It is said that Chess was invented by someone who wanted to prove to his king how weak a monarch is, compared to all the others who live in his kingdom: the pawns, the knights, the bishops, the rooks, and especially the queen. This story really makes me wonder what the inventor of Stratego had in mind when he decided to create this game. That the Flag is the most important part of an army, although it cannot move and it may be captured even by the weakest enemies? That the Marshal can only be captured by a Spy or a Bomb? That preparing for a war is sometimes equally important with the actual war?
It is really difficult to find out, since the origins of Stratego can be traced back to a traditional Chinese board game, called or Game of the Fighting Animals (Dou Shou Qi) or Animal Chess. In its present form Stratego appeared in Europe in the first years of the twentieth century as a game called L'attaque and it is said to be designed by a French lady, called, Hermance Edan.
Chess fans that I have talked with consider Stratego as an inferior game compared to their favorite one. I had the same opinion, until one friend of mine proposed me into the mysteries of Stratego. Contrary to Chess, Stratego is a game with incomplete information. Collecting the information, planning, and strategic thinking plays an important role in Stratego. The pieces of Stratego are more (40) than the respective of Chess (16) and not identifiable to the opponent in the beginning of the game, since their ranks are printed on one side of each piece.
Today, Stratego is a popular game worldwide, but especially in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, where regular national and world championships take place. Several variants of the classic game have been developed, making the game quicker, more aggressive or simply different which. On of those variants is an on line one, called sabotage. So if you haven't play Stratego for years and have missed this nice game or if this article triggered your imagination. Just go on line! My whole army with the Marshal, the General, the Colonels, the Majors, the Captains, the Lieutenants, the Sergeants, the Miners, the Scouts, the Spy, the Bombs and my precious Flag will be there waiting to fight and to win.