US 3692310 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Martin [451 Se t. 19, 1972 BOARD GAME APPARATUS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [7 n n E ne W- M i General 1,112,924 11/1955 France ..273/131 B Delwery, Hearst, 0mm, Canada 293,152 11/1915 Germany ..273/137 D 22 Filed; June 2 197 226,471 7/1943 Switzerland ..273/137 D  Appl' Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe Attorney--Millen, Raptes and White  Foreign Application Priority Data June 2, 1969 Canada ..053,219  ABSTRACT The present invention provides game apparatus which  US. Cl. ..273/131 AB, 273/131 B, 273/ 134 AD, includes a playing surface comprised of a plurality of 273/ 134 GA, 273/ 137 D separate units. The units are each adapted for random  Int. Cl. ..A63f 3/00 assembly relative to the others whereby a playing sur- Field of Search 132 face of undetermined shape prior to commencement of a game may be formed therefrom. The units also References Clted are capable of manipulation into different mutual spa- UNITED STATES PATENTS tial relationships during a game in which the apparatus 1s used whereby the shape and arrangement of the 2,585,268 2/1952 Olsen ..273/131 B playing urface can be altered; the units having value 2,232,046 2/1941 Blgman --273/137 AB designation markings designating different respective 303,991 8/ 1884 Dlbble ..273/132 values of said units, and at least two tokens positiona MaIlS on any one of garne units 2,453,290 11/1948 Wetzel.....'. ..273/134 GA 3,075,771 l/ 1963 Dodge ..273/130 R 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures BOARD GAME APPARATUS This invention relates generally to game apparatus. More particularly, the invention relates to a playing surface on which the manipulation of players tokens may be effected.
In many games of skill and chance which use a game board upon which players tokens are moved, the playing surface is permanently defined. The game board is not altered with respect to marking, designation or atrangement as playing of the .game proceeds. This prevents introduction of variation into the game and this deficiency tends to lead to early loss of interest on the part of participants. Additionally, in many games which utilize players tokens or game pieces which are moved about a playing surface, achance device (typically dice, cards or spinners) is usedto determine the type and magnitude of the moves of the players tokens. Alternatively, the move made by a game piece may be determined by a value attached to the piece itself. Again, the possible variations in the game which can sustain interest are reduced and, in the situation where a chance device is utilized, additional apparatus (usually common to many other games) is required.
Participation in a game having the disadvantages hereinbefore expressed is subject to the limitations placed upon the movements of the game pieces bythe permanent definition of the playing surface and the limited scope provided by the chance devices.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide game apparatus in which the variety of skill and chance which may be exercised during play is enhanced by provision of a game board whose form and arrangement may change during the course of play, and by the elimination of a chance-determining device which limits the possible moves of players tokens.
In accordance with the present invention, game apparatus includes a plurality of game units each of which is adapted for random assembly relative to any of the others of the game units to form a playing surface of undetermined shape prior to the commencement of a game. The peripheral boundaries of the playing surface are defined by the edges of the units, these edges combining to form an irregular closed pattern constituting the boundaries. The units can be manipulated into different mutual spatial relationships during the game to alter the shape and boundaries of the playing surface. Each of the units has a value designation marking, these markings designating different values for the different units. The apparatus also has at least two tokens each of which can be positioned on any one of the units.
In order to commence play of a game embodying this invention, a number of units are placed ona flat surface and arranged in any suitable compact shape at random to form a pattern of differently valued units-which compose the playing surface; the units being placed at random both down and across the flat surface as well as vertically to provide an irregular-shaped three-dimensional playing surface. This means that at the start of each separate game the surface is different from previous games, unless of course it is desired to make the surface identical to an earlier contest. During the playing of a game using the differentiated units, the pattern of the playing surface can be changed as play proceeds by manipulation, removal or addition of playing surface units.
The manner of manipulation of the units forming the game board can be determined by the rules of play. For example, the playing surface may be altered by removal of several of the blocks upon taking, an opponent piece; the value of the units removed corresponding to the value of the unit upon which the opponent token was residing when captured.- This feature makes the game apparatus of this invention particularly suited to the playing of games of conflict and/or conquest.
Another feature of this invention is that the different values of the game surface unit upon which aplayers token resides can determine the nature and magnitude of thetokens moves during play. Because the shape and pattern of the units forming the playing surface are changing and are not static during the game, the possible moves available also are varying. Indeed, part of the strategy of the game played with this apparatus could involve altering the playing surface so as to offer advantage for the next move or difficulty for an opponents next move; the scope of possible moves of the game tokens can be varied during the playing of the game.
Within the scope of this invention the actual physical structure of the differently-valued units which comprise the playing surface can take a variety of forms.
built up one on the other, the units could take a shape similar to a tile. The tiles could be arranged into any pattern one-tile deep, with each tile being given a value as above. Where the units are cubes, the cubes would be arranged in a three-dimensional shape with cubes piled one on the other.
