The origins of Stratego can be traced back to traditional Chinese board game "Jungle" also known as "Game of the Fighting Animals" (Dou Shou Qi) or "Animal Chess". In its present form Stratego appeared in Europe before World War I as a game called L'attaque (Based on "Ed's Stratego Site"). The modern game, with its Napoleonic imagery, was originally manufactured in the Netherlands by Jumbo, and was licensed by the Milton Bradley Company for American distribution.


Stratego is played on a 10x10 grid with some forbidden areas in the middle. The objective of Stratego is to capture the opponents flag. You do this by attacking with your own pieces, having a military rank (1-10) unknown to the opponent at the start of the game. Before the game starts, each player chooses starting positions for his pieces. These pieces can move one square orthogonally and can capture all pieces with an inferior rank (equal rank means both are captured). Exceptions to this rule are the Scout (Rank 9) which can move as far as he wants. The spy (Rank 10) is the only one that can win against the strongest piece in the game, the marshal (Rank 1). Bombs can not move, and can only be captured by miners (Rank 8). A game is won by either capturing the opponent's flag, or capturing all his movable pieces.


For computer programs Stratego is a difficult game to play. Human players can often easily win against Stratego bots. This is because of the bluffing factor. At the moment we are working on a Stratego program which is able to compete on a higher level than previously was possible. Opponent modeling techniques will be used for this, combined with a tree search algorithm.