Back to Basics is a full conversion mod for Company of Heroes and its expansions. Along with new units, abilities, upgrades and commander trees, the mod adds a balanced but entirely new weapon damage system. The focus is on improving and expanding gameplay while adding additional tactics to both aggressive and defensive play.

The damage model is more lethal, adding realism and more consequences to mistakes, but at the same time it is as fair as possible with almost all instances of instant squad wipes removed from the game. Those who take the time to understand the depth of all the units and the entirety of the mod's damage model will find that the battles are quite dynamic with a large spectrum of different play styles being viable, whereas the impact of weaponry feels strong and realistic. Combined arms, support weapons, officers and unit positioning are extremely important.

Penetrating vehicle armor can have strong consequences: although vehicles have longer range and strong performance against all targets, there are now more critical hits involved in vehicle combat. No tank can take endless punishment, and taking rear hits is doubly punishing. That said, the element of randomness is made easy to read and play around, there are no one-shot kills, the accuracy of each weapon is redone completely, the penetration values are intuitive. Vehicle role is shifted towards being best when supported by infantry, although some elements of aggressive playstyles and timing pushes remain in tact. Heavy vehicles such as Tiger and Pershing are available in the default tech tree and their command tree counterparts are replaced with sidegrades. Experienced players will have a good understanding of what the outcome of vehicle battles will be and have a large selection of choices available for any situation at hand.

Artillery damage model is completely redone as well. While it is still perfect for accruing damage over long games and flushing out dug in enemies, the splash of artillery damage works very differently. Each impact has a large area of effect, applying damage to squads in larger radius but the lethal radius of the explosion is reduced, reducing instant squad wipes. Infantry in trenches can be shielded from the blast and the same logic applies to armored vehicles - shells have to hit close-by to be most dangerous. Munitions income is very important for sustained barrages as every barrage has a munitions cost associated with it. Artillery play is a concious choice, and its overall exponential strength growth potential that is present in its vanilla design is reduced.

The mod includes a slew of aesthetics improvements. Graphics, sound, UI, unit skins, ground textures, physics all have been improved:

  • New weapon and engine sounds
  • New unit skins for every unit in the game
  • Weapon tracer beams have been completely reworked
  • Improved models and model details for some of the more iconic units
  • Additional "fake" ambient occlusion shadows for infantry added
  • Custom made ground textures with additional detail added
  • Improved crater textures with additional specular maps and fixed crater depths
  • More realistic and less floaty physics. Increased ground friction, modified gravity which allows for more realistic look for those massive explosions where sometimes you see a crew member of a tank flying half way across the map
  • Additional minimap icons for specific unit types allowing for quick reading of the battlefeld
  • New high quality unit icons, symbols and portraits
  • Modified camera controls - increased default zoom, showing a larger portion of the battlefield, faster transitions allowing for lower response times and overall more responsive controls and experience.
  • Improved unit descriptions for each unit providing full information about their features

Back to Basics AI is proudly unique and advanced. All AI systems have been worked on and improved, to the point of creating a completely new AI battle experience. AI oppotents will feel more human-like and cheat less, while the challenge will be greatly increased. AI improvement highlights include:

