Milton Bradley Broadside Game Rules

by Sandra Johnson, Demand Media
    Broadside was a 1962 Milton Bradley game involving 19th century naval sailing ships.

    Broadside was a 1962 Milton Bradley game involving 19th century naval sailing ships.

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    Established in 1860, Milton Bradley is the oldest American game maker. Prior to its acquisition in 1984 by Hasbro, Inc.(the largest toy manufacturer in the world), Milton Bradley produced a number of America's best-selling board games. Released in 1962, Broadside was a popular, although not best-selling, Milton Bradley strategy game based on naval warfare as seen in the early 19th century. In fact, a booklet on naval battles during the War of 1812 was included with each game. The rules for Broadside cover three basic areas: piece placement, maneuvering and firing on an opponent.

    Preparing for Play

    In the official rules for Broadside, Milton Bradley recommended that new players read the included booklet, "Naval Battles of the War of 1812" before starting their first game. The booklet, published by American Heritage Magazine, offers an insider's perspective on naval ships, common warfare strategies and historic naval battles of the period. Milton Bradley advised youngsters to read the booklet first to gain an appreciation of the game prior to play.

    Object of the Game

    The rules of Broadside help players reach the ultimate goal of winning the game fairly; understanding the rules requires understanding the purpose or premise of the game. In Broadside, the players elect to play either the Red fleet or the Blue fleet. The Blue fleet defends the harbor and must destroy all Red ships to win. On the other hand, the Red fleet must infiltrate the Blue fleet, destroy four merchant ships, and gain access to the harbor in order achieve victory.

    Piece Placement and Game Opening

    On the board, specific places are marked for each player. The Blue fleet must place his ships, buoys and batteries in designated spots from which some pieces cannot move during play. Blue warships must stay along the first row of crosses nearest the harbor. Alternatively, the Red fleet is positioned along lines of light blue crosses on the opposite corner of the board. The owner of the Red fleet, as the invading party, always takes the first turn.

    Rules of Movement

    Ships must move in a straight line, with only one ship occupying any spot at a given time. Movement is restricted to up, down, left or right, with no diagonal moves allowed. Points on each cross indicate the direction a ship may travel from that point. Turning is allowed at the beginning of, but not during, a move. For example, before moving, a player can turn a ship up, down, left or right, then proceed to move in a straight line; a player may not, however, move forward, turn, and move forward again.

    Rules for Firing on an Opponent

    The name "Broadside" stems from the cannon placement on 19th century warships. To prevent self-inflicted cannon damage, ships had to turn their long sides towards an enemy. As such, game rules forbid firing from any direction other than from the broadside of a player's ship. Firing occurs at the end of a movement; ships must be on adjacent crosses to open fire, with cannons pointing at the ship to be fired upon. One mast is lost for each hit, and destroying the final mast is required to sink a ship. Only one exchange or volley is permitted per turn.

    About the Author

    Sandra Johnson is a freelance writer, ghostwriting for private clients since 2006, and writing for print and online publications such as Sashay Magazine. She has studied with both Kaplan and Colorado Technical universities for bachelor's degrees in both human resources and accounting. In addition to writing, Johnson also operates a small family farm in rural Georgia.

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