battleship rules

Beginner’s Guide To Battleship Rules

| December 28, 2023 | Casino Guides

Battleship rules are not that difficult to decode. However, we are here to help you out with all the information you might need in order to be a master at playing the Battleship. Read more to know it all.

What Is Battleship? 

What Is Battleship

Battleship is primarily a strategy guessing game that involves two players. The game is simple and is played on ruled grids made of paper or boards. The location of the fleets is not shared with the other players.

The Battleship game is supposed to simulate naval combat in a turn-wise manner. Each player takes a turn to sink the other player’s ship. This was originally a pen-and-paper game that later turned into a full-fledged board game.

This game was a truly popular game that had different iterations and versions. In fact,  this game also spawned a movie back in 2012. Therefore, this is not your run-of-the-board game that is forgettable, to say the least.


Before we learn about all the important battleship rules, we need to understand the history of the game very closely. Apparently, Battleship derives its inspiration from the French game named the L’Attaque. This was a hugely popular WWI game that had similar themes of naval combat. Sources suggest that Russian officers played the game before the start of World War I.

The Starex brand primarily sold this version of battleship. And this opened the floodgates for the other companies to join in. Soon, the market was full of similar games.

Cut to 1967, Milton Bradley introduced a whole different variation that included a plastic board along with pegs. This increased the game’s popularity. Since then, the manufacturing companies rarely deviated from the original formula. However, the company released a new variant back in 2008. In this version, the playing zone also contains a few islands. This made the game all the more fun and exciting.

Aesthetic values have changed over the years. But the Battleship rules remain the same. With the fundamentals out of the way, we can truly get into the thick of things. In the coming sections, we will look at some of the basics or fundamentals behind the game.

Setting Up The Game

At the very beginning of the game, each player receives a game board and five ships of varying lengths and values. The ships are made in such a way that they have places to insert ‘hit’ (red) and ‘miss’ (white) pegs. The five ships include:

Carrier: Has five holes

Battleship: Has four holes

Cruiser: Has three holes.

Submarine: has three holes

Destroyer: has two holes.

A 10×10 grid is followed while playing the game. The game begins when you and your opponents are done placing your ships across your board. Ships can touch each other but not occupy the same grid. place your ships horizontally or vertically while playing the game.

Pick your position carefully. You cannot change it once the game begins. As you can imagine, the game involves sinking the other person’s ship.

Basic Gameplay  

The game is designed to simulate naval combat. As a player, your primary objective is to sink the other player’s ships. This is a turn-based game, each player calls out a grid in an attempt to hit the opponent’s ship. If the coordinates are right, your opponent will call out ‘hit.’ If you guess wrong, your opponent will call out ‘miss.’ The upper part of the board records your hits and misses

Things differ when you are on the receiving end. If the other player hits your ship, you need to put a red peg in your ship’s hole. As soon as all the holes in the ship are filled, your battleship sinks.

The first player who manages to sink all five battleships wins the round. This is an amazing game that requires logic and targeted guessing.

Advanced Gameplay 

If you keep playing the game for a good while. You will pick up certain tips and tricks that can help you to win. Here are a few of the advanced gameplay tricks of Battleship.

  • Call out five shots at the very beginning of the game. Once done, mark your shots with the white pegs.
  • Subsequently, opponents will call out which one hit and which one missed.
  • Change the colors of the peg according to the hit-and-miss clause of the Battleship rules.
  • The player who sinks all the ships will win the game. However, rules differ when you are playing salvo. In salvo, you get to shoot 5 torpedoes. But as soon as you sink one ship, you will lose one shot. In salvo, the number of ships present is equivalent to the number of shots you have.
  • The gameplay continues till one player loses.  

Pencil & Paper Version  

The game can also be played as a pen-and-paper game. Take the middle page of your grided copy and mark the grids using numbers and alphabets. Place your ships as per the rules, and you are ready to play the game.

Battleship rules do not differ, even for the pen and paper variation. However, you can change the rules to play sudden-death-matches. Hence, In this version, you only need one shot to sink the other player’s ships. I personally enjoy this variation as it offers more action.

End Note

That was all the pieces of information you need to know about the Battleship rules and games. It is a unique game that is all about targeted guessing and naval combat. Anybody who knows how to play the game will tell you that the game remarkably resembles underwater combat. Keep following us for more such content.

Additional Reading:

Spread the love

Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *