Battleship: A Classic Guessing Game for the Ages

by | Feb 5, 2021 | Family Fun, Traditional | 0 comments

Battleship is a board game that goes back almost 100 years, combining the classic strategy of a guessing game with a nautical war theme. Battleship is as simple as a guessing game can get, but the nostalgia of sinking red pegs into little plastic battleships is something that will never get old. If you’re looking for a simple board game to teach kids about strategy, Battleship is a timeless classic.

The History of Battleship

Although you probably grew up playing Battleship with the little red pegs and plastic ships, the game was originally played using pencil and paper. Battleship dates all the way back to World War I, using paper lined with ruled grids to represent the different spaces on the board. Players would shade in the spaces that represented the battleships and mark an X off of every space that their opponent guessed.

The first commercial version of the game was known as Salvo, which was released in 1931. Then, in 1967, Milton Bradley introduced the version of Battleship that we know today that uses plastic boards and pegs. Since then, Battleship has been released in countless forms, online, and even in the form of a feature film.

Hit or Miss

Battleship is a strategic guessing game played on four grids. Each player gets two grids: one to secretly arrange their own battleships on and one to use for guessing where their opponent’s battleships are. There are five ships, each of which takes up a different number of spaces ranging from 2-5. Players will use little red pegs to mark their guesses, inserting them into the holes on the grid that correspond to their guess.

The grid is set up with letters denoting each column and numbers denoting each row. When you make your guess, you’ll call out the number and letter of the location on the grid. For example, A1 is the uppermost left spot on the grid. If you’ve successfully hit your opponent’s battleship, they’ll call out “Hit!”  If you land in the water, however, then they’ll call out “Miss!”

Battleship is a good mix of luck and strategy. In the beginning, you’ll be shooting in the dark. But as it goes on, you’ll start to get a clearer picture of the board. If you suddenly hit a battleship, you have no way of knowing in which direction the rest of the battleship goes. However, once you’ve successfully hit each section of the battleship, your opponent will call out the signature phrase, “You sunk my battleship!”

Salvo Variant

Battleship usually goes back and forth between players, giving each player one guess at a time to sink the other person’s battleship. There is an optional rule called the Salvo variant, which allows players to call multiple shots depending on how many battleships the player has left. 

This means that if you have yet to sink a battleship, you get five guesses, but if your opponent only has one battleship left, then you only get one guess each round. This can make the game go much more quickly while also allowing slower players an opportunity to catch up to their opponents.

Battleship Sequels

There are countless reinventions of the game Battleship that employ different themes and rules to add a spin on the original. Battleship: Pirates of the Caribbean uses characters and ships from the beloved Disney movie to add a fun pirate theme to this old war-time board game. 

Battleship: Star Wars Advance Mission puts a Star Wars twist on this classic board game, shooting you into outer space and offering you special “one-hit” blows that destroy the entire spaceship in one go. There’s even an active version of the board game Battleship called Battleship Shots that requires you to toss balls onto the other person’s side of the divider in order to sink their ships.

You Sunk My Battleship!

Battleship is a two-person game, so it’s perfect for parents to play with their kids. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, so siblings can play it with each other as well. Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, which is perfect for holding younger players’ attention. Buy Battleship today and enjoy the feeling of triumph that comes with hearing the words, “You sunk my battleship!”

 

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