Part of my job is to find interesting new board games to play. So I am always keeping my eyes open. I thought it would an great idea to share on my blog some of the awesome but obscure board games I came across!
So first up is Battleboard. Battleboard is obscure kids board game made by Ideal in 1972. Board games back in the day had simple mechanics like roll and move and had rely on gimmicks to stand out. Battleboard is like Battleship but the gimmick was you would use an air pump aka air catapult to launch your opponents pieces in the air!
The key to this gimmick is the air channels on the board connecting each of the spot with an opposing one.
You would think this a super random game where you have to get lucky to hit your opponent’s pieces like say Battleship but there is some strategy built in this game. There are five columns so four knights and one king on each column. Knights start in the back row and the king starts one row head. You can move one piece up, down, left or right one spot each turn. To use your air pump on a spot would tell your opponent that the spot is currently empty so you can eventually deduce the general location of each knight and king. To win you need to get two pieces on the front row and if your king hits the front row you can get a knight back. But this is risky though since you have to announce that the king has hit the wall giving your opponent a lot of information. You can also win by taking out four of your opponents pieces since they can’t win.
This isn’t a valuable board game but it is one lost to time. Ideal actually still exists as a brand and they actually still make this game as Battlefield Blast but even this reprint is hard to find. My copy of this game is unfortunately missing one pawn and both air catapults. I replaced the pawn with something a similar shape and weight (actually the rope piece from an old copy of Clue) and the air catapults with two balloon pumps. Battleboard is an interesting, fun twist to the classic Battleship game and playing the game really feels like taking a step back in time.