Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Improves the Civil War by adding over 2000 NPCs that march throughout Skyrim along with new Civil War units, proper marching/battle formations, tactical retreats, and the ability for the Player to command up to 76 soldiers.

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Skyrim's Civil War is now brought to life as over 2,000 soldiers (numbers vary depending on the version) can be seen marching throughout Skyrim, attacking enemy cities in large military campaigns or defending allied hold territories. This mod implements an immersive large-scale dynamic war environment throughout Skyrim which was lacking in the vanilla game. Full of exciting, challenging, unpredictable action-packed battles that will make the Civil War more fun, tactical, intense, and stressful than ever thought possible.

Main Features

> Adds over 200+ Civil War patrols throughout all the main roads of Skyrim. These patrols are either defending their hold territories or attempting to conquer enemy holds/towns/cities in large military campaigns (patrols can range anywhere from groups of 5-24 soldiers. Battles occur naturally as a result of many patrols crossing paths.
> The Player can command/lead groups of soldiers when you join a Civil War faction. The higher your rank, the more soldiers you can lead.

> New units have been added to each Civil War faction (i.e. archers, heavy infantry, light infantry, officers, battlemages, etc.). Both factions will operate with different combat tactics in battle and have their own strengths and weaknesses in different combat situations.
> Some Civil War Forts and other towers/fortifications along roads are no longer inhabited by bandits/necromancers and are replaced by Civil War soldiers at the start of each game and reinforced with an additional 22+ soldiers.
> Defensive walls/fortifications around the entrances of major walled cities are reinforced with an additional 22+ soldiers in defense.
> Expanded Civil War soldier dialogue. Their dialogue will now respond accordingly to their environment, situations, state of battle, etc.
> Wearing any type of Stormcloak Armor, Imperial Armor, or Hold Guard Armor will cause the opposing faction to attack you on sight.

Civil War Mod Concept

As you travel Skyrim, every single road, town, city, or village has the potential to be a bloody civil war battle ground. Battles can start as swift small skirmishes and may escalate into intense large bloody battles that stretch on for over a mile.
The same way in which the fight from Stalingrad to Berlin for the Soviets was a relentless bloody war effort which every single road, town, and city encountered became a battlefield where every inch of ground gained costed dozens of lives of your fellow soldiers, you will experience the same as you travel the open world of Skyrim as a civil war soldier. As you make your way from Solitude to Windhelm as an Imperial soldier (or Windhelm to Solitude as a Stormcloak) you will have to fight tooth and nail over every inch of road you come across as you continue to advance closer towards the enemy's capital.
You will now get a closer experience of what it feels like to be a soldier engaged in a bloody war which will likely include:

  • Witnessing epic back and forth battles, with soldiers on both sides constantly advancing/retreating
  • Seeing dozens of corpses scattered throughout the battlefield or floating down rivers
  • Being outnumbered and forced to retreat
  • Being suddenly ambushed and flanked from both sides
  • Seeing all your comrades perish in a failed attack
  • Fighting a losing a battle but suddenly being rescued by an advancing army of 20+ allied soldiers attacking from the rear
  • Feeling the thrill of charging a fort with 20+ archers head on
  • Being pinned by a constant barrage of arrows
  • Leading the charge of 20+ soldiers into a battle you are uncertain of winning
  • Being aware that you are putting yourself along with your fellow soldiers at risk as you advance and lead your soldiers deeper into enemy territory where one mistake can get them all killed

Even if you decide not to begin the immediately begin the Civil War questline itself, the battles you come across as you travel Skyrim as a spectator are very entertaining to watch as there are a lot of unpredictability and a constant turning of the tide that occurs in these battles.


