Saturday, February 14, 2009

Put On Your Sinking Cap

Twenty Thousand Leaks Under The Sea

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Is that a battleship I see before me? Or could it be a Vodka cruiser? Maybe a submarine sandwich? Okay, let’s dispense with the one-liners, but this has been one of my favourite games from the time I was a kid.

Back then it was called "Battleships And Cruisers" and we played it on square-grid sheets of paper that we kept artfully concealed from our opponents.


Now, of course, it can be played on hand-held consoles and on computer screens, but this board-game version of the old favourite survived a recent cleanout at Casa Authorblog.

I don’t know who invented this nautical game, but I’m sure Jules Verne would be proud of its popularity. Remember, he created the fictional submarine called the Nautilus, long before the world’s navies had fully embraced the concept of armed undersea vessels.

These miniature vessels might look as though they were shot with a macro lens, but in fact I used my 18-125 Sigma lens, the one that is my favourite because it is so versatile.

All right, landlubbers, who’s next in line to play the game with me? Get ready for that old familiar sinking feeling.

Or maybe I should say, "Give it your best shot".


Visit TNChick's
Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Nautical".

49 comments:

susanna said...

This used to be one of my favourite games as a kid. Wonder where the game went to...maybe at mom's...?

Daisy said...

Stumbled upon you via blogs of note and found your photography of the fires breathtaking. Also, you have reminded me of many games of pocket battleships with my brother as a child. Thankyou, enjoyed my visit!

CrazyCath said...

Aha! John has that exact game! He loves battleships as I do but I remember doing it with pen and paper too.

Great shots. We recognised it immediately. Sadly, it looks like you have been well torpedoed there mate!

jinksy said...

Battleships never featured in my young life (other than the one in which my Dad was sailing, fighting to win the war), so I have no understanding of the 'game' - a word Dad would wouldn't have used either!

Christine said...

This game is so beloved by my children that I frequently find those red and white pegs in the washing machine and vacuum cleaner. Perhaps the graph paper version would be kinder on my appliances.

Cheffie-Mom said...

What a fun post and photograph! When you come to Texas, Battleship is on! Loser cooks dinner!

Nej said...

I haven't played Battleship in years. My neighbor had the electronic version, with sound effects and all, I was so jealous!

Emm said...

Found you on Pizza's blog. Mine looked like that but it was electronic. It used to go "peep-purrrrr" between shots and when you launched a missile it would go "weeeeeeeeeeeeh" followed (hopefully) by a "crrrrrrrrr" which meant you had hit your opponent's ship. Good times.

Celebration of Life said...

We played this game too with our twin male cousins. Their father was in the navy. We spent hours drawing grids and playing it. We made the sound affects also and when I sometimes made the sound of a hit and I was faking it, that would make my cousins mad. LOL What a wonderful memory to recall; thanks for this post, David!

Al Penwasser said...

Great photography! You inspire me to do more. I also played the pencil and paper version with my father before the plastic pegs came out. Now, there's an electronic version of the game which detracts from the charm of the paper one. Oh, have you ever heard of another pencil and paper game: "Dots?" A great game that a bartender in Amsterdam always creamed me at. Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe it was the fact that I was in a "bar" that made me such a patsy! By the way, that was an aircraft carrier in front of you! :-)

Merisi said...

I'm game, David! :-)
Captain Nemo of Julius Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" - my teenage heart was in love with him (I keep wondering whether that clown fish Nemo of "Finding Nemo" was named after him).

Katney said...

We played the game constantly on paper. My dad ran off the grids on his elderly mimeopgraph machine. No Xerox in those days.

Merisi said...

I'm game, David! :-)
Captain Nemo of Julius Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" - my teenage heart was in love with him (I keep wondering whether that clown fish Nemo of "Finding Nemo" was named after him).

love my word verif: presonym

Lisa Norden said...

How interesting and varied a blog!

Maggie May said...

I also know it as Battleships and Cruisers. They have small versions of it in the After School Club where I work, but yours is a really good sized one & the pegs look as though they can be picked up easily..... not like the tiny versions where everything goes flying when you try to pick up a one!

