First you build your ship. It can be a battleship, a destroyer, or other naval craft. Once constructed, you can launch missions to protect civilian ships, space stations and more from roaming pirate marauders. Or you can try out skirmish mode and do a little marauding yourself.
Battleships Forever may look a little retro in the graphics department, but it's all part of the nostalgia, lovingly coupled to a real-time tactical aesthetic which turns brittle-looking ships into durable composites made of interlocking pieces. You can even draw custom force fields around some, or fiddle the deflectors on others to make individual sections invulnerable to fire. Winning comes down to harmonizing those abilities with tactical placement and facing. And when you've mastered all that, you can design your own battles in sandbox mode, or draft custom ships with the bundled ShipMaker tool.