  • All AI combat behavior is now controlled by a custom script, improving a plethora of its behaviors in combat such as taking cover, ability use, clumping up, getting to optimal engagement distances and quickly assaulting the enemy to overwhelm their positions, retreating, vehicle facing, vehicle repairs
  • A completely new decision making system for units. AI will choose its attack approaches very carefully, flanking constantly and hitting you where you're most vulnerable
  • Improved decision making regarding defensive play. The AI can now make a decision to become defensive, stop attacking and consolidate its forces until it sees a new vulnerability or has enough units to push again. This is also influenced by number of victory points remaining, by the percentage of territory it already has and other factors
  • Vastly improved unit preservation - AI will keep artillery behind the lines, away from harm. The retreat logic is completely redone by a completely custom script that controls it, allowing for proper retreat decisions to be made
  • Improved point capture decisions - AI will try to avoid capturing points under fire, capture key points to break off your territory, capture points in an order which lends to its faster arrival to the frontlines, capture high resource points faster, capture unconnected territory, break enemy supply
  • AI will appear near the frontlines much faster, especially near high resource points, and try to keep the pressure on you from the very start
  • A wide variety of game breaking AI bugs fixed
  • Full support for all the mod's units and abilities
  • Vastly improved logic and targetting of standard game abilities
  • Redone build decisions for all structures
  • A comletely overhauled decision making system for purchasing units. AI should always spend its resources and buy every unit in the game while still trying to counter what you have and make logical decisions in regards to any type of special units
  • Vastly improved defensive structure placement. There are now ~70 markers added to every vanilla map that allow the AI to use additional logic with, including placing defensive structures. AI should always build defensive structures near the front line but not directly in harms way. Decision making for which defensive structures to purchase at which point in the game is vastly improved as well
  • Custom specific script now controls the behavior of mortars, HMGs, snipers and AT guns for AI. This prevents AI from ever running in with these support units into a defensive line of enemy units and instead places them (or attacks moves them on the edge of sight line in the case of snipers) in strategic positions, facing approaches that lead to the enemy
  • Custom script added that controls British HQ placement. The script makes decisions between travel distance, overall danger of the area, whether or not the point is a high resource point and other factors, whereas vanilla HQ behavior was rather broken
  • Officers will now follow and support other units in a logical manner
  • Numerous other improvements such as entering buildings logic, ability avoidance, technology rushes, appropriate callin unit priority calculation, added previously unused abilities, custom barrage unit control, custom engineer control for placing healing stations & repairs and more

Launching the mod

Make a shortcut of the game using steam, go to shortcut's properties and add //-mod BackToBasics to the end of the target line.
The entire target line should look like this:

steam://rungameid/228200//-mod BackToBasics

Alternative method hiding the prompt

Go to your steam install directory (for example: C:\Program Files\Steam) and make a shortcut of Steam.exe
Move the shortcut to your desktop, change its icon if you want
In shortcut properties add -applaunch 228200 -mod BackToBasics to the target line. The result should look something like this:

"C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe" -applaunch 228200 -mod BackToBasics

Additional target line parameters

You can add some additional parameters to the target line which will slightly increase game's performance, unlock all campaign missions without you needing to finish the campaign from the start and skip playing game intro movies

-novsync -unlock_all_missions -nomovies

Download Back to Basics v4.1

Before downloading Back to Basics please make sure that you patched Company of Heroes to v2.700.2.42
Back to Basics v4.1

Does not require a previous installation of Back to Basics. Make sure to
remove any existing mod version before installing.


We really appreciate all kinds of feedback. Let us know here on ModDB or on RelicNews what you think about the mod and we are sure to reply

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Company of Heroes: Back to Basics v4.1

Today we're releasing a large update for Back to Basics.
The update focuses on all aspects of the mod, update highlights include:

  • Improved performance
  • A plethora of balance tweaks to bring certain units more towards their intended roles
  • Some changes to core gameplay to further improve the flow of the game
  • Unit veterancy tweaks
  • Overhauled casualty clearing station balance
  • Complete mortar overhaul
  • Further tank aoe and scatter improvements
  • Squad handling improvements (CoH2 style squad AI)
  • A plethora of bug fixes
  • Updated AI resource bonuses
  • Reduced AI cheating (now works even more like a human would in regards to seeing into fog of war)
  • Updated and added brand new AI funcitonality
  • Campaign bug fixes
  • Tweaks to Rails and Metal map
Back to Basics v4.1

For the full list of changes we encourage you to read our full changelog here.

Company of Heroes: Back to Basics v4.0

Company of Heroes: Back to Basics v4.0

News 2 comments

The long awaited v4.0 update of Company of Heroes: Back to Basics is now available!

Back to Basics v4.0 new features spotlight & changelog

Back to Basics v4.0 new features spotlight & changelog

News 19 comments

As version 4.0 nears its final shape, it's time to spotlight the things we've been working on. Today we reveal the full changelog and feature an article...

