US 3801104 A
A competitive game of skill and chance is played by two or more players. The broad aspect of the game features investment in land and prospecting for oil with associated economic activity. The apparatus employed embodies a hollow game board with a defined chamber in which magnets may be arranged in a concealed random fashion. Coacting magnetic oil prospecting and indicator devices are employed by the players in an interesting and amusing manner and with great realism. In another embodiment, the prospecting device arenot magnetic but have movable shafts which pass through openings in the board and may engage one of the magnets. The game also features a wide variety of simulated business transactions and options which test the skill and wisdom of players.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Potts et al.
Apr. 2, 1974 BOARD GAME APPARATUS Inventors: Ronald G. Potts, 22 Maple Ln.,
Galveston, Tex. 77550; Clinton E. Word, 1612 Travis Ct., Lamarque, Tex. 77568 Filed: July 13, 1972 Appl. No.: 271,404
U. s.c1. ..T.273/134AE,273/134AF,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary ExaminerDelbert B. Lowe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-B. P. Fishburne, Jr.
 ABSTRACT A competitive game of skill and chance is played by two or more players. The broad aspect of the game features investment in land and prospecting for oil with associated economic activity. The apparatus employed embodies a hollow game board with a defined chamber in which magnets may be arranged in a concealed random fashion. Coacting magnetic oil prospecting and indicator devices are employed by the players in an interesting and amusing manner and with great realism. In another embodiment, the prospecting device arenot magnetic but have movable shafts which pass through openings in the board and may engage one of the magnets. The game also features a wide variety of simulated business transactions and options which test the skill and wisdom of players.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 2 I974 SHEEF 2 [IF 2 BOARD GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Certain table games based on economic activity, investment and real estate development have been devised in the prior art and have proven to be quite popular over the years. Several such well-known games are rather stereotyped in their mode of play and have a tendency to be monotonous after a short time.
The objective of this invention is to provide an improved game of the type in question which is considerably more challenging to the players and much more interesting, and which is based to a great extent on skill, while embodying an element of chance.
In addition to the movement of game pieces or tokens along a given path for a given number of spaces following the rolling of dice by players, the present game allows each player the opportunity to perform a variety of interesting and realistic business transactions, such as investing in potentially oil-rich real estate, borrowing capital and realizing an income return from certain investments Additionally, the game features structural components including magnetic elements within a unique game board and coacting oil prospecting and oil detecting devices used by the players at their option to discover oil and to establish producing wells, pipe lines and refineries. This latter aspect of the game is believed to be particularly unique and interesting and allows adult or child players to experience excitement and amusement while exercising an increasing degree of skill in using the magnetic components of the game apparatus. With all of the above varied action and play, the game maintains a generally simple mode of play and is not too complex to keep the interest of both young and old players.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The board on which the game is played has a territorial map imprinted on its upper face and this map is sub-divided into regions each having a distinct color for identification, and each color region is further subdivided into areas which are numbered consecutively and suitably labeled to indicate a purchase price for each area of a region.
Surrounding the central map area of the board is a marginal play path divided into small spaces or squares and groups of these spaces are colored to match the colored regions of the center territorial map. The squares or spaces of the play path are consecutively numbered to match the numbers of the sub-divided areas in the several color regions of the territorial map. Game pieces of individual players of the game in re sponse to rolling of dice are advanced in one direction around the numbered spaces of the marginal play path, the number of spaces advanced being determined by the dice. Optionally, a player may make certain business transactions according to the rules of the game in lieu of advancing his piece when the dice are rolled. With respect to the color coding of the play path and territorial map, the position of the players piece on a particular color will determine the region of the map where he or she can purchase land or conduct other business, such as prospecting for oil or establishing a refinery under the rules of the game. Similarly, the position of a given players game piece on a given color of the play path will determine that player's obligation to a rival player who owns the correspondingly numbered land area of a matching color region on the map. Other refinements, such as bonus situations embodied in the game, will be fully described in the detailed description.
