In the distance, beyond the broken horizon of black smoke, burning tanks and the shattered silhouettes of damaged buildings...a red sun is setting. A bloody sun. Indeed as you look around at the dead and the dying scattered hopelessly amongst the rubble...
Posted by EiRGroundfire on Jan 30th, 2010
In the distance, beyond the broken horizon of black smoke, burning tanks and the shattered silhouettes of damaged buildings...a red sun is setting. A bloody sun. Indeed as you look around at the dead and the dying scattered hopelessly amongst the rubble the colour somehow begins to seem oddly fitting, as if it is some kind of a macabre requiem for the fighting this place has seen today.
And while you look around you at the telltale scars of the last Axis push into this wretched town, an old adage from a time long past slips into your thoughts: “Red skies at night, sailors delight,” . It is a relic from a past life... a forgotten life. For there is nothing to delight in here, and the only reality to ponder lies in the grim knowledge that the Panzer divisions will come again and when they do it will be up to you and your men to repel them at any cost once more.
It is a cost you know too well already. It’s tally is written everywhere you turn with brutally apparent clarity: on the faces of the forgotten dead, in the flames of smouldering wrecks, and in the blasted holes that scar the buildings and roads like cruel gouges in a painting. And though you can’t erase these holes , these blemishes, you still try to imagine this simple French town before the war but it is an image impossible to conjure. It is impossible, because you are too preoccupied with concern for your men and the seemingly hopelessness of your mission to properly focus on such a distraction.
Europe in Ruins is a mod unlike any other, and if you have ever found yourself wishing that CoH felt more like the movies and stories you have seen and read about squad-level combat in WW2 – then look no further. For here you will find a Company of Heroes mod that embraces the close connection between commander and soldier like no other has dared to dream of, and which brings the essence of leading troops into battle far beyond the monotony of base-building awkwardness and into the realm of persistent, engaging gameplay. In Europe in Ruins you are not only a commander of troops, but you are a commander of your troops. Once you have experienced this difference, the implications of the space between are staggering to realize.
Europe in Ruins is above all else a persistence modification for CoH, wherein you build a company of your own design to bring into battle before a match begins using a finite pool of resources. This allows you to customize your army to suit your play style, and to match your strategy and personal taste. The result is that in-game action and combat are no longer awkwardly broken up by quick jumps back to a “base” to churn out more soldiers, leaving you to focus on personally commanding your troops and vehicles with the utmost care and attention.
What persistency really means, however, is the fact that your troops will no longer “disappear” at the end of battles but will instead remain in your battalion ready for the next engagement while also retaining their experience and veterancy. Suddenly, keeping your veterans alive to fight another day has a whole new meaning and importance (losing an entire squad completely means they are gone for good!) and with that comes a definitive sense of attachment and pride. These are not merely strangers who appear and disappear at the beginning and end of matches never to be seen again, but rather your soldiers who have fought your campaigns and earned their scars with glory.
On your left you can see the stalwart remainder of 1st Platoon huddling in the ruined foundation of what once must have been a bakery, while to your right the survivors of the 2nd have commandeered a Kraut Pak50mm and set it up to cover the main road. Just a little ways past them is the remaining armour of 7th division: one badly bruised Sherman struggling to remain operational. It is a grim situation indeed, and though you try not to reveal signs of your anxiety to your men you cannot help but notice the sombre realization’s etched clearly in their faces: that this is where you must hold the enemy at bay, come what may. They are not cowards to be afraid, you think to yourself, but rather heroes to know fear and remain steadfast in the face of it. And with that thought a smile plays across your face at last, and you find yourself almost daring...willing... the enemy to come.
But wait, when we say Europe in Ruins is a “persistency mod”, we aren’t just referring to the fact that your troops stick with you from battle to battle. We also mean that our mod has a highly unique “Warmap” wherein your triumphs and failures on the battlefield directly contribute to the global war effort of either the Allies or the Axis. Achieving victory in battle will push the front lines of the war forward towards your side’s objective, whereas defeat will beckon the enemy one step closer to forcing the surrender and thus spelling ultimate disaster. And as you fight these battles you will begin to earn prestige as a commander which will allow you to upgrade your troops even further, increase the size of your battalion, and even unlock unique and powerful new units to dominate the battlefield with. Only the most tested and proven of commanders, for example, are entrusted with the most limited weapons of war.
And what about the battles themselves? How have they been improved in Europe in Ruins to offer a higher quality of cinematic and strategic gameplay? We’re so glad you asked.
In Europe in Ruins, we have completely done away with the illogical notion of “capturing resources points” and “building bases” and “summoning new troops and tanks out of thin air.” In our mod, as we mentioned before, you call on your troops from off map out of the battalion you have previously built in a method just like how actual battles in WW2 would be fought. Initially you begin with a set population cap so only so many units can be brought on at first (so choose wisely!), but as you take or lose control of parts of the map your population cap will increase or decrease accordingly over time (be careful of losing too much, or you will be forced to surrender the field to the enemy!). Thus instead of a game of base building, resource gathering, and unit spamming, you have a delicate dance of tactics and manoeuvring that feels authentic and is wholly captivating.
Suddenly the ground beneath your feet begins to vibrate and a low, ominous rumbling echoes in the evening air. You know that sound all too well, and your blood goes cold: a Panther is coming. Pulled violently from your reverie by the dread sound, you begin barking orders to your troops all around as they scramble to their feet. “Ready the AP rounds!”, “Rifle’s into cover and fire only on my command!”, “MG’s and sharpshooters, ammo checks and position!... This is it men!”.
Immediately they snap to your words, and the earlier sense of pride returns. These are your boys, and if anyone can stop the enemy here and now it will be them. Since Normandy they haven’t let you down, and you can tell from the discipline and speed of their movements that they aren’t about to start now.
Down the road, the imposing silhouette of the Panther’s turret appears around the corner of a building. It is coming...
With that being said, there is a far higher quality of gameplay intrinsic in playing Europe in Ruins. Expect to have your skill tested as never before, and to be challenged in new ways that push your micro abillity, unit selection, and company management skills to the limit. This is a game for people who love the thrill of strategy and skill and are eager to improve and build their skills in the heat of battle so if those characteristic match your own... prepare to be excited. This is your holy grail.
So whether you are a hardcore gamer looking for the next big challenge, or just someone interested in enjoying the feeling of personally commanding a personalized battalion in a fantastic strategic atmosphere, look no further. Come to our website, download the mod, make an account, and get right into the awesome battles, the incredible unique content, and the custom maps and innovative gameplay that we have to offer. You will not be disappointed.
The first shot seems to rip the very air around your head apart as it crashes into the low wall barely a few yards to your right. Chunks of rock hurl in all angles but they are mostly small and your helmet protects you from the worst of it. As the smoke clears, and the last of the debris falls to the ground around you, you raise your head to watch the dreaded beast continue it’s inexorable rumble down the road towards you and your men – grenadiers and support teams jogging in behind it, their weapon’s raised and firing.
With a word you give the order to fire in response, and the evening air is filled at last with the reassuring sound of allied gunfire. Your men give shouts into the darkening night as they fire, and their confidence steels your heart to the task now immediately hand. The pieces are in motion and now fate will decide the outcome. There shall be no more waiting anxiously in fear for what is to come – for now there is only action.
To your left the captured Pak and its crew let out a first shot of their own at the Panther. If it can be brought down early, there may yet be hope for victory.
There may yet...