Stratego Board Game: Overview and History of the Aptly-Named Game

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The Stratego board game is a game of skill and strategy. Stratego offers more of a challenge than Risk and is suggested for players ages eight and above.

Stratego Game Overview

Stratego is a military themed board game that uses a ten inch square board. It is made for two players, who each have 40 playing pieces. Each piece represents military officers and soldiers. The players cannot see the ranks of the competitor's game pieces and must use logic and strategy to plan their moves.

The game is won when either the opponent's flag has been captured or so many pieces have been taken that the opponent cannot move. Average play time is between 30 and 120 minutes.

Game Pieces

The Stratego board game contains:

  • 40 piece red army
  • 40 piece blue army
  • Red flag
  • Blue flag
  • Game board
  • Fortress screen
  • Display tray
  • Label sheet
  • Instructions

The pieces have different ranks and abilities. Here they are in order form top rank to lowest:

  • One marshal
  • One general
  • Two colonels
  • Three majors
  • Four captains
  • Four lieutenants
  • Four sergeants
  • Five miners
  • Eight scouts
  • One spy

Each player also has:

  • Six bombs
  • One flag

Playing Stratego Board Game

The players set up their pieces behind the screen. It is important that your opponent does not know which piece is which. Here is the basic method of setting up and playing the game:

  1. Each player chooses his color and then sets up his pieces on the board. The pieces should be placed in such a way as to protect the flag and to bluff your opponent. Remember that you must plan both an offense and a defense when placing the pieces.
  2. Moves are made cautiously because you do not know what rank your playing piece is battling until the actual battle.
  3. Each piece has a rank. The higher ranking pieces always win over the lower ranking pieces, but nothing wins over a bomb except a miner. Spies also always win unless attacking a marshal or another spy.
  4. Play continues until the flag is captured or one player can no longer move.

History of Stratego

Stratego has been a favorite for decades, but it has roots that extend back into a Chinese game known as Jungle. In Jungle the players are animals rather than military pieces, but the play of the game is almost identical.

Stratego was licensed by Parker Brothers in 1960 and began distribution in 1961. The game pieces were made of wood until 1962 when the wood was replaced with plastic. There was a special edition of the game, titles Fine Edition, which was produced in 1963 that still used wooden pieces.

Other important Stratego dates are:

  • 1982- Electronic Stratego was released.
  • 1990- Computer game of Stratego was released by Accolade.
  • 1997 -Ultimate Stratego was released as a four player version of the game.
  • 1999- Hasbro releases Stratego for windows 95/98

Other Versions of Stratego

There are several versions of Stratego. The play is generally similar for each of the games, but the board or pieces may change considerably.

  • Civil War Edition
  • Democrats vs. Republicans Edition
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Edition
  • Transformers Edition
  • Stratego Fortress
  • Nostalgia Edition
  • Library Edition
  • Stratego Fortress
  • Ice vs. Fire Edition
  • Star Wars Edition
  • Lord of the Rings Edition
  • Stratego Legends
  • Duel Masters Edition

Helpful Internet Sites

There are several websites about Stratego on the Internet. Some that you may find helpful are:

Playing Stratego board game is a great way to spend an afternoon. The more you play, the better you will be at the strategy required.

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Stratego Board Game: Overview and History of the Aptly-Named Game