Posted by: Mark Nielsen | July 31, 2008

I Am a Stratego Grand Master!

I don’t know if there is such a thing as a Grand Master of Milton Bradley’s classic Stratego game, the way there are Grand Masters for chess. But if there is such a title, then I am claiming it.

I played Sue and Graham yesterday, and utterly clobbered them. I couldn’t help myself. I’m incapable of “taking it easy” when it comes to that game. They teamed up so we could introduce Graham to the game, but he lost interest after about ten minutes.

He’s six. The game says “age 10 and up”. So it makes sense that he instead ended up arranging Sue’s quickly decimated soldiers in a “G” on the table. He was in over his head, and bored. Though I’m sure many an eight-year-old could handle this game. Why is it “10 and up”?

Who determines the age range for these things, anyway?! I’m gonna write my congresswoman, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or … well, …somebody! If Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois can get all in a huff about Grand Theft Auto’s negative effect on kids, then I can get in a huff about letting my child legally play Stratego before he turns ten… at which point the real U.S. Army recruiters will be knocking on our door, psyching Graham up with free copies of American Heroes 6 for PS4, their insidious propaganda tool, created to prep him for the coming war with Iran. How’s a simple board game — with its field marshals (huh?), generals, colonels, miners and a weak-ass spy (who can barely kill anybody) going to compete for a ten-year-old’s attention with such high-tech games around?

Speaking of video games, that’s really why I had to celebrate my Stratego victory over Sue. Because she generally splatters me all over the field on Madden NFL for Playstation 2, and generally beats the pants off me at every other game – both electronic and board-related. (I promised her I would fess up about this, if I blogged about Stratego. Now let’s never talk about it again. Please? I’m feeling very vulnerable right now.)

I have many fond memories of playing Stratego against my sister Laura when we were kids. Those of you who know her will vouch for her being a tough cookie. So my battle skills at Stratego were hardened by all those games… years of grueling training, stoked by the fires of intense sibling rivalry.

Most importantly, though, I’ve finally found a battle I can win against my wife. I can die happy. (Though hopefully not by being blown up while capturing a flag, or run over by a thug stealing a car, or electrocuted by some CIA trojan horse, inserted into a videogame and specially-targeted to take out whiny, liberal peaceniks.)



  1. Hello Mark.

    Nice to see you like Stratego.
    The Stratego community is larger then the average player thinks.

    Organized are National Championships and World Championships.

    I play Stratego for more then 30 years, 15 years in real life compititions.
    I participated 6 World Championships and practice online on a free site called Gravon (

    I hope to see you there. (My nick is Wussy)

  2. Hello Mark,

    Sadly I didn’t hear anything of you…
    Maybe my SPAM fiter is taking his job serious.

    Anyway, if you want to measure your skills, try
    It is a free site and got great graphics, lots of software options and is really fun to play.
    There is also a ranking so you can play ranked games and climb up the Stratego ladder.

    Greetings, Luc Adriaansen

    AKA Wussy on Gravon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: