Talk:Stratego

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Pronounciation[edit]

How is stratego pronounced? -Rcsheets

I use stratego with a hard g --Will2k 17:19, Dec 6, 2004 (UTC)

It is pronounced: Strah Teh Go

According to this 1970s commercial, it's pronounced "Strah-Tee-Go". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6tsYmadTAU Jmgariepy (talk) 05:37, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Tournaments[edit]

I removed the info about the 2007 Antwerp Open. The reason being, that there are over 25 different Stratego tournaments played throughout the World. I think this is the wrong place to list EVERY single tournament with details. A link to this information would be much better than a comprehensive list of every tournament. I agree that the "Major" tournaments should get a mention. But with so many tournaments taking place each year, it is not practical to list each and every tournament and who won what. TheDungeonMaster 13:53, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


Incorrect Rules?[edit]

The article currently states:

"The exception is the Scout, which may move any number of steps vertically or horizontally in a straight line (such as the rook in chess), however it may only engage an enemy adjacent to it."

However the official rulebook that came with my copy of Travel Stratego (European Release) states:

"A scout can attack from any distance provided the squares between itself and the attacking piece are vacant."

Are the rules in the article flat out wrong? Or does the European Travel Version have a variation on the standard rules? If the latter, it should still probably be mentioned. --Frank duff 07:19, 11 May 2007 (UTC)


both right, they just said it differently. In your rules they assume you will move and attack on the same turn. So yes you can attack from any distance, but you do this by first moving there and THEN attacking from an adjacent space. -- N i g h t F a l c o n 9 0 9 0 9' T a l k 17:21, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

The infox could use some more useful information. While the age for a game is a nice thing to know, it would also be nice to know what learned skills are needed to play the game (reading, counting, etc.). Also, the "skills required" field confuses me. Skills would come off to me as things like reading, writing, or arithmetic. Perhaps a field that reads "type of game: strategy" would be more appropriate. Sjrsimac 08:05, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

variants[edit]

The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and The Chronicles of Narnia variants should be mentioned in the variants section. I think Internet variants should have a subheading. Bibliomaniac15 01:46, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

What about the 4-player version of Stratego (Stratego4)? Dylansmrjones 12:44, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

No number denomination in European playing pieces[edit]

It should be of note that the actual playing pieces in European (most notably, Dutch) do not have numbers accompanying the soldier's portrait on the cylyndrical castle-shaped playing piece. The space is left blank for the majority of ranks save from the top officers in which a star is indicated accompanying the majors, two stars for the colonels, 3 stars for the general and an X for the Marshal. -Mr.Bob

Encyclopedic tone[edit]

This is a good article. I'd like to see the introduction contain a bit more context and history, and perhaps significance of the game, and less detailed description. I'd like to see the history section come before the detailed gameplay section too, as long as the introduction retains a general description. Michael Z. 2006-08-07 20:00 Z

I understand the need for an encyclopedic article, but I think the background of a board game can be put behind it's current rules of play. Although I do agree that the introduction (Wikipedia:Lead_section) should cover less detail concerning game play. Sjrsimac 08:05, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Variants[edit]

Most of the information in the variants section is a copyvio of[1]. I'm removing it. Kafziel 15:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

That page has game options available at Metaforge within a game. For a description of different game modes, such as Barrage, Peloton, Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Ultimate Lightning, see [2]. Javabarbarian 15:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Versions[edit]

I've always loved this game. I recently went to buy it so that I could always have it to enjoy, but I was a bit confused at current versions. The new version is different than the traditional version (in ranking order as well as the game pieces... I hate the stickers!). When I originally purchased this version I was so put off that I returned it and sought out the Nostalgia version instead. I'm much happier. But there is also Ultimate Stratego (which appears to be more or less a different game), several commercially themed variants, and a Library Series edition.

I created a new section to list currently available editions/versions of the game and their differences. I also would like to see a historic list of previously released editions and their features, changes, and peculiarities. This stuff is important to collectors, and is also interesting. More importantly, it will help prospective consumers decide on which version to buy. Thelastemperor 16:41, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

This new version has been resented by veteran fans who liked the classic American version.

This line represents "weasel wordedness". Unless there is a source to link this to it sounds a lot like subjective viewpoint and should not be included here. So I have removed it. Please replace it if a source can be found where it is backed up.--Alecr 16:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Does anybody else play with 3 people? We play so that two people play, and the third is a judge. When two pieces engage, the pieces go to the judge, and only he/she gets to see both ranks. You never see your opponents pieces, except for the flag.