In terms of structure, the folding game board is hollow and has an internal chamber matching the shape of the territorial map. Obviously, this map and chamber shape is a variable and the game board may exhibit any selected geographical area, preferably an area known to contain oil, such as the State of Texas. Several permanent magnet elements are provided for introduction into the internal concealed board chamber through entrance slots at the hinge joint of the board, such slots becoming closed when the board is in its flat playing position and the magnet elements then being captive within the chamber. The magnet elements are randomly arranged within the chamber with respect to the map color regions and sub-divided numbered and price labeled areas.
The game apparatus embodies an oil prospecting instrument (seismograph) in the form of a magnetic compass and acoacting oil drilling rig or indicator which responds to magnetism from the hidden magnetic elements in the game board chamber. These accessories are used by players to locate oil fields and to discover the precise location of oil deposits. Additional components representative of oil well derricks, oil refineries, pipe lines and banks are provided for use by the players under the rules of the game. The players also have markers which are placed on purchased land to indicate ownership. Other details will be described hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES FIG. 1 is a plan view of a game board employed as a part of the game apparatus of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a composite perspective view of other components of the game apparatus.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the game board in folded condition and showing magnet elements adapted to enter an internal chamber of the board.
FIG. 4 is an additional plan view of the game board, partly broken away, to show a part of the internal chamber and the random positioning of magnet elements therein.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section through the game apparatus taken substantially on line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and illustrating the use of a magnetically responsive indicator.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the indivcator in relation to sub-divided areas of the board.
FIG. 7 is a composite view in cross section of a modified form of indicator.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings in detail wherein like numerals designate like parts, the numeral 10 designates a, game board of square configuration when opened into a flat playing position as shown in FIG. 1. The game board is formed in two rectangular half sections which are hingedly connected so as to render the board foldable in the manner depicted in FIG. 3. The printed playing surface or top face of the game board shown in FIG. 1 is arranged innermost or hidden when the board is folded. I
The playing face of the board shown in FIG. 1 comprises a central geographical or map portion indicated by the heavy border line 11 in FIG. 1 as the State of Texas. Any other geographical or territorial area could be utilized, if desired, such'as the State of Oklahoma, or the outline of some foreign state, preferably where oil is known to exist. The geographical area 11 is divided into several regions 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 and the shapes of these regions are defined by the heavy border line 1 1 and by printed interior vertical and horizontal region lines 18 and 19. While six regions of a random size and shape have been indicated within the boundaries of the geographical area 1 1, it should be understood that the number, shape and size of these regions may vary, as indeed the shape and size of the entire geographical area represented on the board is subject to change, as explained.
As indicated, each region 12 through 17 is further subdivided into mostly rectangular zones or plots and these zones or plots are consecutively numbered throughout the entire area 11. For example, in the region 12, the zones or plots are numbered consecutively 1 through 11 and in the region 17 the plots are numbered 49 through 55 with a similar numbering arrangement in all of the other regions. Additionally, each region 12 through 17 is in a distinct color on the game board, different from the color of every other region within the area 11.
The game board playing face further comprises a marginal piay path surrounding the geographical area 11 and this play path is divided into a multiplicity of equally sized play spaces or squares 20. Groups of the spaces 20 are colored to correspond with the coloring of the regions 12 through 17 and this color coding forms an important feature which will be fully described in connection with the rules of play. More particularly, a first group of play spaces 20, numbered consecutively 1 through 1 1, is colored to correspond to the region 12 whose zones or plots are numbered 1 through 11. Continuing clockwise around the marginal play path, the next group of play spaces 20 is colored to correspond with the coloring of the region 13 and the spaces 20 of this group are consecutively numbered 12 through 20 to correspond to the numbering of plots in the region 13. This distinctive coloring of groups of the play spaces 20 and the consecutive numbering thereof around the margin of the board continue so that there will be a consecutively numbered and distinctly colored group of spaces 20 for each colored region 12 through 17 of the geographical area 11.
