I used to like playing Battleship, but after a while I started to get somewhat bored with it. I think the game has a few problems:
- While searching for ships, you often get bored and sometimes frustrated because you’re just trying random squares until you find something. You can come up with some patterns that are better than others, but that doesn’t add a whole lot to the strategy.
- Once you find a ship, there’s essentially no strategy left: you just fire around it until you’ve sunk it.
- The game has a very high proportion of luck to strategy. I don’t think that games like that are inherently bad, but they need to have something else that makes them interesting to play, and I don’t think standard Battleship does.
So I created a set of additional rules for Battleship, titled Battleship Advance. The rules consist of additional “items” that players get, such as airplanes, missiles, and helicopters. Each item has a certain special effect (for instance, airplanes let you determine what ships are in a 3×3 area of the board, speeding things up considerably). Most importantly, shots that are aimed at the correct square no longer automatically hit; a helicopter can sometimes block shots.
The game is a little bit complicated compared to standard Battleship, but I’ve found that it’s a lot of fun and makes playing Battleship considerably more interesting. I’ve included a strategy section and a reference sheet to make it easier to learn the game.
Since I don’t have anyone who’s never played to test the rules on, if you don’t understand something, please contact me so that I can see what doesn’t make sense to people who haven’t already played.
Battleship Advance Rules (PDF)