Post feature RSS ahowl11's Vanilla Enhancement Mod v19 - New Map, New Factions & Unified Rome

The biggest release from VE mod is here! In this mod, the map has been completely overhauled, the Romans have finally been unified and 3 new factions now are available! Plus, the post marian units are back in!

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In July of 2011, I was in between high school and college. I had just got a brand new laptop and I decided to install my favorite pc game, Rome Total War. It wasn't long before I became bored with the same old campaigns and play styles. I wanted something different, something more historical. I knew of mods, playing RTRPE and EB before, but I wanted to make my own little mod. This prompted me to join and I started posting my modding ideas with no idea of how to actually mod. About a month later I had a vision, and an entire team working with me on a new mod called: Historical Rome Total War (HRTW). The mod focused on keeping the vanilla feel but making it as historically accurate as possible. The initial version was to have a unified Rome, with 3 new factions: Illyria, Nabataea & The Bosporan Kingdom. Unfortunately, I was young, lazy and arrogant. The team fell apart, and the mod was never made.

Unified Rome

Finally, the Romans are as they should be

Fast forward to 2020 and here I am, still modding RTW. Nowadays I work alone, but others help me when they want to, or sometimes I might need to outsource some work to make my life a bit easier. However, even though VE mod is made by me, I kind of consider it a community project that you all get to be a part of. v19 is a version to be celebrated, as it marks a checkpoint or half way mark in the mods progress. Essentially this mod is completed, but I can't stop now. Anyways, enough of the sentimental ranting, it's time to talk about the new version!

Romans Marching in City

Remaking a scene from the original CA dev promotional shots, thanks Lom1138

As I finished v18 I realized the map just wasn't cutting it. I love maps, and am a huge nerd when it comes to atlas' and historical accuracy, so I decided it was time to make a big change. That change was present with the Roma Surrectum 2 map, a map for one of the most played and iconic mods ever made. It encompassed the same area, expanded the scale, and had much more detail.. it was perfect!! However, it was a ton of work. First stripping away all RS2 work, then one by one adding settlements from the VE map. I made many changes, some cities are new, some are still there but in much more accurate places. Every city was carefully researched, and I focused on including every major region, tribe and nation that were relevant from the time of 270BC-117AD. Some areas like Greece aren't as region heavy to give a better balance along the entirety of the map. Also, every trade resource was also ported over to keep that aspect in play. Last, we as a community decided after testing that certain factions should start off with one region, as the Gauls, Germans, and other factions were never unified kingdoms. So: Gauls will represent the Arverni, Germans the Suebi, Dacia the Getae, Thrace the Odrysian Kingdom, Britons the Iceni, Iberians the Celtiberians, and Scythia the Siraces Sarmatians. Also, the Greek Cities have been condensed to represent the Chremonidean League, a league that opposed Macedon and allied with the Ptolemies at this time. Rhodes was thrown in for balance purposes.

Greece 1

Argos & Megalopolis were removed for balance purposes

Next was unifying Rome. This was a fun process because I am a Roman player usually, so I am excited to get my own campaign going! The Romans will have all of the land that the former 3 families and senate owned. Their cities were repurposed to give more balance, as well as their starting armies. However I was able to merge all 4 family trees into one! So your favorite characters will still exist, and you can still simulate the rivalry between Patrician families. We also worked hard in monitoring their strength and expansion, and we believe Rome will be one of the most powerful in the game.

Roman families merged into one

It's one huge & happy Roman family now!

With the 3 remaining faction slots, it wasn't hard to choose the new factions after 9 years of doing nothing about it. In actuality these 3 factions are the best candidates to the mod because they not only will occupy dead spaces of the map where no other faction existed, but they all provide an interesting element for units, temples, names and cultures. None of these are copies of the original factions, they are unique in their own right.

