The game is a simple military strategy game for two people, with players given equal armies (Red or Blue) of 40 pieces, made up of soldiers or equipment of varying strength and abilities. For example, some pieces are given military ranks from Sergeant to Field Marshal, or specific roles such as Scout, Spy, or Miner (who can defuse Bombs). Players move their pieces, trying to eliminate the opponent's pieces and capture their opponent's Flag piece, which ends the game.
The modern version of this game features Napoleonic-era imagery and themes (i.e., Field Marshal rather than General, etc.). Milton Bradley licensed it from a company in the Netherlands and introduced the game into the United States in 1961. It has since become a 'classic' game, although not everyone enjoys its simplistic military play.
Stratego tournaments are held around the world on a regular basis. Differently themed versions exist, such as Star Wars Stratego and Lord of the Rings Stratego.