The game of Battleship is thought to have its origins in the French game L’Attaque played during World War I. In 1967 Milton Bradley introduced a version of the game that used plastic boards and pegs. In 1977, Milton Bradley also released a computerized Electronic Battleship, followed in 1989 by Electronic Talking Battleship and it took off from there to internet versions.

In 2016, Quick Tally Interactive Systems was asked to provide the Audience Response Voting System for an interesting version of the Battleship game for multiple players at meetings. Most meetings use a version of Jeopardy. Playing Battleship adds something simple and different to the tool box. This concept is simple, scalable, and effective for having fun and team building, or education.


The concept lends itself equally to using fun trivia questions, or, in a much more meaningful way, product knowledge type questions may be used to reinforce training. A really clever use of the game for training would be to play it with demographically identifiable teams (sales divisions, job titles, geographic locations, etc.) that could be identified for additional training. Most people only use their Audience Response System to determine how successful their training has been. It could be even more valuable if used prior to training to quickly determine and enhance emphasis on areas specific to this audience.

Playing the game

Players are divided into two equal teams facing each other. Each player represents a square on the grid. They were all given large cards to hold up facing the opposing team. (Of course, it could also be played by teams and the cards being mounted on a wall, or teams representing larger groups.)

  • After the ships have been positioned, the game proceeds in a series of rounds. In each round, the team with the highest score on the ARS question takes a turn to announce a target square in the opponent’s grid which is to be shot at.
  • A question is asked and responded to by the entire audience using their Audience Response System (ARS) keypads.
  • The team with the most correct responses gets to pick a location on the grid to find and sink the ship.
  • The opposing team shows whether or not the square is occupied and a “hit” is made on a ship, and if it is a “miss”, by having the player at that grid location turn a multi colored card to signify a “hit” for all to see on the opposing side. The attacking team easily notes positions (I.e. red for “hit”, white for “miss”), in order to build up a picture of the opponent’s fleet.
  • If all of a team’s ships have been sunk, the game is over and their opponent wins.

It’s a win-win situation. The game is fun. It works as team building. It reinforces learning, and helps to determine additional training that needs to be done.

With over 30 years of experience in helping clients achieve their meetings goals. I am passionate about the power of insight. If I can help your firm discover this power, please contact me.

Alan Warshaw
Quick Tally® Interactive Systems, Inc.
Direct Dial: 310.306.4930

About Me

After graduating from New York University with a degree in Communications, Alan attended the New School for Social Research, Graduate School at N.Y.U. and the Master’s Program in Cinema at U.C.L.A. Following his service in the U.S. Army, Alan was employed by Doyle, Dane and Burnbach Advertising Agency. He worked in the U.S. and Europe in the feature motion picture production business. He was employed by Quick Tally Interactive Systems for one year prior to acquiring the company. He has owned and run the company for almost three decades and has pioneered in the manufacturing of ARS equipment and providing interactive event services. In addition to US State and Federal Government Agencies, America’s leading companies, associations and television networks, he has also worked for events clients in the EU, New Zealand, Hong Kong Thailand and Dubai.