Stratagem board game action shot from a worms's eye view

Light and fun, this abstract board game strikes a perfect balance of luck and strategy that all gamers will really enjoy.

Battle to claim spaces, control them to score points. But be prepared… a well timed action card can support or hinder any player’s game — including your own!

Stratagem is simple game perfect for family fun night, but also substantial enough to be a go-to game even for the avid gamer.

Stratagem board game action shot from a bird's eye view

How to Play

For ages 13 and up, 45 to 60 minutes, 2 to 6 players.

Stratagem™ is a roll and move based game. Players take turns moving their pawns around the board, claiming each contiguous space they enter with hexagon tiles. Points are scored for each claimed space that survives a round and is converted to a controlled space. Action cards may be played during the game to a player’s advantage.

Prefer Skill Over Luck?

Avid gamers may prefer a more strategic rule-set, one that relies more heavily on the player’s skill than the luck of a die roll. In this variant, players must move three spaces instead of rolling a die for movement, putting the player’s fate in their own hands.

Stratagem board game box contents

Components

  • Instruction Booklet
  • Game Board
  • 6 Player Pawns
  • 1 Custom Die
  • 2 Standard Dice
  • 36 Action Cards
  • 60 Hexagon Tiles

Reinforces

  • Problem Solving
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Rational Thinking
  • Cooperation
  • Probability

I’m certainly not pretentious enough to lift up Stratagem alongside storied classics like Chess or Checkers. However, like those games, Stratagem’s simple yet deceptively complex nature makes it easy to recommend to almost anyone. This is approachable, unassuming fun. True, Stratagem doesn’t have a theme. It doesn’t need it. It’s got character.

— Jason Dobson, Indie Cardboard

Play testing Stratagem at New York City Board & Card Games Meetup, Whole Foods Market, TriBeCa.

Print & Play

Want to play the game right now?

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v0.8 released April 16, 2014

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Phase Summary

When making a turn, a player will perform each of the following phases, in order, skipping the phases that are not applicable during the turn. For example, a player would not yet have any tiles on the game board during their first turn, so the Clear and Control phases should be skipped.

Stratagem board game phases illustrated
  1. CLEAR all hexagon tiles you have on the game board that are in the Control position.
  2. CONTROL claimed spaces by flipping the hexagon tiles you have on the board to the Control position. Score points for each newly controlled space.
  3. CLAIM new spaces by rolling the movement die and placing a tile onto each space your pawn enters.

Action Cards

Stratagem action cards artwork

Each player is dealt two action cards before the start of the game and will receive an additional card each time they control one of the six “action card” spaces during play.

Players may play one action card on each player's turn, provided they have a card to play. Each card specifies when it may be played, such as after a die roll.

Action cards are used to help or hinder any player’s game. For example, one card may add +1 to a die roll while another may send a player back to their home space.

Reviews

There’s a new board game on the way, and after spending a few weeks with it I find [Stratagem is] one of the first things I grab when friends are over.

— Russell Holly, Geek.com

We liked [Stratagem] a lot, more than we thought we would. Strangely addictive, and still quite simple.

— Hunter Shelburne, WeaponsgradeChannel

Stratagem at its heart is an abstract strategy game. It presents some very unique strategic decisions. With the variants, the level of random gameplay elements can be tuned to appeal to the strategy “purist.”

— Andrew Lupp, Boardgaming.com

The easy to learn rules and the high player interaction made Stratagem a win in my book. I think this makes a great game for when you have 4+ players and are looking for something casual and engaging.

— Tony Mastrangeli, Board Game Quest

The game has a simple set up, easy to learn rules and it plays pretty quickly: features that make it a great family game.

— Luke Turpeinen, Across the Boardgames

Note: All photographs on this website are taken of a prototype. The final production version of Stratagem may vary in artwork, components and/or rules.