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Board Game Challenge: Battleship page 2

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Originally posted by petesahooligan:

The Mastermind game is […] a brilliant game design. […]

It’s a brilliant game design for the one that’s not the ref, anyway…

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Unfortunately, there are algorithms that solve the problem in an expedient way and the game loses it’s mental engagement once players discover the method.

With a little tweaking, it could still be useful/fun as a learning game:
If we introduce a mechanism to select a pitch in place of (or along with) the coloured pegs, and institute a point system, you could have a desired chord progression that needs to be determined. The player would not be trying to guess the hidden note, but the note that when added to the hidden note would make up a hidden, desired chord (interval). Whether the player guesses their “end” of the interval correctly or not, they still can score points by guessing the notes’ relation to each other (e.g., fifth, fourth, etc.). Additional points are earned, of course, by finding the correct intervals, and more by completing the desired progression before they run out of turns.

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Sounds like we have a couple of places we’re looking to “fix” Battleship:
• New Boards
• Ship Movement
• Shot (i.e., Guess) Arrays
• Shot Limitations (quantity)
• Screened / Open Gameplay

What design aspects are we missing?

To my mind, new boards would be a virtual requirement if movement is allowed/required. I’ve been thinking about how a new board would be, but I haven’t come up with anything satisfactory…

Opening gameplay would be tantamount to making it not Battleship, wouldn’t it? I mean, there’s only so far you can go with altering the core mechanics of a game before it isn’t that game any more, and since so much of the current game play revolves around the hidden fleet aspect (that is, I can’t see how you wouldn’t have to completely re-design the current game to accomodate it), doesn’t it pass that line? It is an arbitrary line, though, so YMMV.

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Nobody’s talked about dice. […]

Playing cards might help. […]

Dice could add a random variance to shots or the damage of shots (if we made each part of a ship have hit points, for example) or possibly the configuration/number/“diametre” of shots — each would only add to the luck factor, though they may be mildly interesting to play once or twice.

If we combine a die with clasher235’s suggestion, we might determine which ship may fire from the die (6 being “base” (i.e., originating from no ship, target anywhere)). If a die roll result comes up as a sunken ship, re-roll. ???

For the cards, what do you mean by each suit representing a certain “kind of shot”? I thought you didn’t like the multi-shots, so I don’t know what you mean by this.

If using a custom deck, one could use cards to determine which ship may fire (again, combined with clasher235’s quadrant/targetting idea; cards would including “base” or wild cards). If all ships would only fire one shot, the result of the die or card would be known to both players. As players would presumably have a hand of more than one card, it would reduce the random aspect of the die (you could just as easily roll more than one die and then select the one you want) and not require multi-shots to reveal which ship is firing.

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Another, different option… “Sonar.”[…]

I like your sonar idea. For most of the game, the negative effect is non-existant: With the number/size of ships versus the size of the board, sonar wouldn’t reveal any usable information to the enemy. After several ships have sunk, this quickly reverses, however (or so I imagine, not having actually tried it)…

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I don’t know about you guys but I’m feeling kind of blown out by Battleship. I think we came up with a pretty good number of options. It was a difficult challenge, for sure, and our concepts probably aren’t all that viable. Still, as an exercise I think it was a great success.

Gonna post up a new design challenge momentarily.

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I’m a little late to the party but I came up with something anyways.

On your turn you can choose for each of your ships whether they will attack or scavenge. When ships scavenge you gain $10 per scavenging ship at the beginning of your next turn.

You are given 2 shots per turn. However if any of your ships are scavenging, you roll a die and if the rolled number is equal or less than the number of scavenging (non-attacking) ships you only fire one shot that turn. If all your ships are scavenging you don’t fire any shots.

This gives some amount of strategic decision making to the game.

With money made by scavenging you can purchase traps and special weapons that can be used in place of one of your shots.

Prices are not absolute, I just put down prices, they have not really been worked out yet.

$30- Explosive Decoy (Trap)- You can lay down an explosive at a specified coordinate,if your opponent fires at that coordinate the trap explodes dealing 1 damage to the opponents nearest ship to that coordinate. If two ships are an equal distance from the coordinate they can choose which one takes the damage.

$50- EMP Shot (Special Shot)- Fire a small scale EMP at specified coordinate, ships within 2 spots of the blast are treated as not attacking, cannot scavenge. A direct hit on a ship will deal 1 damage.

$70- Explosive shot (Special Shot)- Fire at coordinate dealing 1 damage to each spot within one block in a + pattern.

$150- Collateral Damage (Special)- All enemy ships that have taken damage take an extra 1 damage.

$200- EMP (Special)- Use this to disable enemy ships for one (?) turn, opponent cannot scavenge, attack, or lay traps.

And then so on and so forth with other weapon ideas that could be added. Such as other possible things such as repairs.

Another thing that could possibly be added is that you could either start out with or purchase a special ability. Abilities would be a unique buff (only one can be held at a time by each player) that would influence the game based on how you play the game and by what happens.

Here are some ideas for possible abilities. Though they would need to be balanced.

Greed/Love of money- Each time you earn $50(?), you may fire an extra shot, or maybe heal a unit by some amount. Or maybe the more money you have, the stronger you get somehow?

Mechanics- Boosts the Area of Effect moves by improving the distance they cover by 1. Also maybe, whenever a ship of yours is destroyed, it explodes damaging the nearest enemy ship in relation to its coordinates.

Supercharge(Can’t think of good name)- A third option is given to you ships each turn. You can attack, scavenge, or charge. There are two possible ideas I’m thinking of that could go with this:

On your turn you roll a die like normal to see how many shots you fire, then you roll a second die and if the number is less than or equal to the number of charging ships, your shots fired become special (maybe they become explosive or something?)


Each time you charge you add a charge counter. When a certain number of charges are made, you can trigger a certain special move. Something like that.

However the second option seems too much like scavenging to get money and then spending the money on special moves. So I am inclining more to the first option.