Friday, September 15, 2006

Politically Incorrect Stratego Rules

Stratego is a fun strategy game of memory, bluffing and misdirection, however, it is a little simplistic. Once one person gains a slight advantage they can usually win if they are careful. Because of this I have made up additional rules to make Stratego more interesting. The additional rules make the game more complicated and also make it easier for the person with the disadvantage to win.

Now since I am an old guy, I grew up playing Stratego when the pieces were numbered with 1 being the most powerful piece and 9 being the weakest piece. The order is reversed in newer versions of the game but I will use the old numbers to describe my additional rules.

To play by the additional rules you will need to alter 2 pieces. Choose one of the bombs and one of the scouts (9s). Use a permanent marker and make a diagonal slash across the face of each piece.

1. The modified bomb becomes a movable bomb.

1.a. If a piece strikes the movable bomb it dies unless it is the spy. Even minors (8s) die.

1.b. When struck, you only have to reveal that it is a bomb unless it is struck by a minor (8) or the Spy.

1.c. The bomb can't strike. It can only lure other pieces into striking it.

1.d The bomb has to stay in the back four rows of your territory. It cannot venture into the 5th row or into enemy territory.

2. The modified scout(9) can take out bombs, but not the movable bomb.


Al Qaeda Variation

1. The movable bomb can move anywhere on the board. It can detonate itself as its move. It also detonates if a piece on the other side strikes it. When it detonates it is destroyed and all pieces next to it are destroyed (horizontally, vertically and diagonally), even pieces on its own side.

United States Variation

1. All bombs become cruise missles. They can be launched and stike any choosen piece on the opposing side, even the flag.

2. The movable bomb becomes a weapon of mass destruction. It can be launched like a missle and destroys its tarket and all pieces next to the target.

3. Only one side gets cruise missles and a weapon of mass destruction. The pieces on the other side are cowards.


At 1:41 PM, June 07, 2009, Anonymous blue8064 said...

When I have played Stratego rules variations where the Bombs were allowed to move, they were normally required to move and strike DIAGONALLY ONLY. Of course, like all the other moveable pieces, they were not allowed to move onto the lakes. Also, like all the other moveable pieces except the Scouts, they were still limited to moving just one square at a time. They could not serve as cruise missiles. However, unlike your basic rules variation, they could move to ANY of the ten rows on the board, given enough moves. They were NOT limited to the four rows on their side of the board. These applied equally to all six Bombs.

Also, unlike your basic rules variation, the Bombs COULD strike opposing pieces, just like any other moveable piece. The results of such strikes are described next. If a Bomb struck an opposing Bomb, BOTH were lost just like any other case of two equal ranks involved in a strike. If a Bomb struck an opposing Miner, the Bomb was lost, and the Miner stayed where it was. In all other cases, the opposing piece struck by the Bomb was lost, and the Bomb moved onto the square that the opposing piece occupied. Of course, striking the opposing Flag with a Bomb would win the game, just as with anything else striking it. However, the Bombs could destroy only the piece actually struck, not any pieces next to it.

Diagonal-only Bomb moves and strikes reduce the power of the six moveable Bombs in at least two ways. First, any Bomb that moves immediately reveals its identity (just as the Scout does when moving more than one square), since the other moveable pieces are forbidden to move diagonally. On the other hand, since you start with six Bombs it is more difficult to lose ALL your top ranks, which are the Bombs, except when a Miner is involved.

Second, any one of the six Bombs can reach only half of the squares, just like the Bishops in Chess. This means that when setting up your starting position, it is a good idea to place three Bombs so that they can reach one of the two halves of the squares, and the other three Bombs so that they can reach the other of the two halves of the squares. That way, every square on the board can be reached by one set of three Bombs at the beginning of the game, but not the other.


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