We've all played battleships. It was so easy. You just needed a piece of paper and a pencil. You played it in school during the boring lessons, they were all boring. The trouble with battleships is however – it's boring too. Most shots miss – no payoff – it's boring. Let's try again.
The game of gas masks it similar to battleships, but more fun. Before each game the two players agree to the size of the square and the proportion of armaments. For example, each player draws on a hidden piece of paper two 5 by 5 grids numbered one to five in one direction and A to E in the other. On one grid are placed four B (Bomber), four P (Panzer), five T (Troop), four A (AA-gun), and eight G (Gas Mask), one to each grid position. The grid is full. The other grid (maps the opponent and) starts the game empty.
Each player takes it in turn to attack the other: "I attack position B5 with a Bomber." A Bomber defeats Panzer, Troop and Gas Mask. In this case the attacked crosses out the position and names the lost piece, here one of Panzer, Troop or Gas Mask.
A Bomber loses against an AA-gun. In this case the attacked names the piece and the attacker crosses out his position and names his position. In the case Bomber versus Bomber (like against like) both pieces are lost. A Panzer defeats Troop, AA-gun and Gas Mask. A Troop defeats AA-gun and Gas Mask.
You cannot attack with a Gas Mask and you can only attack with a piece that you still have. An attack on a defeated or non-existent position is a lost turn.
The loser is the first one with an empty grid or a grid with only Gas Masks. This game was developed with Michael Surtees.