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Battleship is a classic board game of strategy and chance that pits two players against each other. The aim is to sink all of your opponent's ships by correctly guessing the squares they are placed on. Your opponent cannot see where you ships are placed and you cannot see the location of theirs.
It's thought warfare simulation games similar to battleship were first conceived in the late 1800s or early 1900s, with the game we know today honed and developed during the 1940s and 1950s. Battleship has evolved from a board game, to an electronic game and also a video game that can be played online.
Classic battleship rules are played the same across all the formats, but there are also some new variations and some battleship games that allow for more than two players to be involved.
What equipment do you need to play battleship?
Classic battleship, played on physical boards, requires the following equipment:
Four boards or grids of 10x10 squares. Each player has two each - one to place his ships on, the other to make his attempts at trying to destroy his or her opponent's ships. Boards are marked with letters on one axis a(A-J) and numbers on the other (1-10). These boards can be electronic.
A set of five ships each. These are typically made up of one aircraft carrier (five squares long), one battleship (four squares long), one submarine (three squares long), one destroyer (three squares long) and one patrol boat (two squares long).
Pegs or markers to use when marking the board you are tracking to attempts to destroy your opponent's ships on. Two colors will be required here - typically red to denote a 'hit' and another color to denote a 'miss'.
What are the basic rules of battleship?
Here follows an outline of how battleship is played:
Both players start by placing their ships on the board. This board is hidden from the other player and the aim is to pick spots for your vessels that your opponent will find hard to guess. A common tactic here is to spread your ships out as widely as possible.
The player who goes first picks a coordinate to attack and says it aloud to their opponent. This coordinate will be a combination of a number and a letter, to identify a square on the board they are attacking. For example, you might pick 'A5'.
The other player then responds with 'miss' if this square does not contain one of their ships, or 'hit' if it does.
The player attacking will then mark up their tracking board accordingly, with a red peg for squares that have found a target, and another color for those that have missed.
It is now time for the second player to take their turn, following exactly the same format.
Once a ship is fully destroyed, it is a player's obligation to confirm this fact to their opponent. Saying words to the effect of, 'you have destroyed by battleship,' is the usual form here.
The game is won by the player who successfully destroys all of their opponent's ships first - a moment that will be acknowledged by a statement such as, 'you have destroyed by fleet.'
Is there an element of skill involved in battleship?
Battleship does require skill in recording your moves and an element of mind games in predicting where you opponent has placed his or her ships. There remains a large amount in chance in whether you achieve a hit, however, and sometimes getting lucky can be the difference between victory and defeat.
How do I get started playing battleship?
Playing online battleship is a great way to get introduced to the game. There are many sites available that offer the game online, and the best advice is to reference an online battleship portal that will help point you in the direction of the very best ones.