Welcome to Company of Heroes: Back to Basics!

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.

Overall, the damage model is much more lethal than vanilla Company of Heroes, adding realism and more consequences to mistakes, but at the same time it is also 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 less static with a huge spectrum of different play styles being viable. Combined arms, support weapons, officers and unit positioning are extremely important.

Penetrating vehicle armor can have strong consequences - there are much more critical hits involved in vehicle combat. No tank can take endless punishment. That said, the element of randomness is minimized as much as possible, there are practically no one-shot kills, the accuracy of each weapon is redone completely, the penetration values are intuitive and fair. Experienced players can have a good understanding of what the outcome of vehicle battles will be.

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 to vanilla. Each impact has a large area of effect, applying a lot of damage to squads nearby but the lethal radius of the explosion is not very large, minimizing instant squad wipes. Infantry in trenches can actually be shielded from the blast and the same logic applies to armor - only the shells that hit very close-by are most dangerous. Artillery as a tool is extremely powerful but comes at high cost of all three resources in the game. Munitions income is very important in order to use it consistently as every barrage has a munitions cost associated with it. Munitions denial can be a good method of stopping the damage from coming in.

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
  • Weapon tracer beams have been completely reworked
  • Additional "fake" ambient occlusion shadows for infantry added
  • Custom made ground textures with additional detail added
  • New unit skins for every unit in the game
  • Improved models and model details for some of the more iconic units
  • 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

The AI in Back to Basics receives almost as much attention as the rest of the features. AI features and improvements include:

  • 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 actually make a decision to become defensive, stop attacking you 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 minor 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
  • Improved game start for AI. 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 usage of standard game abilities
  • A custom script controlling where AI targets its offmap abilities
  • Improved 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 scripts added which control the behavior of mortars and MGs for AI. This prevents AI from ever running in with these support units into your defensive line and instead places them 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
  • Officers will now follow and support other units in a logical manner
  • Improved other unit behaviors, such as tank flanking and entering buildings

Launching the mod

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

steam://rungameid/228200//-mod Improved -dev

Note, that LaunchBtB.bat shortcut that comes with v3 release of the mod does not work with steam

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 Improved -dev to the target line. The result should look something like this:

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

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 v3.0

Before downloading Back to Basics, please make sure that you patched Company of Heroes to v2.602
Back to Basics v3.0 FULL
Mirrors: Mega, StrategyInformer
Does not require a previous installation of Back to Basics. Make sure to
remove any existing Back to Basics version before installing.

Download Back to Basics Update v3.1

Back to Basics Update v3.1
Requires a v3.0 installation of Back to Basics.


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

A special thank you to everyone who helped us make this mod possible

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Back to Basics v3.1 Update

7 comments by AGameAnx on Mar 24th, 2013

Visit the download section on moddb here to download the patch. Additional mirrors will be available later on as we upload the patch archive to them.
Full changelog:

- Fixed reported typos.
- Improved unclear descriptions of units, abilities and upgrades.

Global Balance Changes:
- Turret Machine Guns firing arc decreased from 360° (180° to both sides) to 120° (60° to both sides). This makes it slightly easier to flank tanks and vehicles with a turret mounted Machine Gun.

- Fixed a bug where the M4 'Assault' Sherman could not target Bunkers and other Structures.
- Turret M2hb .50cal HMGs weapon tables fixed. This is a flat nerf for the weapon, as it had a way too high DPS at all ranges.
- M2 60mm Mortar Setup time increased from 1.5s to 2.4s, to match all other mortars.
- M26 Pershings come no longer with a Tank Commander by default. An upgrade which also gives the same modifiers as all Tank Commanders can now be purchased individually for each tank.

- Added a special Campaign-only Canadian Infantry squad to the Headquarters Command Truck, who can be deployed in certain missions. This squad is more similar to the Infantry Section:
* Three upgrades available: Flamethrower, Bren Light Machine Gun or a Boys AT Rifle.
* The ability to throw Grenades and Sprint.
- Fixed a bug where the Tetrach was unable to fire its main gun after upgrading the Littlejohn Adapter.
- Fixed the missing Flamethrower for the Canadian Infantry.
- PIAT reliability at medium and long ranges has been increased.

- Fixed a bug where the Sturmhaubitze 42 could not target Bunkers and other Structures.

Panzer Elite:
- 81mm Gr.34 Mortar Halftrack setup time increased from 2.2s to 2.4s, to match all other mortars.

- Liberation of Caen: M01 Authie
* Increased initial munition count to 600
* Decreased emplacement build time from 0.5 of original build time to 0.35
- Liberation of Caen: M03 Carpiquet
* Fixed missing Canadian Infantry in the Headquarters Command Truck
- Liberation of Caen: M04 Carpiquet: The Airfield
* Fixed missing Canadian Infantry in the Headquarters Command Truck

- Crucial AI attack priority logic improvements for Easy, Medium and Hard AI
- Fixed an important bug where AI would stop controlling its units
- AI reinforcing is now controlled manually through scar making AI not waste any time reinforcing its units
- Improved heavy weapon setup logic
- Improved early game attack logic slightly
- Improved axis AI logic for purchasing pak38
- Slightly improved AI artillery targeting logic (preventing AI from targeting single squads too often)
- Decreased priority for some AI point types to prevent it from clumping units
- Removed low priority markers from all the maps to prevent potential issues with them (they weren't placed properly)
- Decreased Assault Sherman priority
- Decreased Fuel bonuses
- Increased Munition bonuses to match manpower bonuses
- Slightly changed 3rd level of production purchase logic, eliminating the cases where the upgrade would switch back and forth

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Back to Basics Update v3.1

Back to Basics Update v3.1

Mar 24, 2013 Patch 8 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...

