The game of battleships is a very popular game and one that I remember fondly from my childhood. You may hear of this game under a number of different common names such as Salvo, Destroyer etc. but it is the same game.
The object of the game is to destroy a naval fleet belonging to your opponent, the first player to do this wins the game. All that is required are at least two players and some pencil and paper. As this is a grid based game the use of graph paper does make life a bit easier when setting up the game but not necessary.
To commence the game each player draws a grid comprising of squares, the size of the grid is agreed between the players and there are no limits, remember though that the larger the grid the longer the game is likely to take to complete. The grid is then numbered along the top of the grid i.e. the first square being number 1, the second number 2 and so on until you reach the end of the grid. The grid is then lettered down the sides i.e. the first square being letter A and so on until the grid has been completely lettered. So say for example in this article that you have a grid comprising of 8 squares x 8 squares you will finish up with a grid that comprises of 64 squares numbered from 1-8 along the top and lettered A-H down the side.
Now both players decide how many ships they are going to locate on their grids, you can have as many or as few as you like and the boats or ships can vary in size for example an aircraft carrier can cover 4 squares while a smaller gun boat would probably only cover one square. The location of the ships can be drawn in on the grid or simply add crosses or a similar symbol to locate the position, the only rule here is that if a ship covers more than one square the location of the squares must be adjacent to each other.
Once the grids have been completed each player takes it in turn to destroy the opponents fleet by guessing random squares on the opposite grid so for example player one could have guessed F3, once the guess has been made the other player has to announce whether the guess has been a hit or a miss. If it is a miss then no further action is taken and player two will then make their guess, if the guess was a hit then player two would need to mark on their grid that a hit has taken place thus meaning that the ship has been damaged or in the case of a ship that only covers one square, it has been destroyed. Remember the rule that larger ships must inhabit adjacent squares, a hit should give you a good clue for your next guess, i.e. chose an adjacent square to see if the ship you have hit is one of the larger members of the fleet and further hits can be achieved.
Turns are taken until one of the fleets have been totally destroyed and the player to achieve this is declared the winner!