Post news RSS Commonwealth Redesign

Showcase of one of the major features of Company of Heroes: Back to Basics 5.0; an overhaul of the Commonwealth faction.

Posted by on

main desc image

The next major feature we are covering is an overhaul of the Commonwealth faction. This overhaul is also part of the upcoming Company of Heroes: Back to Basics 5.0 update.

Introduction

Ever since its introduction, the Commonwealth faction has been a controversial topic. Whilst unique, their core design is static and linear. This severely limits gameplay options, unlike those available to the other factions. The inadequate number of units the base faction includes forces the player into a repetitive playstyle that revolves around using very specific features that often feel oppressive to both the player and the opponent. A specific issue that emerges is that the faction is built around expensive brute force infantry units.

These features include:

  • Free access to forward retreat to a mobile main headquarters.
  • Forward reinforcing on all tier structures and gliders.
  • Slow troop movement forces reliance on fragile officers, that in turn promote “blobbing”.
  • Low unit variety in the base arsenal.
  • Lack of proper suppression and anti-tank capabilities.
  • Linear tech progression with forced unit and playstyle choices.

The fact that the main headquarters is mobile and could be placed anywhere on the map often results in the faction being forced to use this mechanic to its fullest potential and place the HQ as close to the frontline as possible. Consequently, this made the faction too present on certain areas of the map, forming a nearly unbreakable strongpoint. As a result, pushing a Commonwealth player away from a set up location often meant defeating the player entirely. This conflicts with the overall dynamics of the territory war that Company of Heroes is built around, thus changing the dynamic of most maps in a negative way.

The faction’s economy is also significantly different, with “free” securing of territory and other boosts to income. This results in resource dynamics which allowed reaching late game units and tech sooner than other factions, or lopsided tendencies in army compositions that are hard to balance and play around. Finally, the proactive things that the faction could do to put itself ahead and succeed in battles were very limited due to the presence of slow troop movement and the overall absence of other tech options, specialty weapons, and unit abilities.

Core design changes

Our goal was to address all the aforementioned issues, increase the versatility and depth of the faction, while preserving some of the unique faction features. The aim here was to retain the defining faction style intact, while addressing the limited gameplay options and forced playstyles that the faction was experiencing.

We will present the general concepts and design choices we’ve made so far. Everything discussed is still subject to change as we are still in progress of testing and refining the upcoming mod release.

  • Slow infantry movement has been removed.
  • Main faction HQ is now stationary and is placed within the base sector.
  • Forward reinforcing has been locked behind an individual upgrade for those trucks that have it available.
  • Default securing of territory has been removed, but Secured Resourcing is now available for each truck, and has its functionality changed.
  • Faction tech tree is now non-linear.
  • Additional technology and upgrades have been added to the faction.
  • Several new units were added to bolster army composition choices and increase the diversity of gameplay situations that may occur when fighting with and against the faction.
  • Revised and enhanced Commander Trees that synergize with the redesigned faction and offer additional playstyles and interesting progression choices. These will be covered in a separate article.

The basic tech tree is as followed:

tech tree

pnze redesign spacer12

hq T0 – Headquarters



infsec Infantry Section (5) (320 mp)

The main 5 man infantry unit. Infantry Sections excel at fighting on longer ranges, introducing a dynamic which requires axis factions to utilise different strategies when fighting the Commonwealth compared to the Americans. Their damage output has been slightly reduced on shorter ranges, but increased on mid-long range.

May be upgraded with either Rifle Grenades or a Boys Anti-Tank Rifle for added versatility and combat effectiveness.

Infantry Sections can construct all the default emplacements and defenses, including Slit Trenches, Machine Gun Emplacements, Mortar Pits, and Casualty Clearing Stations. May throw No.73 Anti-Tank Grenades when upgraded.


sapper Sappers (4) (300 mp)

Combat engineers. Received an overall boost in hitpoints and a cost reduction, and are now equipped with Sten SMG’s to excel at close range combat. Can throw ‘Mills Bombs’ Grenades.

May be upgraded with Bren Light Machine Guns for increased firepower, or train Demolition Experts to counter minefields and plant explosives. Sappers can construct advanced emplacements and defenses, including the 25-Pounder Howitzer, 17-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun and 40 mm Bofors Cannon.


bc Universal Carrier (180 mp, 10 fuel)

A solid early game light vehicle, with a forward mounted Bren Light Machine Gun. Can capture territory by default and may be upgraded with a second Bren Light Machine Gun to double its firepower.


c15ta C15TA Ambulance (150 mp, 15 fuel)

A mobile and unarmed healing vehicle, capable of passively healing infantry that are out of combat. Synergizes well with the C60L upgraded to Forward Assembly, or other trucks upgraded to Reinforce Point.


pct Platoon Command Truck (200 mp, 15 fuel)

The Platoon Command Truck (PCT) is a mobile truck that can be set up in friendly territory sectors. May be upgraded with Secured Resourcing to secure the territory sector in which it is set up, and establish a Reinforce Point to allow infantry to reinforce within its vicinity.

