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Publication numberUS3860242 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1975
Filing dateMay 29, 1973
Priority dateMay 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3860242 A, US 3860242A, US-A-3860242, US3860242 A, US3860242A
InventorsJulian Clark Martin
Original AssigneeJulian Clark Martin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Board game apparatus
US 3860242 A
Abstract
A game apparatus having on its surface a plurality of spaces, at least some of the spaces being grouped in a plurality of sets which are physically rearrangeable, that is, reorientable in place and interchangeable with other sets of spaces, to change the arrangement of the spaces. Control pattern cards designate preselected patterns of spaces. Distinctive markers are utilized to indicate when a player has taken control of a space. The principal offensive objectives of each player or team of players is to occupy desired spaces with the markers and to rearrange the sets of spaces to form a preselected pattern with the markers. The principal defensive objective of each player or team of players is to rearrange the sets of spaces to prevent the opponents from first forming their preselected pattern of controlled spaces.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Martin Jan. 14, 1975 BOARD GAME APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Julian Clark Martin, Harris County,

Tex.

[22] Filed: May 29, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 365,030

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 146,995, May 26,

1971, abandoned.

[52] U.S. CL... 273/134 AE, 273/131 B, 273/134 C, 273/134 D, 273/134 GM, 273/136 B, 273/136 C, 273/137 R [51] Int. Cl. A63f 3/00 [58] Field of Search 273/130, 131, 134, 136

[56] References Cited 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 907,663 12/1908 Williams 273/134 GA UX 3,458,199 7/1969 Nelson 273/134 G 3,588,113 6/1971 Nelson 273/130 B FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 667,737 3/1952 Great Britain 273/131 AC 601,302 5/1948 Great Britain 273/131 AC Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Joe E. Edwards [57] ABSTRACT A game apparatus having on its surface a plurality of spaces, at least some of the spaces being grouped in a plurality of sets which are physically rearrangeable, that is, reorientable in place and interchangeable with other sets of spaces, to change the arrangement of the spaces. Control pattern cards designate preselected patterns of spaces. Distinctive markers are utilized to indicate when a player has taken control of a space. The principal offensive objectives of each player or team of players is to occupy desired spaces with the markers and to rearrange the sets of spaces to form a preselected pattern with the markers. The principal defensive objective of each player or team of players is to rearrange the sets of spaces to prevent the opponents from first forming their preselected pattern of controlled spaces.

11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures BOARD GAME APPARATUS This application is a continuation-in-part application of my prior copending application Ser. No. 146,995, filed May 26, 1971, entitled Game Apparatus, and now abandoned.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a game apparatus.

A primary object of this invention is to provide a game apparatus suitable for persons of all ages, which is playable by a plurality of persons playing individually or in teams, and in which, although there are elements of chance, there exist substantial elements of skill.

Another primary object of this invention is to provide a. game apparatus which is suitable for persons of all ages, which is playable by a plurality of persons playing individually or in teams, and which involves only elements of skill.

A further object of this invention is to provide a challenging and educational game apparatus capable of being used by the players to learn geometrical arrangements, logical and analytical thought, and inductive reasoning.

An additional object of this invention is to provide a game apparatus in which portions of the playing path may be rearranged by the players so that each player or team of players may exercise substantial and intriguing offensive and defensive stratagems to accomplish offensive and defensive objectives.

An additional object of this invention is to provide a game apparatus having a playing surface comprising a plurality of spaces forming a plurality of physically rearrangeable sets, which playing surface has no route or playing path therethrough.

This invention provides a game apparatus having on its surface a plurality of spaces. Atleast some of said spaces are grouped in a plurality of sets which are physically rearrangeable-to change the arrangement of the spaces. lndicia means designate preselected patterns of spaces. Markers indicate when a player has taken control of a space. The principal offensive objective of each player or-team of players is to take control of desired spaces and to rearrange the sets of spaces to form a preselected pattern with the markers occupying such spaces. The principal defensive objective of each player or team of players is to rearrange the sets of spaces to prevent the opponents from first forming their preselected pattern of controlled spaces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention itself, both as to organization and method of operation, as well as additional objects and advantages, is more fully explained in the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numbers indicate like parts:

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of a game board ac cording to this invention.

FIG. 2 is an isometric detail of certain sets of spaces and portions of the game board shown in circle 2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3A is an isometric view of the control pattern cards and the option cards utilized with the game board illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3B is an illustration of some of the preferred preselected control patterns of spaces.

FIG. 4 is a schematic plan view of an alternate game board according to thisinvention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates schematically a game apparatus according to this invention. The playing area is preferably in the form of a board, referred to in its entirety by the numeral 6. A continuous playing path, referred to generally by the numeral 7, is provided on the surface of the board. The playing path 7 is divided into a plurality of spaces 8, for occupancy by means indicative of the players. The plurality of spaces 8 define and form a plurality of continuous lanes which delineate allowable movement of the players through the playing path 7. Certain of the spaces define and form cross-over zones which allow movement bythe players from one lane to another.

