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STRATEGO RULE VARIATIONS
|One of the wonderful things
about Stratego is the never-ending variety of ways you
can alter the rules to suit your own individual taste.
Below are some of the better rule changes/variations I
(Note: This page has turned
out to be my
Do you have
a favorite rule variation or an idea for one?
Send it to me! I'll post it here!
| ONE-TIME BOMBS
In this variation, once a piece strikes an enemy Bomb, both the piece and the Bomb are destroyed. Normally, of course, when a piece comes in contact with an enemy Bomb, only the piece is destroyed and removed from the board.
This variation tends to downplay the role of Miners a bit. For example, in the graphic below you can see the red player has chosen to surround his Flag with Bombs. Without this variation the blue player MUST have a Miner left in dismantle one of the Bombs and capture the Flag. If the blue player had lost all of his Miners, there would be no way to capture the red Flag. However, with this "one time Bomb" variation, all the blue player needs to do is sacrifice a piece, as shown below.
| ATTACKER ADVANTAGE - THE
ATTACKING PIECE DEFEATS PIECES OF EQUAL RANK
My experience has shown a player can take a "do nothing" strategy and play defensively and make it very difficult for his/her opponent to make any progress. With this variation, if two pieces come in contact are of equal rank, the attacking piece wins!
This helps to favor taking a slightly more aggressive position.
| ATTACKER ADVANTAGE - THE
ATTACKING PIECE IS INCREASED IN STRENGTH BY ONE RANK
If the above variation is not enough to give one reason to attack, then this one certainly will. In this variation, every attacking piece is automatically increased in strength by one unit. For example, normally if a General comes in contact with a Marshal, the General is destroyed. Here however, if the General is the one attacking, both pieces are destroyed. The General's strength is increased by one unit, to that of a Marshal, and since the pieces are now of equal rank both pieces are lost.
(Note this is slightly different than the variation mentioned above. In the variation above, only if the two pieces are of equal rank does the the attacker increase by one unit. Here, with this variation, the attacking piece is increased by one unit regardless.)
| REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PIECES
IN THE GAME
Are your Stratego games too long? Do you feel like playing a game of Stratego but you just don't have time for a full game? An alternative is to play what might be called Mini-Stratego. Instead of playing with the full set of 40 pieces, you and your opponent agree on the number of pieces you'd like to use, whether it be 20 or 15 or 10 or whatever.
Barrage Stratego, which can be played online, is played with just eight pieces:
|One reduced-piece variation a friend of mine and I are fond of is with just 18 pieces, played on a regular 8x8 chessboard. The pieces we use are the Marshal, the General, one Colonel, one Major, one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Sergeant, three Miners, three Scouts, the Spy, three Bombs, and the Flag.
|An alternative to this is with just 12 pieces... one of each. As with Barrage Stratego, with this variation having just one Bomb makes it impossible to completely surround your Flag with them.
| OPEN-FACED STRATEGO / CHESS
After each player places their pieces, all pieces are then revealed by turning them face up. Play continues normally.
An alternative is for each player to take turns placing each piece face up, one at a time, on any square on their side of the board they choose. Both players are allowed to see where their opponent is placing his/her pieces.
This open-face variation is similar to chess or checkers or any other game in which the identity of your opponent's men are always known. Actually, it makes for an interesting game especially if used with one of more of the above variations. You immediately know where the enemy Flag is and the strength of your opponent's army. (And he/she knows yours!)
A variation of this theme is to begin play normally, but keep the pieces face up for all to see once their identity is revealed. Strong players will memorize the location of all of your important pieces (your Marshal, your General, etc.) anyway, so this variation won't really help them other than saving them some mental energy.
|Alas, not all Stratego games have pieces designed to lie flat and be turned face up. The old wooden pieces from the early Milton Bradley games are ideal for this. The plastic Milton Bradley pieces from the '60s, '70s, and '80s work well too. However, the round turret-style pieces, as shown to the right, don't work very well.
| CHANGE THE PLAYING FIELD
If you're tired of playing on the normal 10 x 10 field, it wouldn't take much work to design your own. As mentioned above, a chessboard works well if you reduce the number of pieces you use. Also, an enterprising individual could easily make their own board out of a large piece of cardboard.
