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About this mod

A recreation in Skyrim civil war cut content city battles.

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"It does seem a most preposterous way of settling a dispute."

This mod re-creates the civil war quest-line with the original battles, which were cut from the released game. With this mod, after the first Battle of Whiterun you'll have to win a city battle in every hold you conquer. Moreover, the enemy will attempt to invade your faction holds as well, and you'll be able to thwart it with a city defense battle. That is so until every hold but the final is yours, then the final hold campaign starts and plays as usual.

Installation and "Fortuna" OCW mode
(this description section added with OCW 2.6.1; something to read no matter if you installed this mod freshly new, or it was part of some modpack and you haven't even seen this description yet)

How to tell that OCW is installed: there will be more flags on the civil war maps. (Mostly bandit forts, such as Fort Fellhammer on the Pale and Winterhold border, or Treva's Watch in the Rift). Also, in versions up to 2.6.x, activating a civil war map flag will pop-up a menu to choose OCW difficulty. But that may be moved elsewhere in later versions, as the default Fortuna mode comes with default difficulty.

There are three modes in OCW, and you are not locked into either of it, but it's recommended to start in the default (Fortuna) mode just to learn how the cut content battles are reinserted into the questline.

  •  "Fortuna" mode - no strategic element, hold battles soldier numbers are pretty much randomized

  • "Standard" mode - civil war plays out on its own; before the battle of Whiterun, holds can change factions in upheavals; after battle of Whiterun, the hold battles soldier numbers are connected to the civil war map "wargame position"

  • "Wargamer" mode - in which you can all but win the civil war by playing a mini-game on the civil war map, vaguely similar to Risk or Dice Wars board games. Or you can just let computer play a dozen of turns of this game and see that it is not divergently unbalanced (which would be bad because it's underlying the "Standard" mode). 

With OCW 2.6.1 and later, if you'll just play on with the civil war questline, OCW will assume the "Fortuna" mode with the first cut content battle you'll start by talking to Rikke or Galmar in the military camp.

The remaining part of OCW mod description - read it at your leisure
(the description as it was in the times of OCW 2.5.x version series, read it at your leisure for details of Standard and Wargamer modes)

Tides of War

By design, city battles start with varied total numbers of soldiers. A notification "Battle advantage=..." is shown when starting a battle quest: the bigger the number, the better; negative numbers mean that the enemy will have more soldiers. Whoever runs out of their reinforcements first, loses the battle. Note: in the walled cities (Riften, Markarth) it is so in the field battle before the city gates only - inside it's still the "you either die or you win" kind of battle, with unlimited soldiers respawn.

The battle odds depend on the current strategic situation, which you can see at any civil war map. You can suggest your faction general (Tullius or Ulfric) to send you to attack a hold you prefer - however, the war map will change a bit when you get there. In fact, it changes slightly every time you arrive at another war map. It's right after the war map flags are placed, the "troops" marks move across the map. A single such a change is called "one (full) turn" : first, the enemy faction moves, then yours - similar to Dice Wars (link to article at RPS)

Hold Conquest

The city battles are started by talking to your field commander (Rikke or Galmar) at the hold military camp. You can tell them that you'll tend the wounded - this will resolve the city battle "off-screen", the winner is simply the side that would have more soldiers if the city battle quest was started. The off-screen battle is also recommended when another mod disrupts the battle in a particular city, or if you want to go back to your general and ask for another hold to conquer. It also display more stats that go into computing the battle odds:

attackers strength (+player rank) : defenders strength (+difficulty level)
(strength is the total strength of faction troops in the war map flags belonging to the hold)
In this example, attacker rolled 3 dice and got 13 points, defender rolled 9 dice and got 30 points.
The "battle advantage" would be 13 - 30 = -17. That corresponds to battle odds roughly 3:1 for defenders (yikes!)

The civil war missions and fort battles are optional, but if you start one, it is recommended to pursue it; if the objective hold/fort will switch allegiance, the mission will be cancelled. And each successfully completed mission adds a permanent 1 point to the player rank bonus. The fort counts towards faction strength, so winning a fort battle will net you 2 points (but only in this hold campaign).