Rules, Links, Etc.[edit]

Let's also try and either include or link to rules and alternate playing rules. Personally, I've sometimes played that when a unit hits a bomb the bomb is removed from the board (it exploded, afterall). However this does affect game balance, making 8's less important. The reason I sometimes use this rule is to simply avoid the case of a player surrounding their flag with bombs and the other player losing all their 8's--it's then impossible for the player with no 8's to win. Some would argue this is a strategic component of the game, that you must hold some 8's in reserve. However, 8's are still important with this modified rule... but it reserves the option to "sacrifice" pieces to work through "bomb walls" as an alternate method. I don't play with this rule that often, but it creates an interesting debate that players would appreciate. Some other player-used rules I've heard of:

  • Spies kill ANY piece when they attack first, but is killed by any other piece when attacked
  • A designated number (I remember it being either 5's or 7's) can move through water squares (each lake counts as one "square") but can only remain "at sea" for 1 turn (or other designated time).
  • Moveable Bombs. Bombs can move, but are removed from play once they "attack" along with the piece they attack (both pieces "blow up"), and are still "disarmed" by 8's as normal.
  • Moveable flags. Flags can move, but not attack.
  • Some designated number, typically an 8, can "transport" bombs by dragging them across the board to reposition them.
  • 9's can attack in the same turn as moving a long line of squares.
  • when two pieces of equal rank battle, the outcome is decided by a dice roll or other random device.
  • Some designated unit has abillity to move diagnol.

As you see, many of these player-created rule mods revolve around giving special abillities to more of the pieces (creating additional tactical posabillities) and tweaking game balance, or to creating new interesting levels of uncertainty. It would be interesting to compile a list of such common rule mods along with brief discussions of the impact they have on the gameplay.

that sounds like something that should be added to the article under the heading of "unofficial options of play". Of course, if you do then you're saying wikipedia can also be a forum, not just an an encyclopedia. I think it's both, and if this site ventures to be the sum of human knowledge, then unofficial options of play should be included in the article as long as they're clearly separated from official options of play - Sjrsimac 00:17, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I added most of the special rules listed above to the article. I did not add the following ones:
  • A piece of a designated value can transport bombs by dragging them across the board to reposition them.
  • 9's can attack in the same turn as moving a long line of squares.
I felt that these two rules were not explained thoroughly enough to merit a place in the article. Sjrsimac 08:26, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I undid the Marek Gehmann Rules which were submitted 13/08/07. This page should not be used to promote your own (alternate) rules. Maybe provide a link to a webpage with these rules. TheDungeonMaster 14:14, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
--------
1) I note that this doesn't mention the rule listed in my (30yo) version, which is that the winning piece moves to the location of the losing piece -- that is, if your 3 attacks my 2, then my 2 moves into your '3's former location. Note that I've never, ever used this rule. I suspect many others don't, either.
2) An alternate rule I've always played by is that the defending piece reveals what it is, then the attacker either hands it over (having lost it), or simply takes the piece that lost, without revealing the attacker's identity. This does require honesty but if someone cheats, it'll be realized pretty quick. The main strategic aspect of this is, "do I want to move away from the attacker, or do I want to challenge them, since I don't know what they are?". The counter element, of course, is the option for a feint... boldly bring a mid-level piece in and bluff that it's a high level piece. This rule also discourages the "fast move 9" usage, though the rule remains for sometime usage.
--2602:301:77EC:CBA0:A4D4:DD7C:C4B6:75F0 (talk) 03:46, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Jungle (Dou Shou Qi) and Stratego history[edit]

The section on Stratego history is unsourced. I am editing the article on the game of Jungle, called Dou Shou Qi (the Game of Fighting Animals) in Chinese. It's obvious that the games are related. However, this is an encyclopedia. We need secondary sources to prove the relationship. I also note that, as mentioned above, the history of the Stratego needs development. Are there any sources of historical information on the origins and development of Stratego? I doubt that the two games evolved in a kind of convergent evolution. Part of the problem seems to be that they are both seen as sort of trivial (unlike Chess or Go for example). This is especially true of Jungle, which is usually considered a children's game (sad, because it does involve some interesting and unique strategy). If anyone has any historical source material, please share it. - Parsa 22:39, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Please see [3]: Stratego...is more directly descended from an old board game called the jungle game. This is from The Playboy winner's guide to board games by Jon Freeman Andreas Kaufmann 19:41, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Link dispute[edit]

In an effort to solve this dispute, please read Wiki guide lines for what to do when you disagree with another user, and restrict your discussion to this comment board. Rational behind current link wording: Metaforge is a business and Wikipedia is not an advertising fourm. The link should be removed, or clarified in its required registration to play. Gravon is free site, and the qualifer "German" may discourage and mislead people into thinking an English translation does not exist.

