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Showcase of the revised Command Trees featured in Company of Heroes: Back to Basics 5.0.

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As we head into the year 2021, it’s time for another update! In this article we will present the revised Command Trees. These will be included in Company of Heroes: Back to Basics 5.0.


The Command Trees were revised in accordance with the respective faction overhauls, which were covered in previous articles.

While the original Command Trees were unique in concept, some were too specialised around a single purpose or playstyle. This resulted in an overall limited variety of possible strategies for the player, but also made certain trees much more appealing over others. Additionally, the available progression options were often limited, often favouring one branch over the other.

General Concept

Our intention is to permit various progression paths that synergise with various faction strategies. The nodes for each branch were shuffled around to offer more logical and interesting choices throughout, while also mitigating the evident power differences between branches. Practically every feature in each of the Command Trees received some attention; from minor balance adjustments and bug fixes, to fully revised functionality of certain abilities, units, and upgrades. In addition, plenty of brand new content has been added with the aim to broaden the versatility of each tree.

It is now possible to devise a strategy and a set of reactive choices down each of the command trees which will allow one to supplement their base faction tech paths, covering their weaknesses or empowering their strengths, and allowing for reactive answers to what the enemy might throw at you. Generally, this will often result in traveling down multiple branches at once, and having to assess each choice a lot more.

There have been some general design changes to some classes of command tree abilities as well.

Off-map fire support

Off-map artillery and airstrikes have seen a significant increase in their cooldown timers, and the time between incoming shells of artillery barrages is longer as well. Previously, these abilities were available for use during nearly every large engagement, often deciding the outcome once deployed. By reducing the availability and increasing overall barrage duration, the aim was to both reduce the overall ‘nuke’ effect that these abilities had and to make players more mindful of when to use these abilities.

An effect of these changes is a greatly improved come back potential when losing control over the map, as having a strong munitions income no longer results in endless free damage and area denial from these abilities. Additionally, the munition cost has been reduced for all abilities to ensure that the overall accessibility remains relatively even throughout the course of a game.

Lastly, artillery and airstrike warnings have been redesigned from the ground up for better readability and to fix an old bug of disappearing/invisible indicators. Abilities now feature a combination of three warnings to ensure that players get notified of incoming off-map fire support; one indicator directly visible on the map, one on tactical map and another on the minimap.

Vehicle call-ins

Another noteworthy change is that all special call-in vehicles now feature a fuel cost that is comparable to similar vehicles found in the main faction arsenal. As these vehicles do not require specific tech to be deployed and often permit skipping certain tier structures altogether, it was previously possible to field powerful vehicles and tanks without the need to invest and manage fuel spendings, which often snowballed into oppressive advantages.

Complementary unit upgrades

Upgrades that directly boost the primary combat capabilities of units now feature a visual indicator to ensure the readability towards the opponent, besides implying which command tree progression was chosen.

Temporary unit power-ups

Abilities that would previously be applied globally to all units available to the player are now activated onto targeted units within a circular radius.

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Detailed infographics for each respective tree may be found in the screenshot section, and can also be accessed by the links below.

Combined Arms Strategies

Focus on infantry orientated tactics and fire support. Combine Rangers, Assault Shermans, off-map artillery support, tight defenses, and the M2A1 105 mm Howitzer to take hold of, and lock down territory in an defensive fashion.

Airborne Strategies

Initiate air landings with Paratroopers and Glider-borne Pathfinders, Pack Howitzers, and Supplies. Ground-attack aircraft are available to provide effective fire support, and M10 Tank Destroyers may provide additional offensive momentum.

Mechanized Strategies

Specialize in Mechanized Warfare with various complementary upgrades. Complement your army with Armored Infantry, CCKW Trucks and Crocodile Shermans, and utilise T34 Calliope Rocket Launchers and off-map heavy artillery to blast through defenses.

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Detailed infographics for each respective tree may be found in the screenshot section, and can also be accessed by the links below.

Mobile Assault Operations

Initiate offensive tactics by enhancing artillery units and complementary abilities. Utilise Vanguard, Priest Self-Propelled Artillery, Command Tanks and Precision Artillery to break through enemy lines.

Spearhead Operations

Specialise in mobile operations with Commandos, Tetrarch Light Tanks, Achilles Tank Destroyers, and tanks outfitted with Tulip Rocket Launchers. Typhoon Attack Aircraft offer devastating fire support and additional offensive capabilities, while Relay Stations may strengthen frontlines.

Strategic Support Operations

Enhance tactical versatility with tougher defenses and more efficient Command Trucks, Counter Battery, and complement Officers with additional utility. Utilise Highlanders, Churchill AVRE Tanks and off-map Land Mattress batteries to assault enemy positions.

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Detailed infographics for each respective tree may be found in the screenshot section, and can also be accessed by the links below.

Defensive Doctrine

Focus on enforcing a stronghold on territory. Advance with Schützen infantry and Geschützwagens, while fortifying the frontline with 88 mm Flak guns. Wreck havoc with Rocket Artillery, and the leFH 18 Howitzer.

Blitzkrieg Doctrine

Carry out assault operations with overwhelming force. Advance with Stormtroopers, Assault Guns, and a legendary Tiger Ace. Complementary upgrades and Airburst Artillery help promote a strategy of aggressive expansion.

Terror Doctrine

Enforce supreme propaganda to inspire your troops while demoralising enemies. Advance with Obergrenadiers and the mighty King Tiger, and strike fear with dreadful V1 Rockets and Firestorm bombardments.

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Panzer Elite

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Detailed infographics for each respective tree may be found in the screenshot section, and can also be accessed by the links below.

Scorched Earth Tactics

Use various sabotage and ambush techniques and artillery to entangle your opponent. Utilise Jägers, Tiger Tanks, and the destructive power of the Hummel Self-Propelled Artillery to advance past established frontlines. Choosing this tree will grant the Kettenkrad the ability to plant Booby Traps.

Luftwaffe Tactics

Fallschirmjägers, Luftwaffe Ground Forces, Hotchkiss Tanks, Air Support, and powerful emplacements round out the versatility of the Luftwaffe. Choosing this tree will grant the Kettenkrad the ability to use Concealing Smoke.

Breakthrough Tactics

Break through frontlines with Panzerfüsiliers and the mighty Jagdpanther, while wrecking havoc with Railway Artillery and Butterfly Bombs. Advanced ammunition and infantry training round up the power of Breakthrough Tactics. Choosing this tree will equip the Kettenkrad with Repair Kits.

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Thank you for reading this article! We wish you all a good start of the new year and hope you all continue to stay safe and take care of one another during this pandemic. 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.

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AGameAnx and Celution

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