How to Make a Grid With Coordinates to Play Battleship

Written by david robinson
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How to Make a Grid With Coordinates to Play Battleship
Battleship is played on a grid of squares. (white wall grid pattern image by Radu Razvan from

Battleship is a pencil-and-paper game in which you try to hide your fleet from an opponent while trying to find, and sink, his fleet. Since the 1930s, it has appeared as a commercial game in several formats, but it remains popular as a "back-of-an-envelope" game. The battlefield is a grid of squares within which the fleets occupy rectangles of different lengths. Creating a battlefield grid is a straightforward process involving little skill.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 4 sheets graph paper
  • Rule
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Start two squares in from the edge of a sheet of graph paper, and then count 10 squares across a sheet. Quarter-inch or 5mm squares are ideal. Draw a line along the bottom of the squares, from the start of the first one to the end of the last one.

  2. 2

    Place your pencil and a rule at the start of the line, and draw a vertical line rising 10 squares. Do the same at the other end of the baseline, and then draw a top line joining the two verticals. You now have a 10-by-10 square.

  3. 3

    Draw along all the lines within the square to create a grid of 100 clearly defined squares. In the row above the top line of squares, and starting on the left, label the vertical columns with the letters "A" to "J." In the column to the left of the squares, label each row with the numbers "1" to "10," starting at the top.

  4. 4

    Create four identical grids for a game of battleships. Give two grids to each player, one to record his own fleet positions, and one to record his attempts to locate his opponent's fleet.

Tips and warnings

  • Create one grid, and then photocopy it several times; it's much quicker that way.
  • Use a publishing program on your computer to create and label a grid template, and print as many copies as you need.
  • Label the vertical axis 1 to 10 starting from the bottom left, and the horizontal axis A to J starting at the left. This creates Cartesian coordinates that help to teach the "x,y" coordinates used in math and geography.
  • Don't use letters, or numbers, for both sets of coordinates. It makes coordinates confusing. For example, (1,3) might mean one along and three up, or one up and three along.

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