Variant Rules: Curvy Battleship

Here’s one for all you Battleship afficionados out there.  A nice set of variant rules to spice up an old classic and add all new levels of strategy and depth to an already highly entertaining game.  Battleship, I feel, is an underappreciated gem of old school wargaming, and one with a general lack of variants and mods.

The way Curvy Battleship works is thus. Each player still has the 5 classic ships (I will use the following names and numbers of pegs, Patrol Boat – 2, Submarine – 3, Destroyer – 3, Battleship – 4, Carrier – 5).  However, rather than representing the ships with the traditional game pieces, each ship is represented by white “miss” pegs. This requires that the player remembers exactly which peg corresponds to spots on which ship, but this is a mild inconvenience, and it is necessary considering the one major difference between Classic and Curvy Battleship.

Curvy Battleship ships, as may be deduced from the title, need not conform to the traditional straight shape, but can turn, at will, to any adjacent square.  That is to say, a carrier may occupy any 5 squares, as long as each peg is adjacent to the previous peg. This path can curve diagonally as well.

I played a great game of this earlier today with Kevin, with whom I developed this variant, and lost handily, falling to his strategy of mostly ignoring the curvy rules, and misleading me with straight ships (which quite goes against his character). The fact that my ships resembled a certain recognizable yet mostly inappropriate pattern probably also helped spell my demise.

I am only half-joking.


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