One type of field you may wish to experiment with is one with hexagons instead of squares! Here's a simple graphic of what it might look like:
|Playing on such a field would
require a whole different thought process in regards to
moving your men, placing and protecting your Flag, etc.
Here are a few alternate board layouts I've designed!
In this variation, Bombs can move just like your officers! Think of the Bomb itself as being another officer, who is simply carrying a Bomb or a hand grenade.
If six moveable Bombs seems like too much, you could always mark just one or two of them, and only these marked Bombs are capable of movement.
You could play this variation two dirrent ways... the Bomb destroys itself when it attacks (a suicide Bomber) or it destroys all other pieces (not Miners) but not itself.
When I first read of this variation I didn't think I was going to care for it at all. It was only after I tried it that I found I enjoyed it immensely.
It's similar to queening a pawn in chess; twice per game, if one of your officers reaches your opponent's back row, you can resurrect one of your dead officers. There are these four conditions:
With this variation, you now have the added task of keeping your opponent from reaching your back row!
| PIECES CAN
ONLY ADVANCE... THEY CANNOT RETREAT!
This variation limits the movement of all pieces in that, similar to a pawn in chess, they can't retreat! The pieces can move from side-to-side but may not, at any time, move backwards.
I downloaded a shareware Stratego clone earlier today and this rule was in effect as part of the program limitation. (Only if I purchased the program would this movement limitation be lifted.) However, I found this "rule" very interesting and found I had to plan my moves and strategy in a whole new way!
| USE DICE TO
DETERMINE THE VICTOR WHEN TWO PIECES "STRIKE"
Why should a Colonel always defeat a Major? Shouldn't the Major win sometimes? Can't a bright Lieutenant get lucky and properly dismantle a Bomb every once in awhile? Well, they can with this variation.
Here, once two pieces are "struck" and are engaged in combat, a pair of dice are rolled and a matrix chart is consulted to determine the winner. Here is one such chart:
When consulting the chart, the attacking piece is on top, in the first row, and the piece being attacked is in the left column. The numbers in the grid determine the minimum dice total that must be rolled for the attacker to win. Here are two examples:
A Captain (#5) is attacking a General (#2), which normally is always a loss for the Captain. Roll two dice and add the total of both numbers. If the resulting sum is 9 or higher, as shown in red in the above matrix, the Captain has defeated the General! (Rolling a sum of 9 or higher with two dice will occur on the average ten times out of 36.)
2nd example: A Lieutenant (#6) attacks a Spy (S) which is normally always won by the Lieutenant. If the sum of the dice is 5 or higher, as shown above in blue, the Lieutenant lives to fight again, as usual. But if the dice total is less than 5 (meaning 2, 3, or 4... just six chances out of 36) the Spy had emerged victorious!
You can decide for yourself the values you wish to use when a Marshal and a Spy do battle and when two pieces of equal rank come in contact. In fact, feel free to change any of the values. They are only used as an example.
The one drawback to this variation is each game will take much longer to play. For this reason, you may wish to incorporate an earlier mentioned variation which reduces the number of pieces in the game.
Has anyone tried playing where diagonal movement is allowed? That is to say, each piece can move like a chess King... one square in any direction. The Scouts, of course, would be allowed to travel as many squares as they wanted diagonally.
I'd be curious to see how this simple change affected one's playing style and the differences one might encounter in planning their attack and defense.
|This variation was mentioned to me
by Mark Thompson. Thanks Mark.
MERCENARY STRATEGO (purchase)
Each player starts with 1 Flag and 180 points with which to hire an army. A Marshal costs 24 points, a General 18, a Colonel 13, a Major 9, a Captain 6, a Lieutenant 4, a Sergeant 3, a Miner 3, a Bomb 3, a Spy 2, and a Scout 1. Play on an enlarged board, say 10x12, in case a player needs room for more than the usual 40 pieces.