Have to chuckle at your headings! You never run out of ideas!

Den said...

Hello peoples!

Working mum said...

I still teach kids at school how to play this using pieces of squared paper. Somethings never change!

Lovely pictures - daughter liked the colours.

Annie said...

Very cool. My nephews love that game - guess I need to get them to teach me to play!

Tranquility said...

This has always been one of my favorite games. Even now, when I rarely play games, if one of the kids pulls out this one, I'm sure to drop what I'm doing and play.

Steph said...

My two favorite games are Battleship and Mastermind, and I'll never play the new high-tech versions. There's just something those little pegs! These low-tech versions are tactile; I think people like that.

Poutalicious said...

I loved this game growing up! I haven't thought about it for years. Thanks for the memory.

Kat said...

Oh, oh! I will! This was always one of my favorites. I will definitely have to teach my boys how to play this one. :)

Nessa said...

I loved that game too.

Barbaloot said...

I love this game. You sunk my battleship!!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Yay battleships! :) My husband plays against a website...

CHEWY said...

I would stack up my ships all on one spot. (the longest one on the bottom) The odds usually worked in my favor... until my brothers figured out what I was doing. (tee-hee)

NoBS said...

I LOVE Battleship! Since no one will play with me anymore, I have no choice but to play with the computer. But it's still good!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I DRUNK your battleship.

dancingdan said...

I whittled away many hours of my childhood playing battleships too! In fact unless I am very much mistaken I had exactly the same set as you have in your pictures!

Anna said...

Oh David I know this game very well, us to before we got the nice boxed sets, we used to play on the graph paper. Excellent images. Anna :)

Flassie's Fil'a said...

This was a favorite of mine too.
I have 6 brothers.

I didn't know you could play on
the computer. I don't play games
on the computer though.

Dd bought one from the Goodwill
and brought it home for us to play.

Came by to see how you were.

God Bless You and Yours!!!

Brita said...

Great choise for the theme!

Mudhooks said...

A favorite game of mine when I was a kid... unless played with my brother who always cheated...

Vita Stunder said...

Great choice for the theme! :)

Happy Valentine!
Mine is up too!

stan said...

Yes I USED TO play this a lot when I was a kid. we also improvise using just paper and pencil.

Lene said...

Now this is a differen and interesting post. I have never played this game before.

I want to thank you so much for selecting my "My world" post this week post of the day. You made me soooo proud and happy. Thank you, thank you :)

I send my regards and thougts to all the Austalian people, and your country!

A. said...

I love your interpretation! I remember the paper and pencil version. Fun but laborious.

Denise said...

I discovered this game when my son was young and his Dad and I played it with him all through his growing up years. Great fun!

Annie said...

Ah, yes, a great game...and a great one for the kids on a long car trip too! Plastic or paper..makes no difference!

Annie

Pacey said...

Pretty cool post for nautical. Happy Valentine!

Patricia said...

Very clever, David. My boys LOVED this game. I rather despised all the small pieces that my feet seemed to painfully discover in the carpet. =)

I have you in a reader now and have appreciated (quite sadly, though) reading your fire and heat wave updates and have been praying for your country.

Flo said...

Very unique take on the theme. I love it!!

Mine is up over at Flo's Place

PowersTwinB said...

PERFECT!!! I used to play this covertly in school too, with grid paper! Great take on this weeks theme! MY hunt is up, please come and visit

Sherry said...

How very creative! That's a wonderful take on this week's theme. Good job.

JyLnC said...

I remember this game. Clever take on the theme and the photos of the game are very cool.

Here is mine:
JyLnC's photohunt.

Corey~living and loving said...

I haven't played that in years.....but oh did I love it back in the day. :)

diXymiss said...

Kudos for creativity with this whimsical approach to the nautical theme.

Carver said...

What a good idea for the theme. Well done.

Colin Campbell said...

So true. Grid paper and a pencil. Now you need a lot more technology.