Please be civil Anonymous user and use this page in the future to clarify actions rather then attempting to cause a revision war. Jellyfish84 07:11, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Rationale behind current link wording: Metaforge software is shareware. Shareware means that players are free to try the software at no cost, under time and/or feature limits. Then, beyond that point, if they wish to continue, some form of payment is required. 'The General' and 'Napoleonix' are also shareware, but you are not clamoring for them to be removed as "businesses"? Look at the Risk page, you will find external links that take you to Hasbro's website where the game is for sale. I'm sure there are many external links like this in the Wiki. So the 'business' argument is just not valid.

Furthermore, Metaforge (the website) has much information about the game, rankings, message boards, links to other sites, etc which are all provided at no cost, registration not required. Tournaments are held in which non-registered players are allowed to participate. So it is untrue and unfair to add that "registration is required".

Compromise Proposal: I will be satisfied if you agree to the Metaforge link remaining as posted, either that it is shareware, or simply as "play others online". Changing the Gravon link to remove the German indicator is fine. But indicating it as "free" is unacceptable as advertising, biasing players to go there. Perhaps we agree to change both links to just say "community to play others online" or something like that. No mention of cost or language for either link. That is a reasonable compromise.

Javabarbarian 16:02, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Agreed that Metaforge should be listed as a stratego resource, acceptable under the definition of shareware. Current link arangment proposal: All links to playing sites have been shifted to the bottom of the list in favor of strictly information sites such as Ed's stratego site. Shareware and freeware site have then been arranged alphabetically to counteract placement bias. Agreed noting Gravon as "Free" creates bias, however it is freeware, and has now been noted as such in the same manner as other sites being labed Shareware.

Jellyfish84 19:45, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Links should be listed on a first come first serve. Ed's being #1, Metaforge (May 2005) being # 2. Jellyfish & 204.88.158.162 are the same user. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.115.64.11 (talk)

You should reread WP:EL. There is absolutely nothing in policy that says links are listed on a first come-first served basis. There is no strict policy on order, and many article provide links in alphabetical order of site name to avoid these types of problems. Natalie 23:48, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

removal of links

I have removed several links from this page that violate WP:EL. Since this is clearly a contentious issue, the specific reason for each removal follows:

As far as the other links go, I don't know if they are appropriate, but the issue is not as clear. Natalie 00:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Natalie, if you are going to rule that Metaforge's primary goal is to sell a product, then you must also remove The General - that is not even a community with information resources as Metaforge is, it is simply a software program for sale. Also, I don't think it's fair to be able to link to one product because it is $0 forever and not link to another one just because its price is $0 for a limited time/with a limited feature set. The Probe link should therefore go as well. If we're going to be pure and fair, let's just list Ed's and ISF. That's it. Also, there are a lot of other pages such as the "Risk" page, that have links to sites that have a product for sale on the page being targeted, so if that is forbidden, there is a lot of cleanup to do, not just on the stratego page.  :(

Javabarbarian 14:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, I'm not making some kind of final judgment - by all means remove other links you think are inappropriate. I just took out ones that were obviously in violation of the policy. I didn't want to spend hours coming through a site to determine if it was primarily commercial or whatever. Secondly, whatever is on other pages doesn't make policy. Other game pages probably need to be cleaned up to, I just happened to come across this one. By all means, clear out links on the Risk page - Wikiproject Spam would probably thank you for it. Natalie 15:18, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Ok. Jellyfish & I were following the rules of solving a dispute and I think nearly had a resolution before you stepped in and rendered what we probably both think is too strict of a judgement. So can we feel free to continue our resolution policy and put links back if we are in agreement? Thanks. Javabarbarian 15:40, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't intending to disrupt your dispute resolution but I don't see that I did. Firstly, I think policy trumps the agreement of two editors. Secondly, I haven't been following your dispute but it seems to be about the wording of a description of a specific link. Is that link acceptable within the external links policy? If it is, then I fail to see how your dispute resolution is affected by removing other non-compliant links. If it isn't acceptable, than it shouldn't be linked anyway, so the wording doesn't matter. But I may have assessed the situation incorrectly, please correct me if this is the case. Natalie 17:19, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I give up then. I have purified the main page of any links or mention of stratego software programs or sites. And if that's policy, so be it then, that's the way it should stay. Javabarbarian 01:29, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I today re-added the link to the International Ultimate Lightning Association website. This website is the single most informative site dedicated to Ultimate Lightning Stratego on the web. Wiki does not currently have a page for Ultimate Lightning Stratego and therefore this is the only link any player may find towards information about this version of Stratego. TheDungeonMaster 12:30, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Computer Versions[edit]

Wow, I spent all this time writing a standalone version of Stratego and variants that has the best AI out there, give it away for free and pay for its Website myself, and now I'm told mentioning it in the article violates some kind of Wikipedia blood oath? Whose interests are served by this decision? At this point in time, "Stratego" is a term that represents a superset of rules, platforms, implementations, etc., all of which have potential value and interest. The only ban in the article should be against use of Wikepedia for explicit commercial purposes, not references to free resources readers may wish to learn about. Please put me back. Imer Satz 00:09, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

You may want to read Wikipedia's policy on conflict of interest and Wikipedia's policy on external links. Natalie 00:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, but there was no link in the section in question, and its author was not at issue when it was deleted. The question is whether an entry that explains how a particular computer program variant differs from the traditional board game is useful and acceptable information.

