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 3 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...

RSS Files
Back to Basics v4.1

Back to Basics v4.1

Full Version 25 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 40 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

Comments  (0 - 10 of 1,572)

Hi as you know i have been studying how to Mod COH using corsix modding tools, and your The Grand How to as my guide. i want to make a jeep ambulance that have a "heal ability, can you give me a step by step process on how to do it. Thanks very much and more power to your Mod which is my favorite.

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So sort of an odd question, but is the AI's performance in any way different between regular skirmish mode and multiplayer skirmish mode? I partly ask for sake of reward vehicles.

If you look around for it, there's been a bunch of threads over the years claiming the AI performance is not as good as it once use to be, for both vanilla and mods alike. I assume these claims stem from the re-release of the game on steam, mod version/features, and if I'm not mistaken there was a patch made in 2017 sporting mod improvements. I'm wondering if these claims have any validity; especially because the last version of this mod was released back in 2016.

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AGameAnx Creator

Nope, skirmish and multiplayer modes should be exactly the same. The mode itself changes nothing as far as I know. Not sure what you mean with reward vehicles, I think they should work for both modes in the same way, shouldn't they?

The only thing that you could potentially be thinking of is that if you have another player in the game AI calculations will be split between all the players evenly. Each AI is only processed once, so if there are 2 or more players, the calculations don't need to be made on each PC separately (as it is usually done with most game scripts), only one of the human players does the calculations and then only the resulting commands are synchronized. But this is something that can only improve the performance, not lower it.

Don't know about what relic patched, but vanilla game performance should be good even if they did reduce the performance slightly overall. You can always try lowering your settings because this game gets bottle-necked by various settings quickly.

Our mod uses AI files from a very long time ago. I haven't diffed the patched files or anything, our files are modified too much me to be able to merge their changes (if there were any) easily.

The mod itself should run considerably slower than vanilla because there's essentially double AI running for the mod - the custom script and default game AI. The default game AI is also modified to be considerably more sophisticated and robust. Particularly the unit purchase decision logic and unit tasking (targets) logic are the two areas which are massively improved and therefore somewhat bloated...

One of the big pushes for the next version of the mod (if it ever comes out) is to optimize my code... Right now if I lower all my graphics settings I can pull up to 150 fps, which I'm very happy with. But this is on one of the strongest single thread processors around (8700k).

Like I've mentioned multiple times before, this game is unfortunately poorly optimized for utilizing the current trend of multi-core processors so perhaps some people even upgraded their processor and got worse performance because their new processor has worse single-thread performance. This is something to always look out for, especially the AMDs new processor line is one of those which would suffer a problem like that (they're extremely good for running various benchmarks, but single-thread is not that impressive).

Reply Good karma+1 vote

Oh alright, I got a little confused. I know originally the reward units only use to work for multiplayer. Before none of the options were ticked but when I went to check out the doctrine changes for Wehrmacht for some reason I started out with a Schwimmwagen. But a little later all the options were suddenly ticked. Glad this was changed. I assumed maybe this was the default for regular skirmish games.

Thanks for talking about the performance side of things. I'll have to keep this in mind for when I set up my next skirmish. Unfortunately for the time being I'm stuck with a laptop with a pretty weak processor (at least for the standard the mod brings the game). The GPU also just failed recently so I'm stuck with the integrated GPU.

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So how was this mod now ^^

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Celution Creator

All I can say at this point is that we're working on it in small steps without a set deadline. There is progress, but we keep finding new things that are either imbalanced, poorly designed, or even broken.

I am amazed by the fact that after all this time there are still people out there (like yourself) that keep an eye on our mod, it's awesome.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

It'd be cool if it was possible to port over your AI improvements into other mods as well. Not because BTB isn't good enough anything like that, more that some of the other mods could greatly benefit from the reworked AI. IDK much about CoH mods but I would assume this is impossible which is unfortunate.

Or, if some of the co-op joints op missions could be added to BTB but again I imagine this would be a serious project to try and undertake. It's just unfortunate.

I've never played CoH2 because my PC is old and can't run it, but tbh from what I've gathered, other than the true sight and cover vaulting being the two worthwhile improvements to the game CoH2 is more or less just CoH1 but with higher system requirements and a few microtransaction/pay to win elements thrown in for good measure.

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AGameAnx Creator

Yeah unfortunately it's impossible to easily port the AI improvements to other mods. The possibilities for just one mod are already nearly infinite so I could spend infinite amount of time on just one mod. Adding another mod to the mix would just ruin it because I'd just end up losing focus. You need to know exactly what you're doing. Apart from that aspect, a lot of the things are indeed very mod-specific: depend on engagement ranges, time to kill, any other different game mechanics. And then the AI improvements also often focus on improving individual units, abilities.

If people want to use the custom AI control scripts for their mods they're more than welcome to, and I'd be there to help them update it to work with their mod. That part of our mod's improvements is decently separate from overall game mechanics but it would still be a pretty big amount of work to utilize it in a different mod properly. For example if there are any different combat abilities that mods would have the authors of those mods would already have to write code to make those things work already, not just change some numbers/references. So yeah...

CoH2 is a good game. What you mentioned is technically true, but it's not something which hinders its gameplay too much. CoH2 is also different enough design-wise to be its own game, so one shouldn't simplify it too much.

Also the performance of two games is quite similar, at least if you don't run low shaders & models on CoH1.

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120 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

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