One of the most important principles to master in BATTLESHIP is the operation
of fleets in conjunction with one another, rather than as individual units. By
maneuvering fleets in battle formations, the player can increase the
offensive, defensive, and radar capabilities of his force.
TIP: In battle, keep your fleets in tight formation for increased offensive
and defensive capabilities.
When plotting courses for your fleets, try to maintain their positions
relative to one another to maximize their radar and weapon coverage. Try to
make the distance between waypoints short. This form of navigation helps to
avoid mines and fleets deviating from their course due to physical
Consideration should be made to fleets operating air defense. A fleet which
moves too fast will soon leave its air squadrons behind. Making short courses
will minimize the likelihood of squadrons ditching due to lack of fuel.
TIP: Maximize radar coverage at all times and keep way points short.
When closing in on the enemy, make sure your fleets are at Red Alert. This
makes them weave in a random pattern, confusing the enemy and making them more
difficult to hit. When facing surface and submarine fleets, target the
submarines first. Enemy air power will have to get past your Air Defense
before attacking your fleets, while surface vessels are more easy to relocate
should you lose their position.
TIP: Use each fleet's Alert conditions and Defensive
measures to their fullest potential.
Should you get into difficulty and need to reach safer waters, place your
fleets on Orange alert and Set Course away. If you have more than one fleet in
trouble, a good but harsh tactic is to leave the most damaged fleet behind to
shoot it out with the enemy. This will buy the other fleets some time to make
TIP: He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.
Spreading out a group of fleets when maneuvering, increases the radar coverage
available to the commander and thus the offensive range. Maneuver your fleets
so they maintain a distance slightly less than their maximum weapon range.
This increases their effective radar coverage, while allowing them to support
and protect one another.
TIP: Information equals power. Always maximize your radar coverage when
looking for targets.
Defensive Action & Alert Levels
When operating fleets in a battle formation, each fleet should maintain a
different form of defense. Escort fleets containing mostly destroyers and
frigates should be employed for anti-missile and anti-submarine operations,
while the carrier fleets should always carry out air defense.
Always try to keep carrier fleets in the center of your formations, protecting
them with other fleets. If you have multiple carrier fleets, use one to fly
air defense, and the other for anti-submarine duties.
TIP: When in battle formation vary your defense measures from fleet to fleet.
Always protect your islands. They are your only means of repairing heavy
damage and of rearming your ships. While little can be done to stop cruise
missile strikes, keeping the enemy away from your islands will minimize the
risk. Should your carriers be sunk while their air squadrons are in the air,
divert them to the nearest island. This will become their new base from which
you can continue to launch air strikes.
Some islands have helicopter and air squadrons based on them. While these
units can perform offensive duties, it is advisable to deploy them in
defensive roles, protecting the airfields from which they are deployed.
TIP: Protect your islands at all costs.
TIP 2: Take over neutral and enemy islands to increase your infrastructure.
AWACS have the largest radar coverage of any unit type. When playing offensive
missions, use your AWACS as an advanced scout to locate the enemy fleets. It
is often advisable to send an air squadron with your AWACS to act as an
escort. Always monitor the flight range of your AWACS when setting course,
otherwise it may be forced to ditch through lack of fuel.
When protecting installations such as oil rigs or islands, use your AWACS to
patrol the area around the installation. Their great radar range will give you
early warning of any enemy activity in the area. All too often the enemy
succeeds because friendly fleets are unable to intercept them in time.
TIP: AWACS are one of your most valuable units. Guard them carefully!
A good tactic for locating enemy fleets is to zigzag the fleets on the
perimeter of your battle formation. Keep the central fleets on their standard
course and use the perimeter fleets to temporarily expand the groups detection
TIP: Find the enemy before the enemy finds you.
Submarine Tactics When operating submarine fleets, you should consider their
role carefully. Although deadly combatants, submarines operating on their own
will soon succumb to enemy fire. Unsupported, they will quickly become trapped
by the enemy who will use their anti-submarine defenses to hunt them down and
send them to the bottom.
One submarine tactic is to use them as outriders for your battle formation,
keeping them on one flank. When the main battle group encounters the enemy,
let them close on your fleets, then outflank them with the submarines. While
the enemy engage the main force, the submarines can close in for the kill.
Missile Submarine fleets armed with ballistic missiles are excellent for
destroying land-based installations before your surface fleets reach them. Use
your submarine launched cruise missiles to neutralize island-based missile
batteries before your more vulnerable air squadrons arrive to finish the job.
If you have more than one submarine fleet, then it is an excellent tactic to
detach them from the rest of your fleets and use them together as a wolf pack.
Keep them parallel to one another, at a distance slightly greater than their
weapon range. Try to maintain their positions relative to one another, and
match any course changes. When they encounter the enemy, try to catch the
enemy fleet between the two submarine fleets and cycle between them, so the
enemy is being hit from both sides.
If a submarine fleet begins to take damage, pull them out fast. Enemy fleets
equipped with torpedoes can easily destroy a submarine fleet. It is better to
use submarines for hit-and-run actions, wearing the enemy down, rather than as
TIP: Submarines Use them for hit and run. Silent but deadly!
When you move to engage the enemy, try to set a course around them before you
open fire. This will bring them closer to your fleet, allowing you to get a
greater fix on the exact positions of each vessel. When you open fire, don't
wait for each round to hit before firing the next. Fire a salvo of shells from
one weapon then cycle through to the next ship and do the same. All weapons,
once fired have a reloading period. By cycling through to the next ship, you
avoid this reload period and increase the overall effectiveness of your fleet.
If you do not have a fix on the positions of the ships in the enemy fleet, use
a small weapon such as the Rapid Fire Small Guns to lay down a pattern of
shells across the grid. These weapons have a greater amount of ammunition than
other types, and although not particularly powerful, they are excellent for
locating ships. When you have found the ships, use your heavy weapons to
destroy them. Naval cannons are powerful but not particularly accurate, while
torpedoes are quite slow to reload. Missiles are limited in number, so should
be used sparingly, mostly against carriers and battleships which can withstand
far greater damage than smaller ships.
TIP: Use the right weapon for the right job.
- , 1996 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Used with permission