The rules of Battleships are simple. The game is played on two square grids, one grid to keep track of your ships and if they’ve been hit, the other for you to try and work out the positions of your opponents ships. Each player takes it in turns to call out a grid square that they are going to fire a missile at. The other player then states whether that square is a hit or a miss. Each ship is a different number of squares in length, and in order for the ship to be destroyed a hit must be made against every square it occupies. The winner is the player who destroys all their opponents ships first.
I quite enjoyed playing Battleships as a child. It’s such a simple game that it can be easily played using just pen and paper, although the board game version I had with two plastic fold away grids and little plastic aircraft carriers and submarines was much more fun to play. Even more fun to play was the top of the range deluxe version – Electronic Battleships, as pictured above. Any child who owned this was immediately the envy of all others as it was way cooler than the standard version.
Whereas my version had red and blue plastic cases for the grids, the electronic version was made from military grey plastic, but more importantly it made the process of guessing the ship locations more fun with the addition of two sliders used to select the grid square you wanted to aim at. Pressing a button then made a descending tone sound play (indicating the launch of the missile) followed by and explosion sound if the missile hit something. It was still down to the players to insert little red and white pegs into the grids and ships to indicate previous missile shots, but the suspense of waiting for the explosion sound made the game ten times more exciting.
One final thought about Battleships is regarding the TV advert for it. If memory serves, it consisted of two men dressed as Naval Commanders playing against each other. They call out their shots with determined manly voices. When one is declared the winner, the other says “You sank my battleship” in a really pathetic sounding voice. This led to us imitating the voice of this man whenever we were playing and our battleship was destroyed.