Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Stratego» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Stratego: An Overlooked Gateway Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James Davis
Australia
Canberra
flag msg tools
Avatar
I’ve written a few session reports and I thought I would finally review this game and give some of my thoughts about it.

Stratego is an improvement on chess. The pieces are not known to the opponent so you go in blind. I really like this it adds a lot of tactics and risk involved which makes for a very exciting match.

The aim is to either take your opponents flag or defeats all the units till your opponent ha no moveable units left on the board.

The units are ranked from 1 to 10, each unit is able to defeat any number lower than itself . There are some special units.

10 the field marshal is the most powerful unit and will defeat any other unit it attacks. But it is not undefeatable. It has 2 weaknesses, it can not defeat mines, if it attacks a mine the field marshal is defeated. It also has a weakness when attacked by the opposing spy.

The spy is the lowest ranked but has 2 unique powers. It can defeat the field marshal when the spy attacks it. And unlike every other unit in the game it can move more than 1 space. The spy is the most important unit of the game so it must be looked after. If you loose the spy the field marshal is way too powerful.

Miners are the second most important units in the game. They are the only ones who can defeat mines and remove them from the board. Loose all your miners you can be pretty sure you have lost the match.

The critical part of the game is the initial set up phase. Unlike chess the pieces can be place where ever you like in the first 4 rows facing you. This is where the game shines, a great initial placement can win you matches. You have to guess what your opponent is going to do, while not get into a cycle of second guessing yourself. It is very much about the bluff. You will have to take risks and they don’t always pay off.

The game is always tense you really don’t know what is in store for you as you charge in for the attack or hold for a tight defence. For me this is what really makes this game shine.

This is defiantly not a game for people who enjoy perfect information games.

Why is this an overlooked gateway game?

The rules are very simple and easy to explain. The rules are about half a page, but there is so much depth for these rules. I explained this game to my brother in law in about 2 minutes.

It also is a great game to teach children because the rules are not hard to learn or explain.

The game doesn’t go for long between 20 and 30 minutes so it is always a good filler for 2 people.

I have had great success with introducing this to my brother in law and reintroducing it to my father in law. I think the secret to success is the short rules but great depth in tactics.

I recommend this game to anyone that likes chess or likes basic games with depth.

I hope to try ultimate stratego and stratego 4 to see how this game translates into a multiplayer game.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Avtges
United States
Bridgewater
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
CONCEALED -3
badge
It's not easy being green.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I very much agree. This is a good game and an overlooked gateway game. It introduces many gaming concepts in a simple package. I second the recommendation.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
@TaintedDragonInn
badge
www.TaintedDragonInn.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like to think of it as something of a cross between Checkers and Battleship rather than chess.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The *SPY* can move more than 1 space?

When I was a kid it was the 9's that could move more than 1 space. Have the rules changed?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
badge
Wankel engine
Avatar
mbmbmb
He also says the units are numbered 1 through 10, with 10 being the most powerful. I guess it's changed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Davis
Australia
Canberra
flag msg tools
Avatar
I'm guessing the rules must have changed. The 10 is the field marshal and the 1 is the spy. And the spy can move any distance.

What was a nine in your version?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a kid, the 1 was the strongest piece (defeated only by a spy) and the 9 was the scout (which could move more than one space per turn).

The spy was outside this system, was labelled "S", and lost any battle it entered -EXECEPT for the flag and the 1, which the spy would defeat if it moved onto the 1.

Well, it seems it did change! Oh well, not that big a deal I guess, but surprising in a "why change something like this" way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
tom mclain
United States
tulsa
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
The spy only moves one space. the spy is the weakest piece on the board, but will win a pre-emptive strike against the marshal or the flag. this rule is identical in all versions of stratego.
the only variation is that the martial in the older versions of the game (and hence in the "nostalgia" editions) was the most powerful rated as a one. more powerful figures then went two, three etc. modern versions reversed this and made the marshal a 10, next most powerful a nine and so on.
The only piece that can move more than one space at a time is the scout. ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Amos Marvel
msg tools
A friend just introduced me to Stratego and I have become addicted with the game. However, last night during the game, a debate occurredover a "move" that I'd like some clarification on. The issue was this: as a strategy to fake out my friend, I picked up one of my bomb from the board nad acted like I was debating a move. I never moved it physically to another space, not did it ever touch another space on the board. I returned the bomb to the same spot it was originally on. My friend states that you cannot physically move a bomb or flag at all. It cannot leave the board at all.

What do you think?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
spotswoc wrote:
A friend just introduced me to Stratego and I have become addicted with the game. However, last night during the game, a debate occurredover a "move" that I'd like some clarification on. The issue was this: as a strategy to fake out my friend, I picked up one of my bomb from the board nad acted like I was debating a move. I never moved it physically to another space, not did it ever touch another space on the board. I returned the bomb to the same spot it was originally on. My friend states that you cannot physically move a bomb or flag at all. It cannot leave the board at all.

What do you think?
In a tournament chess game, if you touch a piece, you *MUST* move it if possible. In casual games, people usually don't care.

So, was this a casual game, or a tournament? I'm guessing casual...

If you had just reached towards the piece but not actually picked it up, you would have achieved the same goal but your friend would have nothing to complain about.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Flying Arrow
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm sure that the scout is the one who can move any number of spaces, not the spy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey Griffith
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mb
nice review. however, I have to disagree with your statement about the miners. They can be helpful, but they are not game winners. You should know near the end what pieces are bombs because they haven't moved all game. You can weave around the bombs to get to your opponents flag.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander E. Stevens
Latvia
Rīga
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
usmc07 wrote:
nice review. however, I have to disagree with your statement about the miners. They can be helpful, but they are not game winners. You should know near the end what pieces are bombs because they haven't moved all game. You can weave around the bombs to get to your opponents flag.


This is not viable if the flag is surrounded by a bomb shield, which happens quite often.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Le Blanc
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
wmshub wrote:
spotswoc wrote:
A friend just introduced me to Stratego and I have become addicted with the game. However, last night during the game, a debate occurredover a "move" that I'd like some clarification on. The issue was this: as a strategy to fake out my friend, I picked up one of my bomb from the board nad acted like I was debating a move. I never moved it physically to another space, not did it ever touch another space on the board. I returned the bomb to the same spot it was originally on. My friend states that you cannot physically move a bomb or flag at all. It cannot leave the board at all.

What do you think?
In a tournament chess game, if you touch a piece, you *MUST* move it if possible. In casual games, people usually don't care.

So, was this a casual game, or a tournament? I'm guessing casual...

If you had just reached towards the piece but not actually picked it up, you would have achieved the same goal but your friend would have nothing to complain about.

This is something that should definitely be agreed on beforehand when playing a game of Stratego. I personally think touching a piece that you're not allowed to move otherwise has much greater consequences for your opponent in Stratego than in chess. Someone pulled that on me once and I "fell for it" and got burned. It led to a big argument.

There's a lot of movement bluffing with pieces that can move and that's part of the game. I dunno, I just feel that to touch a piece is to move it in Stratego - casual or tournament play. Simply reaching for it doesn't seem to "cross that line" to me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paulo Santoro
Brazil
São Paulo
São Paulo
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, I stopped in "Stratego is an improvement on chess."

thumbsdownthumbsdownthumbsdown
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Timothy Young
United States
Ogden
UT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
PauloSantoro wrote:
Sorry, I stopped in "Stratego is an improvement on chess."

thumbsdownthumbsdownthumbsdown



Well, don't just sit there on your high horse, smiling smugly. Get down here with us ruffians and enlighten us.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls