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
Henschel 'Panzerknacker' Overwatch Gameplay Changes Commonwealth Canadian Infantry
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Back to Basics v4.0 new features spotlight & changelog

16 comments by AGameAnx on Jan 19th, 2015

As version 4.0 nears its final shape, it's time to spotlight the things we've been working on. For the enthusiasts who really like to delve into the nitty-gritty details and stats of the update, you can find the full changelog linked right here. The changelog is 665 lines in total, so that is a lengthy read! We've also prepared a more focused feature for you today highlighting and explaining the most important changes in an easy to read article.

Gameplay changes

First of all, we decided to redo infantry combat, allowing for smoother and more consistent firefights. Range tables have seen large reworks, the damage on each weapon is generally increased, the new weapons take 3-5 hits to kill an entity instead of the previous 4-8, while overall damage output is slightly lowered on range and kept the same upclose. On top of all this, all small arms, including heavy machine guns, now have historically accurate magazine sizes. Small arms have thus seen changes in their damage model, range tables, accuracy, rate of fire, reload time, cooldown time and scatter.

We already fixed the infamous 5% health bug in v3, but this turned out to be incomplete, where for example rear armor hits could still endlessly stack critical hits without destroying the target. All of this is fixed now, vastly improving the consistency of vehicle combat. Besides this, we experienced that certain critical hits happened way too often or too early during combat and some were overpowered.

The new vehicle critical system works as follows:

  • Frontal Armor Hits:
    • 100-40% hitpoints: 100% none
    • 40-5% hitpoints: 40% none 42% engine damage 10% detrack 8% gun damage
    • 5-0% hitpoints: 75% vehicle destroyed 25% out of control
  • Rear Armor Hits:
    • 100-40% hitpoints: 90% none 10% engine damage
    • 40-5% hitpoints: 20% none 50% engine damage 15% engine destroyed 15% detrack
    • 5-0% hitpoints: 75% vehicle destroyed 25% out of control

Another important gameplay change is the complete rework of ballistic weapon scatter angles. What we wanted to achieve is that tank damage output would be more reliable and be dealt more through splash damage when engaging infantry rather than having it kill infantry mostly by direct impacts. The old scatter values were quite disproportionately large, resulting in shells sometimes firing completely off target, or, due to high accuracy, flying through cover and terrain. Changing this results in tanks hitting much closer to their target thus applying the area of effect damage more consistently, as well as respecting cover and terrain more, destroying cover around infantry when they miss. Attack ground can be important now as well, allowing you to maximize the effects of the splash damage as best as possible. Tank battles also become more consistent and more reliant on the size of the target as well as their movement.

Talking about vehicle combat, we felt that light and even some medium vehicles underperformed in all situations. They were neither effective against infantry nor against other vehicles. We sought a design where they are viable to get throughout the entirety of a game. So expect a massive performance increase to vehicles such as the M8 Greyhound, T17 Armored Car, Staghound, Stuart, Puma, Anti-Tank Halftrack and Hotchkiss.

Area of Effect weaponry has been overhauled for nearly all ballistic weapons. We noticed that there were massive inconsistencies to the performance of artillery and mortars. Regardless of our efforts, these weapons would still at times wipe entire squads of infantry while at other instances barely deal damage to units even in the inner blast radius. This had to do with a before unknown bug where splash damage wasn't a homogeneous area but had certain ‘accuracy' tests. On failure of this pass, no damage would be dealt. This of course leads to high performance inconsistencies, thus significantly decreasing the reliability of artillery and mortars. Other ballistic weapons have also seen similar changes in area of effect, which tied with the mentioned scatter changes, allow for more consistent performances.

The income has been reworked completely. You will now receive a slightly larger amount of manpower early on, meaning your first core squads come out faster to the battlefield, however there have been large adjustments made to upkeep and on-map resources resulting in a much more fluid tech progression and feeling for unit recruitment decisions.

Last but not least, we tweaked some of core gameplay parameters. Back to Basics, like vanilla Company of Heroes, is primarily balanced around the Victory Point Control game mode. We changed the possible choices from 250/500/1000 to 500/650/800, as these amounts correspond better with Back to Basics gameplay. Capture rates of all strategic points have been significantly increased:

  • Manpower strategic point revert time reduced from 15s to 10s.
  • Fuel and Munition strategic point capture time redone:
    • High 40s/35s -> 25s/20s
    • Medium 30s/25s -> 20s/15s
    • Low 20s/15s -> 15s/10s

New/Redesigned units

Sturmpioneers are tough combat troops equipped with Kar98k rifles, bundled grenades, wire cutters, repair packs and have the ability to salvage wrecks. They can be upgraded with STG44 Assault Rifles.

Panzerfüsiliers are heavy assault infantry capable of dealing with any threat type. They can be equipped with MG42 Light Machine Guns or Panzerschrecks.