The entry didn't promote the program any more than any other description of an entity promotes that entity, which is to say, it depends on the interest of the reader. My comment above is certainly personal, so ban that if you wish. But the entry itself simply said, "Here is how a particular variant differs from standard Stratego." It is a reference to an actual and unique instance within the larger universe of Stratego, and absent of any commercial content.

You may, if you wish, limit the main article to the history, rules and practices of Stratego, and exclude all of its implementations, in which case you will have described an abstract concept with no acknowledgement that it also takes on concrete form (many of them, in fact, none more valid than the other). That would be like describing mechanical flight without remarking that Boeing and others build actual airplanes, to ensure no one is enticed by Wikipedia to rush out and buy their own 747. Imer Satz 04:25, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

You'll have to excuse my directing to the external links policy - I thought you were referring to an external link. I should have directed you toward the policy on attribution, one of the core policies of Wikipedia. Also, your statement "Wow, I spent all this time writing a standalone version of Stratego and variants that has the best AI out there, give it away for free and pay for its Website myself, and now I'm told mentioning it in the article violates some kind of Wikipedia blood oath?" is an obvious statement of conflict of interest. You wrote the program, and you want it mentioned in the article. I'm not sure who deleted or when or why (you'll want to check the history for that information), but the simple fact of the matter is that you have a direct conflict of interest.
As far as whether or not your program should be mentioned in the article, that all depends on whether or not it meets the attribution policy. If there is a source independent of the subject - in this case the program - than by all means, please reintroduce information on this variation. But if the only source is the software developer and his or her website, than the information really doesn't belong. Wikipedia exists to report on things that are already notable, not to promote things to the point of being notable. Natalie 05:03, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The essence of the policy on attribution is that new content should not be created within Wikipedia. In other words, I can't publish an article that espouses a new theory on gravity, if the theory has no citations other than my own. However, I found nothing to define the term "notable" as a feature of this policy. Perhaps you can cite your source, so I can be aware how high Wikipedia sets the bar. In my case, there are certainly references to my Website other than the Website itself. There are also the thousands of individuals who have visited it.

Topic 9 in this discussion suggests the effect of your initiative with respect to the Stratego article has not simply been to remove links to commercial sites, but all references to computer implementations as well. That is not a decision you should support. It would be the logical equivalent of asserting a spreadsheet must be a sheet of paper spread on the desk, because that's what spreadsheets originally looked like, Excel and other computer programs be damned. It's conceivable more games of Stratego and its variants are played on computer today than on game boards. So, if you are going to insist on parameterizing this article, I suggest you get a better grasp of the topic first, so others may better understand the scope of your intrusions. Imer Satz 17:33, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

There was a recent reorganization of policies, I should have directed you to the general policy on notability and the specific policy on websites. My apologies. However, the notability policies can be summed up as requiring that the subject of any article has been the subject of multiple, non-trivial works whose source is independent of the subject. As far as my actions on this page goes, I only removed external links that violated the external links rules. Someone else may have removed information on computer variants of the game, which you can find out from the history. Finally, it may very well be conceivable that more people play Stratego online than IRL, but without a source that's still original research. I would suggest that you get a better grasp of Wikipedia policy before characterizing anyone's edits as "intrusions". Natalie 20:53, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The policy on notability refers to main articles, not subheadings within them, and in fact recommends articles on non-notable topics be merged into articles on more general topics, which is to say, the content can survive in another form. So I fail to see the relevance of this policy either, since we're discussing the deletion of a subheading, not the article itself. Anyway, you weren't the culprit, if culprit (s)he indeed was, merely the person who daunted the culprit into overreaction, insofar as the intention of the deletions you did make were apparently not well understood. Come to think of it, what exactly were your intentions: to remove links to commercial sites? all sites? all references to computer versions? all references to non-notable subject matter? Also, what is your objection to subjective assertions made on this discussion page that don't also appear in the main article? I thought that was OK. Imer Satz 00:23, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I take issue with your characterizing me as having "daunted the culprit into overreaction". My actions were to bring the external links section into line with policy, no more and no less. Take up your complaint with the person who made the change you disagree with. Natalie 00:28, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Random Chance "Minimal"?[edit]

Is there *any* random chance involved in a game of Stratego? TheUncleBob (talk) 20:58, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

