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About this mod

Unlocks civil war cut city battles and put them in an open strategy wargame, accessible through the war maps.

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"A recreation in Skyrim civil war cut content city battles."

This mod re-creates the civil war quest-line, incorporating the battles that were cut from Skyrim upon its original release. The initial quests remain unchanged. However, after the Battle of Whiterun, each subsequent hold can be conquered not through a military fort battle, but rather by assaulting its capital city. Imagine that, the jarl tucked in the palace, or bursting from the longhouse to join the fray, amongst the chickens... Will you die for the chickens? Perhaps someone will.

The campaign for the final hold is not altered by this mod. It commences only after your faction secures all other holds. However, the challenge may increase as the enemy occasionally counter-invades a hold. You can stop them with a city defense battle, if you're successful. Bear in mind that your faction's army is not infinite; once the soldier respawns run out, a rout begins. This rule applies to city attack battles as well, and the battle odds can vary between holds. No big deal, just inform your faction leader where to strike next. The war situation will be displayed on the nearby civil war map.

At any civil war map you can freely switch between modes of play:
  • Fortuna - a simplified mode where battle odds are largely randomized
  • Standard - hold battle odds are based on the war situation depicted on the war map
  • Wargamer - you can pause and scrutinize the war situation, progressing it manually, step by step

The Wargamer mode is designed for playtesting only, with further details provided in the README.txt file. Interestingly, merely toggling to the Wargamer mode can resolve some issues as it freezes any ongoing enemy invasions and allows vanilla fort battles to serve as a means of conquering a hold, much like they do in the unmodded civil war.

Except in Fortuna mode, faction helmet tokens will appear on the war map. These tokens represent the influence of factions in areas near the map flag location. The larger the helmets at map flags belonging to a hold, the better the hold battle odds for that faction. The impact is randomized, ranging from 2-5 soldiers for the smallest helmets ("strength" 1) to roughly 18-24 for the largest ones ("strength" 6). The ratio between attackers and defenders is what truly counts, with every battle featuring at least 70+ soldier reinforcements. Even when outnumbered, a side will have at least a dozen reinforcements to supplement the initial ten soldiers.

Civil war map tables can be found in your faction leader's quarters, military camps, and jarls' chambers. The war map situation updates slightly every time you return to the map table after one in-game day or after traveling to another civil war map table. The first such "turn" occurs when you activate the map, at which point you can choose your setup - difficulty level and mode. From then on, merely entering the cell/area containing a civil war map table will suffice. If you advance in the civil war questline without interacting with a civil war map, it will initialize automatically, right before the first hold battle. The default settings are Fortuna mode and an average difficulty level.

Over time, the war map will fluctuate around an equilibrium that tilts against your side more or less, based on the difficulty level. The difficulty level also directly influences hold battle odds, with the enemy receiving bonus strength between 1 and 6. Your side's bonus strength is determined by your civil war soldier rank plus the number of completed civil war missions. Civil war missions and fort battles are optional with this mod. Given there are three missions and promotions are earned by not fleeing from battles in Whiterun or enemy starting holds, your bonus can grow up to 7 "strength".

Once the war map is initialized, the following will occur in sync with war map turns:
  • After the Battle of Whiterun, you can request your salary from your faction leader every four turns.
  • Before the Battle of Whiterun - in Standard mode - a hold switches civil war allegiance in an "upheaval" event if all map flags in that hold display tokens of the opposing faction. In Wargamer mode, upheavals can occur up until the final hold campaign.
  • An enemy army can besiege a hold for up to three turns (if you don't intervene, the siege will resolve itself according to battle odds rules). After that, the enemy will rest for 1-4 turns (based on the difficulty level), then move on to invade another hold.
  • If you acquire a hold through the "Rescue from Fort" civil war mission, the enemy will promptly invade one of your faction holds. Such an extra invasion will be resolved in one turn.
  • Occasionally, the enemy may abandon the hold you attacked, and instead invade another of your faction's holds. This will also be resolved in one turn. To add a twist, the enemy may sometimes feign withdrawal from the city, resulting in an ambush.

To initiate a hold battle, speak to the faction leader (Tullius/Ulfric), who will send you to a military camp in a hold. Once there, speak to your faction lieutenant (Rikke/Galmar) and request a hold battle (sometimes you may need to wait for them, or even ask the camp field commander for them to appear). The dialogue option to start a hold battle is alongside the "Reporting in" option that initiates missions and fort battles. If you wish to invade another hold, request an off-screen hold battle. This will be resolved by the same battle odds rules, resulting in either conquering the hold or the "Liberation/Reunification of Skyrim" journal objective reverting back to your faction leader. At this point, you can discuss with him the next hold to invade. Do note that if there's still an open hold conquest objective, he'll disregard your suggestions.

==== Caveats ====

While playing this mod, it is strongly recommended to maintain a collection of savegames; reverting to an older save may become necessary. Original game contains a quest "mq302test" that can be used to force flip civil war allegiance of a given hold, but even that is not guaranteed to work.

Here are some known quirks:
  • Do not initiate a new city battle after one has already been started.
  • Nothing prevents from having a fort battle and a city battle simultaneously active. Avoid doing so.
  • An unfinished civil war mission after conquering that hold will be failed and cancelled permanently.
  • A few upheavals before Battle of Whiterun sounds cool, but it's risk-avoiding to initialize war game only when you want to do the civil war questline
  • As Galmar/Rikke do not teleport to military camps, you may have to wait for them, or travel away if they become stuck due to terrain geometry.
  • Regardless of how you conquer the hold, the garrison and government change will wait until you travel away from the hold and its various locations are unloaded by the game engine.
  • During city battles, let others engage and eliminate non-soldiers; conquering a hold should clear your bounty in that hold, but it might be challenging to do so with an active bounty.
  • Sometimes a hold battle plays out all right, only the ownership on the map is not updated. Keep an eye on the civil war map flag colors.
If you decide to uninstall this mod during the civil war questline, the questline may become unplayable, with some vanilla "Say Once" lines and "Run Once" quests exhausted. After the civil war, this mod is dormant, and there are no known issues specifically caused by its removal.

==== Installation and starting ====

Starting a new game is not necessary.

Put it in your load order as you would other quest mods.

With this mod, there are more flags and additional map flag colors. If you don't see these changes, it indicates improper installation, likely some other mod overwriting CWMapActivatorScript.pex script.

Activate a civil war map flag when you're up to being involved in the civil war questline, preferably at some point before or after the Battle of Whiterun quest.

==== Compatibility Notes ====

Usually mods are compatible with this mod. More details in the forum thread. This mod is known to be incompatible with
- Skyrim Civil War Commanders; Civil War Commanders and Extended; Skyrim Civil War Extended
- Civil War Overhaul; Civil War Overhaul Redux
- For the Stormcloak's (use Jarl Balgruuf Dilemma instead)

Most city overhauls are compatible out of the box or with small patches.
It is compatible with Open Cities (note that Open Cities reverts to closed form of cities during civil war battles).
Holds The City Overhaul is bound to break at least some of the city battles.