The best mods for Napoleon: Total War

The Total War franchise has been around since 2000 as a major player in RTS gaming. One of the biggest draws to this franchise is the more in-depth tactics and “overall” strategy not found in other RTS games. The Napoleon franchise entry harkens back to some of the larger strategy features but it's still hailed as one of the best games in the franchise. Due to the focus on a specific leader, the game does not allow players to change their empire's policies, instead placing more emphasis on resource management. The game turned 10 this year and, as expected, has many mods and an active modding community like most other Total War games. Here are some of the best mods to use in Napoleon: Total War

DarthMod Napoleon

If you've been modding the Total War franchise for a while, you've probably heard of modder Darth Vader. One of Vader's best achievements is improving Total War's AI. The Napoleon version of this mod improves enemy AI, blood and smoke effects, and creates new formations for use in the game. The mod also includes new factions and an improved soundtrack. What is most impressive about this mod is that it also includes over 200 new units in the game. These units are taken from several other mods which are integrated into DarthMod Napoleon. The mod also includes more realistic combat mechanics and new campaigns. This mod makes Napoleon feel like a new game while staying true to its core concepts.

The Great War

The Great War Mod changes the setting of the game to the 20th century with a focus on World War I. The game starts in 1914 and players can choose from available allied or central powers of the era that participated in World War I. The map remains essentially the same as in the standard game, which restricts some of the available factions. Factions outside of the Europe map used in the base game such as the United States and Australia are not included. The mod's developer nods to these countries in some way through unit recruitment and other forms of gameplay. The core gameplay is the same, but aspects like the tech tree have been completely changed to match the setting. In combat, units have been tweaked to reflect the time period, including an increased rate of fire and pseudo-trench warfare. The biggest drawback of this mod is that the base AI of the game has not been changed, still acting as the standard base game AI without compensating for the new setting and new technology. Despite that, it's still a fun mod to play.

Total War 3 Napoleonic

This mod gives a huge overhaul to the game making it more immersive and challenging. Among other things, there are new factions, new units and new game mechanics. This mod includes several new maps and campaigns to play as well as commanders for each faction with unique statistics and effects on the player's units. There have also been numerous tweaks to gameplay, such as the formation of faster moving columns and artillery being extremely slow when moving through wooded areas. All new units and units from the vanilla game have had their appearances updated to be more historically accurate. Heavy Cavalry plays a much bigger role in combat thanks to this mod and Light Cavalry takes a bit of a step back. The other mods on this list fundamentally change the gameplay while this one drastically improves it by trying to make it more historically accurate. Unit stats and tactics have been changed to make them more true to history and require players to take much more care in planning and tactics. The downside of this mod is that the battles are now ridiculously long.

Additional modules

The Additional Modules does exactly what you would expect by adding 48 new units to the game. Three new ships have also been added for the UK to use in naval combat. Aside from new units, the mod unlocks vanilla units and buildings for the various factions to use that wouldn't be available normally. The mod developer has carefully balanced all new units for gameplay. Many of the new units are only available in certain regions and under certain government types. Finally, the mod also makes slight changes to special abilities like increased artillery accuracy. There is a version of this mod available that is compatible with DarthMod, making it a great combination for anyone looking to improve Napoleon gameplay.

Masters d'Europe

Masters of Europe is a collaboration between two modders, Steph and the Eagle. This mod actually merges Steph's Vive l'Empreur and Aigle's Imperial Eagle mods into one mod. This mod brings major changes to the game. Like many of the mods on this list, it balances gameplay for more immersive and historically accurate Napoleon. There are a handful of cosmetic changes to a handful of units to make them true to the era. Cavalry and naval combat are more realistic and many new naval effects have been added. The biggest advantage of this mod is that players once installed have access to 39 unique playable factions. Each faction has been carefully balanced in-game and has unique stats and tactical approaches.

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