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Subject: Spy Variants rss

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Daniel Blumentritt
United States
Austin
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Option 1: The Spy always wins when he attacks and always loses when he is attacked. Makes the Spy much more powerful, fits his theme well, and also makes the game more tense. I've heard people claim it breaks the game, but my best friend and I played this way for several years because the Spy rule was worded ambiguously in our version of the rules, and after trying it the correct way for a while, we decided we liked our old way better.

Option 2: This rule isn't any different from the rules as written as long as the Marshal is on the board, but if he is captured, the Spy can now ambush the General. If the General is gone, the Spy can now ambush either Colonel. In other words, the Spy wins if A)he made the attack, and B)the piece he attacked has no higher-ranked piece of the same color on the board. This one doesn't change the game nearly as much, but it means the Spy is no longer all but worthless once the Marshal is gone.
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Starkiller
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Both of those variants make the spy much more powerful, and consequently devalue the higher ranks slightly. If you like this, they work just fine. I personally prefer the higher emphasis on skillful playing of the high ranks with the original rules.

Option 1-This one makes the spy about as powerful as the Marshal & General. Call him about the value of a Colonel. To me, the spy thematically should be a sneaky, seldom-used piece that hides in the shadows except for a rare strike. I have never used this variant, and don't intend to.

Option 2-This is not a bad variant. It solves the 'problem' of one player getting a significant advantage by having an uncapturable piece. To me, this is a feature of the game, being a game requiring a lot of skill. (Like chess, for example.) However, I can see some players (especially those playing against a more skillful opponent) who would feel overwhelmed and not having fun without a way to capture an opponent's high piece. I personally prefer to invent new pieces to fill this need, and leave the spy rules alone, but this isn't bad. It vastly improves the value of the spy, and if this is what you want then go for it.

Overall, I simply prefer the higher ranks to be more valuable, and the consequent careful, skillful play required. I prefer not to raise the value of the spy, because it slightly devalues the high ranks. However, if my opponent loses interest in the game after falling behind in power pieces, I would play with option 2. It works without changing the game much.
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sunday silence
United States
Maryland
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both of these are very interesting. The first one you would think is over powered but they do have something like movable bombs in one of the stratego spin offs, I think its Tri Tactics or some such. So I guess it's not unheard of. Good food for thought.
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Davide Malvestuto
Italy
Roma
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In my game team, I apply this 2 rules:

1) option 2 (if the spy attacks, kill the enemy major ranks on board)
2) the spy can move horizontally, vertically AND diagonally.
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Richard Davis
United States
Coventry
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devil i like the spy diagonal move.
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Kevin Fairbrother
United Kingdom
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A bit late to the party but I think option 1 makes for a more balanced game. It can help also with repetitive chasing. Having played The Generals before I played Stratego, I'd even swap out a piece for another Spy (though not sure which piece).
 
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George Husted
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East Hartford
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After the spy has assassinated the Marshal, it functions as a scout.

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