The PCT fields the Recon Element, Lieutenant, Heavy Machine Gun Team, and the 6-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun.


cct Requisition Company Command (150 mp, 40 fuel)

Requisitions the deployment of the Company Command Truck.


cct2 Company Command Truck (240 mp, 40 fuel)

The Company Command Truck (CCT) is a mobile truck that can be set up in friendly territory sectors. May be upgraded with Secured Resourcing to secure the territory sector in which it is set up, and establish a Reinforce Point to allow infantry to reinforce within its vicinity.

The CCT fields the Tank Hunters, Captain, Stuart Light Tank or Staghound, and the Ram Kangaroo. Also contains the Expert Engineers upgrade to equip Sappers with advanced repair packs.


act Requisition Armour Command (150 mp, 60 fuel)

Requisitions the deployment of the Armour Command Truck.


act2 Armour Command Truck (260 mp, 80 fuel)

The Armour Command Truck (ACT) is a mobile truck that can be set up in friendly territory sectors. May be upgraded with Secured Resourcing to secure the territory sector in which it is set up, and establish a Repair Facility that will deploy specialised Engineers that will automatically repair damaged vehicles within its vicinity.

The ACT fields the Achilles, Crusader AA, Cromwell or Sherman, and Sherman Firely.


c60l C60L Supply Truck (220 mp, 10 fuel)

The C60L Supply Truck is a new tool in the arsenal of the Commonwealth that provides additional versatility and flexibility. When set-up, the C60L secures territory by default. Two upgrades are available: Forward Assembly and Resourcing Facility. The C60L is limited to two at the time.


atnade Upgrade: No.73 Anti-Tank Grenades (100 mp, 15 fuel)

Unlock No.73 Anti-Tank Grenades for Infantry Sections, Tank Hunters, Highlanders, and Vanguard.


pnze redesign spacer12

pct T1 - Platoon Command Truck (200 mp, 15 fuel)



recon Recon Element (3) (270 mp)

A small and fragile utility squad equipped with one Lee Enfield sniper rifle and two regular Lee Enfield rifles. Recon Element excel at mid-long range combat while screened by other units, and specialise in fighting infantry in cover, similar to Sniper Teams of other factions.

Recon Elements have good synergy with mainline infantry squads and team weapons. Good at dealing with snipers and team weapons at range. Can utilise the Vital Shot ability to snipe a single target. This squad captures territory slightly faster than Infantry Sections.


hmg2 Heavy Machine Gun Team (3) (280 mp)

A typical Heavy Machine Gun Team, capable of using AP rounds to deal with light vehicles. Great at dealing area suppression and supporting advancing infantry. The .303 Vickers is devastating on mid and long ranges, synergizing well with Infantry Sections and Recon Elements.


lt Lieutenant (1) (220 mp)

Offers an overall boost in combat efficiency to all infantry in its vicinity, whilst also able to use Inspire; temporarily increasing the firepower of singular squads. Captures territory twice the default rate, especially useful for early game map dominance. Gains veterancy through shared veterancy from nearby infantry squads.

While the overall reliance on officers was reduced, Lieutenants are great at scaling infantry capabilities in later stages of the game. Fuel cost of this unit was removed, but is now limited to two.


6pdr 6-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun (4) (260 mp)

Anti-Tank Gun similar in capabilities with the American variant; the 57 mm M1. Can use APDS shells for temporary increased armour penetration capabilities. Fills out the mobile roster of the new Commonwealth, mending the faction's missing mid-game capabilities.


secured Secured Resourcing (150 mp, 10 fuel)

Initiate secured resourcing; the truck will now secure the sector in which it is set up, increasing resource production and preventing enemy units from capturing that sector.


reinf Reinforce Point (260 mp)

Establish a reinforce point at this truck to allow for the reinforcing of infantry squads.


pnze redesign spacer12

cct2 T2 – Company Command Truck (250 mp, 40 fuel)



th Tank Hunters (4) (320 mp)

Tank Hunters are essentially what formerly were known as PIAT Commandos. Equipped with two PIAT Anti-Tank weapons by default, Tank Hunters pose a formidable threat to vehicles, while lacking efficiency against infantry. May throw grenades, and, when upgraded, No.73 Anti-Tank Grenades.


cpt Captain (1) (220 mp)

Offers a boost in combat efficiency to all infantry within a circular vicinity, as opposed to being sector-based. The Captain offers additional utility in the form of Observed Fire; a heavy mortar barrage, and Mark Target; marking enemy squads that will temporarily suffer from increased received accuracy and damage.

Gains veterancy through shared veterancy from nearby infantry squads, and captures territory twice the default rate. Fuel cost of this unit was removed, though still limited to one.


stuart Stuart Light Tank (300 mp, 45 fuel)

stag Alternative: Staghound Armoured Car (280 mp, 40 fuel)

Stuart: The Stuart is a flexible light tank that can pose a formidable threat due to featuring a large hitpoint pool, and armor that is more or less immune to any small arms fire. Canister Shot was rebalanced to be targeted on a position rather than being locked on a squad. Can be upgraded with a Tank Commander for increased line of sight.

Staghound: A fast and agile armored car suitable for offensive endeavours and excellent at clearing flanks not covered by anti-tank weaponry. Can be upgraded with a .50cal M2Hb Heavy Machine Gun for increased firepower and sandbags for increased hitpoints, though both the initial and upgraded hitpoint pool are lower than that of the Stuart. Has the ability to lay down mines.


roo Ram Kangaroo (280 mp, 25 fuel)

Heavily armoured troop transport, with a higher cost and survivability than conventional halftracks. Offers great mid-game synergy with infantry orientated tactics, though countered heavily by anti-tank weaponry. May capture territory with infantry loaded and can Set-Up to offer a small reinforce radius.


secured Secured Resourcing (150 mp, 10 fuel)

Initiate secured resourcing; the truck will now secure the sector in which it is set up, increasing resource production and preventing enemy units from capturing that sector.


reinf Reinforce Point (260 mp)

Establish a reinforce point at this truck to allow for the reinforcing of infantry squads.


expert Expert Engineers (100 mp, 25 fuel)

Sappers can now utilise Advanced Repair.

pnze redesign spacer12

act2 T3 – Armour Command Truck (260 mp, 90 fuel)



crusader Crusader AA (360 mp, 60 fuel)

The Crusader AA Mk.II is an agile but relatively lightly armoured platform featuring twin-mounted Oerlikon 20 mm guns. While being a formidable firing platform capable of dealing with soft targets and light vehicles with great efficiency, the Crusader AA is ineffective against tanks and armoured threats.


cromwell Cromwell (420 mp, 80 fuel)

sherman Alternative: Sherman (420 mp, 80 fuel)

The Cromwell and Sherman are flexible tanks, forming the backbone of the Commonwealth armoured forces. The 75 mm main gun featured on both vehicles is capable of tackling both infantry and most vehicle threats.

The Cromwell is more agile and may utilise Flank Speed, while the Sherman has increased versatility against soft targets with its ability to fire single High-Explosive Shells. Both vehicles may be outfitted with a Tank Commander for increased line of sight. Tulip Rocket Launchers are available when unlocked through the Royal Air Force Command Tree.


ff Firefly (450 mp, 110 fuel)

Mounting the powerful 17-Pounder main gun, the Sherman Firefly is a highly efficient platform that specialises in the anti-vehicle role. The Firefly can engage any armoured threat effectively, but lacks efficient anti-infantry capabilities and reliable armor. The Firefly is therefore generally ineffective as a spearhead unit, but excellent in the fire-support role. May be upgraded with a Tank Commander for increased line of sight.


churchill Churchill (510 mp, 130 fuel)

The Churchill combines thick allround armour with a 6-Pounder main gun that features excellent armour-penetrating capabilities, and has the ability to fire High-Explosive Shells for increased area of effect damage. The Churchill is a formidable tank capable as a spearhead unit, but its inadequate mobility makes it vulnerable to flanking attacks.

Can be upgraded with a Tank Commander for increased sight range, a Mineplow to deal with minefields, and a Crocodile Flamethrower for increased anti-infantry capabilities.


secured Secured Resourcing (150 mp, 10 fuel)

Initiate secured resourcing; the truck will now secure the sector in which it is set up, increasing resource production and preventing enemy units from capturing that sector.


repairstat Repair Facility (50 munitions)

Establish a repair facility at this truck. Specially trained Engineers will automatically repair damaged vehicles within the vicinity of the truck.


c60l Auxiliary Tier – C60L Supply Truck (220 mp, 10 fuel)



retreat Forward Assembly (100 mp, 30 fuel)

Establish a retreat and reinforce point at the C60L Supply Truck. Infantry squads get access to a secondary retreat ability, allowing them to retreat to where the Forward Assembly is located.