Back to Basics v3.0 FULL

Back to Basics v3.0 FULL

Feb 25, 2013 Full Version 49 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

Jun 15, 2012 Patch 6 comments


[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v2.0

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v2.0

Jun 6, 2012 Full Version 8 comments

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

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v1.2.2

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v1.2.2

Apr 18, 2011 Patch 19 comments

A small patch that fixes various gamebreaking stuff.

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v1.13

[OUTDATED]Back to Basics v1.13

Nov 9, 2010 Full Version 14 comments

After a long delay, we are proud to annouce the release of version 1.13 of Back to Basics. We have been working very hard on this, perfectionizing things...

Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 1,124)
roman9441 Jul 29 2014, 5:26am says:

:D so there will be some update for this mod ? :) i love new german skin :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jul 29 2014, 7:17am replied:

Yep, many updates have been made and we're quite done with calling this mod almost dead.

Currently we're in progress of redoing the entire weapon system again so it's not quite time yet to make a news post with the change log. Too many things are up in the air and are going to be heavily tweaked further.

I wouldn't expect a release any time soon, the progress is being made but it has been going quite slow.

If you want to though, everything is indeed available online on our subversion server on google code, the instructions for that are on relicnews as saukopf pointed out.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Shrektacular Aug 2 2014, 12:33pm replied:

The effect on the mortar in the video on this page is really nice, are there any plans to make any more details like that?

(I mean like, weapons and shells and explosions having nice glow/tracer and flare effects)

Sounds are nice too gj

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Aug 4 2014, 7:04am replied:

You can check the description for all the things we already did with graphics and aesthetics :)

We're always making small adjustments but there are plenty of them that we are already quite happy with. Celution always tries his best to choose the best effects for all the weapons and we do indeed have custom tracers.


+1 vote   reply to comment
saukopf Jul 29 2014, 6:46am replied:

you need to visit this thread and get the latest 4.0 version through SVN:


+2 votes     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jul 29 2014, 7:13am replied:

I just read the terms of use of google code and yep, there's no reason we can't let you guys just download the latest version of the mod off of there. Feel free to do it if you don't mind installing tortoisesvn.

+1 vote   reply to comment
betapl Jul 25 2014, 2:49pm says:

I can't instal this mod i extract to folder game on path back to basic and opens my normal CoH

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jul 25 2014, 4:31pm replied:

You have to extract to game folder. A few files need to be created in game's root (especially Improved.module and Improved folder) otherwise it won't work.

+1 vote   reply to comment
HunterXero Jul 21 2014, 3:00am says:

I don't know what it is, but i can't seem to get this mod started. I followed both sets of shortcut instructions, but CoH doesn't actually load up. I have ECL, EaW, BotB, and NHC all working great, but not BTB. Can someone share their shortcut please? I can modify paths if necessary.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jul 21 2014, 3:32am replied:

Could you please show me your steam shortcut target?

More steps to make sure it works as intended:

Check if the game application id matches the one provided in our description (the 228200 number).

Check if the Improved.module file is located in your Company of Heroes directory (steamapps/common/company of heroes (relaunch)) and if there's an Improved folder containing all the mod's files (bunch of data folders, the mod icon, the changelog).

If all this is in place then I'm afraid I'm at a loss. If you could contact me personally we can try solving it with a teamviewer or something.

And another alternative is to download the newest v4 version of the mod with an subversion software (if you want to, I'd send the instructions) and see if that helps. We've actually been doing some serious work on it recently and the SVN instructions are released on relicnews anyway. Relicnews is mostly dead, that's why we can do that, but I don't want to get too many downloads through the SVN, I'm not sure if terms of use in google code allow for that.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Guest Jul 8 2014, 1:37pm says:

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AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jul 9 2014, 7:56am replied:


The new version will have the damage model tweaked quite a bit again so hopefully the feeling of how useful engineers are will be improved a lot.

It's still strange that you've noticed this since we actually worked hard on balancing it. We felt like losing the 1st pioneer guy actually makes you want to retreat right away so we balanced around that fact. I personally always felt like engineers are a much better support unit than pioneers for some reason.

Also, keep in mind that the image you're seeing is probably very skewed to what the real balance is since AI receives much more resources than a normal player so using the assault units (which enginners and pios actually are because they are only effective upclose) against the AI is always more difficult than against a normal opponent. Unfortunately that's the nature of AI, zoning units are always the best against it and usually I don't have much hope for my pioneers or engineers being useful unless it's some city map with lots of close quarter combat.

We'll still keep our eyes open for any issues with this, maybe do some testing in theoretical situations on our test map. The feedback is appreciated, thanks!

+1 vote   reply to comment
ian10 Jul 2 2014, 7:35am says:

This is the best mod of COH unlike other mods with too much features that eventually ruined the game like the campaign mode. It has a well improved AI and features. But I have a problem while playing this game it freeze after the sounds go off. I have no problem when playing the vanilla COH, only the mod. What will be the probable cause of game freeze if I have 3gb ram, 2gb video gard and a dual core processor with no hardware problems.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jul 2 2014, 8:49am replied:

Unfortunately company of heroes has always had issues like this... I would say that 3GB RAM is the problem. You can try increasing the size of virtual memory for your operating system (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/change-virtual-memory-size#1TC=windows-7) and see if that helps. And thanks!

+1 vote   reply to comment
ian10 Jul 17 2014, 4:01am replied:

Thanks for the tips, I appreciate it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Icon
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Release Date
Released Aug 16, 2008
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106 votes submitted.

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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, 4:29pm by Boogie85

Real Time Strategy
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