The playing face of the board also has square corner areas 21 printed thereon in accordance with details of the game to be described. For example, one of these corner areas constitutes a starting point for movement of the player tokens, to be described, around. the marginal play path. The indicia in the corner areas 21 may be varied but in general will contain the names of industrial organizations relevant to the subject matter of the game. At one point on the game board, an area 22 designated "test well is provided and a small permanent magnet disc 23, for a purpose to be described, is located within the area 22. At two other locations, rectangular areas 24 and 25 designated state treasury" and loan department are provided and the use of these features in the game will be described. Likewise, at various points around the marginal play path having the spaces 20, special spaces with printed legends or pictorial indicia are provided, and each of these special spaces has a significant use in connection with the playing of the game, as will be described. Examples of the special spaces referred to are lottery," see loan department," and a picture of a steer. The exact arrangement and placing of these special spaces may be varied. The several pictures of steers represent cattle markets, for example.
The game board 10 is hollow and contains a normally concealed interior chamber 26 of the same configuration as the geographical area 11 and coinciding therewith exactly when the board is open for play. The irregular margin of the chamber 26 following the heavy line 11 is formed by a filler plate 27, preferably adhesively bonded between top and bottom panels 28 and 29, the upper panel 28 containing the playing face of the board already described.
As best shown in FIG. 3, when the game board is folded with the playing face innermost, a pair of entrance slots 30 are exposed for the reception or removal of a plurality of permanent magnet discs 31 which form important components of the game apparatus. These magnet discs may vary in number but as a rule approximately five discs are ideal to make the game sufficiently challenging to adult players. For child players, the number of magnet discs may be reduced.
While the magnet discs 31 are placed at random in the chamber 26 and are later scrambled therein to unknown positions in the concealed chamber, FIG. 4, the discs are preferably coated on one side only with a tacky coating 32 of rubber-like material so that the magnet discs will not tend to slide around in the chamber 26 once positioned therein and while the game is in play. However, the nature of this coating is such that the magnet discs can initially be shaken up in the chamber 26 for a random spacing of discs, as depicted in F IG. 4. It will be noted that the size of the discs 31 prevents them from flipping over once they are properly inserted in the chamber 26 with their coated sides lowermost for contact with the bottom panei 29. The permanent magnet discs are carefully pretested to assure that corresponding magnetic poles thereof face upwardly in the chamber 26. This is important in connection with an indicator device used by the players simulating an oil drilling rig and indicated generally by the numeral 33. The indicator device, to be described, contains a movable element operated by magnetism and for this reason the proper orientation of the permanent magnet discs 31 is required.
The indicator device 33 simulating an oil drilling rig consists of a suitably ornamented housing 34 formed of plastic or the like and having a cylindrical bore 35 with a reduced diameter coaxial top opening 36. An indicator pin 37 projects through the opening 36 which serves as a guide for the pin and the lower end of the pin carries a head or disc 38 either in the form of a magnet or of paramagnetic material. The disc 38 is arranged relative to each permanent magnet disc 31 in the chamber 26 so that when the indicator 33 is directly above, or nearly above, one of the discs 31, its head 38 will be repelled magnetically by the adjacent magnet disc 31 and the indicator pin 37 will rise under magnetic influence to approximately the broken line position in FIG. 5 showing or indicating the presence of oil at a particular numbered plot in one of the regions 12 through 17. The
chamber 26 will always confine the magnet discs 31 within the borders of geographical area 11 so that the player utilizing the indicator device 33 will locate oil within the boundaries of the area 11 when one of the magnets 31 is encountered beneath the indicator.
