The Probe Difference

Probe is actually three different games that share similar boards, pieces and rules. Each has a distinct style and requires different skills. Moreover, you can set movement and attack options to create hundreds of unique game configurations. With Probe, there's no need to limit yourself to a single style of play. Instead, you can explore variations that will challenge your abilities in new ways and improve your overall skill level.

Classic

The Classic game replicates Stratego1. In general, Classic games have these qualities:Classic game position

  • Effective Bomb shields. Since the Miner is the only piece that can capture a Bomb, a Bomb shield can only be penetrated by a Miner. That makes it essential to preserve a few Miners for late in the game.
  • Restricted piece movement, especially early in the game. Three narrow lanes separate the two sides. Lateral movement can be difficult on a crowded board. Therefore, control of the lanes is essential.
  • Power pieces are key. If you gain superiority among the most powerful pieces, and position those pieces to control access to your Flag, you will probably win the game.
  • Initial piece setup is critical. With 80 pieces distributed on a 92-square board, and all pieces except the Scouts limited to one square per move, you must have your pieces arranged effectively at the outset, because you will have limited opportunity to rearrange them during the game.
  • Patient, positional play is best. It is highly improbable you can capture the Flag early in the game, so your opening should be concerned with gaining positional advantage you can exploit as the board thins out. If instead you attack aggressively with your strong pieces, you will eventually lose them and then be unable to control the board.

Enhanced

The Enhanced game is unique to Probe. It is considerably more dynamic than the Classic game. Here are some of the ways the Enhanced game differs from the Classic game:Enhanced game position
  • Larger board with Power Squares. The lanes are deeper and the middle lane is wider. There are Power Squares in each lane (dark green color on the board to the right) that permit pieces to move directly from one lane to another. The result is considerably more piece interaction in neutral territory, and greater opportunity for pieces to move quickly from one side of the board to the other. If you examine the board to the right, you will see there are many possible attack combinations among the pieces in the three lanes. In the Classic game, an equivalent position would produce few combinations.
  • More piece interaction. Captains can move diagonally, Lieutenants can jump over adjacent pieces and Sergeants can cross the barriers. This creates much more freedom of movement for pieces and generates many more attack opportunities, including complex attack combinations.
  • Easier access to the Flag. Flags can be successfully fortified in the Enhanced game. But attacks on the Flag aren't limited to Miners: Lieutenants can jump over Bombs and Captains can cut diagonally through most Bomb shields. When an unknown piece approaches your Flag, you must defend against a wider range of attack possibilities, not just count how many Miners Probe has remaining. Very few games end in draws or tedious wars of attrition.
  • Initial piece setup is less critical. Setups are still very important in Enhanced games, but if, for example, bad luck places your Spy on the wrong end of the board from Probe's Marshal, you'll be able to bring it into play more easily. In general, you have a better opportunity to recover from a bad opening position during an Enhanced game than a Classic game.
  • Wider range of playing styles. Patient play can be as successful for Enhanced games as Classic games, but since the Flag is more vulnerable, an aggressive style can be effective as well. Probe's move selection algorithm plays aggressively, especially against random setups. If you prefer fast paced, wide open games, and enjoy board positions that offer many move combinations to choose among, Enhanced will suit you best.

Blitz

Blitz is a programming experiment that uses custom, reduced piece sets to play very short games. It is played on the Classic board with a Flag, optional Bombs and at least five mobile pieces.Blitz game position

Blitz has not been tested much. Your comments to improve it would be welcome.

 

 

 

 


1 Stratego is copyrighted in the U.S. by Hasbro.