Back to Basics v3.1 Update

Back to Basics v3.1 Update

News 7 comments

After a pretty smooth release of v3.0, we are releasing a patch to even further polish up the mod. The patch addresses some gameplay bugs and imbalances...

Back to Basics v3.0 Released!

Back to Basics v3.0 Released!

News 4 comments

After more than eight months since the last update, we proudly announce the latest version of Back to Basics which is the most polished, complete and...

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Back to Basics v4.1

Back to Basics v4.1

Full Version 7 comments

The v4.1 update of Company of Heroes: Back to Basics is now available!

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v4.0

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v4.0

Full Version 39 comments

The long awaited v4.0 update of Company of Heroes: Back to Basics is now available

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics Update v3.1

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics Update v3.1

Patch 13 comments

[REQUIRES BACK TO BASICS V3.0 AND COMPANY OF HEROES PATCH v2.602] This patch addresses some gameplay bugs and imbalances, fixes some language errors and...

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v3.0 FULL

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v3.0 FULL

Full Version 51 comments

Latest full release. [REQUIRES COMPANY OF HEROES PATCH v2.602] Patch v3.1 available for this release of the mod.

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics patch v2.1

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics patch v2.1

Patch 6 comments


[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v2.0

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v2.0

Full Version 6 comments

[REQUIRES COMPANY OF HEROES PATCH v2.602] Back to Basics v2.0

Comments  (0 - 10 of 1,458)

PE Panzer Grenadiers have a fall like color helmet when there wearing a forest camouflage is this intentional?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

I've never looked into it so I figured I'd ask:

Does this or any other mod (or, for that matter, VCOH) give US tanks gyrostablized guns - as in, they have higher moving accuracy than German tanks?

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I have a problem with Oosterbeek SP mission for Panzer Elite, it just doesn't start. There's a black screen and nothing happens after. Is there a fix for it?

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Here's My Feedback related to this mod.

-Textures are really nice you have brought up something that original CoH game was missing. However it would be a really nice addition to see some new randomized vehicle skins.

-Gameplay is far more in-depth than original CoH and also brings many new additions into the game.Mainly due to the new damaging system. But the close range units feel very weak sometimes they're easily stomped before dealing damage. Howitzers shooting speed seems far beyond op.

Now some glitches I have noticed during various matches vs AI.

-Tiger ace for blitzkrieg doctrine is kinda missing the voice acting from the tiger ace campaign.

Panzer Elite
-Paratroopers are groundtroopers:(
-Missing some units or having some totally useless.
-Different panzer grenadiers using different voice acting are sharing the same icon. This kinda doesn't fit.

-Moar units!!

-The pershing heavy tank seems squishy

Now the AI!
Overall AI is pretty fun to stand against. However there's few face slapping glitches that just knock out your humor down. AI is just playing more defensively than you:( They group units at a point so you can just easily nuke them out.
- AI spams units and doesn't attack sadly... They group them on a point and just wait.
The happy thing is that AI behaviour during unit skirmish is really nice..Unless its a tank battle...Then AI just does weird stuff.
- Brits are really bad at placing their trucks. Well sometimes they place it really close to a wall so the newly created units get stuck. Also on smaller maps they don't care about enemies while setting up their bases so they're easily destroyed.

That's not everting I have noticed but I tried my best I'll bring more feedback up.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Celution Creator

Hey! Thanks for the feedback, it is much appreciated! It is cool to hear that you enjoy and experience the additional and improved features added to the game which have the intention for a more in-depth gameplay :).

About "close range" units, you may want to try to keep them at slightly longer distances than you would in vCoH. Units equipped with assault rifles or SMGs don't necessarily have to stand on top of an opponent to dish out their maximum DPS potential and eeven their "mid" range DPS is usually significantly higher than bolt-action or semi-automatics.

Could you elaborate the potential balance issue you have with howitzer barraging speed? Constructing howitzers is quite an investment by itself; potentially delaying later tech and units and you'll need a steady munition income to be able to use them. I do think we hit quite a nice sweetspot with on-map artillery right now but as said, I would appreciate a further explanation of this potential issue.