Prior to using the indicator device 33, a player will rent and use the seismograph (compass) indicated by the numeral 39. This device is simply slid over the surface .of the geographical area 11 and the compass needle 40 will indicate the probable direction and location of oil deposits due to the action of the concealed magnets 31 on the compass needle. The use of the device 39 requires some skill if a reliable reading is to be obtained and this skill is attained increasingly with practice. The compass can be pretested with the permanent magnet 23 prior to use to determine how the compass needle is affected or attracted by a magnet. A particular player who has rented the device 39 will then shift it about on one of the sub-divided regions 12 through 17 in attempting to learn the presence or absence of oil in this region and the general location of the oil.
The game apparatus additionally comprises six tokens 41, one for each player in a distinct color for each player, six players being the usual maximum number. Only one token is shown in the drawings for simplicity. Five oil derricks 42 are provided in each game along with five refineries 43, preferably shaped as illustrated. Twenty discs 44 indicative of pipe lines are provided and 20 additional discs 45 are included indicating banks on one side, as shown, and ranches on the other side, not shown, by a picture of a steer or steers head. Ninety owner markers 46 are included in the game, of each color embodied in the tokens 41. These markers are preferably thin squares with circular openings in the center of a size to receive the bases of oil derricks 42, refineries 43 or the discs 44 or 45, for convenience and so that the users or owners of derricks, refineries, pipe lines, etc., can be readily identified during play; that is, these elements will be tied up with owner markers of a definite color.
Additionally, the apparatus embodies a conventional pair of dice, not shown; twenty bank loan department cards, not shown; preferably 6,000,000 dollars in paper play money, not shown; and six price charts, one for each player, not shown, containing renting fees for equipment and development and income information pertinent to the game.
FIG. 7 shows a modification of the drilling rig or indicator device, previously described. In the modification, the device is mechanical rather than magnetic. The game board 10' is identical to the previously described board 10 except that the upper panel 28' is apertured in the center of each nui'nbered subdivision or plot of each colored region 12 through 17, such apertures being shown at 47 in FIG. 7. The modified board has the previously described chamber 26 in which the magnet discs 31 are still used in conjunction with the seismograph 39 to locate oil. The mechanical indicator proper shown at 48 includes a housing 49 having an indicator pin 50 slidably mounted therein with the top of the pin capable of projecting above the top of the housing 49 as shown in FIG. 7b to indicate an oil strike. The indicator pin has an intermediate head 51 slidable within a bore 52 of the housing and the lower end portion 53 of the indicator pin projects below the housing when the indicator is lifted and held in the hand as shown in FIG. 7a. When searching for oil, the player introduces the pin extension 53 through various ones of the openings 47 in the board. If no disc 31 is adjacent to the particular opening 47 being tested, the top of the pin 50 will not rise to indicate an oil strike when the indicator is bottomed on the board or on top of a marker 46. However, the dimensions are such that if a disc 31 is present when the indicator 48 is placed down on the board or on a marker, the top of the pin 50 will rise, as
'shown in FIG. 7b, to indicate an oil strike. Thus the mechanical indicator 48 serves the identical purpose in the game as the magnetically operated indicator 33. Instead of being slid over the game board as described with the indicator 33, the indicator 48 is lifted and moved about by the player who inserts the lower pin extension 53 downwardly through various openings 47 until a disc 31 is encountered to raise the indicator pin 50, as described.
In FIGS. 5 to 7, the indicators 33 and 48 are shown placed on top of the thin owner markers 46 which have been previously located on certain plots in the regions 12 through 17 to show ownership of these plots. It may be more convenient to remove the markers 46 temporarily from the board when using indicators 33 or 48 but this is not essential and the owner markers may remain in place while the indicators are used as illustrated.
FIG. 6 further illustrates that the indicator is provided at the center of its four sides and at its bottom with aligning marks 54 whose purpose is to establish that the indicator, either magnetic or mechanical, is within the boundaries of one numbered zone or plot 55, FIG. 6, when oil is encountered. As shown in FIG. 6, the base of the indicator may actually be overlapping two or more numbered plots when an oil strike is made. If two of the aligning marks 54 fall inside of a subdivision or plot of a particular region 12 to 17, then according to the rules the oil strike has been made in that particular plot 55. The numeral 55 is applied to the numbered plots only in FIG. 6 to avoid confusion in the drawings, particularly in FIG. 1.
