Battleship - Tactical Board Game Profile

Battleship U-Build
Battleship U-Build. Image courtesy of Hasbro

Gameplay in Brief:

At the start of the game, players each secretly position their ships on the board (which is laid out in a grid). They then take turns calling out grid coordinates (e.g., B-2 or F-8), trying to hit their opponent's ships to sink them all before he does the same.

Here are the basic rules of Battleship.


For 2 players, ages 8 and up. About 15 to 30 minutes per game.


The paper-and-pencil game on which Battleship is based was designed by Clifford Von Wickler in the early 1900s.

According to various sources, Von Wickler did not patent or copyright the game, putting it into the public domain.


In 1943, Milton Bradley published Broadsides: the Game of Naval Strategy as a paper-and-pencil game. The board game Battleship was first published in 1967, also by Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro).


Battleship is a deduction game with a naval battle theme.

Also by Clifford Von Wickler:

Battleship is the only game designed by Von Wickler, according to

2009 Edition:

Milton Bradley / Hasbro published a new edition of Battleship in 2008, subtitled "The Tactical Combat Game." It makes several changes to the original game, including new ship shapes, a hexagon-shaped board (rather than a square), and the addition of several small islands where a captured soldier is hidden.

Other Editions:

A number of special editions of Battleship have been published through the years, including Electronic Battleship, Electronic Talking Battleship, Battleship Express, Battleship Card Game, G.I.

Joe Battleship, Pirates of the Caribbean Battleship, Star Wars Advanced Mission Battleship, and more.