I agree with the Tiger Ace speeches, it'll likely be implemented into the next patch. I'll likely add it to the King Tiger too but we'll see.

Panzer Elite:
It is completely intentional that Fallschirmjägers don't actually paradrop as they operated as elite ground infantry on the Western Front.
Please elaborate which units you deem to be useless and which you think are they lacking. It is completely intentional for Panzergrenadiers, Tank Busters and Assault Grenadiers to have different voices while having the same selection group.

I would like to re-design the commonwealth base faction to have more interesting tech options and possibilities but I can't see it happening in the near future. However I can't really do anything with this mediocre feedback that you're giving here. More doesn't always mean better. Throughout the years I learned a lot with regards to "less is more" and designing units in such a way that they don't overlap too much with other units and that a faction isn't flooded with unnecessary units. The Commonwealth have quite a big pool of units if you add in the commander trees, but as said the core design of this faction could use some serious rework and improvement.

Once again, you'll have to elaborate your statement in more detail. In what way does it seem squishy?

The AI's ability to flank and perform good attacks vastly depends on the maps you're playing on and it's extremely difficult to make it adapt to every single type of map. Besides you can't expect it to ever do well on chokepoint maps where the AI can't abuse its micromanagement. It would be good to know on which maps you're experiencing this type of behavior and which AI difficulty you're playing against. I haven't experienced it myself on the maps that we commonly play on.

The fact that the Commonwealth AI is so dependant on placing its HQ's properly is one of the reasons we would like to redesign the faction as a whole where the primary HQ would be locked like all other factions (at least for the majority of the game). Its already an uncomparable difference with the vanilla AI where it would always suicide its trucks where our AI uses a gridscan to find suitable locations and will prioritize higher income territory over lower oness. Please do provide feedback on which maps it struggles.

Reply Good karma+2 votes

Alright heading back to the howitzers. What I meant is that the actual howitzers are rapid firing machine guns with high explosives belt loaded. They are more of an offensive option atm as it does crazy amount of damage. But don't forget that howitzers were meant to support! How is it meant to serve as a supportive weapon as its devastating everything with its damage, accuracy and firing speed ? In my opinion howitzers should be a little less accurate and the firing speed should be lowered down + damage replaced with shots fired each barrage. Concluding Less accuracy and less frequent shots BUT more shots fired and longer barrage to serve as a more supportive weapon for your front lines. Honestly howitzers are just devastating sniping weapons.

Moar Units explanation:
Its just really disappointing how Brits are doctrine dependant in case of their units variation. It just looks like there's too many call in units in this faction. And that's just my opinion about this faction and how I see these limits.

Panzer elite without heavy panzer's ugh. It doesn't really match doesn't it ? Yes I know late game speed boost for units is op. But Panzer jager command with one tank destroyed? Yes its missing something that original coh missed out too... Something mighty that will slow down these speed boosted infantry units. Maybe a 128mm ? Tank destroyer. It needs at least one heavy unit. So in end game result you'll have a choice instead of pressing SUMMON TWO PANTHER TANKS.

I spoke about few topics only as im really limited on time. Sorry !. Bare in mind this is my opinion and feedback. Cheers

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AGameAnx Creator

Howitzers will always feel stronger when playing vs AI than when playing against a real player. We nerfed howitzers a couple of times during development of v4 and they're probably a weak choice at the current moment. Particularly howitzers from other factions, British ones are much better because it's much easier to support both fuel and ammo costs for using them because that faction provides pretty much 2 free observation posts. This is another reason why British are a pretty broken faction, stuff like that limits our design space in a way. We don't want artillery to be much different from one another because there aren't that many different FX to use and at a certain point it becomes unintuitive. Either way, I disagree with your assessment of them being as strong as you claim. You're the first person who actually wanted to nerf howitzers, I know that most mods make howitzer explosions pretty much ridiculously strong, our version of them is actually quite tame. Ideally, it would be nice to get rid of artillery one shotting infantry and support weapons, but that's actually really hard to do properly and I feel like it's in a good spot right now. In regards to making it more of area denial - I don't think that works particularly well, it makes the first shot decide a lot as always, but with even more randomness, and then it may cause troubles with emplacements, certain maps, British faction (imagine setting 2 barrages straight on HQ preventing all retreat) and whatever else. And that would be a pretty big overall nerf to them as well, which I don't think they need at the moment. The length of the barrage is pretty decent now and fights don't usually go on for that long anyway.