Combat Pioneers and trained Marksmen armed with Gewehr 43 rifles, capable of constructing advanced field defenses. Utilize Sprint and Vital Shot to effectively take down Infantry at range. Jägers camouflage in cover.

Combat engineers armed with M1 Carbines, trained to protect vehicles from infantry attacks. They are equipped with wire cutters, grenades, sticky bombs and Advanced Repair packs.

Improvements to the AI

Continuous improvements are being made to AI, spanning all across its functionality spectrum. The highlights of AI improvements include:

  • Completely reworked AI targets file, once again improving its ability to flank and create frontlines. This rework was focused on making AI much more versatile for different types of maps, utilizing corners of the map much more and creating much stronger frontlines, utilizing all the information for defense as well as attack calculations.
  • A completely new pathfinding and tank control script, making AI retreat its damaged tanks, face its armor towards the enemy, and stay away from danger.
  • Completely redone old scripts of British HQ setup and Team weapon setup scripts, improving performance and decision making. MGs should be much better at always pointing towards the enemy rather than taking fire to the back.
  • Large improvements done to AI capture priorities and fixed issues of AI capturing under fire. AI can now make decisions to capture unconnected territory.
  • Continuous improvements to AI unit purchase priorities.
  • Significantly improved weapon pick up and team weapon capture logic.
  • Across the board small improvements to most of other AI functionality such as retreating, build orders, tech purchase logic, ability use and more.

Graphical changes

When it comes to graphics, we always strive for the highest quality while still allowing for good framerates. In this version, we significantly improved several graphical aspects of the game, most importantly all craters and tracers. Craters now look much better when stacked and once again have more depth to them, while having a much better rate at which it'll seem that the map gets covered in craters completely. Battlefield destruction is much more progressive and late game battlefields should feel much more realistic.

Some terrain textures have also been changed; some HD textures were removed as they made certain maps look worse than before, while decreasing framerate on low-end systems.

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Downloads RSS Feed Latest Downloads
Back to Basics Update v3.1

Back to Basics Update v3.1

Mar 24, 2013 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...

Back to Basics v3.0 FULL

Back to Basics v3.0 FULL

Feb 25, 2013 Full Version 50 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  (730 - 740 of 1,271)
Mauritiux Jun 12 2012, 7:41am says:

Dropbox: BtB 2.1 changelog:
- Inspired Assault no longer costs munitions to activate, and recharge time increased from 45 to 90 seconds.
- Inspired Assault now also resets any suppression of the affected Infantry.

Cool! This will help a lot! I always hated that the HMG fire is able to supress my infantry even when this ability is still active. I presume that the SS Officer did a crappy job and didnt inspired them enough. Therefore every glorious charge ended up with my infantry lying on the ground covering their heads. What a bunch of wussies. Glad you fix it :)

- Churchill AVRE can now auto search targets, being effective versus Infantry and Buildings.
- Churchill AVRE "Fire 290mm Petard" ability can now exclusively be targeted on Buildings, but will destroy almost any building with a single shell.
- Fire 290mm Petard ability cost increased from 25 to 100 munitions, and recharge set to 100 seconds.

Awesome! This will make this variant much more interesting to choose and make it work how it should work. Effectively destroying enemy emplacements and buildings. Good job guys!

- Range of Victor Target ability increased from 45 to 50.

Great! Also I hope that this is a global change for the VT abilities of all factions because Wehrmachts Leutnant and American Command Squad have this same problem.

Cheers :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mauritiux Jun 11 2012, 8:43am says:

Is it possible to give Binoculars ability ( increases line of sight but require setup and render unit motionless while active ) to all recon units ( Motorcycle, Schwimmwagen, Bren Carrier and Jeep )? I saw this ability in the Blitzkrieg mod and found it very usefull.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Celution Creator
Celution Jun 11 2012, 11:38am replied:

I'm not sure, perhaps. I will discuss this with AGameAnx.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Mauritiux Jun 11 2012, 8:13am says:

If you remove the autofire from Churchill AVRE then please rework his 290mm rounds also to match his description which is saying that this variant was designed to breach German fortifications during the Normandy offensive. His 290mm rounds should be able to flatten bunkers and deal serious damage to buildings but right now the damage dealth to the buildings is laughable and the only thing at which this variant excels is anti-infantry role. Or even better. Instead of removing his autofire completely rather give him two firing modes:

1. Less potent autofire ( rounds filled with less explosives ). Strenght should be similar to the M4 105mm or Stuh arty rounds.

2. Secondary mode of fire should be in the form of active ability similar to the Priests Bunker Buster round. The cost ( 100mun ), recharge time and effectivenes should be the same with the exception of range to balance it out.

This change will make the Churchill AVRE much more interesting to choose and also add more versatility at the same time.

