Stratego is a strategy game that belongs to the Mind Sports Olympiad. This is a two player strategy game on a 10 × 10 square table. Each player controls 40 pawns representing individual officer ranks in an army. The pawns have Napoleonic insignia. The goal of the game is to locate and capture the Flag of the opponent or to capture so many enemy pawns that the opponent can no longer make moves.
Stratego has pretty simple rules for young children, but a depth of strategy that is also appealing to adults. The game is a slightly modified copy of a 20th century French game called ‘L’Attaque’. It has been manufactured in Europe since World War II and in the United States since 1961. To date, it has been created – in addition to the 2-player version (which is the dominant one) – and a 4-player version while a lot can be played with 10 , 30 or 40 pawns per player.
Ranks are printed on only one side and placed so that players cannot identify the opponent’s pieces. Players are not allowed to place tracks in 2 lakes or 12 squares in the center of the arena. Preparation usually discerns the fundamental strategy of the players and greatly influences the outcome of the game.
All moving pawns, with the exception of the Detector, can only move one step in any adjacent space vertically or horizontally (but never diagonally). A pawn cannot move in a space occupied by a similar color pawn. Bombs and the Flag are not moving pieces. The Detector can move at any number of times in a straight line.
No pawn can move back and forth between two intervals for more than three consecutive times, nor can a pawn of an opponent with no hope of capture be endlessly chased.
When a player wants to attack, he transfers his pawn to a square occupied by a defensive pawn. Both players then reveal the degree of their pawns and the weaker one is removed from the game. If the pawns involved in the battle are even, both are removed. A pawn cannot move on a square already occupied unless it is attacked. Two classes of pawns have special powers in battle: the Bomb and the Detector. The Bomb can only be inactivated by a Subwoofer. It immediately eliminates any other pawn that hits it, without destroying it. The Spy on the other hand, prevails only if he attacks the Commander or the Flag. If he attacks any other pawn or is attacked by any pawn (including the Commander in Chief), the Spy wins.
A typical batch of Stratego has an average of 381 moves. The number of allowed seats is 10115. The number of possible games is 10535. Stratego has a lot more moves and much more complexity than other popular games like chess, Go and backgammon. However, one or more bad moves in the early stages of the game can hardly lead to losing the game, although most moves in Stratego are significant.