Well, the one I have works, and it doesn't take too long (in my opinion) to program it. In fact both players can program their side at the same time simultaneously since the game keeps track of both player 1 and 2's sliders.
I remember being disappointed when I got it. I was expecting there to be sensors in each hole that would detect where your ships and pegs were.
This reminds me... Has anyone dumped "The Generals Electronic Strategy Game" that came out in 1980? It was kind of like Stratego, except when you were challenging an opponent's piece, both players put their pieces on a little electronic device that read the bumps on the bottom of the pieces and determined which player's piece won the confrontation without actually revealing what the piece was.