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

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Wehrmacht 75 mm PaK 40 Anti-Tank Gun American Armored Infantry Wehrmacht Obersoldaten
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  (50 - 60 of 1,125)
Kriegtooth Jun 25 2014, 6:58am says:

Just did some playing! Got my *** kicked pretty good, even on easy :P

Anyway, some suggestions.... When playing as the Panzer Elite, I noticed they are Waffen SS, but the Panzer Grenadiers have cufftitles and sleeve eagles on both sides. The Waffen SS only wore them on the right side. Glad to see some accuracy since the Panzer Elite was obviously a stand in XD

Also, the Gerbigsjaeger, LOVE that they finally get added to something, but I'd add them to the Werhmacht instead, and give them the basic uniform instead of camoflage

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lito.LV Jun 25 2014, 10:39am replied:

I think you might consider changing your play style. BtB really doesn't like the campish dig in style, cause AI is made so that it can outplay you easily.
Try to push your units forward faster. Take the middle map and hold it, don't make much defenses, but mobile units to push even more.
Give me an update how it works out. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 25 2014, 9:39am replied:

Thanks for suggestions, those are mostly to Celution, I already told him to check the moddb comments.

Would you say I should lower the Easy AI difficulty?

For some reason I've been feeling like even though there's a huge difference between all settings and resource bonuses it's still extremely challenging for new players.

It seems like the primary attribute of AI is its multitasking and the main way to win against it is to employ quite abusive types of defensive play so you don't have to try to outdo it at its own game.

Nevertheless, with all our years and years of experience and knowing this game inside-out, we only sometimes lose to Expert AI. Almost never on maps we know. It wouldn't be fun for us if we never lost against it, therefore the bonuses for Expert AI are quite extreme. But, whenever I play with somebody newer to the game it can almost be impossible to win even against Normal.

This is why my opinion on how to tune Easy AI so skewed. Sometimes it feels almost gross to think of the amount of additional resources I need to give Expert AI to make it more or less competitive against us, other times, even without any bonuses whatsoever, the AI beats me if I play with a newer player.

Maybe some people just want to play like it was a normal human being too: try to outcap it, try to just outplay it straight up. Not everybody wants to employ the most effective strategy all the time and some don't feel bad ditching such strategy even if they know about it (btw we've quite intentionally made it so that there isn't an obvious "best strategy" against AI anymore, but it's still always catered towards defensive play).

+1 vote   reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 25 2014, 9:40am replied:

I'm not sure how I can properly address this issue... Any ideas would be welcome.

The only way I can think of is to give Easy AI less than a normal amount of resources, heh. Atm it's a really barebones version of a "player" with normal income and quite poor settings for its retreat probability, ability avoidance etc.

The idea here is that people who play mods are most likely good enough to be able to beat Normal AI in vanilla, therefore Easy AI should be like Normal AI is in Vanilla.

This is why I don't want to lower it income below standard, otherwise the jumps between bonuses of different difficulties are too large.

I can't address/lower its ability to multitask though... And other than that, I can only break things, make it like vanilla, lol.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Kriegtooth Jun 25 2014, 5:49pm replied:

Oh yeah, I'll try to get better. I honestly havent played COH in forever, since at the time I didnt think there were many mods for it

Oh, and I need to correct myself, Waffen SS insiginia was on the LEFT side. Right side insignia was for Werhmacht(normal army) elite units

+1 vote     reply to comment
Celution Creator
Celution Jun 26 2014, 9:14am replied:

Thanks! You might be glad to hear that Gebirgsjägers have been redesigned completely in the next version. Although they no longer have the german name, they are a lot more useful and combat effective. This is basically their redesign:

- Gebirgsjägers renamed to Mountain Infantry, with a new unit icon, symbol and portrait (the ones previously used for the Shocktroopers).
- Panzer Grenadiers can now build basic field defenses (Barbed Wire/Sandbags) by default; using a seperate construction menu.
- Panzer Grenadiers are now responsible for the construction of the Mortar Bunker, Pantherturm and 88mm Flak 36 Howitzer, once unlocked in Scorched Earth Tactics.
- Mountain Infantry are no longer responsible for the construction of the Mortar Bunker, Pantherturm and 88mm Flak 36 Howitzer. The idea behind this is to lessen the focus on Mountain Infantry throughout the whole commander tree, while increasing their frontline usefulness.
- Mountain Infantry are now armed with four scopeless Gewehr 43 rifles instead of four MP40 SMG's. Scopeless G43's are similar to M1 Carbines; great for close to medium range engagements.
- Mountain Infantry call-in manpower cost increased from 260 to 300, and require 2 Command Points to unlock.
- Mountain Infantry reinforce cost increased from 30 to 36, and reinforcing time increased from 6 to 7 seconds.
- Mountain Infantry can now plant Demolition Charges by default.
- Mountain Infantry can now use Sprint by default.
- Mountain Infantry entity health increased by 10%, from 100 to 110, increasing the squad health from 400 to 440.
- Mountain Infantry can now use Scorched Earth once unlocked.
- Mountain Infantry now have a standard repair ability, as well as the ability to repair strategic points which have been disabled by Scorched Earth.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Celution Creator
Celution Jun 26 2014, 9:14am replied:

