Classic Board Games – Stratego

by James


Stratego is board game that’s part Battleship, part checkers. Best known as the board game Fox Maulder was playing when his sister was abducted by aliens, the game involves a square board with forty pieces for each side. The idea is to capture the opponent’s flag. So you hide it amongst your phalanx of officers and soldiers who bump up against the other side.

Each side’s army consists of several ranks. These include one Marshal (10), one General (9), two Colonels (8), three Majors (7), four Captains (6), four Lieutenants (5), four Sergeants (4), five Miners (3, and the only piece that can defuse Bombs). eight Scouts (2, and the only piece capable of moving more than one space in a turn) and one Spy. Highest score officer wins, thereby taking a piece from the field. In addition, each side also can deply six bombs which explode on contact, taking out who ever attacks. Then, there’s the flag.

When you find the flag, you win the game. And because the other side can’t see your pieces, it behooves players to engage in disinformation and strategy in order to hide the flag out in the open. Stratego also has choke points, no man’s land zones which either side can’t enter. These look like lakes on the board and serve to prevent all out assaults by either side that would end the game fairly quickly.

Stratego may look fairly simple on its face but due to the ability to use disinformation and the “fog of war,” strategy can make the game most interesting.

Check out this cool video from the 80s:

Next time … Mystery Date!

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