Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Isles under Somerled is a custom civilization mod by Urdnot, with contributions from Gpuzzle, DarthKyofu, and Tophat.

This mod requires Brave New World.


The Western Isles[]

The Western Isles of Scotland - a series of rugged, windspent islands jutting out of Western Scotland into the north Atlantic - have long been home to powerful regional polities able to survive de-facto independently of any mainland powers. It was in the medieval era that these local powers rose to their most spectacular prominence. Wielding immense power through enormous fleets of Birlinns - sleek oceangoing craft based on the longships used by their viking forebears - a series of powerful norse-gael chieftans grew to become some of the most powerful rulers in the Atlantic Archipelago, beaten only by the seats of Royal power in London and Edinburgh. These Gaelic chiefs competed with the Scottish crown for influence in the barren islands, often attempting to play the two great kingdoms of Britain against each other. Though ultimately the great MacDonald Lords of the Isles would succumb to Scottish pressure, their titles becoming a posession of the King himself - the mark these independent societies left on the region can be felt to this day, as the Hebrides still retain much of their distinctive and unique culture.


Somerled was a mid-12th-century Norse-Gaelic lord who, through marital alliance and military conquest, rose in prominence to create the Kingdom of Argyll and the Isles. Somerled defeated and drove Godred, the former king, from power. Dugall continued as King of Man and Somerled thus ruled the entire kingdom of Argyll, Man and the Isles until his death. Somerled was slain in 1164 at the Battle of Renfrew, amidst an invasion of mainland Scotland, commanding forces drawn from all over his kingdom. The reasons for his attack are unknown. Traditionally considered a Celtic hero, who vanquished Viking foes and fostered a Gaelic renaissance, contemporary sources reveal that while Somerled considered himself the leader of the Gaels of what was once old Dalriada, he operated in, and belonged to, the same Norse-Gaelic cultural environment as his maritime neighbours.

Somerled's career is patchily documented in four main contemporary sources: the Chronicle of Holyrood, the Chronicle of Melrose, the Chronicles of Mann, and the Carmen de Morte Sumerledi. The chronicles of Holyrood and Melrose were originally compiled in the late 12th century. The Chronicle of Mann was first compiled in the mid-13th century. The aforementioned sources and the Carmen de Morte Sumerledi, a late 12th-century Latin poem by a Scottish cleric who witnessed Somerled's final invasion against the Scots, are partisan accounts slanted against Somerled.

Dawn of Man[]

Our fleets await your command, oh great King of these fractured Isles - Somerled the first. Your appearence in the history books comes, as did so much of your glorious life, on the heels of a great battle: first mentioned amidst a devestating rebellion in which you sacked Glasgow. Turning your attention to the 'isles of strangers' - a misty and unknown land whose narrow fjords and grey cliffs hid vikings, pirates and barbarians alike. Driving these foreigners from the shores, you established a mighty and independent kingdom which laid claim to nearly all the isles from the windswept plains of Lewis to the hallowed halls of sacred Iona. Though your raids would turn the cold waters of the north red with blood, you also established yourself as a patron of the flourishing insular monastic community, a role which would ensure the primacy of the great monastery at Iona for centuries to come - and with it, the primacy of your unique gaelo-norse culture, which remains one of Britain's most distinctive cultural regions to this day.

Isles LS

Art by Urdnot

A Toast to the Great Chief Somhairlidh! We raise a dram of whiskey to the prowess of your people at the helm of a galley, and we raise another to the thousand strangers who have been sent beneath the waves for opposing us! We toast to your lineage, lords of these sacred isles for centuries to come! Above all, we toast to a kingdom, a lordship, a civilisation - that will stand the test of time! Slàinte Mhath!

Unique Attributes[]

The Isles (Somerled)

Art by Urdnot

By Galley or by Gauntlet

Winning Naval battles provides Production Production in all coastal cities, increased for every other naval kill that turn. +2 Gold Gold and +1 Food Food from improved Coastal Resources.