The piece prices are open to change, of course. One should probably keep records of games and try to decide which pieces are conferring advantage out of proportion to their cost, and make those pieces more expensive. This idea has been suggested with chess variants, but it hasn't caught on yet. It might have better luck with Stratego. Of course, you'd need to buy several old sets in garage sales to have enough selections.
|This variation was suggessted by Ben
MERCENARY STRATEGO (bid)
Mark's Mercenary Stratego variation might be more interesting if the pieces were purchased with points but the price was determined by the highest bid. Each piece would be put up for auction and the winner gets it for the amount of his/her bid.
In this variation, when two pieces come in contact or "strike" each player does not immediately reveal the rank. Rather, the player who struck the other starts asking these questions, in order, which both players must truthfully answer:
etc., all the way down to the Marshal. As soon as one player answers "yes" the questioning stops and the player who answered yes removes his piece from the board, since his opponent must have a higher ranking piece.
If both players simultaneously answer yes, (which, of course, will never happen if one of the pieces is a bomb) obviously the pieces are of equal rank and both players remove their piece from the board.
This method guarantees all higher ranking pieces removes all lower ranking pieces, but the loser does not know quite how strong the victor is.
The one drawback with this variation is each game, like the variation mentioned earlier which uses dice, will take much longer to play. Thus, you may wish to reduce the number of pieces you use in the game here as well.
|This variation was mentioned to me
by Justin Williams. Thanks Justin.
BRING THE FLAG HOME
This is a little twist on the capture-the-Flag theme. All you need is a rook from a chess game to simulate your castle. You place and do everything just like the normal game but when the other player captures your Flag and moves away from the space, you place the rook in its position (this is your castle.) So wherever you decide to originally place your Flag in setup becomes your castle. To win, the other player must move with the Flag and return it back to his Flag (or castle if the Flag is already moved from the original position) before he is captured. When he's captured, the Flag stays on the same space and he is removed. The Flags can't be moved by themselves but can be moved by any moving piece by any player to any square. Once an opposing player takes the Flag back to his castle, he wins.
Another variation of this is to make sure the players own colored Flag is secure in his castle before he is able to win.
|These next two variations were
mentioned to me by Matt Nelson. Thanks Matt!
SILENT OFFENSE / SILENT DEFENSE
In Silent Defense, the attacker has to reveal his rank, but the defender does not. The defender simply declares whether he wins or loses the battle... therefore the attacker is not sure what he was just killed by, or what he just killed.
Here's a slight variation suggested by Simon Powers. If a Scout attacks, the defender must reveal the rank, thus giving the Scout a useful role in the game. Note: As Simon reminds us, this is one of the published variations that comes with the rule booklet in the later versions.
In Silent Offense, the opposite is true. The attacker asks for the defender's rank. The attacker then declares who is the victor.
|These next three variations were
mentioned to me by Dwayne Hendrickson. Thanks Dwayne!
variation I always played as a kid would allow each side
to setup their pieces and then the blue player would
select three red pieces and the red player would select
three blue pieces (both unseen) and would trade places on
the board. This would result in the red player having
three blue pieces facing away from him on his side of the
board. The only rule regarding these pieces was the
pieces could not move or be attacked until there was an
open space next to them. This would actually allow the
red player to control when blue could activate his pieces
in enemy territory.
REARRANGING YOUR OPPONENT'S MEN
second variation would allow both players to setup and
then the opponent would rearrange a number of pieces
determined by a die roll +1. If a 1 was rolled, two
pieces were swapped. A roll of 4 would allow five pieces
to be rearranged. The same die roll was used for
both players to keep it equal.
The last variation would be a blind setup. A player's pieces were put in a bag and drawn one at a time. The first piece was placed in the upper left corner and the last piece was placed in the lower right. A die roll +1 would allow both players to rearrange that many pieces prior to starting.
Scrabble players will recognize this variation. (In Scrabble, a player may immediately "challenge" any word his/her opponent places on the board. A dictionary is consulted and if the word is found to be valid, the player who challenged it loses a turn. If the challenged word is found to be invalid, the player who placed it loses a turn.)