Once upgraded, infantry units may withdraw to the deployed C60L using a secondary retreat ability. However, in contrast to the default retreat feature, this ability has a cooldown once used. This means that squads cannot retreat to the Forward Assembly at all times.


resfac Resourcing Facility (100 mp, 60 fuel)

Convert the C60L Supply Truck to a Resourcing Facility, decreasing unit upkeep costs by 10% once upgraded. This upgrade also allows the player to utilise Resource Reallocation.

Resource Reallocation is a toggled ability that further reduces unit upkeep costs by 15% while lowering fuel income by 40%. The ability may be toggled ON/OFF by desire. The general concept behind this ability is to permit strategies that are heavily orientated around infantry, without letting the player bank large amounts of fuel.


icon upgrade cmnw hq popcap lv1 Level 1 Facility (350 mp, 10 fuel)

Expand operations by increasing the maximum population cap by 20 population. Requires Resourcing Facility.


icon upgrade cmnw hq popcap lv1 Level 2 Facility (350 mp, 10 fuel)

Expand operations further by increasing the maximum population cap by an additional 20 population. Requires Resourcing Facility.


pnze redesign spacer12

Epilogue

Thank you if you've gotten this far in the article! If we've piqued your interest, please consider joining our Discord.

This discord server is where we keep our on-going changelogs, and offers the opportunity to be in direct contact with us concerning the mod. The platform is also the entrance to gaining access to the Back to Basics 5.0 Sandbox.

btb discord


Cheers,

AGameAnx and Celution

main desc bottom

Comments
Tleno
Tleno

This sounds like my favourite Commonwealth rework from all CoH mods so far, even though it tones down on some faction unique features it introduces brand new interesting ideas.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Celution Author
Celution

Thank you for the kind words! We're quite fond of the current design iteration, it offers a wide variety of gameplay options whilst retaining that original flavour of the Commonwealth.

Many of the unique features are still present, and it is still completely possible to focus on a more defensive playstyle with emplacements and forward HQ trucks. The difference is that it now has to be a conscious choice with all its consequences, rather than a forced one.

I'd recommend to give it a try on the 5.0 Sandbox and leave us feedback!

Reply Good karma+3 votes
SunkenHues
SunkenHues

Great Design. So much possible now, I never played vanilla brits because of how boring they were. I started playing brits, well enjoyably, in this iteration only. Feels like a complete faction now.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Celution Author
Celution

Thank you! And indeed, the overhauled Commonwealth feel vastly more dynamic and have a much more exciting impact on games than before!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Aharov
Aharov

Just to be sure, will british units be able to level up by themselves or they still rely on commanders promotions?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
SunkenHues
SunkenHues

British units have separate Veterancy. Lieutenants and Captain also have their own Veterancy. So, Opting for a Lieutenant is more of a choice now, a good choice nonetheless, but not a necessity from the start of the game as before.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Celution Author
Celution

Correct, like all factions, infantry and vehicles gain their own individual veterancy while also partially sharing their gained xp with nearby officers.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Guest
Guest

Several months ago when I tested the ongoing version I had myriads of objections towards the changes you guys made...

but now it seems so refined that I will simply eat it up with pleasure -o-o-

Gotta go on discord to help and hunt bugs :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Celution Author
Celution

Thank you for the kind words! Nice to see you giving it another shot, I hope your expectations are met. See you on Discord! :)

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Guest
Guest

wow hi can u make m1919 and m2hb

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Guest
Guest

Does this mod fix braindead British AI?

I wasn't really looking for gameplay/units mods, just to make computer lead Commonwhealth armies not completely useless, but I guess I can try mod with more changes if necessary.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Celution Author
Celution

Yes it does. Unlike any other mod out there (that I am aware of), our Commonwealth AI will properly set up its HQ trucks in sectors it deems most valuable, yet also in positions that are safe enough. Furthermore, it will relocate them when danger comes too close. Additionally, it will construct emplacements, most notably Howitzers, and utilise these to great effect.

Keep in mind that the aim of this mod is to have an environment that respects the nature of the original Company of Heroes gameplay, and it simply is not a mod that adds units just for the sake of variety or based on existence.

So yeah, I recommend you try out our v5.0 Sandbox! Although it is an in-development version, both the AI and overall state of balance and gameplay is miles ahead of v4.1. With that I mean 4 years of development ahead. ;)

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Razielkaine
Razielkaine

Brits are always my go to natuon and i see some nice changes but unclear if my main issues are covered. Biggest problem was britains severe limitation to countering tanks without javing highy specialised units or emplacemnt while others have effecrive counters on most infantry for a cost. Are the new grenades comparable for this? Or brits still stuck? Second issue was the extremelu short ranges on british emplacemnts like boffors and 17pdr in comparison to german counter parts for no historical reason, has this been adjusted? Personally i do wish the brits would get a 3.7 inch AA gun available somewhere.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Guest
Guest

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.