No. That is why I changed "Random chance: low" to "Random chance: none" almost a year ago. Unhelpfully, somebody came along and turned that into "Random chance: minimal", I have undone that edit. Stefán (talk) 21:09, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay... I thought I was going crazy. The *only* chance I could think of would be the random decision as to which player goes first - but even Chess has that, but it's article includes "None". (although looking now at the Chess talk page, it looks like this discussion came up there as well). TheUncleBob (talk) 01:56, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
That the initial setup may be different each game and hidden could be considered by some to be a random element. I think that it is a "hidden information" game rather than random. — Val42 (talk) 02:05, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Sales Rank?[edit]

I'd be interested to know how popular the game has been in the US and how it fares against games such as Monopoly, Sorry, Battleship, etc. Anyone know? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.80.11.237 (talk) 19:18, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

That kind of marketing information is not part of an encyclopedic article. The encyclopedia is not an almanac (source of current or dated information).Sbalfour (talk) 02:35, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

World Champions vs Computers Champions[edit]

There are world champions and computer champions. How do the computer champions compare to the world champions? Have there been games between the computer champions and the world champions? Mschribr (talk) 00:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Answer: There is no comparison. Current computer champions will typically lose to a mid-level human player.Javabarbarian (talk) 16:33, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Not that I doubt you, has there been a human champion versus computer champion tournament? If not, then why not? If yes then it should be added to the article. --Mschribr (talk) 03:07, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

pieces and linking to US army ranks[edit]

Why are the piece descriptions linked to US army ranks?

That seems to present a rather US-biased worldview (per Wikipedia:Systemic_bias where it is not really needed). Either it should be linked to all ranks of all countries where editions of Stratego are being played (Or if you want to keep it to the English speaking world to the ranks of all armies of countries with English as official language - inlcuding Malta, India, Ireland etc etc) or to none. My preferences would be the latter.

Another problem is that there is no reference supporting the specific linkages. While this maybe obvious for most ranks but translating 'miner' to plain specialist is not doing the rank its due as the miner is obviously specialist in the anti-bomb squad of combat engineering; similarly the scout is not a mere 'private' but (due to its long distance scoutting capacity) is at least reconnaissance specialist. With that argument, the current linking appears to be problematic in relation to WP:OR Arnoutf (talk) 16:29, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's "systematic bias", someone turned up a few months ago and added a table in good faith, to make the page look better. I've been a tad busy and didn't think to do anything about it, though I wasn't too keen. I was going to have a look at it sooner or later, but feel free to be bold and make it better! - and if you think taking it out is the best way to make it better, then do that -- WORMMЯOW  18:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Looks like I did it after all...-- WORMMЯOW  10:50, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Why?![edit]

Why isn't there any info on the new Stratego(fire and ice with dragons etc.)?!?! It's been around for like a few yeaaaaaaaaaaaarrsssssss........................................... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.224.160.184 (talk) 23:10, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

I believe that's a USA only release - I could be wrong, but I only heard of it when a friend brought back a copy from Seattle. It might warrant a comment in the Releases section - feel free to be bold and add it! -- WORMMЯOW  07:51, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

text added by User:Fredhorn[edit]

I am Fred Horn from Holland. Since more than twenty years I have done research on the history of the game Stratego. In recent years I have given two lectures about its history during the BoardGameStudies-Colloquia. What is written down here is not the true history. I do not want to say this is complete nonsense but it comes far in that direction. Stratego has nothing to do with the 'JungleGame' but is a derivate of the game 'L'Attague' invented by Hermance Edan of France and copyrighted in 1908. After that the English firm Gibson published it around 1920 without any remarks to Hermance and without holding a copyright as 'Attack'. Then in some way this game did come to Holland during WW II (see for further details my lectures). In 1942 the name STRATEGO was registered in Holland as a trade-mark, and one mr.Mogendorff hold the license for the game which looks much the same as 'Attack' but he said he did invent a new game on the 10x10-board (Attack is on a 9x11-board). There is a lot of doubt about his claim of inventing the game! In any way in the last year of the War (1944) he sold the game to Smeets & Schipper who published the game in a cardboard version. In 1949 mr.Mogendorff got back his rights and in 1956 he signed a contract with Hausemann & Hötte(JUMBO) and the rest is " well known history". If anyone wants more information or a copy of my publications about the research mail to Fred Horn Doornstraat 16 2584AM Den Haag Holland.