In the game apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, playing path 7 is divided into 216 spaces 8. It is preferred that each space 8 be uniformly square and have its sides aligned with the sides of its contiguous spaces. The term contiguous spaces is defined for all purposes herein as two or more spaces which are in contact, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, with each other. Such an arrangement allows each space to come in contact with a plurality of other spaces, creates uniformity in the playing path and facilitates the utilization of control patterns, as will be explained hereinafter. The two hundred sixteen spaces 8 define and form four continuous lanes 9, 10, 11 and 12, and four cross-over zones l3, l4, l5 and 16. For purposes of identification, each cross-over zone is depicted with a shaded X on'either end thereof and each space therein is provided with arrows marking theallowable movement of the players therethrough.

In the game apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, playing path 7, comprised of lanes 9, 10, 11 and 12, forms a generally rectangular continuous playing field around the board.- Lane 9' forms an inner rectangular path around the center 17 of the board; lane 10 is contiguous to and surrounds lane 9; lane '11 is contiguous to and surrounds lane 10; and lane 12 is contiguous to and surrounds lane 11 and therebyforms an outer rectangular path. The shape of the playing path, however, is not limited and various othershapes may be utilized. Additionally, the paths of the lanes through the playing path are not limited to being similar to the shape of the playing path. For instance, the continuous lanes could wind irregularly through the playing path.

A plurality of playing pieces 18, one of which is positioned on a space illustrated in FIG. 2, are provided for indicating the movement of the players through the playing path 7. These playing pieces 18 should be distinctively colored to be indicative of the individual player. The playing pieces 18 used by players in a team are preferably of the same color with a distinguishing indicia on the top thereof to distinguish between the players forming the team.

A plurality of markers 19, five of which are illustrated positioned on spaces in the playing path in FIG. 2, are provided to indicate when a player has taken control of a certain space. The markers 19 are distinctively colored to be indicative of the players and the color of the markers should correspond to the color of the playing piece 18 of each player. When the players play in teams, it is preferred .that each team utilize markers 19 and playing pieces 18 of the same color.

It is desirable that there be some means associated with the spaces 8 in the playing path 7 to maintain the playing pieces 18 and markers 19 thereon, especially since certain of the spaces are grouped in rearrangeable sets as will hereinafter be explained. In the game apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, the board 6 preferably is constructed of molded plastic and there are restraining means 20, in the form of a raised plastic ridge, surrounding each space. However, the construction of a game apparatus according to this invention is not limited to the use of such a raised plastic ridge to maintain the positioning of the pieces 18 and markers 19. Indeed, the board 6 could be constructed of cardboard or the like and the restraining means be a raised cardboard or wooden strip or the like. Moreover, the board could be constructed of a magnetic material and the pieces and markers be constructed of a material attracted by such magnetism. Or each space could be constructed with a hole therein in which a pin on the pieces and markers could be removably secured.

A plurality of first indicia means 21, preferably cards as illustrated in FIG. 3A, bear indicia on one side thereof designating preselected patterns of spaces (hereinafter referred to as control patterns). There can of course be a myriad of different control patterns. However, in the game apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, each control pattern is comprised of four spaces, each of which is contiguous to at least one other space in said control pattern. It has been found that four spaces is the optimum number of spaces in control patterns to be used with a playing path having four lanes such as in the game apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1. FIG. 3B illustrates 12 distinct preferable control patterns.

In order to be declared the winner of a game played on the game apparatus according to this invention, a

player or team must take control of at least those spaces necessary to form a pattern identical to a selected control pattern. Aspreviously mentioned, a player's movement (represented by the respective playing pieces 18) through the playing path 7 is confined to the one of the lanes 9, 10, 11 or 12 in which his playing piece 18 is located, exceptthat the player may cross into another lane at any of the cross-over zones 13, 14, 15 and 16. Therefore, in order to increase a players opportunities to position his playing piece 18 on a desired space in the playing path, to take control of contiguous spaces and to thwart his opponents, the board game according to this invention groups most of the spaces 8 comprising the playing path 7 into movable, rearrangeable sets.

In FIG. 1, for purposes of identification, the various spaces comprising a set are shaded with slanted lines. In the embodiment of this invention illustrated in FIG. 1, 168 of the spaces are grouped or formed into l4 sets 2235 of equal size and shape, each set in turn consisting of 12 spaces comprised of three rows of four spaces each. However, the size, shape and number of the sets of spaces are not critical. For instance, each set of spaces could consist of nine spaces arranged in three rows of three spaces each and thus be square rather than rectangular.

