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A Stratego Story

Break the deadlock in the final days of war. Victory will hinge on the actions of a handful of men - and we women spies... Go head-to-head as you secretly select soldiers with different abilities to engage the enemy.

Each of you will have the opportunity to sabotage your opponent's missions - using careful deployment; clever deduction and surprising deception.

With every enemy soldier you identify, with every advance you rebuff, you'll tighten the noose, infiltrating further into the enemy camp and taking the Double Agent a step closer to capturing the enemy flag!


  • 1 Game board
  • 10 Red and 10 Blue Soldier cards
  • 2 sets of 4 Mission cards
  • 6 Intel cards
  • 1 Starting Player card
  • 8 Reference cards
  • 2 sets of 4 Intel tokens
  • 3 Stratego Towers
  • 1 Day Marker
  • 4 Deception tokens
  • Game rules

Object of the Game

Spies & Lies is played in 3 rounds. Each round consists of 3 phases (Deploy, Intel and Mission) which will determine which player can move the Double Agent into enemy territory on the game board.

The first player to land on the enemy's flag with the Double Agent wins (or the player who is closest to doing so when the third round ends).


  • Choose a color: red or blue.

  • Each player takes their matching deck of blue or red Soldier cards, 4 Mission cards, 1 Reference card, 4 Intel tokens and 1 Deception token.

  • Place the game board in the middle of the table. Make sure the flag of your color is nearest to you.

  • Both place the Infiltration marker of your color on the game board, on the start space marked '07 on the Infiltration points track.

  • Place the Double Agent on the open space in the middle of the game board, as shown.

  • Place the Day marker on the first day circle on the game board.

  • Place the Starting Player card and spare Deception tokens to one side.

  • Both place your 4 mission cards in order, in front of you, as shown.

  • Shuffle and place the deck of Intel cards face down. Take the top card and place it face up above the Intel deck. This is the 'Old Intel7 pile.

  • Both shuffle your 10 Soldier cards, place your decks face down and ask your opponent to pick one of your cards at random. Place the card next to the deck of Intel cards, face-up. These two soldiers are 'exhausted7 and can7t be deployed in the first round.

  • Keep your other 9 Soldier cards in your hand and make sure your opponent cannot see them.

A game, ready to start should look like this:

  • 1 10 Blue Soldier cards - 2 4 Intel tokens - 3 Deception token - 4 Exhausted soldier
  • 5 Intel cards (face down) - 6 Old Intel card (face up) - 7 Starting Player card
  • 8 Spare Deception tokens - 9 Reference card - 10 10 Red Soldier cards
  • 11 Mission cards - 12 Day marker - 13 Infiltration markers (Red & Blue tower)
  • 14 Double Agent (Black tower) - 15 Game board

Game Play

The game is played in 3 rounds, with each round representing a day. Each day consists of 3 phases:

1. Deployment Phase

Each place one Soldier card from your hand face down below each of your 4 Mission cards, as shown.

Mission cards 1 to 4 and with 4 Soldier cards face down

Your soldiers' ranks (1-10) must always increase from left to right, with the exception of the Sergeant (4) who can be placed in any position (to surprise the enemy and make deduction more difficult).

You may always look at your cards during the round. For more details about each rank and their capabilities,.

Correct: all cards are placed in rank order

Incorrect: the Miner (3) is out of sequence

Correct: the Sergeant (4) may sit in any position

Incorrect: the Bomb (7) is out of sequence

2. Intelligence Phase

Turn over the top Intel card so it sits face-up on top of the Intel deck. This is the current Intel.

Each player must now place an Intel token on each of their Mission cards that correspond to a Soldier whose rank number is shown on the Intel card, with the exception of the Sergeant.

The Sergeant (4) is an exception and may give false intel.

3. Mission Phase

Flip or spin the Starting Player card to decide who'll begin the first round (players then take turns when it's time to start rounds 2 and 3).

If you're starting, try to work out which Soldier sits in your opponent's Mission 1 position.

Use the clues shown by the sequence of numbers on the Intel card, the quantity, and placement of Intel tokens lying on the Mission cards, the identity of the exhausted soldier, and try to figure out your enemy's strategy.