THe similarity between Luzhanqi and Stratego is striking from which the Jungle game comes. There has clearly been either a direct copy or common evolution. If this is a new plagerised copy it would be useful if you could produce a source.Tetron76 (talk) 14:35, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Modern Electronic Version[edit]

The current article says "Modern Stratego variations... In this way the players never know for certain the rank of the piece that wins the attack, only whether the attack wins, fails, or ties"... this statement does not specify, do players know for certain the rank of the piece that loses the attack? and both players would know the rank in a tie. 71.190.76.5 (talk) 15:49, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Sci-fi / futuristic version?[edit]

I was unaware when I recently picked up a copy of Stratego for the first time I wasn't getting the traditional version of the game. Mine appears to be published by Spinmaster, mentions the "some assembly required" (putting stickers on the shield-like pieces), involves each player using 30 pieces on a 10 x 8 board, and uses the "higher is better" ranking system. It's also rather sci-fi, with some of the ranks using power armor and others equipped with assault rifles or pistols and "carapace" style armor. Most notably, the ranks are slightly different - the Spy is moved to a non-ranked piece like the Bomb or Flag (it loses to everything except the rank 10 Marshal, and even then only wins against the Marshal when attacking it, not defending against it), and a new Rank 1 piece is included, the "Spotter". The Spotter can move and then use its special attack on the square in front of it (only, no other orthogonal direction). The Spotter's special attack calls down an orbital strike, requiring the player to know what he's targeting - you guess a rank, and the other player must tell you what rank the targeted piece is. If it is a Spy, Bomb, or Flag, they don't have to tell you which it is, only telling you that it is unranked (and thus can never be destroyed by an orbital strike). If you correctly guessed the piece's rank, the piece is destroyed as though it had lost a battle, but the Spotter doesn't move into the square. If you guess wrong, nothing else happens - the Spotter's special attack doesn't take him into battle with the defender.

It was only when I visited this site I discovered there was another way to play, with more pieces and no Spotter. The Spotter quickly became my family's favorite piece for its ability to defeat any piece without dying on a mistake (although it IS close enough to whatever it targeted that the opponent can spend a turn to kill it with any piece, at least it still costs them a turn), even if it takes some foreknowledge. I don't see this variant mentioned in the article, and thought I should bring it to the attention of bolder editors than myself. Gatherer818 (talk) 10:41, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

How are the pieces moved?[edit]

This article completely fails to explain how the pieces are moved. Like the king in chess, perhaps? —ZeroOne (talk / @) 00:33, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Good point, added the moves to article (based on classic set). Most pieces move 1 square but not diagonally, so more like a rook than a king in chess (but only 1 square) Arnoutf (talk) 07:59, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Strategy section lacks scholarship[edit]

The strategy section is neither authoritative nor scholarly (i.e. ref'ed to a reliable source). It appears to be original research by a player. I know that published sources are very few; maybe we just have to wait. In other words, I doubt this section will ever be supportable. I suggest we excise it. This is an encyclopedia, not an instruction manual.Sbalfour (talk) 02:04, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Tournaments section hodge-podge[edit]

What about tournaments between 2000-2006? or 2011-2016? If we added all country/regional (like Cambodian and Dutch, etc) tournaments, the list would grow out of bounds; it's already rather large. I suggest we boil down the list to serial tournaments (like the World Stratego Championship) and list years they were played, and the winner, maybe in a table, so we have a small number of tables, one for each serial tournament. I suggest we omit regional and country tournaments.Sbalfour (talk) 19:01, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Strategy section from article - unsourced[edit]

I've moved this section here out of concern for scholarship. It must not be replaced until it has been reliably and authoritatively sourced WP:RELIABLESOURCE. Even if that were possible, I have concerns about the propriety of the content - the encyclopedia is not an instruction manual WP:GAMEGUIDE.Sbalfour (talk) 18:54, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Strategy

In contrast to chess, Stratego is a game with incomplete information. In this respect it resembles somewhat such chess variants as Kriegspiel or Dark chess. Collecting the information, planning, and strategic thinking play an important role in Stratego. Psychological aspects are very important too. While the player with the red pieces always moves first, unlike chess, there is negligible advantage to moving first; this is partly due to the large number of moves in a game.

Basic strategies

Overall strategy in Stratego involves:

  • placing one's pieces initially so as to protect the Flag, while possibly misleading the opponent as to where it is
  • making strong pieces available for attack
  • identifying patterns in the enemy's movement during game play that give clues as to the distribution of his or her forces

Placing the Spy too far forward, for example, makes it more likely to be captured early on, but placing it too far back may make it inaccessible when the enemy Marshal is identified. Likewise, Miners are weak, but their ability to defuse Bombs may be needed early (although some players prefer to leave Bombs in place as long as possible, particularly if they hamper an opponent's movements). The placement of "reserve troops" in the rearmost row and deployment of Scouts, which can move in an unimpeded straight line, is also a strategic point.

During game play, players must identify Bombs without sacrificing too many troops, determine the probable location of the enemy Flag, and form an attack plan that takes into account the likely ranks of the troops and exact location of the Bombs that usually surround the Flag.

