SMAN's "World at War - Starting Armies Companion Mod" adds a large number of Units (combat and civilian), Culture, Gold, free Buildings, and free Technologies to games starting in any of WAW's Eras (from La Belle Époque/Industrial through the Future War Era). The mod has no effect to games starting in earlier Eras. The later the Era game start, the larger the Culture/Gold bonuses are.
The goal of the mod is to provide a war-focused head start in setting up your empire and preparing it for the onslaught that usually accompanies latter-Era game starts. The extra Culture and Gold allow you to completely configure your jump-started Civ in a way the compliments your playstyle. You'll have your economy rolling in just a few turns, even on Marathon game speeds.
The mod will also spawn naval melee and ranged Units, as well as Great Admirals, on maps with a large enough number of Ocean Tiles. On largely land-locked maps, these naval units will not spawn.
While the large boosts are quite helpful to human players, the AI gets an even much larger boost.
In addition to free Culture/Gold/Units, the mod gives a "free tech" at the start of the game. These techs correspond to the main infantry unit of that Era. For example, this free Tech will allow you to build WW2 Infantry immediately in games starting in the WW2 Era.
All players start the game with "free" Strategic Resources appropriate to the game start Era. In La Belle Époque, you receive a small amount of Horse and Iron (somewhere between 3 and 10). In the Great War Era, you also receive Coal (6 to 14). In WW2 Era, you also receive Oil (10 to 20). In the Cold War Era, you receive both Aluminum (2 to 6) and Uranium (1 to 3). As with other bonuses, AI Civs will receive large random amounts of these resources.
Many buildings are now "free" in new Cities, based on the latter Era start. For example, Walls are free in the La Belle Époque Era, while Armories, Castles, Harbors, and Telegraph Offices are free in the Great War Era game starts. For the WW2 Era, Arsenals, Constabularies, Electrical Grids, Public Houses, Seaports, and Sewer Systems are free. Finally, in the Cold War Era, Airports, Civil Defenses, Coastal Defenses, Grocers, Police Stations, and Railway Stations will be free for new Cities.
In addition to all of these benefits, the cost of all Units is reduced by 50%, Buildings are 25% cheaper.
The mod also sets the entire map as "visible," meaning you'll know where the continents/islands, resources, enemy Cities are. You won't see enemy Units, but you'll have a pretty good idea how to build a strategy to conquer the territory that has the resources you require. You AI opponents will, as well…
"Starting Armies" provides a significant bonus at the game's start, it is, however, balanced to work well with any of the "End at XXX Era" mods. It can provide a very long game starting and ending in the same Era – allowing a player to fully experience a complete game on slower game speeds.
For example, using WAW "main mod" + "Unique Units" Companion Mod + "End at WW2 Era" mod + "Starting Armies" Companion Mod, you could start the game in the Great War/Modern Era, and select America, Austria, China, England, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Netherlands, Ottomans, Poland, Rome, Russia, and Spain – and create a quite realistic reenactment of the World War period of Earth history – all on a completely random map! You could also use any of the Alternative Custom Civs available in the "Unique Units" Companion Mod to provide an even more rich gaming experience.
Discussion Thread: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/smans-the-world-at-war.638328/
Steam Download: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1873249525
This mod is in ALPHA status. This is not due to the mod's stability – it is quite stable, in fact. The reason for such a preliminary status is my uncertainty about how balanced the bonuses are. I'm really hoping that player feedback can help me get the bonus numbers in a better place.
The mod should work OK with a similar mod of mine, "Legendary Headstart." (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1371724041) That mod is focused on many bonus types, not necessarily military. It might be quite interesting, however, if a player using that mod gets the "WAR Focus" Bonus (which spawns up to 9 new units) while using this bonus, they will have quite a military steamroller at their disposal.