Call out your guess of that card's rank (its number or title) then flip over that Soldier card. Your opponent now takes a turn to identify which Soldier sits in your Mission 1 position.

Then it's your turn to identify your enemy's Mission 2 Soldier and so on until all Soldiers have been revealed.

"I guess your Spy (1) is on mission 1"


Each time a Soldier card is revealed, record your score as follows:

  • If you correctly identified your opponent's Soldier, move your Infiltration marker 2 spaces along the numbered track.

    The Soldier you identified 'retreats': it remains face-up and is 'tilted' - turn the card 90 degrees to show that its special ability cannot be activated.

  • If you did not correctly identify your opponent's Soldier, your Infiltration marker stays put. Instead, your opponent can immediately activate their Soldier's special ability and earn any Infiltration points, if applicable. Their Soldier card remains face-up in its normal orientation (untilted).

The red Spy (1) is correctly identified and retreats

I guess your Scout (2) is on mission 1. The blue player did not identify the red Soldier on mission 1 correctly, so the red player can move its red Infiltration marker 1 step forward and receives (in the case of the Spy) a Deception token.

The Double Agent

As soon as your Infiltration marker reaches 10 on the track, you have successfully infiltrated the enemy and gained influence over the Double Agent. Return your Infiltration marker to '0'.

Any leftover Infiltration points you scored with a soldier or from identifying the enemy card are lost. There is one exception: the Colonel can carry points over.

Now advance the black Double Agent from its current position by the same number of spaces as shown by the Day Marker (one space on Day 1, two spaces on Day 2, etc)., always moving in the direction of the enemy's fort.

If you reach the wall space on top of the enemy's fort with the Double Agent during any turn, you must stop there for now, even if you have more moves of the Double Agent left.

If on a later turn you are still on the wall and get to move the Double Agent, you can make the decisive step and capture the enemy's flag to win the game.

Note: You can have any number of successful infiltrations per round (by reaching '10' on the track several times). The Lieutenant (5) and General (9) have the special ability to advance the Double Agent immediately.

Deception Tokens

During the Mission phase of your opponent's turn, you may choose to play a Deception token. Place it on the Soldier your opponent is about to identify, before they make their guess.

  • If your opponent's guess was correct, your Deception token has no effect.

  • If your opponent's guess was incorrect, first activate your Soldier as described earlier, score any infiltration points that apply (returning to '0' if you reach 10), then score an extra 4 Infiltration points for using your Deception token.

I play a Deception token on my Soldier on Mission 3

The blue player did not identify the red Soldier on mission 3 correctly, so the red player can move its red Infiltration marker 4 steps forward earned for the activated Sergeant (4) and an extra 4 for the Deception token. If you reach 10, any excess infiltration points are lost.

After using the Deception token, it goes out of play (regardless of whether it was guessed correctly or not). A player can win an extra Deception token if their Spy is activated but may not hold more than 2 at any point in the game.

I guess your General (9) is on mission 3

Soldiers and Their Special Abilities

If your opponent fails to identify one of your Soldiers correctly, your Soldier is activated and can bring special abilities into play (either immediately or later in the round).

This can earn you valuable Infiltration points and perhaps the chance to move the Double Agent. Check the chart below to see what happens with each type of Soldier:

  • 1. Spy

    If activated, immediately earn 1 Infiltration point (IP) and 1 Deception token (DT). When you find the Marshal, he immediately retreats (tilt it), regardless of whether you identified him correctly or not.

  • 2. Scout

    If activated, immediately earn 2 Infiltration points. For every Soldier you correctly identify this round, after your Scout is activated, you earn 4 Infiltration points instead of 2.

  • 3. Miner

    If activated, immediately earn 3 Infiltration points. When you find the enemy Bomb, it immediately retreats (tilt it), regardless of whether you identified it correctly or not.

  • 4. Sergeant

    If activated, immediately earn 4 Infiltration points. About the Sergeant: during the Deployment phase, the Sergeant can be put anywhere in the line. For example, 2- 7- 4- 10 is a valid line-up.

    The Sergeant may also give false information during the Intelligence phase, either by NOT GIVING intel when he should, or GIVING intel when he shouldn't (using the Intel token).

  • 5. Lieutenant

    If activated, immediately advance the Double Agent (DA) 1 space towards your enemy's fort. You do not earn any infiltration points.