As mentioned earlier the game board units can be assigned different values and their value indicated by visual means, typically for example by painting or dyeing the units different colors. In the preferred embodiment where the playing surface units are cubic blocks, the faces of the cube may be made interchangeable with the faces of the other cubes. Thus, even further variation may be introduced into the game apparatus by providing the diflerent faces of the units with different values.
The invention now will be described in further detail by reference to the accompanying drawings which illustrate one particular embodiment by way of example. The description and drawings of this embodiment are included to facilitate a complete understanding, and are not to be construed as limiting the true scope of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of one random arrangement formed by the playing surface of this invention in which the game board units are cubic blocks.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the form of the playing surface illustrated in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the playing surface shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is an end view of the playing surface illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a single unit of the playing surface of FIGS. 1 to 4 illustrating the provision of interchangeable faces.
FIG. 6 shows interlocked game board units.
Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, reference numeral 12 indicates generally the dynamic playing surface. The playing surface-is comprised of cube units designated by reference numerals l3, 14, 15, 16, 17, l8, l9 and 20, respectively. These cubes may be manufactured out of wood, metal, or plastic materials, and for the purpose of illustration, the cubes have been differentiated bythe markings as shown. In actual practice, however, the cubes would likely be differentiated and their values assigned by utilizing different colors for the units. Areas of the playing surface which are elevated by virtue of the cubes being stacked one upon the other are indicated generally by reference numeral 21. Spaces between the blocks and which constitute gaps in the playing surface are indicated generally by reference numeral 22. L
FIG. 5 indicates the manner in which the cube units which form the playing surface of the game apparatus can be provided with interchangeable inserts for the faces thereof. Reference numeral 24 indicates the cube with recesses in the face thereof to receive the interchangeable sides 23.
As shown in FIG. 6, game board units such as shown at 27 may be provided with any suitable conventional interlocking means.
As an example, the following rules might be utilized in playing a game using this invention. The object of the game could be the capture of a particular token 26 belonging to an opponent. The units of the playing surface would be' randomly formed into a playing surface, as in FIG. 1, and each players tokens 26 would be placed on a unit of the surface along the side which is controlled by that player. Normally, each player would have a plurality of tokens 26, probably of differing values, and these values might also be used in determining the type of move made by that token. Play would commence with a first move by one of the participants (probably decided by chance), and thatplayer could move any one of his or her tokens 26 a number of units along the top of the playing surface determined by the value of the unit upon which the token 26 was situated before moving. Other players would follow in turn. Where the playing surface is three-dimensional, a players token 26 in order to occupy a promontory (as 21 in FIG. 1) must have sufficient value to climb up the units which comprise the height of the promontory.
In order to capture an opponent's token 26 itmight be necessary not only to occupy the unit upon which it is sitting, but also to-have a combined value of the capturing token plus the unit upon which it was situated that is greater than the combined value of the opponents token plus the playing surface unit or units (if a promontory) upon which the opponents token is sitting.
Another feature which could be added to the game using the apparatus of this invention, as mentioned previously, would be rearrangement of the units of the playing surface upon satisfying certain conditions. For instance, capture of an opponents token could entitle a player to remove, rearrange, or add playing surface units to a value equal to the value of the unit (or units in the case of a promontory) upon which the captured token was situated. Another rule which could be incorporated into play (utilizing the different values of the units of the playing surface) would permit a player to double or triple the value of a token's next move if it landed on a unit which had the same value as the unit from which it started and which determined the value of that move. This option could be qualified by making it compulsory to use that right on the players next turn.
The above examples illustrate only a small number of the possibilities which exist using the game apparatus of this invention. The above outlined rules could be used in whole or part, and the features of the apparatus can be utilized to provide many different variations.lt also will be obvious that the shape ofthe playing surface units and the means for differentiating the values of the units could be modified without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the claims of this application.
1. Game apparatus including:
a. a plurality of game units;
b. said units each being adapted for random assembly relative to any of the othersof said game units so that a playing surface of undetermined shape prior to game commencement may be formed therefrom;
c. the peripheral boundaries of the playing surface being defined by the edges of said units, said edges combining to form an irregular closed pattern constituting said boundaries;
. said units being capable of manipulation into different mutual spacial relationships during a game in which said apparatus is used, whereby the shape and boundaries of the playing surface can be altered during play of the game;
. each of said units having a type of indicia, only one type per unit: difierent units of said plurality of units having difierent indicia; and
f. at least two tokens, each of said tokens being positionable on any one of said game units.
2. Game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said game units comprise cubes.
3. Game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said game units are shaped to allow superimposing of said game units on one another so that the shape of said playing surface can be varied in three dimensions prior to game commencement and during play of a game by rearrangement, addition or removal of said units.
4. Game apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said indicia are provided by interchangeable face portions of said game units, said face portions being interchangeable for varying the different indicia assigned to said cube units during the play of a game.
5. Game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said game units are tile-shaped game units.
6. Game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said units are adapted for interlocking engagement in the formation of a playing surface.
7. Game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said indicia are provided by coloration on said game units.
8. Game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said indicia are provided by coloration on said game units, and wherein said units are adapted to interlock one with another in the formation of a playing surface.