The first faction was Nabataea, a nomadic group of Arabs near the Sinai that developed themselves into a wealthy kingdom centered on the incense trade at their capital of Petra. Based off of the Berber faction from Barbarian Invasion, they will have light desert units, camel units and some cavalry, and will face a huge test going up against the juggernauts of the Ptolemaic & Seleucid Kingdoms. Diplomacy and shrewd planning will need to be had to win this campaign, and when played by the AI they serve as a small buffer zone between the two powerhouses in the east.

Nabataean Units

The Nabataean Roster

The next faction implemented was Illyria. This faction will be focused around the Ardiaei Kingdom that provoked the first Illyrian wars against Rome in between the Punic Wars. They were based off of the Illyrian faction from RTR6, which is a mod I have already implemented so the units were already in as rebel units. They have a very nice starting position, able to expand in all directions. In the north they will have access to some more barbarian Pannonian units. Their other units are hoplite style infantry, light infantry and skirmishers. This should be a fun campaign that will get difficult as you begin to fight Macedon and even Rome!

Illyrian Units

The Illyrian Unit Roster

Last but not least, and probably the most interesting faction added, is the Bosporan Kingdom. This was a mysterious Hellenistic Kingdom in modern day Crimea. They blended Greek culture with Thracian, Scythian and Sarmatian, and they lasted well into the Roman Empire as an independent Kingdom and Client state of Pontus or Rome. They fought many battles against the Nomads, and gameplay it adds a lot more intrigue to that area of the map! Their units are a solid blend of Scythian & Greek, with their own unique infantry unit: Bosporan Infantry.

Bosporan Units

The Bosporan Unit Roster

After the new factions some more work had to be done. The Post Marian campaign was severely lacking for the Roman factions, and now unified needed to be changed. So I re-added the post Marian units that made most sense, using the Ferres models to stay consistent with the current style. This should make the later game a lot more interesting when playing as or against Rome.

Roman Units

The New Post Marian Units

Lastly, I wanted to improve the immersion of the rebels in barbarian lands. All of the units were very generic, so I made a ton of internal fixes to make it so that you will fight Gauls in Gaul, Germans in Germania etc instead of 'Barbarian' units. With this, the Dacian unit roster also received a small makeover. They now showcase the units from the Dahae faction of the Alexander expansion game.

Rebel Units

More Diverse Rebel units for Barbarian Regions, and Some new Arab Rebel units

Dacian Units

A fresh look for some of the base Dacian units

A few other features to mention:

- Movement points for ships increased, also Brigands & Pirates will appear but not as often

- Leeroy has edited the unit descriptions so missile units show range and ammunition

- Robbe has updated the vegetation, climates and geography to continue his veggie mod


ahowl11's VE Mod v19 - New Map, New Factions, Unified Rome

- If you have an old HRTW version, you MUST delete it as this will not work with it. This version is completely different and won't work with v18 at all.

- One thing that I need to be clear on, is this mod runs on the Alexander.exe not the regular Rome Total War exe. Please make sure you use an Alexander Install.

1. Download the mod
2a. (Steam) Extract the files to your Rome Total War Alexander directory
2b. (Disc) Extract the files to your Rome Total War Directory
3a. (Steam) go to your library.. right click RTW Alexander.. select properties.. select launch options.. put in this: -show_err -mod:HRTW -noalexander
3b. (Disc)Create a shortcut of your RTW Alexander exe file.. right click the shortcut.. select properties.. in the target line after everything insert this: -show_err -mod:HRTW -noalexander


- Leeroy9000 for continually updating stats with new units, and helping balance out factions on the campaign map

- El Santo Padre for cutting the map so the north wasn't so expansive and buggy

- Robbe for helping with the new map, giving climates to it and editing some issues, also for new splash screen and loading screens

- Solon de Atenas for help with fixing a huge CTD involving Geography and battlemap files

- jirysis, El Santo Padre, Mausolos, Drtad & Suppanut for Map expertise on the regions

- Igorche81, Lom1138, Kaiser, ghostbuster, mart br, overlord, Kotjan Khan, Necroticwill, Roman, Berber-Polak, SPQR, SexTv, Paul308, Milkerman, MinorityWesterner, Black Knight, and others in the VE community on discord for testing, helping and assisting make this version!