  • 6. Captain

    If activated, immediately earn 6 Infiltration points. Or, instead, use one Soldier card that is currently exhausted. In case of 2 exhausted Soldier's, you may choose 1.

    You gain the exhausted Soldier's Infiltration points and its abilities are activated, if any. Keep the cards where they are. (If the Spy or Miner has been activated, the newly chosen card will also be affected).

  • 7. Bomb

    If activated, immediately the Bomb explodes! The next card (of your opponent) that you reveal this round will automatically retreat (tilt it). You do not earn any infiltration points.

    Double damage: If your Bomb is activated and you correctly identify the next enemy card this round, you will choose 2 Soldier cards instead of 1 for your opponent to exhaust in the next round.

  • 8. Colonel

    If activated, immediately earn 8 Infiltration points. The Colonel is the only Soldier who can roll over excess Infiltration points.

    For example, if your Infiltration marker is on 7 and the Colonel is activated, move 3 Infiltration spaces to the '10', advance the Double Agent, and then after returning to '0' move your Infiltration marker the remaining 5 spaces on the next run along the numbered track.

  • 9. General

    If activated, immediately advance the Double Agent 2 spaces towards your enemy's fort. You do not earn any infiltration points.

  • 10. Marshal

    If activated, immediately either earn 10 Infiltration points, or earn 5 Infiltration points and reduce the enemy's Infiltration points total by 5. If the enemy's points are reduced to less than zero, nothing happens: their Infiltration marker remains on the '0' space.

End of the Round

The round ends when all the Soldiers in the Missions have been revealed.

Each player picks up the 4 Soldier cards that they deployed during the last round, shuffles them face-down, and asks their opponent to pick one of the 4 at random.

(If you activated your Bomb during the round and also correctly identified the next enemy card, pick two cards for your opponent to place in their exhausted pile in the next round instead of one).

The soldier(s) is/are exhausted, placed face-up next to the Intel cards, and not available for the next round. Take back the exhausted soldier (or soldiers) from the last round and return it to your remaining Soldier cards, ready for the next round.

  • Move the current Intel Card to the Old Intel pile. Place it so that all Old Intel cards are visible.

  • Take back any Intel tokens from your Mission cards.

  • The Day Marker is moved to the next round and a new day begins.

  • Infiltration markers and the Double Agent stay in their current positions.

  • The player who did not start the last round now gets to start the next round.

End of the Game

The game ends in one of two ways:

  1. If you reach the Flag in the enemy's fort with the Double Agent, you win the game. You do not have to land on the enemy's Flag by an exact count. This could happen in any round.

    If you win in this way, reveal all your remaining cards to ensure that all your soldiers follow the deployment rules.

    If any card does not, a critical flaw in your campaign is revealed: the win is canceled, and your opponent wins the game instead.


  2. At the end of the third round, the player who has been able to push the Double Agent into enemy territory (no matter how far) wins the game.

    If the Double Agent is on neutral ground (the middle space of the game board), the player with the most Infiltration points wins. If this is also tied, the game ends in a draw.

Special Rules

  1. Incorrect Intel: if it comes to light that your opponent placed an Intel token incorrectly or did not place one when it should have been, then that card immediately counts as correctly identified: tilt the card and score 2 Infiltration points.

  2. Incorrect order: If your revealed Soldier is in the wrong order compared to your already revealed cards (see Deployment phase rules), undo any Double Agent moves you made during this round and move your Infiltration marker back to '0'.

    This card and all your remaining cards this round will count as Identified: reveal them in normal turn order. You may still guess enemy cards on your turn. (The Sergeant is excluded from these rules).

Team Play

Spies & Lies can be played in teams, with up to two players on each side: separate the Mission cards into two groups with one team member playing Missions 1 and 2, and the other Missions 3 and 4.

Each player is responsible for choosing their own Soldiers and engaging with their respective opponents. Teammates can freely talk about strategy, but they cannot whisper, and they can't look at the Soldier cards (or reference card) at the same time while deploying.

After one player has chosen the cards for Missions 1 and 2, their teammate may view them only once to maintain correct card order.

Other than this, neither teammate can look at the other's cards. (This means that the first teammate will not know what is in Missions 3 and 4).

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