RUSE feels like a boardgame, but it's also taking place in real-time, in a way that could only really work on an electronic game system. Boardgames, by their nature, tend to have trouble not being turn-based, and so the experience of RUSE is an unusual one. It is about deception, observation and, well, clever ruses.
The central conceit of the game is that you can employ intelligence and counter-intelligence powers to fool and fox your enemy, just as you might in some militaristic card game. Of course, the real decision about who wins will still come down to firepower: this is the Second World War, with all the planes, tanks, artillery and men with guns that such a setting implies. RUSE is an unusual hybrid.
RUSE has a really broad palette of strategy on offer. The very slow pace of the game - infantry takes so long to move into position that they need to head off in the wobbly old truck at least one cup of tea in advance of any planned attack - offers scope for planning complex tactics far in advance. Produce cheap infantry early on and send them off into the map, purely to be able to distract the enemy into keeping an eye on them, or to provide harrying raid troops that can keep someone busy while concocting an aircraft raid masterplan, or tank assault.
The ruse powers themselves supplement this kind of play enormously, because you can trick enemies into thinking you have troops where you have none, or even swap signals so that - for a brief time - some of your units appear to belong to the enemy.
Everything in the world is carefully presented so that it easy to deploy. You can learn by playing, and the game will tell you quite openly that a band of infantry will have trouble taking on an armoured column. Ubisoft claims that all this will make RUSE exceptionally accessible to inexperienced strategists as well as satisfy the hard core RTS fan.