- Two battleship boxes
- White pegs
- Red pegs
- Two ships two squares long (the destroyer)
- Four ships three squares long (the cruiser and the submarine)
- Two ships four squares long (the battleship)
- Two ships five squares long (the aircraft carrier)
- Each time a hit is successful, the player with the hit ship will place a red peg in the hole of the corresponding ship hit location. This continues until a player sinks all five of their opponent’s ships. Once a player sinks all of their opponent’s fleet, they’ve won the game!
A player’s job is to call the right “shots” to sink their opponent’s fleet of ships. Each player will take turns making “shots” until one player’s entire fleet has “sunk”. When one player’s entire fleet has sunk, the game is over, and victory can be called!
After ensuring each player has the appropriate ships and pegs to play, secretly place your ships on the bottom grid. A player can place their ships in any variation they want on the bottom grid. Set up is complete once both players have placed their ships accordingly. Make sure to not let your opponent see your grid!
Decide which player will start. Once decided, Player One will start by taking the first “shot.” A player will take a shot by calling a letter and a number correlated with a square on the grid. For example, if a player wants to call the very upper lefthand square on the grid, call out A1. Directly to the right of A1 is A2, directly to the right of A2 is A3, etc. Directly underneath A1, is B1, directly underneath B1 is C1, etc.
If Player One calls out D4, and Player Two has part of a ship in that square, Player Two would respond “hit,” and Player One’s “shot” was successful. Both players will then track this hit by putting a red peg in the D4 hole on their own boards. Alternatively, if Player Two did not have a ship located on Players One’s “shot”, Player Two would respond “miss” and both players would mark their grid with a white peg in D4. By doing this, players are able to keep track of what has been called, where ships are located that have been hit, and inform strategy for future attacks.
When a player’s ship is hit and all holes on the ship have been filled with “shots”, the ship is then “sunk.” If on a turn a player hits a ship and that hit is the final space for that ship, the hit player would respond “sunk,” sinking that ship in the fleet.
Each player will take turns guessing coordinates until one player has correctly guessed and “hit/sunk” all ships of their opponent. At that point, it’s game over!
Battleship Strategy & Tips
- When placing your ships, ensure they are not touching one another. If your ships are touching, there is a higher likelihood your opponent will find the second battleship after hitting one.
- Pay attention to your opponent’s moves. By doing this, you could identify common strike areas.
- Find the center of your board and “hit” in that area. You are more likely to hit a ship when you “fire” around the center of the grid.
Battleship Variations and Alternate Rules
- Salvo Variation: This version of the game is played by calling out a certain number of squares simultaneously. For example, on your first turn, you would call out 5 different squares and ensure you mark your call with a white peg in the upper grid. Your opponent will call out if any of your shots are considered “hits” on their bottom grid. If any of your “shots” are considered a “hit”, you would change your white pegs to red pegs. The opponent would then mark red pegs in the holes of their own ships on the bottom grid. When any of your own ships have been sunk completely, you get one less “shot” for your next salvo.
- Alternate Variation Example: If one of your ships is sunk, but you still have four more afloat, you get 4 shots on your next salvo.
How do I record missed “shots”?
Players are not required to record the opponents’ missed shots on their own board. If a player does want to record every “shot” made by their opponent, they would take a white peg and place it in the corresponding box and letter/number combination that was called in the upper grid of their own battleship box.
How do I record a successful “shot”?
A player is required to mark down every successful “shot” called from the opponent on their own board by marking that shot with a red (hit) or white (miss) peg. Once one of your ships is sunk, you are required to respond “sunk” so the opponent is aware.
Do you have to call out the type of ship that was “shot”?
It is required to call out the type of ship that was “shot.” Reference the materials section for ship names. Note: If you forget the name of the ship, you can call out how many squares that ship covers.