Using the rules that I had created after playing a long and unsuccessful game of battleship in class, I decided to test my hypothesis that my revised rules would speed up the game.
I played two games with my Mother, who agreed to be my beta tester. The first round was played normally, using the same rules as last time. Unlike that game, I scored my first hit only four turns in. However, the game still took 41 turns each overall, which was double the number that I had been cut off at last time. If this ratio of turn until the first hit to overall turns had been the same, it would have taken roughly 200 turns for Jordan and I to complete our game. Of course, that isn’t accurate, as there are only one hundred squares, fourteen of which are occupied by ships. The chances of us even getting to the 80s or 90s in turn numbers is highly unlikely.
1st game, me
1st game, Mum
In the second round, we used the special bullet rules I described in the previous post. We used Variant B, and decided to only use special bullets. This game did go much, much quicker, taking around a quarter of the turns of the first round, in both turns until first hit, and overall turns – 1 and 11/12 respectively. Since Mum went first , and also won the round, she had one more turn than I did.
I asked Mum for feedback on the game, and this is what she said:
The variant made for a quicker and more interesting and thought provoking game. The ordinary version was too long and got boring, due to the repetitive nature of the turns. The variant was trickier, since you needed to plan in advance in order to not waste shots overlapping yourself, but they were good for covering large amounts of area quickly.
I think that while the game was quicker turn-wise, it was possibly slower in terms of actual time played, due to more thought being put into each turn. The tactics required for the game were completely different, and I found some things that sounded like a good idea at first, became very obviously not as the game progressed. I made several grievous tactical errors, such as wasting several turns finding the edges of a ship instead of using a large spray shot to take it out all at once (although this did result in me finding a second ship), and using a smaller spray for my last shot, due to not thinking I would hit anything. If I had used a 5-spray instead of a 3-spray, I would have sunk Mum’s last ship in one turn.
One thing I learned from this was that my instructions were lacking in several areas, such as:
- whether or not to include special bullets
- whether or not we could overlap previously hit areas
- whether or not the bullet sprays/scatters could go over the edges of the game board (neither Mum nor I had any issues with this)
I think it would be interesting to see if the appeal still holds once a player has become familiar with the tactics of my revised version, as most people are with the normal version.