Friday, September 7, 2012

The Gaming Corner: Battleship

Jess is possibly the laziest couponer who ever lived {note from Jess: I actually take pride in this, and Jason says I'm the laziest with pride because I'm so lazy about it but find so many great coupons with no work done by me!}. If it's not printable and easy to get, she doesn't do it. The other month, Jess found coupons that would allow us to get Battleship and a card game for $4 and change. I know, pretty sweet, isn't it?

Battleship is a 'simulated' naval battle where your goal is to sink your opponent's fleet of five ships before she sinks yours. Simulated goes in quotes because when was the last time you saw any type of battle where everyone one both sides of the fight never moved, not once, until one side was completely wiped out and the other side is half exploded? But regardless of the slightly unrealisticness of the game's premise, the game play is superb.


The Fleets

The Carrier
It takes 5 hits to sink this large ship. It is also the easiest to find and is often the first ship hit.
The Battleship
It takes 4 direct hits to sink the game's namesake. Oddly enough, the battleship is just as offensive as the patrol boat. It just doesn't seem right.
The Destroyer
It takes 3 hits to sink the destroyer. Like all the other ships, its function doesn't live up to its function.

The Submarine
It also takes 3 hits to sink the submarine. It may surprise you but the only difference between the destroyer and the sub in game terms is that they look different.
The Patrol Boat
It only takes 2 hits to sink the patrol boat. Regardless of this, more often than not, this little guy will win you the game. Even if all your other ships are sunk, it could take your opponent quite some time to find it.


The Game

The Game Surface

The game is actually two separate units that are exactly identical. As pictured on the left, you can see the different parts.

The red grid is where you mark if your shots hit or miss.
The grey grid is where you position your ships during the game.

The other three sections are just for storage; ship storage, red peg storage, and white peg storage.

To start the game, each player positions his or her ships in the grey grid. This can involve a bit of strategy as once the game starts, none of the ships can move.
An example of placing ships for a game of Battleship!
Now each player takes turns calling out a coordinate. For example, if my opponent would call out B2 I would look on my grey grid and see that B2 doesn't have any of my ships in it so I would inform her that she had missed. She would put a white peg in her red grid at the B2 location as shown in the following picture.

I would then call out a coordinate, but for the sake of making this explanation easy to follow, let's assume that I miss and you understand how to place the white pegs. But on her next turn, what if she was to call C3? As we can see that my carrier is in C3. I would then tell her "hit." We would both get out a red peg at that point. She would put her red peg in her red grid at C3 to signify that she had hit one of my ships. I would put a red peg in my carrier at the C3 location to signify that that ship has been hit. 

If ever one of the ships has all of its holes filled with red pegs, then you need to inform the other player that they have sunk your ship and which ship is was that they sunk. The game is played until all the ships of one fleet are completely destroyed, and that fleet's commander is the loser.

So basically, you take turns trying to blow the other player up. What is not to love about that? Throughout the years, there have been many variations on the game. When I was young, we actually had an electronic version of the game where you punched your shots into a computer and it told you if you hit or not. You could even play it single player. There are even more and they have recently came out with a new version based on the new Battleship movie, which is based on the game. (Battleship, the movie, the game?) I am a little scared to even look at the back of the box for that one.

Warning!
If you like this game, or think you would like this game, make sure that you avoid the upcoming Battleship movie. As I have mentioned in previous posts, books and super heroes made into movies usually don't fare too well, but let's face it, games made into movies are always bad. (Watch Wing Commander if you don't believe me.)

-Gamer Jason

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