With this variation, when two pieces are struck, if a player chooses he/she may lie about the identity (value) of the piece! If his/her opponent does not challenge the identity, the game continues as normal. If he/she does decide to challenge it, the true value of the soldier is revealed. If it is indeed the value stated, the challenger <insert your own penalty here.> However, if the piece is found to be something else other than what was stated, the person who lied about the identity <insert your own penalty here.>
The penalty can be losing a few turns (somehow one turn doesn't seem to be enough) or losing one or more soldiers or whatever seems appropriate.
|This next variation was mentioned to
me by Tibor Horvath. Thanks Tibor!
THE ALL-POWERFUL AND YET ALL-WEAK SPY
The Spy can capture any officer as long as it the one attacking.
This variation makes the Spy a much more significant player. With the classic rules, as soon as the Marshals are eliminated, the Spy is all but worthless. It's only role would be that of a scout to find out the value of an opposing piece. Also advanced players rarely, if ever leave their Marshal vulnerable to being taken by the Spy. With this rule change the Spy, together with a Colonel or a Major, can hold the fort for a while themselves, allowing for an all-out strike force occupying enemy territory to take place, with little immediate danger at home.
|These next variations were all sent
to me Joseph Shraibman. Thanks!
RANDOM SECRET STRATEGO
Secret Stratego is played by turning the pieces face
down, mixing them up, and then placing them face down on
the board. The identity of every piece is unknown, even
while playing. Only when two pieces come in contact, are
they both turned over. The winner is left face up for the
remainder of the game. All pieces can move, even the
Bombs and Flag.
RANDOM OPEN-FACED STRATEGO
Open-Faced Stratego is similar to the above variation,
but after mixing the pieces up and then placing them,
they are all turned face up before play begins. This
variation is similar to RANDOM SETUP listed a few
paragraphs above. The difference here is, all pieces are
revealed to both players before play begins.
TWO SET GRAB BAG
this variation you'll need two Stratego sets. Remove one
Flag of each color and put this off to the side. (It will
not be used.) Keep the other Flag as one of your 40
pieces. Place the remaining 78 pieces in a bag and pick
39 of them at random. These are the 40 pieces you must
play with. Play then proceeds normally. With this
variation, you have no idea of the strength of your
opponent's army... and vice versa. (Note:
Mike Rowles can be credited with first mentioning this
variation in a rec.games.board usenet post back in April
TURN THE BOARD SIDEWAYS
This variation is played simply by turning the board sideways. Note: It is probably not wise to place the Flag directly behind the lake, behind a Bomb, because your only transfer point between the two halves of your setup would be blocked.
What is interesting is if you need to reinforce one half of your setup from the other, and you usually do, you will probably have to go through the common middle ground to do it.
|Thanks to Danny Leong for these next
UNLIMITED SPY MOVEMENT
The Spy's movement is now identical to the Scout's, and thus may move any number of open squares forward, backward, or sideways in a straight line if the player desires. The Spy may also move and strike from afar in the same turn.
This can be coupled with other rules, like "THE ALL-POWERFUL AND YET ALL-WEAK SPY" for interesting results.
TELEPORTS ON THE PLAYING BOARD
This variation makes a "rule change" to the playing board. Two spaces, at identical squares on each side of the board, are designated as teleport squares. A player moving a piece to such a square, on his next move, may, if he so choose, "teleport" this piece to the other designated teleport square. If there is an enemy piece on the square, the piece moving is in effect, now "striking" the other.
|This next interesting variation is
from Ed Taylor.
Rule #6 in the Rules for "Strike" or Attack section reads:
Although these same set of rules indicate a Scout may not move and strike in the same turn, this variation allows the Scout to do just that... strike from afar!
This will lead to interesting opportunities to "drag" enemy pieces clear across the board. Thus, an attacking enemy piece about to capture your Flag or kill a high ranking officer could be pulled a safe distance away if your Scout had "line of sight" access to them.
More fun still, is to build a "trap" in the back row middle, consisting of a Scout, flanked on the left and right by two Bombs. You clear out a row, wait for your enemies Marshal to appear and "drag" him back between the two Bombs using the Scout you positioned there. If he moves left or right - Boom! If he tries to come back out to his own lines, your Spy is positioned to attack him as soon as moves forward a space. I call it the "One Trap" and it should work over and over again until your opponent figures it out.
|These next two variations are from
Mike Rowles. Thanks!