Elements

Flag and bomb placement

Since one of the win criteria is to capture the Flag, its placement is vital. It is commonly placed on the back row surrounded by two or three Bombs for protection.[1] Some players will use this generalisation to their advantage and place the Flag somewhere unprotected, for example the Shoreline Bluff (also called "the Lakeside Bluff"), i.e. placing the Flag directly adjacent to one of the lakes where the opponent may not think to look for it. Placement of remaining bombs serves several purposes: decoys that look like they're concealing the flag; bombs in unexpected places like in the front row, to surprise the opponent; and locating bombs in places (i.e. in the back two rows) that won't impede gameplay by the player.

The flag in a Stratego game, protected by a bomb.

Inexperienced players may accidentally alert an opponent to the location of their Flag by calling too much attention to it when they initially position their pieces on the board. This is often done by simply placing their Flag down first and then constructing their defenses around it. One counter measure for this is to place all the pieces on the board randomly and then rearrange them into the desired setup. This tactic became obsolete when some newer versions came supplied with a cardboard privacy screen.

Bluffing

Some common bluffs are:

  • A player could threaten a known high-ranking piece (such as the Colonel) with an unrevealed low-ranking piece (perhaps a Sergeant) to convince the opponent to retreat.
  • A player might charge with a Miner toward a known higher-ranked piece, with the view to attack a bomb.
  • A cluster of Bombs set by itself may deceive one's opponent into thinking that the Flag is there when, in fact, it is several spaces away.
  • If a Marshal wins a battle (and is thus revealed), and the opponent immediately moves a piece near his or her back row, the player with the just-revealed Marshal may assume that this piece is the Spy when, in fact, the Spy may be several spaces away (and already close to the Marshal.) This is a common tactic as it may cause the Marshal to move next to the Spy, allowing the Spy to attack first.

Effective scouting

Scouts are very useful towards the end of the game, once the board is more clear. They can be used to identify bombs on the back row, reveal bluffs, or even capture the flag. Scouts are most effective when they are moved one space at a time until necessary, as the moment they move multiple spaces, they are identified as a scout. Since they can move along a whole line, they are also effective for catching a spy daring to move into hostile territory, even when across the gameboard. The scout can also be cleverly used to covertly attack the spy once its location has become somewhat obvious.

Spy strategies

In most games, it is advisable to have the Spy shadow a General or a Colonel. These pieces are normally vulnerable to attack by the opposing Marshal. Keeping a General or Colonel in the same vicinity as the spy allows an effective retreat to where the opponent's Marshal can be ambushed by the Spy.

Spy bluffs are also effective. For example, using a Sergeant to shadow a Colonel might confuse an opponent, who might be reluctant to have their Marshal attack the Colonel.

Miner strategies

Sophisticated players might identify opposing Bombs, but leave them in place, interfering with the enemy's movement. To do this, it is vital to memorize the location of all the opponent's Bombs as they are identified. By keeping the Miners unmoved in their territory during the early game, a player can create the Bomb bluff, in which the opposing player may mistake those unmoved Miners for Bombs.

Protecting pieces

One of the most important concepts of Stratego is the incomplete knowledge and misdirection, so the manual recommends taking a piece with one that is not much stronger than it, for example take a Captain with a Major. In the same manner, one strategy is to protect with an "evens and odds" system, where a piece is protected by one two levels stronger than it, an odd piece protecting another odd piece, for example protecting the Captain with a Colonel.

Enforcing an advantage

If a player has gained an advantage over the opponent, the advantage can be protected by attacking pieces of equal rank and canceling them out, such as attacking a Major with another Major. This would be a significant loss for an opponent lacking a Colonel, General, or Marshal, and leave your highest ranking piece all the more powerful.

Attacking unknown pieces

A risky strategy, which might be necessary when losing, is to attack unknown, unmoved pieces with a strong piece. This strategy relies on odds, for example if a player attacks an unknown, unmoved piece with a General, it would lose to the Marshal, a Bomb, or the other General. The odds are 7 in 40 of losing the General, but the odds can be improved by not attacking pieces likely to be Bombs, or by keeping track of the pieces already identified.

References

  1. ^ "Probe Tutorials". Retrieved 2011-11-17. 