British are just straight up a badly designed faction, I could go on to explain my entire theory on how I/we wanted to redesign them (taking inspiration from coh2 and my mod there) but I don't think we'll even do the redesign anyway because it's so much work. There's no other way of thinking about the faction but to consider each and every emplacement a unit of its own. Except now we also ported a lot of emplacements to other factions. The end result is that it's a very very boring faction that is forced into a certain type of playstyle which is hardly at all enjoyable. I don't think our version of the faction is worse than vanilla at least, we removed a lot of broken things and improved other aspects, I think that's enough to say that we're doing a decent job with the faction. To actually fix it is basically to create an entirely new faction, which takes a long time even for game development studios, not just a team of two people.

Panzer Elite has almost the entire assortment of tanks apart from Tiger tanks. Jagdpanzer, Panzer IV and Panther, IST, Whirblewind, Marder III, Nashorn and whatever I'm forgetting - a pretty strong selection. One way or another, this is a faction that is made to be mobile and, historically accurate or not, this is how it works in the game. Panther becomes constructible after first callin btw, which adds better options if the game does get to such a stage, doesn't require such a huge investment every time.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

One more addition to the AI
-AI likes to place buildings on the entrance to their base it kinda sucks especially if your playing 2v2 3v3 and so on.. It causes traffic especially for tanks as they collide with retreating units for example(y)

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AGameAnx Creator

In our testing this has never come up. Moreover, this is not at all something that I can change. I only force it to construct the very first structure near the HQ, because that reduced walking time. Literally the only choice I get is to make it construct structures by the HQ or away from it, and all structures apart from first one (and med stations) are constructed away from the HQ. The only other thing we can look at is increasing the spacing between buildings a bit again so that there's always room to maneuver. This is something we changed in the last release, maybe that's what's actually creating the problem.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

yeah ai building is terrible and ruins many games as they cannot exit their own base whenever theres more units. I just had a game on allsace moselle map played 2v2 as PE with Expert WH on my team and vs Expert US and Expert UK on their team. Ai on my team just spammed puma armored cars and had some stugs stuck in his base and in late game he didn't do anything to the sherman spam from the enemy side. Also to mention once i had a game with hard PE on my team and as we got to mid game he stopped producing units and he was just becoming useless. Finally the game came to a state where i was vs 2 ai's and he didnt do anything. The turning point came in very very late game when his base got attacked by howitzers barrage. After thatai went crazy producing tons of units and we pushed them all the way back to their base.

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AGameAnx Creator

That sounds like AI bugged out completely more than buildings causing the issue. I've made a reply to the other comment about stuff we'll do about building spacing, but in your case it seems that AI simply stopped producing which is an age-old bug that isn't really caused by the mod, at least I don't believe so. It's hard to tell because vanilla AI is so broken by comparison... I can't really fix that, it sometimes just stops working. It's a really rare thing but annoying nonetheless. Sorry about that.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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123 votes submitted.

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Ratings closed.

Highest Rated (4 agree) 9/10

The mod is very realistic and the models are goodlooking.

This is worth trying. I enjoy it, and i'm sure, hundreds of people with me.

Mar 21 2011 by Boogie85

Lowest Rated (2 agree) 2/10

You can see the rifleman squad harder to beat a Volk squad , even with BAR in any range , The early game become a damn grenade war . Then the AI side group more and more . The balance is fucking crap AGAIN .
Friendly unit won't give enemy a finish because they are establish a goddamn line ! And friendly also give half territory to the enemy there they are too strong in nunmbers . AI works stupied and just know how to spam .
I give up this mod and back to play the vCoH .

Dec 19 2015 by siemens33c

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