R.U.S.E. (no, the name doesn't actually mean anything, it just looks cool that way) is a RealTimeStrategy game by Ubisoft set during WWII. The name comes from the game's twist on the standard RTS formula: Ruses are in-game support powers which affect a certain area of the map for a certain time, and can do things like reveal enemy orders, hide your troops or even create decoy buildings and units. Though using these is not strictly necessary for victory, they can be a powerful asset. Unlike its successor, [[VideoGame/WargameEuropeanEscalation Wargame: European Escalation]], set in the Cold War, and the series that spawned from it, it does not feature a large, exhaustive array of all major combat units in service at the time; the unit selection is fairly limited, with each faction having at most two or rarely three units of any one given type (with the third exclusively being an expensive, late-game prototype unit), yet these limited arsenals still embody the overall doctrine of their respective countries, and do tend to feature the most important (or at least well-known) examples of each unit type.

The campaign follows the exploits of a US Army officer by the name of Sheridan, from his first command as a Major in North Africa in 1943 all the way to being a General during the final stages of the war. The campaign is essentially one long glorified tutorial; new elements are generally introduced one at a time, almost all the way to the end, and the player doesn't actually have a whole lot of freedom in achieving their objective. The skirmish and multiplayer modes are where the game comes into its own, though, allowing full use of all arsenals of units and Ruses. All the major players of the war are accounted for; the [[YanksWithTanks United States]], [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons Germany]], [[RedsWithRockets Russia]], [[BritsWithBattleships Great Britain]], [[GaulsWithGrenades France]], [[NewRomanLegions Italy]], and [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun Japan]] as a DLC faction.

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!!This game provides examples of:

* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: Quite many.
** Towed artillery has a significantly longer range than the same type of artillery on a self-propelled platform. Towed guns also fire four rounds in quick succession for every barrage, while self-propelled guns only fire one. However, this is necessary for towed guns, especially the shorter-ranged 75mm ones, to be competitive, as they are obviously much slower and more vulnerable.
** Similarly, and for much the same reasons, towed anti-tank guns will have longer range and higher damage than the same guns mounted on tank destroyers. They do still only fire one shot at a time though.
** The arsenals of each faction, as said above, are hugely truncated. Especially noticeable with anti-tank and anti-air guns, which all nations had a wide variety of in real life, but which have been reduced to one or two examples in either category at most. However, the units that did make it into the game tend to represent the factions' real combat doctrines, and keep the battlefield more simple and understandable.
** High-explosive weapons (artillery shells and the bombs used by level bombers) do little more than scratch armour. Even a fairly dense artillery strike or a large air raid is not likely to do all that much damage to tanks, although it will utterly wipe out any buildings and unarmoured units in the area. However, given that the game takes place on a much larger map than most RTS games, and artillery can outrange tanks several times over, it prevents artillery from just being an instant-win solution.
** Anti-tank guns, including those mounted on tank destroyers, do not have high-explosive shells, and tank destroyers do not have machine guns, so any infantry that get close will be able to wipe the floor with them without taking any damage in return. However, given how powerful these units can be, as with artillery, it prevents them from becoming an instant-win tactic, especially for fast, turreted tank destroyers (the American ones and the British Sherman Firefly).
** Unlike in the Wargame series which followed, tanks and heavy vehicles cannot enter forests, only infantry, towed weapons (except artillery and heavy AA/AT guns like the [=FlaK=]-88) and recon units can. However, forests in R.U.S.E. also confer ambush bonuses, which seriously increase the damage of hidden units, and add damage protection as well, so being able to hide tanks as well could easily make them overpowered, especially when it concerns vehicles like the IS-3 or T95, and would make towed anti-tank guns almost useless compared to tank destroyers.
