Good aggressive Setups
True to their name, aggressive Stratego piece setups tend to favor more “primitive” play than their refined “orthodox” counterparts. Often, a player choosing an aggressive setup will place a number of major pieces along the fourth rank and will place bombs in a way that restricts his own mobility. There is no such thing as a best stratego setup ever, because every setup needs to be catered to your opponent.
The point, however, is usually to frustrate the opponent on one Flank while launching an assault down the other. Our four suggested aggressive setups demonstrate this.
Good Strategy Setups:
The above stratego piece setup is unorthodox and is sometimes used by aggressive players to throw off their opponents. Based on the principles of systematic play, this setup cannot be objectively the “best” one—however, against the right opponent, it can deliver the right result (a win).
Red’s strategy involves probing in the Center and on the Right Flank. In the Center, Red will play with his Marshall and use his Scouts to probe. On the Right Flank, Red will push with his Captain and General in a special fashion that many players find confusing and frustrating to play against.
Consider the following scenario:
Red might begin here as follows:
1. Captain i4-i5!? Lieutenant i7-i6
2. Scout j4-j5 Lieutenant i6xi5
3. Scout j5-j6 Marshall h7-i7
Red correctly believes that Blue is going in for a Snatch, but Red has something planned. Blue knows the identity of Red’s Captain, so unless Blue is bluffing, the piece on i7 will be strong—probably either a General or a Marshall.
4. Scout j6-i6!
Red is now ready to learn the identity of the Blue Marshall, all for the price of a Scout. The Spy on i3 will easily defend the Captain, and if Red has time to play his Sergeant out from the j3 square (sacrificing it), he will be able to tuck his Captain away on j3 and put his General on i4, completely holding off Blue’s assault with a Marshall.
Of course, this particular setup is risky since Red has locked away several pieces on the Left Flank. They are minor pieces, however, and perhaps they will only be useful in the endgame here.
Perhaps the real threat to Red’s setup is that Blue will march in with the Marshall to b4, eventually pulling off a snatch against the Colonel on c4 or else forcing it to move, allowing the Blue Marshall to penetrate into the Center.
However, it will be time-consuming for Blue to discover the blocked nature of Red’s setup on the Left Flank. Hopefully, Blue will determine that the Left Flank is blocked, then be unable to penetrate—so that he must then waste time retreating his forces on that side so that he can deploy them again in the Center.
By then, Red will have a substantial advantage there and also on the Right Flank.