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

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 1,455)

First of all the 4.1 update is amazing! the AI is really keeping me busy at hard. Can't believe what they would do on brutal ;p

One thing what would be awesome and is similar like in coh2. when you damage a tank with AT cannons or heavier tanks. that there is a slight chance (depending on the armor strength) that the victims inside the tank has died but the tank still is (heavily damaged) operational. so you can capture it. just like a flamethrower on a MG nest. the weaker the armor the better the chances. (except like the heavier tanks, but the panther should be able to capture) this will create some new challenges on the battlefield and will get my blood pumping ;p

And also with the commonwealth update you've been talking about, it would be awesome if the commando's can camouflage when in light and heavy cover.

maybe this can be implemented when you find you time to work on the commonwealth project that we would love to hear and see!

Also i have a question, is it possible to add new maps from other sources? if yes, where do i put the files and is there a chance that the AI will be so confused that they freeze on other maps?

Thank you and keep on the good work!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Celution Creator

Thanks, I appreciate the kind words and I'm glad that you're having a blast playing Back to Basics!

The dynamic of capturing "de-crewed" tanks present in CoH2 is something I personally am not to fond of mainly from a balance perspective. There are already pretty big risks to loose vehicle such as de-tracks/destroyed engines and I can't even imagine how infuriating it would be for your opponent to suddenly get a free tank. Tank quantities are very much balanced around their fuel, population and upkeep costs, especially the initial fuel cost of fielding one, so getting acquiring one straight after an engagement would be a bit crazy if I give it a quick thought.
That said I also highly doubt it would be possible without some funky bypass mechanics as the functionalities are simply not present in this version of the game engine. I also would be surprised if we would suddenly go about making such a radical change after months and months of fine tuning our current meta.

Camouflage in cover is something that wouldn't fit the design of Commandos at all as they're meant to be an aggressive harassing unit. Tank Hunters (PIAT Commandos) can use Ambush as active ability though. It is also for this exact reason we moved it from Fallschirmjägers to the Jägers. When designing and balancing units I also try not to overload them with many different features and abilities as I want to keep their role clear to the player as well as preventing the occurance of units with overlapping roles as much as I can.

The plans to redesign the base Commonwealth faction has unfortunately been shelved at this point in time and I can't say whether it will ever come or not. The sole reason is that both AGameAnx and myself currently have other interests that we spend our time on. It is something we got pretty excited about but decided against it with the current releases due to the severe balancing changes it would require.

To answer your question about adding maps to the mod, it is very much possible. If the map is in unpacked (so not in .sga) format you can just throw it in BacktoBasics\Data\scenarios\mp\ and it'll load them automatically. Archived maps can just be thrown in the My Games folder in My Documents as you normally would, I'm pretty sure it'll load them even for mods. Just keep in mind that the AI is likely to be significantly weaker due to the lack of so called "AI Markers" that we scattered throughout all the maps. You can add these yourself if you have some basic WorldBuilder knowledge, just check one of the custom maps added in the mod for how we placed them.

Reply Good karma+3 votes

Alright, thanks for the explanation!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

sometimes PE AI do nothing especially when producing structures are destroyed

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Celution Creator

Can you elaborate the situation a bit? I was observing AI's bash each other in a 3vs3 AIvsAI and manually destroyed all axis base structures for it to end (as they couldn't beat each other in Annihilate mode). However to my surprise they rebuilt their entire bases in relative no time so AI doesn't break when losing its production structures.

That said, it still had some territory to gain resources from and it is of course not a surprise that the AI will die if it has nothing but the base sector left. Not sure what you are expecting here..

Reply Good karma+1 vote

I had PE AI ally in that game. his units all died by expert enemies, and eventually he stopped producing any units. I have save file for you. if you want i will give you that file.

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this comment is by me.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes

I've always found the addition of a captured Panther to the Brits to be a bit weird as I've never heard of such a thing happening, and if it did it was likely a one-off incident. I understand it's for tank balance but in that case, shouldn't you just put in the Comet? More believable than Brits using Panthers.

Reply Good karma Bad karma-1 votes
Celution Creator

It was relatively common towards the end of the war that captured tanks were used against their original owners (especially on the Eastern Front), same goes for Panthers:

That said, I of course would love to introduce the Comet instead of the Panther because I could also make it a regular call-in rather than a once-per-battle unit. The problem is that there is no proper Comet model available for CoH1 unfortunately and creating one at this point in time is not worth the investment.

I have been considering adding the Achilles but it would end up being just another M36 Jackson copy, which doesn't quite excite me from a design perspective.

Reply Good karma+3 votes

The mod community here is pretty lax with sharing, you could probably use the Comet from Blitzkreig (dunno who made it). The model isn't fantastic but I'm just thinking itd be better from a gameplay perspective to have the Comet.

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes
Celution Creator

I am very well aware that there is a Comet model available. However, the model is a model-mix between a Cromwell chassis and a custom Comet turret (which isn't the best of quality by itself). It was one of the earlier models ever animated by the community, hence the relative low quality of it when compared to later animated models. This is the primary reason that I haven't added it, I don't like looks of model and wouldn't really fit in with the overall aesthetic quality the mod has.

Besides, the Comet doesn't really offer anything over the Firefly; it'd be just another paper chassis with a 17 pdr gun. Sure I could differentiate them by making the Comet a brawler and the Firefly a sniper but in that case I'd rather add the Achilles which has a better looking model.. The captured Panther at least offers something completely unique that an axis player has to think about a bit more when engaging it.

Reply Good karma+2 votes

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122 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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