I think it's about time somebody made an update about the release of the next version of the mod! I think I'll do that.
To quote Blizzard: "It's coming soon!". Haha. But really soon. Basically the core changes are all done and the balance was improved drastically. The main focus of this update was on improving infantry combat and fixing certain balance issues with tank combat. We're still unsure about the tank combat and right now it still says extremely lethal just like most of you realism junkies prefer ;). It's already balanced but we're looking to find an alternate solution and implement a realistic yet even more balanced tank damage model.
I am going to attach our changelog, which makes for a total of 230 lines of notes (well done, Celestial!): BtB v1.3 changelog.txt
Keep in mind, folks, the changelog does not include AI changes. With those, the changelog would probably be even longer. But I am not that thorough with logging my changes. The main changes for AI include a much better positioning decision making (AI won't rush to your base right away and it will try to hold middle), better capturing priorities (AI will sometimes even rush early game to capture a high point if it thinks it's good), way better functioning Panzer Elite AI, way more sustainable American AI (with snipers, mortars, m8 rushes and HMGs), possibly fixed British command truck placement and a huge set of overall improvements of AIs decisions.
Some words about the Campaign. I regret to say that we do not base our balance decisions around campaign. We're still one of a few mods which properly supports the campaign though. I do believe we added a few custom units to campaign as well but we didn't touch it for a long time and it wasn't heavily changed at all. I could potentially make this campaign much more challenging and fun at some point but at the current state of things that is pretty unlikely. If you find bugs please report them and we'll be sure to fix them in the new version though.
We did notice that axis units (volksgrenadiers in particular) were extremely unbalanced in the current release and axis balance was based on heavy mg support (meaning AI does horribly). We've switched it back a bit, added additional suppression but decreased accuracy on long ranges. Also, axis infantry has gotten more hit points and more reasonable damage. HMG still has the a extreme damage output on low ranges though.
We did remove all health buffs for AI in the current release already so your ownage moments should still be there, haha. And yea, for me even extreme difficulty campaign is pretty easy so you should definitely try out the higher difficulties. Just expect more units to come at you and a more challenging experience in general. And if this complete decimation of axis infantry is too easy then look forward to 1.3 :)
Also, guys, please take note of this: The recommended difficulty of Skirmish vs CPU players is always one level lower than it is for you in vanilla! This is the idea, I think the Easy AI for vcoh is absolutely abysmal and anybody should be able to beat that. Anybody who comes to the modding forums is more than likely has already beaten the game and played against AI in vcoh skirmish so that's the point of us improving the AI. We did make it harder, with less bonuses for it! I would have imagined that people would love that, with the new realism added as a cherry on top of that. But instead (I can't believe it) we have gotten feedback that we made it overpowered, lol. Please don't feel bad if you have to play Easy AI in skirmish, hah. That's the whole idea of an improved AI. Me and Celestial are always able to beat hardest AI, it's pretty rare it beats us. But it certainly gives us a challenge and if it was up to me, I'd give it more bonuses. But Celestial doesn't want that!