Same as Bughouse Chess, There are four players (two teams, each with a partners) with two boards set up side by side. Each player sits next to his or her partner. Your partner would use have the opposite color pieces you have. Any pieces your partner captures you can place anywhere on your board and vice-versa.
You place captured men on the board and use them as your own.
|Logan Hertz sent me these next three
With this variation, Scouts can move through the eight impassable squares on the board. This variation can apply to different pieces, perhaps the Spy as well, but the role best fits the Scout. This increases the importance of the Scout for moving long distances. For the purposes of winning, a player loses the game if the only pieces he has are in these eight squares. This prevents a player from causing a stalemate by protecting one of his Scouts and eliminating all of his opponent's Scouts.
This is similar to the rule variation that disallows backward movement. The difference is when a piece reaches the back row on his opponent's side of the board, that piece is "kinged", and can now move both forward or backward.
With this variation, to capture a piece a player must jump that piece rather than moving onto the square occupied by that piece. This introduces a "shielding" strategy, i.e. putting one piece behind another to prevent it from being captured. This variation works best if fewer pieces are used on a standard board to allow more space for jumping.
|This next variation was sent to me
With this variation, the Flag can move like any other piece. Possible sub variations could include only certain pieces being able to capture it.
| THE AGILE
This variations allows Captains to move either one or two squares.
Depending upon the situation and position, this now makes the Captain a much more valuable piece. For example, this agile Captain can now slip past the defenses of an unsuspecting enemy officer of a higher rank, and invade the very territory this enemy officer was guarding. And although a Scout has the ability to slip past the enemies defenses in such a way, the Scout's rank and power is not nearly as strong as that of the Captain. Note, if you see a piece moving two squares, don't assume it's your opponent's Captain... it could still be a Scout. (Alternative - instead of the Captain being allowed to move two squares, make the Lieutenant capable of such movement instead.)
| CHANGE THE STARTING
Fans of the abstract board game Abalone will recognize the reason for this next variation.
Abalone is a two-player game played all over the world. It is said to be loosely based upon Sumo wrestling. Each player has 14 marbles and the object is to push six of your opponent's marbles off the board.
The standard starting arrangement for Abalone is shown below:
Abalone is a very good game but with this starting arrangement, it's not a great game.
The reason for this is, if a player adopts a "do-nothing" strategy and simply clumps his marbles together as a unit, it is very difficult for his/her opponent to make any progress. Imagine playing against your kid sister and not being able to beat her, despite the fact that not only is she doing nothing, but she's not even trying to win!
However, someone discovered Abalone suddenly becomes much more active and dynamic from the get-go, with the starting arrangement shown in the second image:
Why not use this same idea with Stratego?
Begin with a regular Stratego board positioned normally. Before the game each player removes eight pieces and places them off to the side. These pieces will not be used in the game. (I recommend removing one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Sergeant, one Miner, three Scouts, and one Bomb.)
Each player now positions his 32 pieces in two 4x4 sections, like this:
As you can see, each player's forces are somewhat cut off from each other. With this arrangement, interesting questions arise. Should a player split up his Marshal and General, in an attempt to create two units of approximately equal strength? Is the best location for your Flag in one of the two corners, despite the fact your opponent knows this and will probably expect it there? Should a player gamble that his/her opponent's Flag is in one sector, and have both units concentrate solely on that sector, completely disregarding the other one?
Since most people seem to agree the Sergeant is the most worthless piece on the board, why not increase his power by allowing it to move diagonally. Since allowing it to move just one square diagonally doesn't seem like much too much to boast of, allow it to move either an unlimited number of diagonal squares (like a Scout) or say, just two.
