- "AP/CP shells - Fire!"
- ~ American anti-tank gun commander
Turtling is a method of defense in which the player does not attack their opponent, but instead builds up their defenses, forcing the enemy to either come to them, or turtle themselves. A great example of turtling would be the following scenario;
- Player A and Player B are fighting for a desert.
- Player A builds bunkers, has tanks and infantry patrol around his base, and in general holes up.
- Player B builds many tanks and planes, and comes at Player A with all of his military forces.
- They are defeated due to the heavy defenses of the base of Player A. While Player B is weakened due to the loss of so many troops. #Player A would be wise to un-turtle and send out his own army in the meantime, before his or her opponent can rebuild any units.
- This takes Player B by surprise, and Player A wins due to cunning strategy.
However, in the game of R.U.S.E., the rules change dramatically. For example, Player B could have a second base with Camouflage Netting, or a secret army of tanks waiting in the wings for just such a maneuver. As such, in this game one must always be ready for anything.
- Player A is sitting in a corner, protected by batteries of machine guns, air cover, all the stops pulled.
- Player B...has minimal base defenses and instead builds armies and watches them in horror as they are butchered. Or so Player A assumes.
- While everything is being thrown toward the main front a force could easily slip in from an adjacent area and eliminate the base from two angles.
- Another possibility is that Player B has a Camouflage Net deployed and it is hiding an array of AT, AA, and artillery batteries hidden just beyond the enemy's range of sight. These will then hide until every unit Player A has at their disposal is fighting the diversion (which could very well be one of those deadly ruses that makes this game a set of tactical twists and turns)
- The second group springs into action and Player A is taken out.
A faster way to defeat turtling is to not allow it to happen in the first place; rushing with factions such as Italy or the U.S.A. can prevent Player A in the first scenario from building an effective defense.
Turtling is also difficult to pull off in R.U.S.E.; artillery is a great way to destroy enemy emplacements and units, and air attack can crush a turtle if the player does not create defenses against it. The only way to respond to enemy artillery is with masses of your own. Unfortunately, the heavier and more far-reaching artillery is more expensive.
Massed tanks, tank destroyers, anti-aircraft guns, and artillery can destroy a turtle. What matters is the amount of points accumulated in the attack; If the attacker does higher damage to the turtle, then the defensive strategy is in vain. However, heavy turtling by one team can lead to a long battle of attrition; seeing that taking down the turtling team's (Team A) defenses would be too costly, the other players (Team B) could choose to turtle themselves, in the hopes that Team A will attempt an attack. This can lead to long, uneventful matches as both sides soon get caught up in an "arms race", attempting to build more defenses, tanks, planes, infantry squadrons, etc. than their enemy. In order to stop this, counter-attacking is needed as soon as Team B realizes they cannot push through Team A's defenses. If you lose your initiative and fail to counter-attack, the aforementioned scenario is almost guaranteed to happen.