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Battleship + LEGOs = A More Interesting Strategy Experience

Until recently, the closest we ever got to construction in a board game was Mousetrap, but this year Hasbro announced that it would be making LEGOized alternate versions of some of its biggest board game commodities (without, of course, real LEGOs).  Wired‘s Geekdad blog has has the review of U-Build Battleship, which plays just like regular Battleship, albeit with a customizable twist.

The individual ships (aircraft carrier, submarine, etc) are constructed by players out of some basic gray pegs indicating turrets, radar, and other bits of naval fortifications.  However, each turn you choose a ship to fire from, and each ship can fire as many shots as it has turrets.  Each time a ship is hit, it loses a weapon.

Geekdad explains the new options this opens up to would-be naval commanders:

There are extra weapons included, and you can rearrange them to change the number each ship has, up to 10 weapons on a single ship. The new rules state that a ship is sunk when it has been hit as many times as its length or its number of weapons, whichever is lower. So if you have a 3-length Destroyer with eight weapons on it, it only takes three hits to destroy; but a 5-length Battleship with one gun takes only one hit to sink. Still, it would be possible to load up the short boats with lots of guns, so that you can continue taking a whole bunch of shots with the boat that’s hard to find.

Interesting indeed. Geekdad’s review is middling, but also (understandably) written with the game’s suitability for a younger audience in mind.  And certainly, the all-cardboard construction of the game board doesn’t inspire confidence, at least in someone who played with clunky rough plastic cases as a child.

But who doesn’t like making LEGO ships?  And who wouldn’t be intrigued by modeling their construction for strategic purposes? It adds strategy to what used to be something of a guessing game punctuated by “Aha!  Gotcha!” moments of ship obliteration.

You can read the full review, with more pictures, here.

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