Battleshots is a drinking game variation of the classic strategy grid game commonly known as Battleship.
Step 1: Supplies
- 4 - 2' x 2' panels of plywood (I used MDF)
- 2" x 1" boards for boats (34" of boats total, I recommend at least a 48" piece to allow for cutting).
- 3 piano hinges, 12" long
- dowel pegs (I used 1/4" pegs, 3 packs of 72)
- shot glasses (plastic or glass, 34 total)
- Router with 1/16" bit
- Sanding equipment
- Drill with bits to fit dowel pegs (1/4") and to make cradles for shot glasses (1.5" bit on drill or drill press. See image of bit I used).
- Stain for panels and/or boats
- Hooks and eyes to hold panels together for storage
- Storage tubs for pegs and shot glasses (I found fishing tackle gear that did the trick).
Step 2: Mark Panels for Routing
In a 2' x 2' panel, I allowed two inches per square for a total of 20" x 20" grid. This gives you two inches on each side of extra space. To allow for lettering/numbering, I offset the grid by one inch to the right and down, giving me three inches on the left and top, and an inch of clearance on the right and bottom.
The grid is marked out with a pencil, and I marked the grid diagonally as well- the crosses in each square will give you the drill point for your peg holes.
Step 3: Router. and Then Router Some More. Then Drill.
Use your router to etch the 10 x 10 grid on each panel. Obviously, be sure to clamp a guide to allow for straight lines. This takes quite a while to complete. Hang in there.
When you're finished with the router, use your drill to drill holes in the middle of each square. Be sure not to drill all the way through- go perhaps 1/2". Drill stops are your friend, or put some painters tape on your drill bit to correspond to the desired depth.
As you finish this process, if you'd like to apply a stain or finish, now is the time to do so. Let the panels dry as you start on your boats.
Step 4: Boats!
In keeping honest with the traditional game, and given the dimensions described earlier, you'll need the following boats and lengths:
- 2 carriers (5 spaces each, or 10" each)
- 2 battleships (4 spaces each, or 8" each)
- 4 subs/destroyers (3 spaces each, or 6" each)
- 2 patrol boats (2 spaces each, or 4" each)
Again, each space is 2" wide, so boats should also be 2" wide. I found that 1" thickness is adequate for these boats.
Cut your boats to necessary length, and drill holes for the shot glasses. I used a 1.5" bit. I recommend sketching out where the holes are going before drilling. Make a line every 2" in the length of the boat, then make diagonal marks from the corners of each line. This will give you equidistant spots to drill down the middle of the boats.
When you're finished drilling, sand and feel free to add a little flavor to the shape of the boats. I sanded down the edges of the front is each boat.
Optional- stain and/or finish boats with polyurethane.
Step 5: Dowel Pegs
Paint dowel pegs. I painted 72 pegs red and 146 white, to be split evenly between players (1 box of 72 red, two boxes white).
I used 1/4" pegs to correspond to the 1/4" holes I put in the grids.
Step 6: Assembly
Apply lettering and numbering on the top and left of grid (I used 1" vinyl letters and numbers). I HIGHLY recommend doing this before attaching hinges, which I did not do and regretted later).
Use hinges to attach panels end-on-end. Be mindful of the orientation of the grids if you've chosen to offset grids to allow for lettering as I've done.
Optional- install hooks and eyes or similar in the side of the panels to lock the game into a collapsed position for storage. I also installed extra hooks to allow for locking the game into place when set up for play. (NOTE: if you're using any sort of plywood, be sure to drill pilot holes to minimize splitting of your plywood).
Step 7: Accessorize!
I have a cheap toolbox to hold the boats and pegs. The pegs are separated into two tubs for easy access to each player. I put felt pads on the bottom of the game as well as the boats to preserve the finish of the game and protect the table it sits on. The shot glasses are stored in a fly fishing tackle box I found at Walmart.
Step 8: Game On!
You're ready to play! As always, be responsible if you use this for drinking purposes, and I highly recommend filling shot glasses with something other than the hard stuff.
Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions on how to improve the design. Enjoy!