The game having been devised in 1909, it is not too surprising that the rivalry is the then traditional one between England and France; the respective army's flags being the Union Standard and the Tricolor, the uniforms typical of the period, the English by far the more colourful. (In the derivative "Stratego", this xenophobic element has been removed, making for a game significantly less interesting in terms of historic colour.) The English ranks are the following (French equivalent given in parentheses) ;
Movement : orthogonal, 1 square per turn. No piece may move into or over water. (Therefore the Flag/Drapeau may not be stationed directly behind a river or behind Mine(s) located behind a river without an intervening moving piece.)
Rank 10 - Commander in Chief (Chef d'Armee)
9 - Brigadier General (General de Brigade)
8 - Colonel (Colonel)
7 - Major (Commandant)
6 - Captain (Capitaine)
5 - Lieutenant (Lieutenant)
4 - Sergeant (Sergeant)
3 - Sapper (Sappeur)
2 - Scout (Eclaireur) (May move any number of squares in one direction)
1 - Spy (Espion)
No rank order; no movement capacity :
- Mine (Mine)
- Flag (Drapeau)
While otherwise higher ranks destroy lower ones, all moving pieces can capture the Flag/Drapeau, and Mines blow up all moving pieces, the following special situations apply :
1. The Espion/Spy can kill the Commander/Chef d'Armee.
2. The Sapper destroys the Mine.
Although the French poses have the swagger, it is the English that have the scarlet coats and the plumes and are overall more colourful. Note that the rank of Brigadier General is currently obsolete in the British army.
I am unable to state when and where my set was obtained : it has been in my family since before W.W. II.