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How Battleship Works

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Author's Note

I don't think I ever attended a family reunion that didn't include at least one round of Battleship. Every member of my extended family seemed to have the game, and my cousins were always ready to play. Although the numbers of red and white pegs seemed to dwindle from year to year, we could still count on Battleship to be a tried-and-true form of entertainment.

Researching the strategies -- and math skills -- behind the game, however, has led me to a whole new level of appreciation. It's a wonderfully sneaky way to teach my children, some of whom are just the right age, a bevvy of pre-algebra skills -- all under the guise of game night. Plus, there's an iPad version that my husband I have been known to play long after our babies were tucked into bed. If there was a lifetime achievement award for board games, Battleship should get one. If not for its complexity, at least for its staying power.

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