** The prototype bases are RIPE with this [[note]] Along with the other buildings[[/note]], as any unit can be produced in any number, without any limit. Among the units that can be produced are:
*** PzKpfw VII Maus[[note]]1.5 built[[/note]]
*** Gun Motor Carriage T-95[[note]]2 built[[/note]]
*** ARL-44 [[note]]60 built, post-war[[/note]]
*** Sturmtiger [[note]]19 built[[/note]]
*** Skink [[note]]3 built[[/note]]
*** Super Pershing [[note]]A derivative of the M26 Pershing, 2 converted[[/note]]
*** O-I Heavy Tank [[note]]1 built, maybe[[/note]]
* ACommanderIsYou / FactionCalculus:
** The United States are a JackOfAllStats Balanced faction. [[note]]They have no major strengths or weaknesses, can use many different tactics, and can adapt to almost any situation. Late-game, their air force is fairly powerful (they get the [[CoolPlane P-51 Mustang and B-17 Flying Fortress]]), but still not the strongest. Perhaps their biggest weakness is their artillery; they only have self-propelled guns, which are shorter-ranged and more expensive than towed artillery, and the expensive, generally late-game Long Tom, so they can run into trouble against dug-in enemies with good air defence.[[/note]]
** Germany is an [[EliteArmy Elitist]] faction with a big focus on research as well. [[note]]They have some of the most powerful units in the game, including the dreaded Panther, Tiger and King Tiger tanks, and even the Maus super-heavy tank, as well as the only two jet planes, the Me-262 and Ar-234, but in addition to the high cost and slow production time of all of these, they must first be researched, which also takes a lot of time and resources. They are at their weakest in the early-game, although they have some tricks up their sleeve even then, with the [=FlaK=]-88 able to stop cheap early-game tank rushes dead and provide air cover to boot. If they get going, they can become one of the most powerful factions in the game capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone.[[/note]]
** The Soviet Union are a hybrid of the [[ZergRush Spammer]] and Brute Force faction types. [[note]]They have the most powerful infantry in the game, which also builds faster than any other unit, and their T-34s, while of average performance especially in the late-game, can be built quickly and cheaply as well. These are backed up with units like the KV-1 and IS-2 heavy tanks, the IS-3 prototype super-heavy tank, 122mm self-propelled artillery and 152mm and 203mm towed artillery, which all pack a serious punch. Their biggest weakness is air; their early-game fighter is mediocre at best, and by the time the upgraded variant rolls around, it has to contend with even more powerful opposition. On the ground, they only have light 37mm AA guns in towed and self-propelled variants. However, if the enemy does not have air superiority, they can use their Il-2 Sturmoviks and Pe-8 heavy bombers to good effect.[[/note]]
** Great Britain is a Unit Specialist focusing on air power, with their ground forces being more individually specialised. [[note]]The British have easily the most powerful air force out of all the factions. While the Americans, Germans and Japanese can contest their control of the air later in the game, the Spitfire is much cheaper than the fighters these factions will be fielding, and their fighter-bombers and bombers are incredibly powerful as well. Their tanks are divided between Cruiser tanks, which are fast but weak, and Infantry tanks, which can take a serious beating but can't really dish one out, meaning that if they cannot rely on their air cover they are forced more than any other faction to use combined arms, which comes at a fairly high cost in resources, and the slow speed of their heavy tanks means the enemy will have plenty of time to react.[[/note]]
** France takes the concepts of the StoneWall and MightyGlacier and run with them (insofar as they can run, that is). [[note]]Their static defences are the best around, and they can start building cheap, very heavily armoured tanks right from the start, although they are slow and do not have very powerful weaponry. Still, it is very much possible for the French to simply grind down their enemy with a constant stream of heavy steel. Their artillery also deserves mention, as they are the only faction to be able to field cheap light field artillery and long-range heavy artillery side-by-side, without the latter replacing the former, also right from the start of the game. They are a sort of inverse Germany; they are at their most powerful early in the game, but cannot keep up as other factions start deploying more and more powerful and advanced units.