Remember that game Battleship? It’s not exactly the kind of game you can fill a stadium with, let alone a lunch-table. The Romans were well aware of this, which is why they designed their Battleship to draw a crowd. When they played it, they used REAL ships.
Pretty straight-forward, really… they would fill an amphitheater with water, throw in some ships and watch them duke it out like a WWII documentary. The Romans called it naumachia, which translates into “naval warfare,” and the battles were typically selected from some of the most famous engagements in history. Participants numbered into the thousands, nearly as large as the real battles themselves. That would be like watching Pearl Harbor without the CGI.