Sometimes even the most long-standing board games get pushed aside and often forgotten by a new generation of tabletop gamers in favor of the new creations.
Certainly some survive. There’s Monopoly, Rook, Sorry and Yahtzee to name but a few.
One of those survivors is Stratego. Stratego has military planning in the same vein as chess. It is played by two players who sit across from one another on either side of a battlefield. The playing pieces have military rank names like General, Colonel, Major and Captain. Each has a rank and they can destroy pieces of lower rank when a conflict comes about.
Stratego challenges memory. Neither player can see the face of the opponent’s pieces. But the rank of the piece is revealed when there is combat. Also certain pieces can’t move and certain pieces move differently than others. In that way it is possible to learn the identity of the pieces.
The goal of the game is to capture the foe’s flag piece. The rules are as simple as the goal but the strategy is much more complex.
Spin Master is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of the game in the United States by releasing a special commemorative edition of Stratego.
“Stratego is the classic game of Battlefield strategy and rooted in the relatable goal of capture the flag,” said Danny Koblin, Senior Director, Games Marketing for Spin Master. “ It's a rare game that is easy to learn, but can provide a good challenge to the most strategic of players. This quality has enabled this game to have an incredibly broad appeal and allow for the multi-generational effect where dads who grew up playing with their dads are now playing with their sons. It's our goal to remind dads of their childhood so that they want to play Stratego with their children, and also get kids excited about the game so that they continue to keep this game alive for another 50 plus years.”
Koblin also explained how Spin Master came to do this version. “Since this is Spin Master's first year in control of this brand for the North American market, we wanted to pay homage to the tradition of the game, but also insert some innovation that Spin Master is known for. Thus, this game can be played the classic way, or exclusive to this product, with cannons, which offers an exciting variation to the game play.”
The company has really made the new version a package that even players who are long-time fans will want to purchase.
“The 50th Anniversary Edition has been created specifically for those people who grew up playing Stratego and miss some of the quality and the traditional Napoleonic theme that has eroded away over the past several decades in the US,” said Koblin. “ The packaging has been designed so that when it is taken home from the store, a person will be proud to display it on their bookshelf or coffee table. When opened, they will discover the 12 page in-depth instruction guide, the classic metallic-printed playing pieces, a set-up shield featuring a newly commissioned Napoleonic battle scene, and a beautiful game board with gold foil stamps.”
Stratego will have a strong presence at GenCon in Indianapolis in early August. “At GenCon we not only want to show off the 50th Anniversary Edition of the game, but also help introduce Stratego to a new set of boys with a much more relevant, Science Fiction themed game that we just launched this year,” said Koblin. “ Throughout the conference, we will be displaying both the 50th Anniversary Edition and the new Stratego kids game at the Spin Master booth to let kids and adults see the games, learn how to play, feel the pieces, and ask question to the designer. We will also be hosting both kids and adult tournaments every day to let conference attendees compete for prizes. For the 50th Anniversary tournament, there will be a bracket that culminates on Sunday, where the winner will take home a $500 Am Ex gift card and a Spin Master games prize pack.”
Some games are just too good to be forgotten. Stratego continues to fall into that category.