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Buffing Up Civilization V – Notable Game Mods

by: theinkandpen (Robert Mullon) ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Civilization V features many changes from the previous title, including improved diplomacy, new tile-system and improved combat. Should you wish to tailor the game to your liking read Brighthub’s guide on the most popular game modifications.

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    A Fresh Look

    Civilization V   The latest “Civilization" game hasn’t been out for very long, having been released in September of last year, but the community – mostly the good folks at – quickly stepped into action for much theorycrafting and the creation of new modifications to add to your game.

    Although the game features many new improvements and additions compared to “Civilization IV," some of which have been criticised, you may want to alter aspects of the game which don’t suit your playing style.

    Keep reading for a brief list of the most popular “Civilization V" mods, chosen by highest number of downloads and available on the mod-section.

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    Unofficial Patch/Thal’s Balance

    Thal's Balance Mod   This combination fixes quite a few bugs for the game, with the unofficial patch, and adds improved options regarding decision-making and general playability. Some of the changes are highly recommended for in-game balance, and better values for food and production. Changes include:

    1) +1 Production-value with a Horse, Elephant, Cow, Sheep and Deer Stable and same increase in food-value for a Granary with Wheat, Sugar, Spices, and Banana. There are other increases in production/food for a number of buildings.

    2) A drastic change in the placement of strategic resources, making the game fairer for players in crowded land-spaces. Effectively this means that even players without access to vast lands will have each weapon/combat resource (horses, coal, iron etc…) on nearby or adjacent tiles, balancing-out combat strategies for the game.

    3) Improvements in amounts of wealth for terrain: improved rivers and city tiles now yield +1 wealth, while villages +2.

    4) A number of bugfixes in the latest 7.1 version like increased horseman strength, building production bugs, bugs regarding national wonder requirements and more.

    Check out the official page for the mod listing many more of the features, as well as providing a download for the latest version of the mod. This mod was downloaded over 10,000 times (way over 9,000) and is definitely one of the more popular ones.

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    Economy Mod

    User Interface in the Economy Mod   As the name implies this mod increases the cost of technology, decreases building-costs, and adds a variety of changes to the game’s economics and the User-Interface. Here are details on the changes:

    1) UI changes include unit XP string-display instead of a bar, clock fully integrated into the XP-bar display and changes to the UI-functionality; for instance speeding-up production by mouse-click, more information in the Infopane (number of resources owned, which ones, how many used etc…) and generally more information when you roll your mouse over a section. A richer, more informed UI.

    2) Major economic changes; tech costs are increased by 50%, building costs are decreased by 20%, unit costs are decreased by 20%, defensive penalty on flatlands is increased by 25%, workshops yield more production (hammers), bakery increases the percentage of food stored after growth (+20%) and is worth +1 food.

    3) Some changes to culture like a +2 increase for a Weaver or the removal of a culture penalty for the Freedom Social Policy.

    I would encourage players to try this mod as it makes the in-game economics more realistic and slightly fairer for players, even at the highest difficulty levels. You can find this in the civfanatics section for “Civilization V" mods at this address.

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    Regiment and Ethnic Diversity (R.E.D.)

    Unit Scaling in R.E.D.   The R.E.D. mod by Gedemon has been available since the release of Civ IV, and has now been adapted for the newer version of the game. It is not quite a overhaul of the game, in the sense that it does not alter technical playing-aspects like the previous two mods listed, but it is quite useful if you consider some of the scaling or models unrealistic.

    R.E.D. rescales all combat models and deals solely with graphical aspects of combat-units, as you may be able to tell by the hefty file-size. It also adds new units for respective countries, like the He-111 for Germany or P-51 “Double Trouble" for the US. It is definitely worth downloading for the new models and considerable work. Here are some of the changes:

    1) Rescaling of all units and new formations added; tanks now look bigger than warriors or people, mounted units are the right size and so on.

    2) Addition of many new units, like: American Sherman tanks, American infantry units, English musketmen, Spitfire planes, Cromwell tanks, R35 tanks, BF109 fighter-planes, Type97 tanks, Fiat G55 Centauro planes and much more.

    You can download the mod and look at all the additions and changes at this address.

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    Total Mod

    Total Mod   It’s big, it’s ferocious, it impacts your game and it gives you more content, more techs, more everything! The Total mod does exactly what it says and it adds new eras, new technologies, new units and many other additions; should you feel short-changed by your experience with the game this is the mod to download. Some of the changes:

    1) The addition of Pre-historic and Digital eras, with appropriate techs and unit to match.

    2) 27 new technologies, including fire, language, map-making (cartography?), military psychology and modern-techs like satellite targeting, cloning and artificial intelligence. Would have been nice to pair the latter with robotics and create the new “Asimo…"

    3) New buildings like Google (!), which is a national wonder, huts for the pre-historic era, hangars and oil refineries.

    4) New units for existing eras; most of these additions are made in the Industrial era which now includes some great WW2 units similar to the R.E.D. mod.

    If this isn’t an overhaul of your game then I don’t know what is. Highly recommended for a wealth of additions and the two new eras which add more then flavour. Get the mod at, right here.

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    Other Mods

    Some of the other mods available are certainly worth it, though they do not offer as many changes as the ones above (apart for the Nights mod). Those worth mentioning are:

    1) A Civ of Ice and Fire – which adds a new playable scenario to the game.

    2) Hundred-Years war – Adds the Valois/D’Anjou conflict, very interesting from an historical perspective

    3) Beyond the future – An interesting concept, which extends the units and playability of the future era. Unfortunately the author gives little information on the mod (non-english speaker) and it looks like the project is abandoned.

    4) Civilization Nights – Another overhaul mod, which adds a variety of changes to game-playing aspects, such as the happiness/science system, new tech pyramids, new buildings and other stuff.

    Again, you can find those mods at, simply by searching through the mod-section. Visit the links in any of the mods and click on “Civilization V – modpacks" at the very top of the page.

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