Changes that indirectly affect Mountain Infantry:

- Heavy Fortifications Command Point cost decreased from 3 to 2.
- Medic Bunker can no longer deploy Goliaths
- Medic Bunker self-repair removed.
- Medic Bunker health decreased from 900 to 800 to match the Wehrmacht Bunker.
- Medic Bunker can no longer hold Infantry.
- Mortar Bunker reinforce radius increased from 0 to 15.
- Pantherturm population cost decreased from 8 to 5.
- MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Emplacement hotkey changed from H to E.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Kriegtooth Jun 26 2014, 7:07pm replied:

Sounds good :D May I suggest though, the Gerbigjaeger often wore the Bergsmutez hat instead of a helmet, so maybe their leader should have one? Its...sadly, pretty much the same as the Volksgrenadier hat, except they put an Eidleweiss on it

And I'd say increase their morale alot. The Gerbigsjaeger were hard fighters, an elite force!

BTW, what would you say they represent in Back to Basics? Werhmacht or Waffen SS Gerbigsjaeger?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Celution Creator
Celution Jun 28 2014, 7:10pm replied:

Unfortunately, no such hat is available in the game and hasn't been modelled either, besides that not all modelmixes work.

I might consider making them tougher to supress, same goes for the Armored Infantry, to give them a slight edge. They're definitely not going to be as tough as Assault Grenadiers or KCH though as that would make them OP.

Mountain Infantry do not represent any real unit in real life, I simply designed them around what I feel would be a good asset to the game/commander tree and used a name of a historical division type. As the Panzer Elite are both Wehrmacht/Heer and Waffen SS (Waffen SS by core, Wehrmacht(Heer by some commander trees), it can be your own interpretation ;).

+1 vote   reply to comment
Kriegtooth Jun 28 2014, 7:35pm replied:

Volksgrenadier hat would count close enough for most history nerds, since that style of hat was directly based on the Bergsmutze. The Eidleweiss was just a flower pin for mountain troops

And that sounds good :D

I'd say that if you wanted them to specifically represent Waffen SS Gerbigsjaegers, on the Western Front, to give them camoflage or a sniper weapon. Division Nord gave the Americans hell at the Battle of the Bulge, by hiding in trees and such as that. Buuut that might be too OP

Im the kinda player thats into historical accuracy, or close to it, even if its unbalanced XD

+1 vote     reply to comment
scarts Jun 24 2014, 1:21pm says:

Ohh man I hope we get a V4 this summer!!! I LOVE how you actually made the AI a TOP priority with your previous versions. Wish more mods and developers would do the same.

+3 votes     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 25 2014, 9:48am replied:

Thank you! Nice to see appreciation for AI, I am of the same opinion. Devs keep making things more grand, large, beautiful or story based. It's about time somebody made a game with exemplary AI :P Too bad such ideas almost always fail

+1 vote   reply to comment
foo_jam2002 Jun 23 2014, 11:13am says:

if i download this, will i be able to play vanilla CoH and this mod separately? Or vanilla CoH will be gone and only the mod will be available to play? Thanks in advance.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 23 2014, 12:18pm replied:

You'll be able to play it separately. The mod does not modify any of the original game files

+3 votes   reply to comment
foo_jam2002 Jun 24 2014, 5:32am replied:

Thanks, keep it up!

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 23 2014, 7:13am says:

Hi all, I've redone the main description of the mod with improved install instructions, feature lists and an improved introduction text. If anybody has any comments about it, let me know. As usual, the character limit was not enough lol.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Kriegtooth Jun 22 2014, 8:55pm says:

Just got the mod! Im curious, what are all the new units? And is there any plans for future releases, or is this the final version?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Celution Creator
Celution Jun 23 2014, 4:52am replied:

There are plenty of new units, my suggestion is to simply go in a game and play each of the armies multiple times, or disable the AI with the following console command: AI_EnableAll(false). This gives the opportunity to look through all units of a certain army (and you can restart the battle to take a different commander tree).

I am currently thinking about releasing v4 this summer :). I've had a long break from CoH, which is the reason why there haven't been any releases for a long time.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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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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