Rules of Play

Game Boards

Probe has three modes: Classic, Enhanced and Blitz. The Classic board is 10x10 with two barriers in the middle. The Enhanced board is 11x11 with two barriers in the middle and three Power Squares that let pieces moves directly from one square to another. Blitz mode is played on the Classic board:

Classic/Blitz

 

Enhanced

See The Probe Difference to learn more about each game mode.


Pieces

These are the piece counts for each mode. Note that you can modify the piece count for Blitz mode:

Name Piece
Classic
Enhanced Blitz
Flag
1 1 1
Bomb
6
7 3
Marshal

1
1
1
General

1
1
1
Colonel

2
2
1
Major

3
3
1
Captain

4 4 2
Lieutenant

4
5 2
Sergeant

4
5 2
Miner
5
6 2
Scout

8
8
3
Spy
1
1
1
Total   40 44 20

 


Setup

At the beginning of a game, you choose whether Probe's setup should be selected from a database of designed setups or arranged randomly. Designed setups often fortify the Flag with Bombs. Random setups avoid placing the Flag and Spy in the first or second row of any unprotected column. Here's a typical example of Flag and Bomb placement for a designed setup:

Your setup also may be designed or random. See Creating Setups to learn how to design your own setups.

At the beginning of the game, the identities of pieces are hidden from the opponent. So Probe's pieces will look like this to you:


As the game progresses, you will learn the identities of Probe's pieces that win attacks or make special moves. You may also be able to guess the identities of pieces that move aggressively or away from capture, or that protect other pieces from capture. Likewise, Probe will be able to positively identify some of your pieces, and make guesses about others.


Movement

The first turn in the game is determined at random. Pieces move according to these rules:

  • The Flag and Bombs don't move.
  • All other pieces can move forward, backward, left or right one square.
  • A Scout can move along any number of vacant squares forward, backward, left or right.

Additionally, there are these special rules, which default to On for Enhanced games and Off for Classic games:

  • A Captain can move diagonally one square.
  • A Lieutenant can jump over an adjacent piece to the square on the other side.
  • A Sergeant can cross directly from one side of a barrier to the other.
  • A piece on a Power Square can move directly to another Power Square. (Enhanced only)

See Options for variations on the movement rules.


Attacks

A piece attacks by attempting to occupy the square of an opponent piece. These rules govern attacks:

  • Any piece can capture the Flag.
  • A Miner can capture Bombs.
  • Pieces of rank One through Nine can capture any piece of equal or higher rank they attack.
  • The Spy can capture the Marshal by attacking it.
  • Any piece can capture the Spy by attacking it.

The losing piece is removed from the board. If the attacker wins, it occupies the square of the loser; if the defender wins, it remains in place. The identity of the winning piece is revealed to the opponent.

See Options for variations on the attack rules.


Chasing Rules

To prevent undo chasing, Probe implements two International Stratego Federation (ISF) rules that apply both to your moves and Probe's:

  • The Two-Squares Rule, which limits back-and-forth movement.
  • The More-Squares Rule, which prevents chase sequences that repeat previous board positions.

In addition, Probe supports four additional rules that only apply to Probe's moves:

  • The Continuous Chase Rule, which limits the number of moves one piece can chase another piece.
  • The Resumed Chase Rule, which prohibits start-and-stop chase sequences. The Position Repetition Rule, which prevents Probe from repeating most earlier board positions.

The chase rules can be individually enabled or disabled in Options.


Winning a Game

There are two ways to win a game:

  • Capture Probe's Flag.
  • Capture all of Probe's pieces that are able to move.