The Probe Difference
Probe is actually three different games that share similar boards,
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
The Classic game replicates Stratego1.
In general, Classic games have these qualities:
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
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
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.
EnhancedThe 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:
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
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 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 has not been tested much. Your
comments to improve it would be welcome.
copyrighted in the U.S. by Hasbro.