Battleship Variant

This is the battleship game Jordan and I played against each other in class. The rules we used were as follows:

  • The players have only one of each type of ship
  • The ships may not be placed diagonally, only vertically or horizontally
  • The goal is to sink all of the other player’s ships, by correctly guessing all of the squares that each ship occupies
  • Each player calls out one square’s coordinates per turn, and the other player replies with ‘hit’, ‘miss’ or ‘sunk’ – ‘hit’ is a correctly guessed square, ‘miss’ is an incorrect guess, and ‘sunk’ means that a ship has been ‘hit’ in every square
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My game against Jordan

I have marked my ships on the bottom grid by shading them in black. The blue crosses are missed guesses, and the red are hits. My guesses are marked on the upper grid, while Jordan’s are on the lower grid.

Due to time restrictions, we were unable to complete our game, leaving it with one successfully sunk ship on my part, and a partially sunk ship on his. This was due to the fact that it took 20 missed guesses before either of us managed to hit any of the other player’s ships.

A simple way to remedy this would be to use a smaller grid or more ships, but I feel that this may detract from the game by making it too easy.

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Brainstorming ideas for a variant

I brainstormed several ideas to alter the Battleship gameplay, including adding different ‘bullets’ that would allow the player to hit multiple squares, using a 3-dimensional ‘board’ (although I deemed this too complicated), and having the ships move in between or after a certain number of turns.

The idea I decided to follow through on was the ‘special bullets’ idea. I created a basic board and rules for a game with special bullets here.

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