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Europe in Ruins is a modification for Company of Heroes (and soon Opposing Fronts) that attempts to convert the games into a MMO-RTS with applied persistency and an online war. Launched and under development before THQ/Relic announced Company Heroes Online (available only in China), their attempt to venture into the persistent world, this modification seems to be breaking ground in an area that is just now beginning to be recognized by publishers and developers.

Europe in Ruins requires a backend website to track and manage the persistent war and players' companies and as such you can't play the modification without logging onto the website and going through some steps to get your profile setup and ready to go. In addition, as may be expected, it's an online multiplayer modification also.

Setting up your profile involves signing up for either Axis or Allies and choosing your doctrine (3 per side) and then selecting your initial abilities in the doctrine. Once you do that, 3 companies are assigned to you and these are the companies you will use to play your battles. The companies however, aren't pre-made, you are simply given resources to purchase the units and upgrades you want. Once that's done, you assign them into platoons which defined how you want to call them into battle. For example, one platoon could be a tank and some engineers to repair it.

Finding a battle can sometimes be challenging at the time of this writing but the developers have promised an easier to use battle system that works much like an online lobby where battles are listed and you simply join whichever one suits you. Once you find a battle, a 'Europe In Ruins Launcher' is provided that downloads your battle files for you, places them into the required directory, and launches the game. From there, you meet up with the other battle participants on Relic Online and play your battle.

At end end of the battles, the battle report is automatically sent back to our server containing information on what units perished, what units gained experience and how much they gained, and updates each factions (Axis and Allies) number of territories owned. In addition, statistics are sent back to the server on how well your company did.

Resources are given out on the website based on a variety of factors such as your resource bonuses and your successful territory captures. These resources allow you to reinforce your company and purchase more units and upgrades.

In addition to all this, each doctrine has 16 abilities available to it. They range from cheaper units and upgrades to special abilites in game. You gain access to them thru 'CP'. CP is a resource that is given to you everytime you play in a battle. So the more active you are, the better resource bonuses you get, and the better doctrine abilities you have access to use.

That said, it's not a whoever plays most wins type of game. A unique balancing system we call Total Army Value ensures new players can compete with even the most seasoned of veterans.

Battles are setup in an attacker/defender scenario. The defender gets a certain amount of time to setup defenses before the attackers are allowed to deploy. They can use this time to setup a plan of action using the provided TeamSpeak channels and to place mines, tank traps and to build bunkers, sandbags, and wire. During the battles, you use your company's platoon setup to call in units. However you can't simply call in all your companies units at once as there is a limit to how many units you can have on the field at once. As units perish or you retreat them off the map, you can call in additional platoons to take their place.

While all of this may sound confusing, the modification's community is extremely helpful and video tutorials are provided on setting up your profile and companies on the site as well as playing an actual battle.

You can get started by visiting the website at: http://www.europeinruins.com

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