Birlinn icon

Art by Urdnot

Birlinn (Catapult)
  • Is a Naval Unit, but with the stats and promotions of the Catapult.
  • +2 Moves Movement points.
  • Must set up to fire
  • Adjacent units receive no combat penalty while disembarking.
  • Upgrades to the Galleass, retaining the Catapult's promotions.

Art by Urdnot

Dun (Barracks)
  • -40% Production Production Cost.
  • Provides no base Experience.
  • Provides +7 Experience per adjacent water tile.
  • If built in a conquered City, provides a free Naval Unit upon construction.
City List
  1. Finlaggan
  2. Stornoway
  3. Iona
  4. Dunscaith
  5. Dunivaig
  6. Benbecula
  7. Inverlochy
  8. Dingwall
  9. Dunvegan
  10. Barvas
  11. Tarbert
  12. Portree
  13. Oban
  14. Campbelltown
  15. Mallaig
  16. Craigmure
  17. Strome
  18. Mingary
  19. Claig
  20. Lochgorm
  21. Bragar
  22. Borve
  23. Ullapool
  24. Butt of Lewis
Spy List
  • Donal Jon
  • Hamish
  • Cormac
  • Effie
  • Iain
  • Angus
  • Riona
  • Ciorstaidh
  • Lewis
  • Daniel
  • Mairi


The Isles

The Isles are accordingly a civ that thrives through both conquering and settling coastal lands - particularly smaller islands where the Dun can provide the most benefit. The extra food and gold from the UA can help turn these often struggling, yield-poor locations into much more powerful potential city spites, allowing the Isles to thrive where other civs might struggle. The Birlinn meanwhile restricts your early conquests to those cities which, dangerously for their owners, ring the high seas. Storm into these sites across the map, moving your siege units like lightning into contested coastal zones, and killing any opposition to ensure massive production boosts elsewhere in your empire, snowballing your way towards an easy, seaborne domination victory.

Mod Support[]

Mod Support
Community Balance Patch
Ethnic Units
Map Labels
Unique Cultural Influence
Wish for the World

Full Credits List[]

Steam Workshop
Latest Version: v 2
Last Updated: 8 May 2023
  • Urdnot: Design, Database, Art
  • Gpuzzle: Code
  • TophatPaladin: Code
  • Darth: General helpings
  • Zharques: Pedias
10th Anniversary Collection [edit]
Day 1
America (James Madison)Egypt (Senusret III)Holy Roman Empire (Frederick II)Aztecs (Itzcoatl)England (Henry V)Umayyads (Al-Walid I)Mycenae (Agamemnon)Jin (Sima Yan)France (Jeanne d'Arc)
Day 2
Sassanids (Shapur II)Japan (Shigeru Yoshida)Lanna (Mangrai)SenecaRussia (Elisabeth)Ottomans (Orhan)Mughals (Aurangzeb)Rome (Trajan)Songhai (Sonni Ali)
Day 3
Golden Horde (Öz Beg Khan) • Kassites (Kurigalzu I) • Māori (Potatau Te Wherowhero) • Goguryeo (Gwanggaeto) • Spain (Isabella II) • Denmark-Norway (Frederick II) • Inca (Tupac Yupanqui)
Day 4
Sweden (Christina) • Carthage (Mago)White Huns (Toramana)Ethiopia (Iyasu I)Mayans (Lady Xoc)Trebizond (Alexios II)Austria (Karl Renner)The Isles (Somerled)Anglo-Dutch (William III)
Day 5
Venice (Domenico Selvo)Zulu (Cetshwayo)Medang (Rakai Pikatan)Poland-Lithuania (Tadeusz Kosciuszko)Brazil (Medici)Portugal (Sebastiao de Carvalho)The Idrisids (Idris I)Assyria (Tiglath-Pileser III)Shoshone (Washakie)
Urdnot_Scott's Civilizations
BrandenburgFrance (Robespierre)GeorgiaGreece (Venizelos)IrelandThe IslesKwakwaka'wakwMaliMughalsNigeriaQarmatiansRome (Trajan)United Arab EmiratesWalesYemen