So what do you say about my idea?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Celution Creator
Celution Jun 11 2012, 11:38am replied:

Yeah, I've been thinking about something like that too. The problem is, I cannot disable that the AVRE can shoot without the ability the way it is now (that the AVRE is an upgrade for the Churchill). Therefor I will most likely do it the way you described. :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
Mauritiux Jun 10 2012, 12:27pm says:

This is really weird. Not only the British HMG nests are immune to the hand grenades. All emplacement types no matter the faction are immune to them. I noticed that when the emplacement have full health then it is nearly impossibe to kill ( or even damage ) the crew but when health of the emplacement drops to 50% or less then the crew is killed right away. Example: Enemy Panzer Grenadiers was throwing incendiary grenades on my mortar emplacement and although they set it on fire the crew was not receiving any damage at all but when health of the ME dropped to 50% the crew was killed right away. And as I said it is associated with all emplacement types. So can you please check it out and fix it?


+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 10 2012, 3:10pm replied:

That's related to how criticals work. It's a special thing, special types of actions performed on units when damage is done to them. There's 3 types of damage ranges - green, yellow and red. I would assume that crew gets killed only in yellow and red damage types thus the results you describe are indeed true.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think incendiary grenades don't actually damage the crew at all, they only damage the emplacement and once in a while these actions are in fact triggered and the crew gets literally killed.

Unfortunately I don't think it's possible to make it work any other way. This is the same issue which has been in vanilla with kangaroo carriers - infantry inside them simply didn't take any sort of damage and I think Celestial has been trying to fix it for years until he finally figured out it's possible to do it with criticals. I am not sure whether we should add the same behaviors for all types of damage ranges, we'll discuss this with Celestial.


+1 vote   reply to comment
Mauritiux Jun 10 2012, 9:49am says:

1. 81mm Mortar Emplacement cannot be recaptured when his crew die.

2. Bunkers do not have population limit. What I mean is that every unit or emplacement have pop cap shown in the tooltips but the pop cap of the bunker is not visible.

3. Im often experiencing scenario where my Stug is unable to penetrate M10 TDs frontal or even rear armor. This proves often fatal to my Stugs because M10 do not have this same problem at all. Or maybe I was just extremely unlucky. Anyway I dont think that 75mm shells should be able to bounce off the M10s rear armor.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 10 2012, 3:25pm replied:

1. Must be because the weapon is destroyed, will be fixed.

2. Same with American MG emplacements. Same as it was in vanilla. We've already limited the repair bunkers as well. I don't know if this is a problem or not... We'll think it over with Celestial.

3. Man, I've been complaining about M10 armor for Celestial for a while :P Fixing this would be A LOT of work for him, that's the reason it's still not fixed. I guess I could do half of that work with a macro, however, hehe, so it's partly my fault as well. The problem is that if we fix it now, we'd have to test this before next release, test it in many games - it's a pretty big change. M10 could be pretty bad because it dies to a lot of stuff very fast and Stugs aren't really made to counter T4 of Americans (unless it's just a non up-gunned sherman). But yea, we'll see, like I said, I wanted to fix that for quite a while, we just ended up forgetting about it.

+1 vote   reply to comment
MarinusTau Jun 10 2012, 9:38am says:

Units do not use the door of the mortar bunker but instead walk out through the walls. And why not use the model from the campaign? Looks cooler xD

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 10 2012, 3:28pm replied:

Passing it to Celestial. Mortar bunker is purely his creation, haha. I'm sure fixing the door is pretty easy. Can't comment about the actual model though - from what I know there wasn't any other model. But we'll consider this. No promises on changing the model but the door should get fixed.

+1 vote   reply to comment
MarinusTau Jun 10 2012, 6:05pm replied:

It's in the north of the Falaise Pocket campaign missions, on the west side of the river at the ammunition depot.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MarinusTau Jun 10 2012, 9:48am replied:

Oh, I forgot, my Wehrmacht ally on Baerenschanze started okay, but once combat started stoped making things and didn't even make a single building. The bases in Baerenschanzen are to small for all base buildings of both players as well.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AGameAnx Creator
AGameAnx Jun 10 2012, 3:26pm replied:

Oh my, that map wasn't supposed to be included in the mod - it's way too laggy and yes, the bases are way too small. We haven't added AI markers to that map either. Please just don't play it XD It's a pretty bad map, even though it's absolutely beautiful.

+1 vote   reply to comment
MarinusTau Jun 10 2012, 6:04pm replied:

That explains a bit xD

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Icon
Synthax Studios
Send Message
Release Date
Released Aug 16, 2008
Mod Watch
Track this mod
Community Rating



110 votes submitted.

You Say


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, 4:29pm by Boogie85

Real Time Strategy
Single & Multiplayer
Embed Buttons

Promote Company of Heroes: Back to Basics on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the embed code provided (more).

Company of Heroes: Back to Basics Company of Heroes: Back to Basics
Company of Heroes: Back to Basics
Last Update
4 days ago
521 members