Battleship Chess

Original, Abstract, Naval Combat

System Requirements:
300MHz CPU/64MB RAM/DirectX 8+

So... Battleship Chess. The destroyers move like rooks, right?

Well, no; don't take the name so literally. Like Chess, this is a turn-based abstract strategy game with surprising depth. Like Battleship, its theme is naval combat. But the gameplay is quite unlike those two games.

Each turn, you may move one (and only one) ship in your fleet, which may then fire; if it ends its move adjacent to a friendly ship, both (or all) ships may fire, so planning your moves to maximize your firepower is useful. Different ship types (battleships, battlecruisers, cruisers, destroyers, and subs) have different movement ranges, armor ratings--and armaments. As you might expect, battleships have huge long-range guns, while destroyers have shorter-range but potentially devastating torpedoes. Actually, the ship stats are quite detailed, almost as if this were a naval sim, which it patently is not.

There's fog of war, meaning you don't see enemy ships until they get within sight range--you are not, as in Battleship required to fire blindly until you hit something. You can certainly do that, as many ships can fire farther than their sight range, but ships also have limited ammunition, so there's a tradeoff involved.

Some squares confer advantages on ships that land on them--e.g., resupply with ammunition, repair of a critical hit, an upgrade--but only when you land on them (you can't simply stay there and get the benefit every turn). Battles often turn around these critical locations.

Players also have 'cards' that can do things like repair critical hits, resupply, reveal parts of the map, and so on, which adds a bit of variety to gameplay.

Basically, you slog away until you have destroyed your foe--but in addition to single games, you can play 5, 10, or 15 game campaigns. In a campaign, you can leave ships in "drydock" to repair damage received in previous games, so the management of your overall fleet becomes important--its bad news if your most powerful battleship gets badly damaged, for example, because you probably won't be able to use it again for several battles.

On the whole, this is a quirky, original, polished little game that goes far to demonstrate our contention that innovation is much more feasible with independent games than in the mainstream.