History section unsourced[edit]

While the History section has citations for descriptions of the named games, and a downloadable link to a patent for one of them, the relevant citations for the section would be to sources that say any of these games are related to or predecessors of Stratego. The section in that sense is unsourced. We may say that it is patently obvious, but that's not scholarship. My sources say that the Chinese games are modern (first half 20th century), antedate L'Attaque and are likely derived from it, not the other way around. Because I don't yet have the sources in hand to personally inspect them, I can't fix the article at once. Sbalfour (talk) 14:54, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

I also find remarkable the similarity in configuration of L'Attaque to Chinese Chess: they both feature 9x10 boards composed of two 4x9 initially populated sections divided by a river (Chinese Chess) or lakes (L'Attaque) which restrict the mobility of the pieces. 9 columns is a peculiar number: chess boards have 8 columns, and 10 is a common number for a lot of things. So why 9 columns in L'Attaque? The Flag in actual battle of ancient armies, was borne by the king or a regent commander (general acting on behalf of the king) on the field - usually in a protected place in the rear. The fall of the flag necessarily meant defeat, because the king was highly protected. In Chinese Chess, the General, i.e. Strategos was a mobile piece, but confined to a tight area called the Palace, one move in each direction... he couldn't simply flee to get out of trouble.

The parallels just seem too obvious, yet I've not seen Chinese Chess mentioned as a possible progenitor or model for L'Attaque.Sbalfour (talk) 21:22, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Awards, citations?[edit]

I can find no information on any awards, citations or popularity. The game is not among the current top 100 best selling board games on Amazon. I found it listed on one website as #15 among the 50 best board games of all time topped by such enduring favorites as go, chess, checkers, backgammon, mahjong, Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk and Clue (and two card games, poker and bridge), but there's nothing suitable to put in the article there. By some measure of longevity + popularity, I suspect it'd make somebody's list worth mentioning.Sbalfour (talk) 20:09, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

The literature of Stratego[edit]

There are no published books or periodicals devoted to Stratego that I can locate. There's not even so much as a book chapter on the game. There are only 9 research papers published, all since 2003: (1, 2, 3, [4], 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), all on AI programming of Stratego, not on the game or strategy for play. As with chess, the AI heuristic search algorithms in Stratego give no clue as to a high level description of a proper strategy for play. The ICGA Journal has published short reports on the 3 Computer Stratego World Championships held to date. There is one limited publication pamphlet of some note, which I have put under the Further reading section. Then there is an online privately hosted tutorial/e-book "Stratego Tips" (formerly a printed pamphlet), which is a dubious source though I've not personally reviewed it. The instructions for play are available at the Hasbro site: Stratego Instructions.

The following are the recognized authorities on historic games; I've not checked all of the indicated works, but if there's published info to be had, it will in those:

  • S. Culin (1895)
  • R.C. Bell (1913, 1952)
  • D. Parlett (1999)
  • J.L. Cazaux (3/2000, 11/2000) French
  • T. Depaulis (?) French

If there's anything else, please add a citation below.Sbalfour (talk) 16:48, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

No publication on strategy?[edit]

My statement that the strategy for stratego has never been published was deleted as 'unverifiable'. Well, one can't prove a negative. But I did extensive searches online, the Stanford and University of California library systems, the Library of Congress, the interlibrary loan system, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, ebay and other marketing forums. Nothing was found. ANY publication would negate the statement, but not just any document or webpage qualifies as 'published'. Published would as a minimum mean any of the following:

  • it has an ISBN book number
  • it has a library of congress card catalog number
  • it has a registered copyright
  • physical copies printed by a commercial publishing house, exist
  • it is orderable through Amazon.com
  • rights to the publication are owned by a company, not an individual (i.e. a website blogger, etc)

I think my statement stands, so I have reverted the deletion. No such publication can be found. Sbalfour (talk) 17:44, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

My statement has again been reversed, citing DeBoer's dissertation as the publication. I must once more, revert the change. A computer algorithm for playing Stratego isn't necessarily what humans do; the most important parts of Stratego strategy are bluffing, blitzing, and employing knowledge of your opponent's habits, none of which a computer program does. It is similar to comparing a computer program for playing chess with what humans do. But computers do not play chess like humans, and computer program methods cannot be used by humans to effectively play chess. So it is with Stratego. An additional consideration, unlike chess programs which demonstratably play a reasonable strategy, Stratego programs are no better than rank beginniers at Stratego,so their concept of "strategy" cannot be validated. A good stratego player would NOT do what a stratego program does, and no one has published an exposition of what a good stratego player should do. Sbalfour (talk) 21:56, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the removal for two reasons. (1) The reason given by Sbalfour. This could raise some discussion as some of the work Chess computers in relation to Artificial Intelligence considerably influenced the research into human decision making (e.g. the illustrious Herbert Simon studied all 3 using comparable approaches). However, we would need sources that explicitly make the connection between and computer strategy. (2) The thesis of De Boer, while impressive for a Master thesis, is just that: A Master thesis. Per WP:Scholarship a master thesis can only be used as a reliable source if they have had considerable scholarly influence. There seems no indication that has been the case here (or we would have other sources), so the source should be considered unreliable. Arnoutf (talk) 08:16, 15 October 2017 (UTC)