The dice game, Battleship, is a fun family game offering quick action and suspense for a group of any size. This game can be played for fun or money. The goal is to be the first player to reach 100 points; or to score the highest number of points in ten rounds of play. Battleship is also known as Ship, Captain and Crew, Mariner and Destroyer.
Playing Time – 2 to 10 minutes per round, depending on the number of players
Number of Players – Any number can play but 3 to 6 players are best
Number of dice needed – Five
Other equipment needed – Dice cup and a simple tally sheet for keeping score
Game play – Each player rolls the dice to determine the order of play. The player with the lowest number rolled goes first, then play proceeds clockwise. If Battleship is being played as a gambling game, each player places an equal stake in the pot.
Each player will have up to three rolls of the dice during his turn. The first player begins his turn by rolling all five of the dice. If his cast does not produce at least one 6, he then recasts all five dice for his second roll. If his or her first cast produces a 6, the player has his ship. He then sets aside the 6 and recasts the four remaining dice for his second roll. Should a player roll more than one 6 on his first roll, only one 6 counts as his ship; he recasts all other 6’s.
If the player’s first cast produces both a 6 and a 5, the player then has his ship and his captain. He sets aside the 6 and the 5 and recasts the three remaining dice in his second roll. If his first cast produces a 6, a 5, and a 4, the player has his ship, his captain, and his mate. He is then ready to take on his crew. Setting aside the 6, 5, and 4, he may take the sum of his two remaining dice as the number of members in his crew or he may choose to recast the two dice for his second roll.
Should a player roll a 5 or a 4 on his first cast, but not a 6, he cannot count the 5 or the 4 as his captain or mate because he cannot collect his captain or his mate until he has his ship. Likewise, he may not collect his mate until he has his captain. He must first recast all five dice for his second roll. Once a player has set aside his ship, captain and mate, he is then ready to take on his crew. A player who collects his ship-captain-mate trio on his first roll may take up to two additional rolls of the two remaining dice to pick up his crew, keeping whichever die or dice he or she wishes from these two casts. Any dice cast in the third roll must be kept.
Sometimes a player will not get a ship, captain or mate in his three casts. In such a case, the player may not take on a crew and scores zero for that round.
After the player has finished his or her turn, he then scores one point for each crew member, excluding the captain and mate, and enters this total on the tally sheet as his score for the round. He then passes the dice to the player to his left.
The player with the most points after ten rounds of play wins the game. If two players are tied after ten rounds, a one-round playoff then determines the winner. Or, for a scoring variation, players may determine before the game begins that the first player to reach 100 points is the winner. A round is completed even if a player has already reached 100 points. The highest total over 100 points then wins the game. In the gambling variation, the winner takes the pot.