Modding General's Bodyguards

By Andalus

Making changes to General's bodyguards is in fact a very simple process, but must be done carefully to avoid mistakes. The following two files must be edited:

  • Rome Total War/data/export_descr_unit.txt
  • Rome Total War/data/world/maps/campaign/imperial_campaign/descr_strat.txt

Recruitable General's Units

Recruitable General's Units, commonly known as RGUs, do exactly what the name says. They are a General's unit that can be recruited from a regular military building. Let us suppose you wanted to change Legionary Cavalry from a regular unit to a General's Bodyguard. To do this, open export_descr_unit, and use the search function, Ctrl+F, to find the correct entry. Then, add the attribute 'general_unit' to the 'attributes' line, like this:

type             roman heavy cavalry
dictionary       roman_heavy_cavalry      ; Legionary Cavalry
category         cavalry
class            heavy
voice_type       Heavy_1
soldier          roman_heavy_cavalry, 27, 0, 1
mount            heavy horse
mount_effect     elephant -8, camel -4
attributes       sea_faring, hide_forest, hardy, general_unit
formation        1.5, 4, 3, 6, 4, square, wedge
stat_health      1, 0
stat_pri         8, 6, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, spear, 25 ,1
stat_pri_attr    no
stat_sec         9, 5, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, sword, 25 ,1
stat_sec_attr    no
stat_pri_armour  12, 6, 4, metal
stat_sec_armour  0, 1, flesh
stat_heat        4
stat_ground      0, 0, -6, 0
stat_mental      10, disciplined, highly_trained
stat_charge_dist 40
stat_fire_delay  0
stat_food        60, 300
stat_cost        2, 790, 190, 80, 120, 790
ownership        romans_julii, romans_brutii, romans_scipii, romans_senate

Now when you run the game, all Legionary Cavalry units recruited will be commanded by a General (But not a family member) and regenerate like other Bodyguards. It is advisable, when adding this attribute, to remove the 'command' or 'mercenary_unit' attributes if they are present. They will not cause a direct error, but they should not be present in conjuction with the 'general_unit' attribute.

General's Bodyguards

For the game to know which units to use for a faction's bodyguards it requires two things:

  • The unit must have the 'general unit' attribute
  • The unit must have the faction in question included in the ownership line

The order is very important. The first unit in export_descr_unit which fits these two criteria will become the Early (Pre-Marian) Bodyguard. The second unit that fits the criteria will be the Late (Post-Marian) Bodyguard.

If you wish to create a completely new bodyguard unit, use the Guide to Creating Units to make the unit you want. It is sensible, but not necessary, to remove all special abilities such as Wedge, Phalanx, Cantabrian Circle, Warcry, etc. This is because they will overwrite the Rally ability of generals. Once you have your new unit, follow the above procedure to make them a general's unit and put them in the correct position.


There is one final act. This is to replace the starting general's bodyguards in descr_strat with your new ones. See The Descr_Strat Reference and read the section on 'Armies' for more. The first unit in any character-led army will be his bodyguard. This, I should point out, may be any unit whatsoever. It does not need the 'general_unit' attribute in this case. It could even be a unit of Peasants. Replace all the bodyguards for the faction you are modding with your new ones.

You are now finished. Good luck, Generals!