PLAYING THE GAME The game is played by two or more persons, up to six persons preferably. Each person receives a grubstake of play money at the start of play. The general idea of the game is to invest in land plots within the geographical area 11 and within particular colored regions 12 through 17 of this area, as determined by the movement of tokens 41 to various colored spaces 20 along the play path in response to rolling of the dice by each player in turn. By this land investment, boom towns are developed within the area 11 which will produce income for the developer enabling him to become a millionaire and thereby win the game. In this connection, an apt name for the game is thought to be millionaire or perhaps boom town or wildcat.
Starting play from one corner area 21, preferably the area denoted Double E Ranch, players tokens 41 in turn are moved around the marginal play path by a number of the spaces 20 designated by a throw of the dice. On each such turn, a player can optionally roll the dice and advance his token on the play path or can make one business transaction, such as buying land, renting the seismograph 39 and taking readings, drilling for oil with the rig or indicator 33 or 48 or installing pipe lines with discs 44 on land already owned by the player. Other optional transactions would be establishing refineries, banks or ranches by utilizing the pieces 45 and 43 on the board. As will be seen, these latter transactions are carried out on so-called boom town land, a boom town having already been established by the player in one of the regions 12 to 17.
The object of this buying and development of land within the area 11 is to produce income. This income is derived in several ways in accordance with the rules of the game. For example, after a complete traverse of the marginal play path made up of the spaces 20, the player, if an oil man with a producing well or wells and- /or refineries, is paid royalties. Secondly, players must pay fees to bankers and oil men Whenever their tokens during play land on bank property or on productive oil land as determined by the numerical markings of the spaces 20 and the land plots within the area 11. This constitutes another source of income. The prices for these transactions are contained on the previously mentioned price charts held by the players. Another income source arises when a players token in the course of play stops on a cattle market space along the play path designated by the head of a steer. Such player is termed a rancher and he collects money from each boom town land owner for cattle sales if his ranch is in the same boom town as the cattle market, again determined by the color coding of the regions 12 to 17 and along the play path.
The main objective of the game is to determine where the next oil field will be discovered, followed by buying land in that vicinity and then developing the land. Minor changes in the rules of the game may be devised from time-to-time.
As already explained in some detail during the structural description of the game apparatus, seismograph services are purchased by players to determine the approximate location of the nearest oil deposits. This involves the use of the compass 39. Drilling services involving use of the magnetic indicator 33 (drilling rig) or the corresponding mechanical indicator 48 are purchased by players to drill test oil wells on owned land to try to discover oil.
Players may raise additional money during play by giving the bank a lien on owned land in exchange for a money loan. The exciting, ever-changing business transactions test each players skill as well as affording amusement in a process which simulates the world of big business. Each time the game is played, it raises new challenges which require new decisions and hence the interest of players is maintained.
It is believed to be unnecessary to further describe the details of play in terms of the rules of the game for a proper understanding of the structural features upon which the appended claims are based.
It should be mentioned that in setting up the game apparatus for play, while the game board is folded, FIG. 3, the five magnets, coated sides down, are placed in the chamber 26 of the board. Preferably, two magnets are introduced into one side of the chamber and three into the other side by some neutral party. The board is and five $1,000 bills. The player rolling the highest number on the dice opens play and play rotates to the left around the play path.
At the beginning of play, all tokens 41 are preferably placed at the comer 21 designated Double E Ranch."