Note: The Sergeant isn't as worthless as you might think. Your Sergeant is stronger than 14 of your opponent's 33 officers! (The Sergeant can defeat your opponent's five Miners, eight Scouts, and one Spy.) This is nearly 43%. And if you play with the Attacker Advantage variation, (which is a good variation) this adds another four pieces (the four opposing Sergeants) the Sergeant can defeat, bringing the percentage up to almost 55%! (18/33)
| HIDDEN LAND
After each player has set up their pieces, but before the game begins, each player secretly writes down two squares on his/her side of the board that now contain a hidden "land mine." Each player is allowed to occupy this space themselves, but at any time in the game the moment an opponent's officer lands on it... KABOOM... this officer is immediately killed. The "hidden land mine" is then blown up and this square is safe for the opposing player for the rest of the game. Note: A player may designate the same square for both of his land mines. Thus, a player can't assume any square is completely safe until both land mines are found.
Sub variations include Miner's being allowed to "dismantle" the land mine, and thus are not killed when they step on one.
|These next variations are ideas from
USE DICE TO DETERMINE HOW MANY OFFICERS YOU MAY MOVE
Prior to each player moving, the player on move rolls a single die. The number rolled indicates the number of officers you may move that turn. A player may not move the same officer more than once in the same turn.
If moving six officers at once seems too drastic of a change, then try this: If a 1 or a 2 is rolled, the player moves just one officer. If a 3 or a 4 is rolled, the player moves just two officers. If a 5 or a 6 is rolled, the player moves three officers.
TASTE OF BLOOD
This is a power the Captains (or any other chosen piece) has. If they defeat an enemy officer, they acquire a "taste of blood" and if the players chooses, may continue attacking until dead.
Remember the video arcade classic Pac-Man? The Pac-Man character could leave the playing field on one side and immediately reappear on the other. In this variation you can do the same thing!
There are three different variations of this rule.
1) In the first variation, only side-to-side wrap-around movement is possible. For example, notice the Major at the bottom-left section on the board below. This Major can move off the board towards the left and reappear, at the "1" on the other side.
2) In the second variation, side-to-side AND top-to-bottom movement is possible. For example, the Scout, located in the bottom-right section of the board, could move off the board and reappear on the square designated with the number "3".
3) In the third variation, the board wraps around slightly differently. If an officer steps off the board, the EXACT square on the OPPOSITE side of the board is where the officer reappears. For example, the Major below would step off the board to the left and reappear where the "2" is on the other side. The Scout would reappear where the "4" is!
| STRIKING IS
Checker players will feel at home with this variation.
In Checkers, capturing your opponent's checkers is mandatory. In this variation, if player is in a position to strike an opponent's piece, he must do so!
This rules has interesting consequences. Look at the board position below.
The red player knows the partially shown blue piece is the opposing Marshal. Thus, in this position, the red player could...
1) ...Move the Scout, located on the right side of the board, to the square just below the blue Marshal. The Marshal is then obligated to capture this Scout. The red player could then...
2) ...Move his other Scout one square to the right, again directly below the Marshal. The Marshal must again attack and capture this piece. Then...
3) ...the red player moves his Major one square to the right, again directly below the Marshal. The Marshal again attacks and captures this piece.
The blue Marshal is now located one square to the left of the red Spy. The red player has sacrified three pieces to draw the blue Marshal next to the Spy. Guess what happens next?
|This next variation was sent to me
by Herbert J. Rietman.
THE SLY SPY
With this variation the Spy is much more valuable. It has the power to capture the highest-ranking piece on the board, whatever that piece might be.
For example, at the beginning of the game, the Spy has the power to capture the opponent's Marshal. (As usual, the Spy must Strike the Marshal.) If your opponent's Marshal is ever killed (either by one of your Bombs, or your own Marshal, or via your Spy) then your Spy now has the power to capture your opponent's General, assuming this piece is still alive.
This variation makes the Spy much more valuable.
This variation is played with just ten pieces: The Flag, three Sergeants, three Miners, and three Bombs. The Bombs are allowed to move, just like the other officers.
As usual, the Sergeants have a higher rank than the Miners, but would lose any battle against a Bomb.
As usual, the Miners are able to defeat the Bombs, but as just mentioned, lose all battles against any Sergeants.
So, to repeat myself, the Bombs defeat the Sergeants but lose against the Miners.
