Welcome to the Game Night Blog Carnival for March! You can get more information about the carnival at the main Game Night site.
Stratego is a classic board game where 2 players take the role of military commanders facing off on the field of battle. The version I have has a Napoleonic theme, but there are also versions based on Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and other settings from books and movies. Based on a quick Amazon search, it looks like the most recent version has a futuristic theme and a few new rules.
Stratego is similar to checkers and chess in many ways. It is played on a 10 × 10 grid, and players take turns moving pieces and attacking by moving a piece into another piece’s space. Like chess, you win by capturing a special piece – a flag rather than a king like in chess.
Despite those similarities to chess and checkers, there are some important differences. First, pieces have strength values that determine which piece wins a combat. For example, a sergeant (rank 7) will always lose a combat against a general (rank 2) no matter which piece was the attacker. The other major difference is that pieces are only identified on the side facing their controlling player and you can set up your pieces any way that you want. This means that you don’t know what a rank a given piece in your opponent’s army is until you fight against it, and even then you need to track that piece and remember its rank as it moves around the board.
These differences make Stratego a very different game that involves a different skill set. Rather than just predicting what your opponent will do next, you need to try to guess where they placed their pieces and use your memory to track their pieces throughout the game.
One limitation of Stratego is that it is only for 2 players, so it really isn’t a good match for a large game night unless you’re okay with other attendees playing a different game while you and an opponent face off against one another. That said, it is an enjoyable game for 2 people to play and as a classic board game is widely available and relatively inexpensive.
Next blog in carnival: The Learning DM (Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards Duel at Mt. Skullzfire)
Previous blog in carnival: Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity (Car Wars: The Card Game)