Each player in turn either rolls the dice and moves his token on the play path the number of spaces 20 indicated by the dice or the player makes one business transaction, as described. He may not do both during a single turn. No two tokens may occupy the same space 20. If a token 41 lands on an occupied space, that token must be backed up to the first open space. Be-
cause the game emphasizes skill rather than chance,
players are free to make almost any transaction of their choice during their turn. Land may be purchased, seismograph tests conducted, wells drilled and oil land developed with refineries, etc., as described. As the tokens 41 travel around the play path, the players collect fees and royalties or may be charged fees as their tokens stop on developed land of other palyers, determined by the matching colors of the regions 12 to 17 and on the play path consisting of the spaces 20.
In connection with the term boom town and the creation of a boom town by players, each of the colored regions 12 to 17 within the area 1 1 is a potential boom town. For one of these regions to become an actual boom town, oil must be discovered within that region, as described, and then must be piped by elements 44 to a refinery 43 also within the particular region 12 through 17. An oil well on a numbered plot in one region adjacent to another plot containing a refinery does not require a pipe line. Prior to any region 12 to 17 becoming a boom town, numbered plots in that section may be purchased by any player. After the boom town is established, however, only those players, insiders," owning land in the boom town may purchase any additional land therein.
When a players token 41 stops on a lottery" space along the play path, he may roll the dice for prize money in a prescribed manner. A player whose token lands on the Land Tax space must pay a prescribed amount, such as $1,000 per numbered land tract owned by him, into the State Treasury.
A player whose token stops on the Development tax space must similarly pay a specified amount per developed tract into the State Treasury.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.
1. A game apparatus comprising a game board having a playing race, said playing face including a marginal play path having numbered spaces, said spaces arranged in plural distinctly colored groups around the play path, said playing face including a central visibly outlined area containing a plurality of regions colored to correspond to said colored groups of spaces in the play path, said regions each containing numbered plots and the plot numbers corresponding to the numbers of the play path spaces for a given color group of spaces, said game board having a concealed internal chamber and an opening means for said chamber, said chamber in superposed registering relation with said outlined area and conforming to the configuration of said area,
a plurality of permanent magnet elements placed with random spacing inside of said concealed chamber and lying beneath said outlined area of said playing face, and a magnetic indicator shiftable over said playing face of the game board and responding to the presence of one of said permanent magnet elements to visibly indicate the proximity of said element and being representative of the discovery of oil within one of said regions where said magnet element is located.
2. The structure of claim 1, and said magnetic indicator including a reciprocatory plunger element including a part influenced by the magnetic field of one of said permanent magnet elements in said chamber to thereby move the plunger element to an active indicating position.
3. The structure of claim 2, and the polar relationship of said permanent magnet elements with said plunger element being such that the latter is magnetically repelled by any underlying permanent magnet element and thereby elevated to an indicating position visible to a player.
4. The structure of claim 1, and said game board formed in two hinged half sections which are foldable onto each other in a non-use position, said opening means of said concealed chamber comprising a pair of neath the playing face, plural locator elements each in the form of a permanent magnet disposed randomly within the concealed chamber beneath said playing face of the game board, and a visual indicator device separate from the game board and shiftable thereon, said indicator device comprising a housing and a magnetically operated movable plunger carried by the housing, said plunger moving to a visual indicating position in response to the magnetic force of one of said locator elements lying below the indicator device as the indicator device is shifted over the playing face of the game board in various directions seeking the location of said locator elements.
6. The structure of claim 5, and said game apparatus additionally comprising a magnetic compass shiftable upon the playing face of the game board and having a needle influenced by the presence of the concealed locator elements in said chamber, whereby said compass may be employed in the manner of a seismograph for simulated oil prospecting operations.
7. The structure of claim 1, and said game apparatus additionally comprising a magnetic compass forming a simulated seismograph, plural player tokens, plural colored land ownership markers, and additional plural game pieces indicative of established wells, refineries and pipe lines within said regions.
8. The structure of claim 1, and said permanent magnet elements comprising plate-like elements each provided on one flat face only thereof with a non-slip substance enabling said elements to remain substantially fixed within said chamber after initial random placement therein.