The Enemy Strikes Back

The enemy attempts to conquer holds, too. A hold will be flagged "contested" on the war map for around 3 turns, after that the enemy either retreats or gains it. During this time you can resolve it with a defense battle quest, if you find and talk to the hold city commander (usually are near the local war map during day, and in barracks or somewhere close by night. In Markarth, the war room is in the northern wing of the palace chambers). Battle odds apply the same way, all things considered.

Commander Fantasy

At any time you can exit this "Standard" mode and have access to the war map. In this "Wargamer" mode, you control when the turns are played; you can move your faction troops; there is no need for a battle hold, if you move your "troops" to every flag in a hold, it will switch side in the so-called "upheavals". Even if you are not interested in the war game, you may find it useful to mend the state of the civil war quest-line if something goes awry and you don't have a save-game to go back to.

The "Wargamer" mode menu - activated for a civil war map flag:
Cancel - do nothing or stop auto-play
Manual - muster troops for a raid or select as raid target (depending on whose turn it is)
Auto - let the computer AI complete the current turn
PASS - end the current turn, no more moves
(Exit) - switch back to Standard mode

How to start

The war game is initialized by activating any flag on a war map. You get to pick a difficulty level then (Novice - 1, ..., Legendary - 6). It affects the battle odds and also the war game. On higher difficulty levels, you need to be either proficient in the city battles, fighting the enemy and protecting your soldiers at the same time, or switch to the "Wargamer" mode and manually control the war map "troops" to the victory.

If you don't touch the war map at all, you'll be asked the difficulty level eventually, before starting your first city battle. But it's okay to activate it any time earlier; some holds can change ownership when you're busy with the introductory civil war quests, but no city battles or defense battles should happen before the Battle of Whiterun. And until then, the Whiterun hold remains neutral. The first Battle of Whiterun is not changed by this mod; your faction should gain Whiterun (it's a vanilla civil war bug if not, just replay the battle). Afterwards, the Whiterun hold remains on your side (but the enemy gains several bandit forts in their holds).

Capital Reliefs

You can start a siege relief battle in your faction capital city, by talking to your faction general. The option appears when the enemy owns a close hold (Reach and Hjaalmarch for imperials; Winterhold and the Rift for stormcloaks). In the relief battles, you attack the enemy who is attacking your capital city - reliefs are much alike the defense battles, only started from the outside. There may be a surprise or two, but you shouldn't lose it.

We Have Won (But The Enemy Is Gone)

It may happen that there will be no soldiers in the city you attack - only the quest target markers... It should clear up soon whether this is just an ambush. If they are really gone, go back to your faction military camp to report the news to your field commander. You can win this hold easily, but the enemy will invade one of your holds instead. This new invasion will be resolved in the next turn, so hurry up if you want to join the defense!


Put it in the load order somewhere - where you put other quest mods.
New flags on the civil war map will appear after (re)entering the cell where the war map is.
No need to start a new game.


- incompatible with Skyrim Civil War Commanders (and so, with Civil War Commanders and Extended)
- makes little sense to use together with Civil War Overhaul or Skyrim Civil War Extended
- mods that change cities, adds walls or something, can confuse soldiers AI; use the off-screen city battles there
  - just to clarify, Open Cities mod is compatible, and it does not change cities during civil war battles
- For the Stormcloak's is incompatible with this mod

Mechanic tweaks in the war map game

- Each flag can have troops with strength 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. This is the number of d6 dice rolled.
- There is no distance limit, but the defender gets bonus strength point(s), usually 1 for each hold border crossed
- It is possible to attack with strength 1 troop, leaving garrison of size 0
- Rogue forts start with strength equal to the difficulty level. If cleared in-game, the strength will be halved
- Rogue forts that are parts of civil war questline (1 per hold) will change their garrison, but only for the faction owning the hold
- Number of recruited new troops for a faction, per turn, = 2 + number of controlled flags (that is, flags with troops of that faction)
- Cap on total strength of troops = 20 + number of controlled flags
- If a faction loses all its troops, it regains the control of the capital city (and recruits 2 + 1 = 3 troops strength there)
- If a flag changes its color (that is, in-game garrison) for some reason, that faction gains control (and 1 troop is recruited, if none were there before)