is still up after the Battle for Whiterun.

A: This is an annoying vanilla bug. Tick 'Fix Whiterun Bridge' in the MCM to resolve.

Q: After a Siege, my own troops start attacking me.

A: This is another annoying vanilla bug. Tick the 'Pay Faction Crimes' in the MCM.

Q: Can I Install CWO Redux on an Existing Save?

A: YESS!! CWO before now made extensive use and changes to the CW quest. That is
the overarching Civil War quest that runs throughout your entire game. I
have migrated most that functionality to the cwcampaign quest which
Bethesda created but never uses so this should have a lighter footprint
on your game.

Q: Can I install CWO after the Battle of Whiterun?

A: Yeesss??? I have not tested but It should be ok. Maybe? You might need to speak
with Tullius or Ulfric to help move things along.

Q: Can I install CWO Redux version 1.0 over previous versions?

A: Wellll???? I *cough* wouldn't recommend it. Version 1.0 is a total rework so
things might irrevocably break. Version 1.0 onwards though should be
safe to overwrite.

Q: So I did actually play Civil War Overhaul and I thought that the battles were totally lame.
Seriously, Giants and Khajiit in the Stormcloak army? What gives?

A: Well that is a matter of opinion. Buuuuut, if you don't like it, check the
CWO zEdit Patcher. It will allow you to adjust what troopers appear and
how often. Check here for more info on how to set up (

Q: What about Skyrim VR? XBox One? Sega Master System?

A: BOOM! XBox One. Skyrim VR I have not tested but it should work?? 

Q: I fell during a siege but I didn't enter bleedout. I just died.

A: Well that is not a question. But there seems to be a slight conflict with a bleedout fix thing in PC Headtracking and Voice Types I am not quite sure how to fix yet but I am working on it.

Q: During defensive missions, the courier gave me a note that I already read?

A: You didn't read it. Skyrim is just flagging that you read it. Don't know
why. Best thing to do is, once you read the note and start the defensive
skirmish/siege just sell the note.

Q: I am in a minor siege, I got to the quest marker to meet up with my troops but everyone is invisible.

A: This happens sometimes. Not sure why. Reloading an earlier save should resolve.


Read this Mod Description :) Use any mod manager. Install. Enjoy.


I included an option to Uninstall in the MCM. But I haven't tried it yet
and even so it should only be used as a last resort. This mod should be
lightweight enough so that nothing crazy should be running while the
Civil War questline is not in progress.


Apollodown - The OG Civil War Madlad. So I was a first day buyer of Skyrim for the
XBox 360. I think I only made it 30 hours before I put it down.
Mid-2016, I had a PC (well a MacBook) and I had some free time to
casually look through the 20,000 something Skryim mods on the Nexus.
That's when I saw the original Civil War Overhaul and I remember how
incredibly lackluster my 2011 Skyrim experience was. I looked at the
wacky description and I thought that this was exactly what Skyrim was
missing. Without Civil War Overhaul, I don't think I would've given
Skyrim a second chance so I guess I have him to thank for the thousands
of hours of joy (and frustration) my modded Skyrim experience has been.

Reddit user u/inmundano for the incredibly helpful Reddit post detailing issues of the original
Civil War Overhaul (along with hints as how to fix said issue).

simtam for Open Civil War - I am using the fixes from cwarrowvolleyparentscript
and CWAttackCityConfrontationTriggerScript from Open Civil War. I also
followed a lot of excellent literature that he wrote on how the Civil
War works. He is probably the most knowledgeable modder on the Civil War
and we are lucky to have him as part of the modding community.

Reddit user u/Earslingofmammoths for giving me the extra push to start working on this.

Reddit user u/AlexKwiatek for beta testing and for giving me enough feature suggestions that
should keep me busy until ES6 comes out. He has also assisted in fixing
some of the compatibility issues with the Season Unending Questline.

Nexus user Enodoc for allowing me to use some elements from his Serious Civil War Final Sieges mod.

Nexus user domenicus7 for beta testing and providing some fixes for me to incorporate into the Whiterun siege.

Github users LabWazHere, Eve-Knight (Xatherine on Nexus), and DarthVitrial who offered extensive testing and suggestions.

PaleNoisestumbajamba, and Aenkill for Attack Dogs and the resources that come along with it. I am using the armored dog and wolf meshes from that mod.

li1nx for Champollion

ElminsterAU for SSEEdit

nimrodxy for VSCode Skyrim SE Papyrus Project Template