At the start of the game, there are over 200 new Civil War patrols (over 2,000 total soldiers) marching all throughout Skyrim on every main road. These patrols range from 5 to 24 soldiers, and are either on long military campaigns marching into enemy territories or patrolling and defending their own hold territory.
All these patrols are respawnable and are persistent (not spawned and deleted by script like world encounters) using a marker, working similarly to Khajiit caravans, which means all 2,000+ patrolling soldiers are moving throughout Skyrim simultaneously at all times, and you may on very rare occasions run into the same patrol you stumbled on a while back. This also means that the more Stormcloaks or Imperials you kill, the less of them you will be seeing as you travel throughout Skyrim.
Each hold has their own dedicated defensive hold patrols to protect against the enemy campaign soldiers, with larger and more populated holds having greater defensive patrols (i.e., Whiterun, Riften) while smaller holds having less defensive patrols (i.e., Winterhold, Morthal). For each hold captured, their spawner will be disabled.
There are 6 military campaign routes in which most patrols are assigned to. Each military route connects the two main civil war capitals (Solitude and Windhelm) together along with an additional 1-4 other hold capitals. These soldiers will have a long and bloody journey ahead of them as they encounter numerous enemy patrols (defensive and offensive) and other heavily defended fortifications. City battles will take place independent of the Civil War Questline as a result of two opposing patrols meeting together in a city (Note: Soldiers won't travel into gated cities, only outside around the entrance).
Skyrim's overall geography, roads layout, fort locations, etc. have a great influence regarding on where battles take place and how easily they can escalate (i.e., Dragon Bridge is the only main road path to Solitude, so it tends to be a huge bottleneck and have larger battles more often).

Patrols are organized into 3 types according to size and role:

Scouts: 4-7 soldiers
> Light and mobile, they jog along their patrol routes and are designed for light engagements or as support. Due to their low squad sizes, they will rarely engage enemies alone and will more often than not retreat to a nearby friendly patrol in the attempt to draw the enemy in.
Squad: 8-13 soldiers
> Standard all round unit, can serve either as support or to spearhead an assault.
Army: 28 soldiers
> The main spearhead force of each faction, and the most tactical patrol. They are led by a Civil War Officer who provide combat bonuses nearby allied soldiers. Some armies specialize in ranged warfare.

  • Unlike scouts or squads, armies will use proper marching and battle formations as long as the officer is alive, and will opt to always stay close with one another and work as a team. 
  • Shield-wielding soldiers will always be in the first line of each army formation, and will often form defensive shield walls in battle while archers in the back may fire from behind or advance forwards to draw the enemy in. 
  • If an army approaches chokepoints or tight areas such as bridges, a towns and cities, their formation will cease until they leave the area.

If a patrol finds itself to be losing the battle and/or severely outnumbered, they will either fall back temporarily to regroup with more allied soldiers to counterattack or retreat back to their HQ to defend their Civil War capital (or nearby Hold Capital if they are a defensive hold patrol).
When a hold changes Civil War allegiance/ownership, the pre-existing hold patrols are replaced with new hold patrols of the superseding faction (ie. if Whiterun is taken by the Stormcloaks, all the Imperial patrols that once guarded Whiterun Hold are now replaced by Stormcloak patrols). The same thing applies to a lesser degree with to military campaign patrols (i.e., if Whiterun is taken by the Stormcloaks, there will be more Stormcloak soldiers and less Imperial soldiers on military campaign routes involving Whiterun).

Defensive Forts, Towers, and City Walls

> Some Civil War forts are inhabited by Civil War soldiers at the start of the game plus an additional 22+ soldiers added by this mod.

> Defensive fortifications around the entrances of major walled cities (i.e., Solitude, Windhelm, Markarth, Whiterun, and Riften) are reinforced with an additional 22+ soldiers in defense to guard against enemy patrols.

> Strategic Towers/Fortifications along main roads/chokepoints such as Shor's Watchtower are heavily populated with Civil War soldiers.

> Static Civil War soldiers guarding forts, towers, and city walls have a higher concentration of archers than regular patrolling soldiers.

Improvements to Civil War Factions 

All Factions

> New types of units/soldiers added to each faction (i.e., ranged units, heavy infantry, light infantry, civil war officers, battlemages, etc.).

