Battleship- The Game
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19.10.2017

Battleship- The Game

The beloved game of Battleship was in fact not a board game to begin with. Until 1931 this was a popular pen and paper game called ‘Salvo’, which the Milton Bradley Company finally turned into a children’s board game. Of course as a board game it is just not children who enjoy the game, but people of all ages. The main objective of the game is to capture or sink your opponent’s battleships through certain strategic moves. This classic game of strategy requires an ability to deduct where the other person’s battleships are, and sink them before your opponent does the same thing with your ships.

The pen and paper version of the game was played out on a grid, where the game plan was typically the same. The board game also has this grid, and the battleships are put on particular grids. The positions of the ships are noted via the letter and number unique to a particular grid. Before the game begins, each player has to arrange the number of battleships secretly, without letting the other player know about the positions of the ships. The battleships occupy a number of consecutive squares because they are not point objects, and some ships may be larger than others. They can be either arranged vertically or horizontally. The battleships cannot be placed in an overlapping position, and each player has the same kind of ships and the same number of ships. Typically there are five types of ships each player has- aircraft carrier, which is the largest, battleship, destroyer, patrol boat and submarine. All these units form the entire fleet of a player.

After positioning the ships, the game starts with a number of rounds. Each player takes a turn in each round, announcing a list of target (grid squares) ships that are going to be shot, in the opponent’s grid. A player does this by naming a particular square that is suspected to have a particular ship. If the opponent’s ship indeed occupies one of the mentioned squares, then it takes a hit. This is pure guessing, but the next rounds use deductive logic to figure out where the ships are. A hit gives the other player an idea as to what the adjoining square positions of a ship will be like. So in the successive rounds, these adjoining grid positions are called out, and when all the squares of a particular ship have been hit, the ship sinks. The condition of each player’s ships at the beginning of a round determines the number of target squares that particular player may shoot in the opponent’s grid.

The number of vessels afloat at any given point of time dictates the number of shots a player can call, therefore if your ships are destroyed; you will have fewer shots in the next rounds. If one player’s ships have sunk after a round, the game ends with the other player victorious. The game of battleship is a simple strategy game, but it is never boring. Each player can make different square combinations each time, and this makes guessing the position of the ships challenging each time you begin the game afresh.
May 6, 2008, 3:05 am


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