For Christmas, my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson gave me a copy of the new Civil War variant of the timeless classic board game, Stratego. I had a copy of the original game when I was a teenage and loved to play it. The classsic game pitted two fictional plastic armies, one red, one blue, against one another in a chess-like setting where pieces captured their opponent based upon a numerical strength value.
The new Civil War version is very similar in concept, with a few added twists such as sharpshooters. Playing pieces are wooden instead of plastic, gray and blue of course, but are thinner and quite prone to falling over, creating a domino effect in the board. The commanding officers, with a rating of 10, are Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. The spies that can assassinate the commanders are depictions of female Civil War spies such as Belle Boyd.
The second most powerful pieces are brigadier generals (with a 9 rating) and depict Stonewall Jackson and William T. Sherman. Other pieces descend in rank and numerical value. and ascend in quantity.
I spent an enjoyable evening last night playing the game three times with my younger son, winning twice. Stratego, while not as complex or challenging as chess, is in some ways more fun, with the hidden point values of the opponent adding a little element for bluffing and strategy.
Civil War Stratego is well worth picking up for quiet one-on-one games, and will bring back a lot of memories. From hasbro, it is available at leading game stores and most retail chains.