> Not all soldiers of the same type are equal. Some Civil War soldiers are more experienced than others, and may have a "Veteran" or "Elite" status. Veteran and Elite troops are tougher, more dangerous in combat, more aggressive combat styles, and have additional perks which distinguishes them from regular/fresh soldiers.

> Unique Civil War NPCs have their stats buffed to match the NPCs added to this game (i.e., Captain Aldis, Legate Rikke, General Tullius, Ulfric Stormcloak, etc. now have similar stats to the Officer NPCs added by this mod).

> Reflecting their battle hardened experience and vigorous training, Civil War soldiers are just as strong if not stronger than Hold Guards at the start of the game, and have a variety of perks unique to their combat role and faction. If you want to survive more than one battle, you will need to be properly trained and equipped before deciding to take part in the war.

> Dozens of new NPC models with a greater variety of voices added to each faction.

> A great number of extra unused dialogues have been added to Civil War soldiers to make battles even more intense and immersive. Now their dialogue will reflect the state of battle and their morale. For example, soldiers who are winning a battle and outnumber their enemies will cheer in victory as their enemies retreat. Retreating soldiers will warn other soldiers to fall back. Soldiers attacking forts will order their troops to take out the archers or mages on the walls or towers if present.
Imperial Legion

Unit Types:

  • Imperial Scout - Light Infantry with Sword and Shield. They can move with shield raised without any movement penalties.
  • Imperial Legionnaire - Heavy Infantry with Sword and Shield. Well trained, making up a bulk of the Legion, they can take quite the punishment and are extremely trained in blocking, and blocked hits will do very little damage. They are like tanks - strong and impenetrable at the front, but weak on the sides/rear when flanked.
  • Imperial Archer - Light Infantry with Bow. Ranged unit dangerous in large numbers. However, they are generally the most fragile unit with the lowest health and need to fight with support.
  • Imperial Battlemage - Heavy Infantry with Sword and Destruction Spells. A rare unit, they are a hybrid between an Imperial Legionnaire and an Imperial Archer, sacrificing block and defensive capabilities for ranged destruction spells (firebolt, ice spike, and lightning bolt) while still being capable in melee combat.
  • Imperial Captain - Civil War Officer with Sword and Shield. They are one of the most dangerous and durable soldiers on the battlefield and provide combat bonuses to nearby allied soldiers, granting small passive regeneration bonuses to health and stamina, along with armor rating and magic resistance.
  • Imperial Legate - Civil War Officer with Sword and Shield. A rare but more dangerous and stronger version of the Imperial Captain and provide even greater combat bonuses to nearby allied soldiers, granting small passive regeneration bonuses to health and stamina, along with increasing attack damage, armor rating, and magic resistance.
The Imperial Legion is the more defensive faction, approaching most battles by deploying heavy Imperial Legionnaires to block and absorb damage on the front lines while Imperial Archers are protected, firing their arrows from behind at a safe distance. Compared to the Stormcloaks, the Legion makes a much greater use of archers.

If you are fighting alongside the Legion, it is critical to keep your Captains and Legates alive, they provide massive defensive bonuses to nearby troops, including yourself, and always target the enemy Stormcloak Commanders for the same reason.

The Imperials now are more diverse, and now includes Orcs, Dark Elves, High Elves, Wood Elves, and Female Imperial soldiers. Nevertheless, since this is a Civil War in Skyrim, most of the soldiers as Nords and Imperials for the Legion. The diversity has been coordinated to work with unit types, which means most Orcs you encounter in the Legion will be heavy legionaries, most Dark Elves and High Elves you encounter will be battlemages, and most Wood Elves you encounter will be archers.


Unit Types:
  • Stormcloak Soldier - Heavy Infantry with 1H Weapon + Shield / 2H Weapon. Stormcloak Soldiers with shields will operate similarly to Imperial Legionnaires. Their role is mainly to absorb damage from the front while their 2H counterparts will most of the damage striking from the rear. Stormcloak Soldiers with Shields are more durable than Stormcloak Soldiers with 2H weapons.
  • Stormcloak Archer - Light Infantry with Bow. Ranged unit dangerous in large numbers. However, they are generally the most fragile unit with the lowest health and need to fight with support.
  • Stormcloak Commander - Civil War Officer with 1H Weapon + Shield / 2H Weapon. They are one of the most dangerous and durable soldiers on the battlefield and provide combat bonuses to nearby allied soldiers, granting small passive regeneration bonuses to health and stamina, along with increasing attack damage and magic resistance. Unlike Imperial Captains/Legates, Stormcloak Commanders have slightly less health but do more damage. 