As you can see, there is no piece that can be considered any stronger or any weaker than any other piece. All three pieces are "equal."
| THE SLY
While playing the 1980 electronic board game THE GENERALS, I realized a rule in that game would make for an interesting Stratego variation.
In this variation, the Flag is allowed to move and if it reaches your opponent's back rank, you win!
RULE VARIATIONS SUMMARY
|Bombs blow up for good after the initial explosion.
|Attacker Advantage #1
|When pieces of equal rank battle, the attacking piece wins.
|Attacker Advantage #2
|The attacking piece Is always increased In strength by one rank.
|Reduce The Number Of Pieces In The Game
|Start the game with a reduced army.
|During the game, the identity of every piece is known to both players. Alternately, pieces remain face-up once their identity is revealed.
|Change The Playing Field
|Play on a board which has hexagons, or pentagons, instead of squares.
|The Bombs can move, just like your officers.
|Resurrection / Rescue
|Advancing to your opponent's back row rescues an officer.
|Pieces Can Only Advance... They Cannot Retreat!
|Like a chess pawn, pieces can only advance.
|Use Dice To Determine The Victor When Two Pieces "Strike"
|The outcome of each battle is never a sure-thing.
|Pieces are able to move diagonally.
|One must first purchase the army you wish to use, with a fixed amount of money. The pieces are either purchased outright or both players bid on the pieces they would like to use.
|The identity of the higher-ranking piece remains a secret.
|Bring the Flag Home
|A little twist on the capture-the-Flag theme.
|Silent Offense / Defense
|Just one of the two players reveal the rank of their piece.
|After the initial setup, three of your pieces swap places with three of your opponent's pieces.
|Rearranging Your Opponent's Men
|You and your opponent rearrange x number of each others men.
|Your entire piece setup is completely random! A dice roll determines how many changes you can make after the random setup is complete.
|"Cheating" Is Allowed
|You and your opponent may lie about the identity of your pieces... but only at the cost of a penalty if your opponent calls you on it.
|The All-Powerful And Yet All-Weak Spy
|The Spy defeats any officer it attacks!
|Pieces are randomly placed face down and then only revealed to both players when two pieces come in contact
|Pieces are randomly placed face down but then turned face up before play begins.
|Turn The Board Sideways
|The board is turned sideways.
|Two Set Grab Bag
|A random configuration of two sets is used.
|Unlimited Spy Movement
|The movement powers of the Spy is now identical to that of the Scout.
|Two squares on the playing board are designated as teleports.
|Scouts Can Strike From Afar
|When playing with the rule that states the winning piece is moved immediately into the empty square formerly occupied by the losing piece, the Scout may attack from afar, thus allowing the Scout to "drag" enemy pieces across the board.
|As in Bughouse Chess, the pieces you capture your partner can use on his board as his pieces.
|You can use captured pieces as your own.
|Scouts can move and pass through the eight 'water' squares.
|Pieces can only move forward and cannot retreat, but when they reach their opponent's back row, they are 'kinged' and now have backward and forward movement.
|Like checkers, to eliminate enemy pieces you must 'jump' them.
|In this variation, the Flag can move like any other piece.
|The Agile Captain
|The Captain can move either one or two squares.
|Change The Starting Position
|Each player begins with 32 pieces, in two 4x4 sections, positioned diagonally from each other.
|Diagonally Moving Sergeants
|Each Sergeant can move an unlimited number of squares diagonally!
|Hidden Land Mines
|Prior to play, each player secretly designates two squares on his or her side of the board that contain a hidden land mine.
|Dice Determine The Number Of Officers Who Move
|Prior to moving, roll dice to determine how many officers you are allowed to move
|Taste Of Blood
|A predetermined officer can continue attacking until dead!
|There are no edges... the board wraps around.
|Striking Is Mandatory
|Similar to the game of checkers, striking an opposing piece, if possible, is mandatory.
|The Sly Spy
|The Spy has the power to defeat the current highest-ranking piece on the board, whatever that piece might be.
|A variation on the game Rock-Paper-Scissors.
|The Sly Flag
|Not only can the Flag move, but if it reaches your opponent's back row, you win.