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.TH BATTLESHIPS 6 "Aug 23, 1989"
bs \- battleships game
bs [ -b | -s ] [ -c ]
This program allows you to play the familiar Battleships game against the
computer on a 10x10 board. The interface is visual and largely
self-explanatory; you place your ships and pick your shots by moving the
cursor around the `sea' with the rogue/hack motion keys hjklyubn.
Note that when selecting a ship to place, you must type the capital letter
(these are, after all, capital ships). During ship placement, the `r' command
may be used to ignore the current position and randomly place your currently
selected ship. The `R' command will place all remaining ships randomly. The ^L
command (form feed, ASCII 12) will force a screen redraw).
The command-line arguments control game modes.
-b selects a `blitz' variant
-s selects a `salvo' variant
-c permits ships to be placed adjacently
The `blitz' variant allows a side to shoot for as long as it continues to
The `salvo' game allows a player one shot per turn for each of his/her ships
still afloat. This puts a premium scoring hits early and knocking out some
ships and also makes much harder the situation where you face a superior force
with only your PT-boat.
Normally, ships must be separated by at least one square of open water. The
-c option disables this check and allows them to close-pack.
The algorithm the computer uses once it has found a ship to sink is provably
optimal. The dispersion criterion for the random-fire algorithm may not be.
Originally written by one Bruce Holloway in 1986. Salvo mode added by Chuck A.
DeGaul (cbosgd!cad). Visual user interface, `closepack' option, code rewrite
and manual page by Eric S. Raymond <email@example.com> August 1989.