The Stormcloaks are the more offensive melee-based faction that is extremely deadly up-close with their superior weapons. What they lack in durability compared to the Legion they make up with their raw damage and offensive capabilities. Their approach to most battles is to take advantage of their numerical advantage of melee soldiers by blitzing, surrounding, and overwhelming the enemy and eliminating them out as quickly as possible before enemy archers can get a chance to take their toll. When facing shield wall of Imperial Legionnaires, 1-Handed Stormcloak soldiers will often tank damage from the front with their shields while 2-Handed Stormcloak Soldiers will attempt to strike Imperial Legionnaires from behind to negate the effectiveness of their shields.
If you are fighting alongside the Stormcloaks, it is critical to keep your Commanders alive, they provide massive offensive bonuses to nearby troops, including yourself, and always target the enemy Captains and Legates for the same reason.

The uniform of the Stormcloaks has been modified to be less uniform and more random while staying true to lore. Most soldiers, especially archers, will wear the open faced hide or scaled helmet, and some Stormcloak Soldiers don't even wear helmets. The 1H Stormcloak Soldier variant uses the vanilla Windhelm Guard's shield instead of a generic Hide, Iron, Steel Shield.

Commanding a Group of Soldiers

> You can now command soldiers like an actual officer in the Stormcloak Army or Imperial Legion (from 6 soldiers up to 24).

> As you progress through the Civil War questline, you will be given the opportunity to lead larger groups of soldiers (the higher the rank, the larger groups you can command).

> You must complete the Battle of Whiterun first before commanding troops. Upon promotion, you should receive a letter from General Tullius or Ulfric Stormcloak about the troops you can command.

> Now that you are a higher ranked soldier, to command troops, you must go to the Castle Dour war room (Imperials) or Palace of the Kings war room (Stormcloaks) and talk to the scout/squad/army leader to follow you.

You can specify combat tactics when talking to the group leader. There are 3 different types of attack strategies employed when given
order to attack in battle:

1. All soldiers stay close to the player.
2. Ranged units attack on sight; melee units stay close to the player.
3. Everyone scatters and engages independently like vanilla.

- You can order archers to Hold fire or Fire at Will.

- You can order your men to hold their positions around the group leader's current position when talking to the group leader, which can allow you to employ the tactic of using yourself as bait and dismantling enemies into your clustered units.

Additionally, you can order your men to get into battle/marching formations, which is useful when trying to keep everyone organized and close together when leading the charge against enemies.

If you suffer heavy casualties and lose many of your men, you can report to Tullius (Imperials) or Ulfric (Stormcloaks) to request reinforcements to replace those who have fallen.

Additional Features

> Whiterun Guards are neutral until the Battle for Whiterun

 > A second war is going on in the Reach. In the midst of all the chaos between the Stormcloaks and Imperials, the Forsworn have jumped into the fray and are trying to retake the Reach.

  • There are 22 Forsworn patrols in the reach (9 scout patrols, 7 squad patrols, and 6 army patrols)
  • Forsworn patrols are larger than Stormcloak/Imperial (Patrol sizes range from 7, 13, 24)
  • Forsworn patrols will travel back and forth between their camps, attacking towns and forts along the way
  • The Forsworn will occasionally mount heavy assaults on Markarth's Main Gate

Known Issues

> If there are too many NPCs in the area, your NPCs may float and/or ignore combat. Actor Limit Fix will solve this issue.

> Patrolling soldiers may spawn off the roads far away from their leader(s) when they are loaded.

> Patrols may interrupt Skyrim's vanilla intro sometimes. You can fix it by restarting the intro.