[[/note]]
** Italy is mostly a Ranger, with a bit of Guerrilla, all by way of the FragileSpeedster. [[note]]The Italians have the fastest ground units of anybody around, but none of them are particularly heavily armoured or armed, so they are reliant on their speed more than anything else. This makes them good at early rushes, preventing the enemy from expanding and forcing them to react to the weak Italian units swarming all over the map instead of getting their own army out, but it naturally makes them poor defenders. Generally, if Italy fails to contain the enemy and ensure their own superiority early on, they will be at a disadvantage.[[/note]]
** Japan is a hybrid of the Technical faction and the JackOfAllStats, sort of an EvilCounterpart of the USA gameplay-wise. [[note]]Japan, like the US, can basically adapt to any situation, but their units tend to be unique and work in odd ways. They have a light tank with no armour, and a heavy tank similar to the King Tiger. Their regular artillery is limited to 75mm field guns, and that same gun on a self-propelled chassis, but they also have a prototype superheavy mortar. Their mobile AA vehicle is built from the armour base instead of the artillery and AA base. They have a prototype superheavy tank which also has a flamethrower [[MilitaryMashupMachine and functions as rocket artillery]]. They have sniper infantry, and engineer infantry with flamethrowers which destroy buildings instead of capturing them. They have parachuting recon troops. Almost nothing in the Japanese arsenal works like anything found in the other factions. The most straightforward of their capabilities are their fighters; the Zero is capable of securing air superiority against almost anyone early in the game, and its replacement, the Shinden, has similar stats to the Me-262, the most powerful fighter in the game until the Japanese arrived.[[/note]]
* CripplingOverspecialization: Anti-tank guns and tank destroyers can ONLY shoot at tanks and other vehicles, and have absolutely no way to defend themselves from soft targets (read: infantry) which come close. Even those TDs which did have machine guns and high-explosive shells in real life. To a lesser extent, both towed and self-propelled artillery are only really effective against buildings and unarmoured targets (supply trucks, infantry, AA and AT guns), and will only manage to annoy anything with armour. Even those which were also used as tank destroyers in real life, such as the [=StuG=] [=III=], quite possibly ''the most well-known tank destroyer in history''.
* DieselPunk: While there is no outright fictional technology in the game ([[spoiler: except perhaps the V2s tipped with atomic warheads]]), some of the units from the various nations' Prototype Bases really have that dieselpunk feel. The Maus is probably the lightest example of this, followed by the American T95. The French FCM F1 (actually a pre-war design) and Japanese O-I super-heavy tanks definitely fit here though; the FCM F1 has two turrets, one mounting a 90mm cannon while the other has an AA gun. The O-I similarly has multiple turrets, with the main one also mounting a regular tank gun, but the other ones have ''flamethrowers''; it also serves as ''rocket artillery'' of all things, with a launch ramp on the back capable of sending out a flurry of rockets every so often.
* EasyLogistics: You get one Ruse every minute. Units, buildings and static defences are built with "Supplies" (which do use a dollar icon), which come from Supply Dumps across the map, which look like they contain oil drums and other military goods when zoomed in. Buildings and ground units out of combat, as well as aircraft at airfields, will slowly repair. Aircraft can only peform one attack per sortie[[note]]even if a fighter-bomber engages another plane en route, and thus would logically still have its bombs[[/note]] before they must return to base, however they have infinite fuel and can fly in circles forever.
* {{Expy}}: Sheridan to George S. Patton, to some degree. Both are skilled hotheads with something of a personal rivalry with their enemy. Similarly, Von Richter feels like an expy of Erwin Rommel; both served out of love for their country rather than loyalty to the Nazi cause, and both are highly skilled commanders fond of using unconventional and subversive tactics. The parallel is driven further by the fact that the game, and the characters' rivalry, starts in North Africa.
* HistoricalInJoke: "Nuts."
* [[spoiler: HoneyTrap: Kate Garner.]]
* MightyGlacier: Heavy tanks. Especially some of the prototype vehicles, like the Maus, T95 and FCM F1.
* MilesGloriosus: General Wetherby.
* MoreDakka: Some of the self-propelled AA vehicles can throw up huge streams of tracers, especially the American M16, British Skink and Japanese Ta-Se. Also happens when a lot of light towed AA guns are stacked together. The Katyusha and Calliope (and to a lesser extent the O-I) do this with ''[[MacrossMissileMassacre artillery rockets]]''.
