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Stratego is a wide game that can be played with two or more teams. Each player has a coloured life that identifies who they are in the game.

The flag has to remain in the administrative area within 10 meters of the administrators, who are not allowed to move the position. Once the game begins, you are not allowed to move your administrative area. As soon as you are in position, you will reach into the administrator's bag to get your first life. (Administrators will do something to make sure there is a fairly good mix of ranks for the start of the game.) You can use any spare time to come up with a strategy for finding the other administrative areas.


You are trying to capture the flags from opposing teams. You are also trying to gain points for your team by "capturing" other players. A "capture" begins when one player TAGS another. Tackling is not allowed! When you tag a player from another team, both players show each other their lives. A "higher power" life than you will claim your life. If you are "captured", you have to give up your life.



Here is a basic set up for a team of approximately 20 players, showing the number of lives per rank, per category. Work on a ratio of 2 lives per player, ensuring both teams have an equal number to start off with.

  1. General (1)
  2. Captain (3)
  3. Engineer (8)
  4. Private (20)
  5. Bomb (4)
  6. Spy (4)

Game play

Capturing ranks

"Capture" rules are:

  1. general
  2. engineer
  3. private
  4. bomb
  5. spy

The higher number "captures" the lower number EXCEPT for the following:

  • SPY captures GENERAL
  • Any player except the GENERAL can "capture" the SPY.
  • The BOMB "captures" anyone except the ENGINEER.
  • The ENGINEER "captures" the BOMB.

Capturing lives

  • When you are "captured", you give your life to the other player.
  • If you are both the same (e.g. two Privates), the person who tags first wins.
  • You do not give up any other lives you have "captured".
  • If you have been "captured", you have to return to your administrative area for another life. You are not allowed to try to find another team's administrative area while you do not have your own team's life. You are out of play until you have another life in hand. This means that you cannot chase other players while you do not have a life (although you can allow them to waste time by chasing you).
  • Remember that you are trying very hard not to let anyone from another team know where your administrative area is and sneak back accordingly.
  • When you return to your administrative area, turn in any "captured" lives to your administrators. Get a new life and go out again. Remember that other teams will be trying to find your administrative areas by looking for the area everyone is coming from, and plan your route back into play accordingly.
  • If your administrators are out of lives, you are required to sit quietly in your administrative area until the game is over.

If you find another team's administrative area and flag:

  • You take the flag to your admin area immediately. (You have to have your own life to be eligible to "capture" the flag.)
  • You are not allowed to put the flag in a pocket. You must carry the flag in your hands.

Flag "Capture":

  • If a player is "captured" while holding the flag, the flag must be given up with the life.
  • If you "recapture" your own flag, you need to return it to your administrative area immediately. Again, you are not allowed to put the flag in a pocket, you must carry it in your hands.

The Game leader will end the game if:

  • You are not playing by the rules ("A Scout's honour is to be Trusted", and cheating will not be tolerated.)
  • One of the Team Flags is turned in. (This may be changed to ALL flags in one area)
  • The game's time limit is reached.

All the "captured" lives are counted up to arrive at your total score for the game. Once counted, all the lives will be turned back to their teams.


  • The "administrative areas" of all teams are known, but the flag is hidden somewhere in a 20 by 20 meter area. This makes the game somewhat easier, since you can walk straight back to get a new life.
  • Every team has a number of flags/flags to hide. Once a flag is captured, you should bring it back to your team's administrative area, and hide it. The game ends after a certain amount of time, and the team with the largest number of flags is the winner. When two or more teams have the same number of flags, the number of conquered lives determines the winner.
  • When playing with younger people try using only 3 ranks : e.g. General, Engineer and Bomb. The General wins over the Engineer, the Engineer wins over the Bomb and the Bomb wins over the general, so essentially all ranks are equal.


  • Find an admin area, keep your flag within 10 metres
  • Take ONE life each (at random - you don't choose) and try find other players and their admin areas
  • Tag a player and see who wins. If you lose, give them your "life" (and any flag if you have one) and return to admin area for a new life. You can't use your captured lives. If you win, take the life and you can carry on playing, but with your original life.
  • Try take enemy flags to your base and give them to your administrator
  • If whistle blows give all lives and flags to your administrator.


Stratego - lives printout (PDF)