Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stratego - Session Report

I was gifted a copy Stratego just after Christmas by a work buddy. He picked it up from a charity shop and it's in pretty good condition.

Today I had my first game, I dont think I've played it for twenty years or so.

We were both "new" to the game and so our placement of the pieces was very rough. I threw my flag on the back row and dropped a couple of bombs around it.

The game started fairly slowly we were both reluctant to make the first combat. This soon wore off and we started whittleing down each others pieces. The strength of the pieces was all over the place as neither of us had really planned any moves. I tried to make a strong move up my right flank basically because I didn't know what else to do.

I managed to thin the herd a bit on this side and by the time we had done this we were both starting to pay attention and started playing clever.

We had both realised that moving your scout more than one space was just like commiting suicide as it gave them away. My worthy opponent also boxed clever and sent a sapper up against a unit he had seen me moving around. He had correctly guessed that it was a bomb.

About this time he made a serious gaff and used a spy thinking it was a rank 5 unit, and I blew it away. At this point I was in a good position to defend my flag as the only unit left that could beat my top guy was his own top guy who I had knocked out earlier.

The speed of the game increased rapidly as we were both moving units up from the back of the board, turns were literally half a second or less.

I was lucky enough to have scout left, so I was able to shoot it right across the board to reveal a unit, the scout died but I then spent about ten turns moving up a unit to kill the unit he had revealed.

My opponent now knew that my flag was one of two or three pieces and tried to make a two-unit run at the group. I had my top piece (general?) in front of these units for defence and knew he could not beat it. I moved a useless piece in front of one of these to slow the pair down and this allowed me to take out both of his pieces. At this point he had nothing left and we just played out the remaining turns in a few rapid ten's of seconds. In the end I ran a sapper over to his side took out a bomb and got the flag.

I dont often beat this guy so was quite happy with myself. We both agreed that the game does have a lot of stratergy in the middle and end game and that all of the pieces do really have specific uses that you should save them for, The clever way the pieces interact has peaked our interest and we will be playing again, this time being extra careful with the initial placement.

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