** Some artillery, like the French 75mm field gun and its foreign copies, are quite cheap and quick to build. It is entirely possible to build up a stack of this kind of artillery which can pretty much blot out the sky with shells.
* NukeEm: The point of the Nuclear gamemode. Instead of the Prototype Base, all factions can build a Nuclear Centre which builds a long-range howitzer firing atomic shells. [[spoiler: Also Kate's final fate in the campaign.]]
* StoneWall: France's entire schtick, exemplified by the B1 Bis heavy tank. Available right from the start, only costs $20, and has the second-highest level of armour..... and is among the slowest tanks in the game, and only carries a 47mm gun in the turret and a 75mm one in the hull. Very hard to kill, but has the weakest weaponry of any heavy tank in the game. The British infantry tanks also exemplify this; the Matilda has similar armour to the B1 Bis, but only carries a single 40mm gun, and the Churchill's 75mm gun is more comparable to those found on cheaper, faster medium tanks. It still has top-of-the-line armour, though, so like the Matilda and the B1 Bis, ideally it should serve as a bullet sponge while other units, such as anti-tank guns or fighter-bombers, actually destroy the enemy.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: To some degree. Infantry kills anti-tank guns, anti-tank guns kill tanks, tanks kill infantry. (Or infantry kills anti-tank guns, anti-tank guns kill tanks, tanks kill artillery, artillery kills infantry.)
* TankGoodness: Most of the major CoolTanks from the Second World War are in this game. The Americans have the M26 Pershing and the T95 Gun Motor Carriage, the Germans get the Panther, Tiger, King Tiger and ''Maus'', the Russians get the IS-2 and 3, the French get the B1 Bis, the ARL-44 and the FCM F1 (the only tank which comes with its own AA gun!), even the Japanese get the O-I MilitaryMashupMachine.
* TechnologyLevels: In multiplayer and skirmish mode, the player can choose whether to play at the 1939, 1942 or 1945 technology level, with different factions behaving differently from one level to the next. [[note]]For instance, France has access to most of its arsenal in 1939 mode, including the cheap and incredibly heavily armoured B1 Bis heavy tank, which give it a serious edge here. Meanwhile, the Germans are limited to Panzer III tanks, although they do have the powerful, but expensive [=FlaK=]-88 and the cheap, but slow Stuka to deal with heavy armour. In 1942 however, the Germans get the Panzer IV and the ''Tiger''.....[[/note]] Also, the anti-tank base, which builds [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin anti-tank guns and tank destroyers]], is only available from 1942 (even though some guns are explicitly pre-war designs), and the prototype base comes in 1945. The Total War gamemode applies this within the confines of an actual game, with the available technology starting in 1939, then progressing to 1942 and eventually 1945 after some time.
* [[TheAllegedCar The Alleged Tank]]: The Italian lineup is full of these. The Carro Veloce is a very fast little tankette which can shred infantry, but doesn't even have proper tank armour. Their first proper tank even says in the description that while the Italians called it a medium tank, it was actually a super-light one, with its dinky little 37mm gun mounted casemate-style, so it can't even fire it while moving (although it does have a turret, it only mounts a machine gun). The Japanese Ha-Go light tank is also a very cheap vehicle with no actual armour, although it at least has a turreted gun.
* [[spoiler: WorldWarIII: Narrowly averted. The Soviets denounce Kate's faction as rogues, and for some reason, consent to have Allied troops fight them on Russian-occupied soil, even going to far as to finish them off with an ''atomic bomb''.]]
* WorthyOpponent: General Von Richter and General Sheridan, to each other. Notably, Von Richter seems to consider Sheridan something of a FriendlyEnemy, to some degree; Sheridan seems to take their rivalry more personally. After Von Richter surrenders, [[spoiler: he is reluctant to accept his help against Kate's troops, and does not seem to like working with him one bit.]]