Battleship is a classic strategy game that began as a pencil-and-paper public domain game before Milton Bradley transformed it into the well-known board game in 1967. The game involves two players deploying ships on a grid and taking turns to guess the location of the opponent's ships.

Gameplay Overview

  • Ship Deployment: Players place ships of varying lengths secretly on a square grid.
  • Guessing and Marking: Players take turns calling out grid coordinates to locate enemy ships, marking hits and misses using plastic pegs.
  • Objective: The goal is to deduce the opponent's ship placements and sink all their ships first.

Game Mechanics

  • Grid-Based Strategy: Players use a grid system to track their guesses and the status of both their own and the opponent's fleet.
  • Hit or Miss: The opponent must declare whether a called shot is a "hit" or a "miss."
  • Ship Sizes: Ships vary in length, affecting their difficulty to locate and sink.

Variants and Evolution

  • Salvo Variant: Allows multiple shots per turn, based on the number of ships remaining.
  • Evolution of the Game: Battleship has seen several versions and adaptations over the years, including a revised edition by Hasbro in 2008.
  • Historical Versions: The game has been published under various names, such as Salvo, Combat, The Battleship Game, and Naval Battle.


Battleship offers a blend of strategy, deduction, and luck, making it a popular choice for players of all ages. Its evolution from a simple paper game to a classic board game demonstrates its enduring appeal. The game's straightforward mechanics, coupled with the need for strategic thinking and guessing, make it a timeless and engaging two-player experience.

Nominated for 1 award.

  • 2 Players
  • 30 Minutes
  • 8+ years old
  • Immediately playable

We like Battleship so much that we recommend it in the following board game recommendation lists 2024

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