Back to Basics v4.1
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
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
Does not require a previous installation of Back to Basics. Make sure to remove any existing mod version before installing.
Launching the mod
Standard steam shortcut
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:
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
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