-Igorche81 for the new symbols, banners and other artwork entailing the new factions, as well as new faction selection maps

- Korsafoff for 2D & UI help with banners and unit cards

- DTW for the Roman faction symbol

- ferres for the post marian units

- XGM for Nabataean and Illyrian (previously never used) temples and descriptions

- Lanjane for some UI and textures

- comrade_general for some UI and textures

- A special thank you to the old HRTW team and everything they did to help inspire me and teach me. I made many mistakes with you all, and I am very grateful for the lessons I learned in working with you. Thank you: Asgaroth, hameleona, El Santo Padre, twoknives, korsakoff, primo, skull, and all the others who were part of that team, 9 years ago.


Congratulations Ahowl! This looks quite amazing. The perfect mod to get me back into playing RTW regularly.

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ahowl11 Author

Thanks! Enjoy

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Hi Ahowl, I'm really looking forward to this new version! Can you tell me if theres any balance changes that prevent the new unified Rome to not steamroll their neighbors? I feel like the combined forces of all 3 families plus Rome would crush anyone they went to war with

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ahowl11 Author

They have had their armies thinned out otherwise yes they would be unstoppable. However all family members are still there to keep something from the original 4 factions. This makes them strong, but still beatable.

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Hey Ahowl, I want to report a small bug to you. When I start a battle with Illyria as Rome, I get a CTD right after the zoom in transition to the battle screen. After I reload the save right before the battle, the battle starts without a problem. Hope that helps

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ahowl11 Author

It could be a sprite issue, let me know if this keeps occurring or if it was just one time

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How do you trigger the Marian reforms in this version? I've just reached huge city in Rome but still no reforms after 2 turns

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ahowl11 Author

It’s any city in Italy except Rome

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So extra free time/no social life has turned be back on to one of my favourite games from childhood & work from home has meant YouTube vids replaced podcasts. Anyway that led me into trying out new Mods, and doing some of my own.

This is definitely similar to some of the features I'd want in my final work, excellent job!

One slight gripe is the upkeep/lack of a really cheap garrison unit. I agree on the unit costs making it more varied & a challenge mostly but I'm 10 turns in as Rome & my upkeep is already 15000... I'm obviously super new to it so probably will get use to it and sure it works out fine just feel super high. It's about 15% of a game I have on Vanilla as the scipi where I've got 65 cities, 4 "frontier armies" that are all like 2/3 full stack armies.
Guess my lightly defend cities makes me feel nervous

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Hi Ahowl, thanks a lot for adding Illyria as a playable faction. I started the Illyrian campaign a few days ago and have been using the Illyrian Hoplites as the backbone of my army.

While looking for the next tier infantry unit, I came across some Pannonian units in the custom map selection, but not in the upgraded barracks. Is it possible to unlock them in the campaign through some AoR/Reforms, or are they exclusive to custom battles?

Also on a side note, I'm not familiar with the general cost/upkeep levels for units from other factions, but the upkeep on the Javelin skirmishers was quite a bit higher than that of the Hoplites. As a result, I feel that they don't offer much of an incentive to train over an Illyrian Hoplite, leaving their early game armies mostly a combination of Generals & Hoplites. It would be great if Illyria could field some cheap skirmishing units to support the main infantry line.

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Hey ahowl! sorry I havent talked to you in a bit, was going through some personal stuff. but i just got back into this and on a fresh pc, i downloaded like the guide said and when i start game i get an error that there is a script error in data/settlement_plans/barabarian large ciryt.txt at line 6 column 14, says the that the underlay file doesnt exist, how do I fix that?

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This mod is dead? is one of the bests mods that i ve saw in RTW :(

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