Game Research: Battleship ahoy

star-wars-gaactic-battleBattleship, or as  I have since learned the proper name, “Salvo” is the pen-and-pencil game also known as Battleships which the classic board game Battleship is based on.

The Rules. Quite honestly I have probably only played this game a handful of times, and it would have been on one of those ‘old school’ (because I really am that old) plastic board games with my cousin, because of the 50 odd games we had at home Battleship didn’t happen to be one of them. The one my cousin had wasn’t Starwars themed, but now I have seen this I really want one!

After doing a google I stumbled across a blog which listed how to play Salvo and where to download the paperboard from. So big thanks to Boardgames.about.com, in particular, Erik Arneson who posted the rules.

So to the best of my understanding, you need two players, a piece of paper with the board printed onto it (you can do that here) or some graph paper, or just be really good with a ruler and follow the image below.

The goal is super easy: sink your opponent’s ships before they sink all of yours. Easy right? Well, apparently not. Because you need to call out coordinates and hope that your ‘bomb’ will blast their ship, and depending on how big you draw you graph will depend on how long it will take.

Battleship game boardSetting up the board, if you are not downloading the gameboard and printing it out you’ll need to both draw yourself two 10×10 grids on your paper and then label with letters across the top (A to J) and numbers down the side (1 to 10). One of these grids are yours and the other one represents your opponent.

Place you ships, you have four of them. A five-space battleship, a four-space cruiser, a three-space submarine and a two space destroyer. What you can’t do is place your battleships diagonally, they must all be horizontal or vertical.

How to play. You take turns calling out a coordinate on the grid, ie, A5, or C6 until you start to hit your opponents ships. If you hit your opponents ship they will say “Hit”  and “miss” if it’s a miss, then you can mark off whether that square was a hit or a miss and eventually work out where all the ships are. Once a ship has had all its squares hit, it’s out of the game and you have to say “You sank my ship” or something along those lines.

The winner is the first person to person to sink all their opponents ships.

Our assignment

battleship2We have been asked to change the rules of Battleship, play it out and see how it affects the gameplay. We decided to modify the game based on the short amount of time we had to play. So if you got a hit on a battleship, the next turn would give you a spreading bullet that would hit the coordinates in a diagonal line to the left and right.

the effects of this speed up the gameplay but also made it slightly more confusing as we had more crosses to plot at every turn.

I think we will stick to the traditional game rules for now, but this has been quite a good exercise in helping me think more like a game designer for the preparation of making my very first platform game with Contstruct2.

 

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