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By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 19 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss

The popular strategy game of Battleship was originally published by games giant Milton Bradley way back in 1931. The great thing about Battleship is that although you can get many varied electronic versions of the game (which we’ll look at further on) it is also playable just as simply with pen and paper. As the game is played on four square grids (two for each person playing) simple graph paper can be utilized, with a pen for marking ships. Printable sheets are freely available on the internet.

Playing Battleship

Playing Battleship is fairly straightforward. Each player has 5 battleships including an aircraft carrier, battleship, submarine, destroyer and PT boat. Each ship takes up a precise number of squares on the 10x10 playing grid and can be placed anywhere the player wishes. Each player has two 10x10 grids, one to place their own fleet of ships and another to record where they have fired upon or hit the other players compliment of ships. The aircraft carrier is the largest in the fleet, it takes up 5 squares on the grid, the battleship takes up 4, the sub and destroyer 3 each and finally the PT boat takes up a mere 2, thus making it the hardest to find and hit in many games. Each player’s ships can be placed vertically or horizontally on the grid, with no overlapping and no diagonal. Each player places there ships on their ship grid, marking them on one of their grid sheets. Grids are usually marked out with numbers down one side and letters down the other, this makes for easy finding when a player states they are attacking B5 on the grid, or any other mixture.

Scoring in Battleship

Scoring in Battleship is a case of finding the enemy fleet and dispatching them all before they do the same to you. The winner is the first person to destroy the other player’s entire fleet. In the electronic versions of the game, explosions occur and red pegs are used to mark which squares have been hit. This can add a fun dimension to the game play. The overall skill with scoring in Battleship is working out where the other person’s fleet is and firing at squares accordingly. Some luck is involved however there is a fair degree of strategy also.

Battleship Variants

The popularity of Battleship has meant that is has been reincarnated in many varying forms, specifically electronic franchise variants. You are no longer restricted to just playing naval ships in Battleship, you can now also play space craft (see Star Wars Battleship), pirate ships (see Pirates of the Caribbean Battleship), various electronic versions of the game and handheld and travel versions. Battleships continue to be a popular game for different generations of players. It can be downloaded online and players can even play against people on the other side of the world via a PC.

Game play variants include the successful hit response rule, which sees a player get a free shot if they manage to hit the enemy ship. This rule can speed up the game somewhat given it is possible for a player to sink one or even more ships with the right hit strategy.

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