For those who don't know how to play Battleship, it's easy : two players have a grid on which they can place a variety of craft. Each one is 2 to 5 squares long, and there are one or more of each craft in each fleet.
The players take it in turn to call out a grid location, and the other player has to notify them of a 'hit' or 'miss'. It's also traditional, and required by the official Hasbro (Milton Bradley) versions of the game, to also call out the type of craft - hence giving away information about it's length.
According to the Battleship board game manual (1990 edition, from Hasbro), there are two ways to play Battleships:
- the original, one shot per turn;
- Salvo - multiple shots per turn.
The hints, tips, and strategies apply equally well to each variation, as long as a few guidelines are kept in mind:
- listen to the responses - they contain information and clues;
- keep a note of what has hit;
- keep a note of what was missed!
The Battleship game from Hasbro makes keeping track easy - with pegs - but those playing with a paper and pencil need to remember to draw two grids. One for their fleet, and one for tracking their shots.
There are three components in the basic Battleship strategy:
- placement - where to put the craft;
- seek - looking for something to hit;
- destroy - how to destroy the craft;
Before looking at specific ideas, remember that psychology will also be important - mix up the strategies, don't do the same thing twice, and try to keep a track of what your opponent tends to do in a given situation.
In Search of the Best Battleship Setup
The best Battleship placement is a matter of opinion, but there are a few pointers:
- don't place craft close together - it's too easy to pick them off;
- don't place craft along the edges - that's where most people start looking
write my essay service, especially in corners;
- put one craft discretely along an edge, far away from any others - just in case!
If craft are together, touching, clumped in a corner, they will be destroyed by a competent player quite quickly. To maximize the chances that you catch craft both clumped together and spread out, it's a good idea to have a good seek and destroy Battleship strategy.
Using Battleships Diagonals
Although the Battleship board game rules don't allow for craft to be placed along the diagonal, firing along the diagonals is a great way to cover a lot of ground (or water) fast.
Try skipping cells and lines to make a patchwork of shots, before nailing down the craft under a barrage of fire - moving either left-right or up-down (or right-left / down-up) from the first hit until there's nothing left.
At the same time, remember that each craft has a specific length, and that by being told the type of craft, you can work out how far along (or up/down) you need to go before the craft is eliminated.
Define Your Own Realistic Battleship Rules
Finally, to make the game more interesting, you can adapt the rules so that they make for a more realistic Battleship game. From multiple shots (using the 5 shot Salvo variation from the official manual) to allowing movement instead of firing, there are many ways to adapt the basic game.
One interesting line of variation is to see what happens when technology such as radar, sonar, mines, or aircraft are allowed. You might even need to think up a whole new set of rules to govern your advanced Battleship game!