The Great Battleship Calamity of ’76

You sank my battleship

You sank my battleship. By: DerekGavey, Creative Commons, flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/

I love the story AARP The Magazine did on vintage games. It made me think fondly about my childhood and family.

Growing up I was all about games. Love ‘em. Inside or outside, I loved them all. There’s a story my family likes to tell about a game of Battleship I played with my dad when I was 5 years old. Let’s just call it “The Great Battleship Calamity of ’76.”

Apparently it goes this way:  After about 20 or rounds my dad grew more frustrated because never landed a registered “hit” on one of my vessels despite my luck of sinking his cruiser and submarine. So after a hard-won victory, my dad asks to see my board and to his surprise he saw that I had moved my ships.

My dad’s look of frustration turned to laughter after my extremely rational explanation: No boat would ever stay in place. It should move to avoid detection. So I did.

After being told the true rules of the game I just dismissed them as counterintuitive (that’s the word I use now, not then). It wasn’t logical to me. Oh well, what’s logical to a 5 year old?

But board games have a place in my family memories: Trivia Pursuit on Christmas day. (Try explaining the difference between the Yalta and Potsdam conferences to my uncle) Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land as a kid. I was just happy someone wanted to spend time with me.

So, now anytime my nieces and nephew ask to play a game with auntie, I always say “yes” … but of course their parents warn them about the notorious-boat-moving-cheat Aunt Patti. I just grin and say to myself, “They’re just upset that they weren’t that smart when they were 5!”

What games do you best remember growing up?