In the game apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, each of the sets of spaces 22-35 is constructed as a module, which is separate and distinct from each other set of spaces and the board and is adapted to be removably positioned in desired locations in the playing path. Stated otherwise, a plurality of separate and distinct modules are provided, each of which is adapted to be removably positioned on the surface of the game board 6 and has a flat board-like presenting a playing surface divided in a predetermined manner into the plurality of spaces comprising the set of spaces contained thereon. Suitable means to receive and retain such modules are associated with the board. In the embodiment of this invention illustrated in FIG. 1, such receiving means is a recessed area 36 in the board as shown in FIG. 2. However, in accordance with the spirit of this invention, the receiving means could be any other suitable device, such as magnetized materials or holes into which pins attached to the modules could fit.

The board 6, therefore, in conjunction with the modular sets of spaces 22-35 positioned thereon, presents the playing path 7 (and the lanes and cross-over zones defined therein) formed of the plurality of nonmovable spaces, if any, on the surface of the board and to include both reorientation of a modular set of spaces in place and interchangeability of a modular set of spaces with another modular set of spaces.

Each of the modular sets of spaces 22-35 preferably is formed of'molded plastic. Similar to the construction of the board, raised ridges 20 surround each space contained on the modular sets 22-35 so as to restrain the movement of a playing piece 18 or marker 19 occupying such space. But, as previously discussed, each vmodular set of spaces could well be constructed of a desired magnetic material or be constructed with holes in the spaces 8 located thereon to maintain the positioning of the pieces and markers. Additional restraining means, such as larger raised ridges 38, preferably surround both the inside and outside of the playing path. Such restraining means '38 function conjunctively with the board 6 and the smaller restraining means 20 surrounding each space to maintain the proper positions of the modular sets of spaces.

A plurality of second indicia means 39 are provided, each of which bears indicia authorizingand granting a player the option to rearrange at least one of said sets of spaces. Suchindiciameans 39 preferably consist of a plurality of colored cards (hereinafter referred to as option cards) as shown schematically in FIG. 3(A).

At least some of the spaces in the playing path have first indicia 40 inscribed thereon authorizing a player to obtain at least one additional marker 19. In the embodiment of the board game illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, such first indicia 40 consists of a small circle of a first color. Additionally, at least some of the spaces in the playing path have second indicia 41 inscribed thereon authorizing a player to obtain at least one additional option card 39. In the embodiment of the board game illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, such second indicia 41 consists of a small circle of a second color. As'illustrated on a space contained in set 25 in FIG. 2, it is preferred that the radius of the circular second indicia 41 be somewhat larger than the radius of the circular first indicia 40, or vice versa, so both indicia may be inscribed, if desired, on the same spaces. It is also preferred that the radii of both the first and second indicia 40 and 41 be smaller than the radius of the markers 19 so that when a marker 19 occupies a space, the first indicia 40 and/or second indicia 41, if any, inscribed on such space will be obscured.

As previously indicated, certain spaces contiguous to each other, although in different lanes, are designated as cross-over zones, and function to provide a path for a player to move from one lane to another. And it is preferred that the spaces comprising the cross-over zones be stationary and not included within any of the rearrangeable sets.

In the play of the game apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 according to this invention, each player draws randomly a preselected number of control pattern cards 21. Preferably these cards 21 are positioned downwardly prior to the draw so that the players receive the control patterns by chance. It is preferred that when the players are not playing in teams, each player draws two such cards. However, when the players are playing in teams, it is preferred that each player comprising the team draws only one such card. Each player turns his card or cards upward in front of him so that each player is aware not only of his control pattern but also the control patterns of every other player. The object of the game is to take control of desired contiguous spaces with ones markers 19 in order to'form at least one of the players (or teams) control patterns.

Each player commences play with a preselected number of option cards 39, preferably five. The remainder of the option cards and markers are placed in a convenient location, such as the center 17 of the board, so they may be drawn by any player whose piece lands on a space containing first and/or second colored circles 40 and 41. Some means, such as dice, should be utilized to determine which player moves first and thereafter it is preferable that the order of play by the players be in some recognizable sequence, such as clockwise. In order to add additionalelements of skill,

it is preferable that each player may commence movement through the playing path 7 with his playing piece 18 positioned on one of the four outermost corner spaces of his own choosing. (However, whenever the players are playing as a team, the two teammates should not be allowed to commence play from the same outermost space). A means, such as dice, is utilized for selecting by chance a number to determine the extent of movement ofa players piece 18 through the playing path.

An example of the interaction of the lanes and the cross-over zones is illustrated in FIG. 1. Suppose the players piece is disposed on space 8a and by rolling the dice he obtains the number ten as the extent of movement of his piece through the playing path. Since the players piece is in lane 12, his movement through the playing path is restricted to lane 12 until his piece reaches cross-over zone 15. After completing seven of his 10 allotted moves, the players piece is located on space 8b in cross-over zone 15 and the player has four alternatives: He may continue to move through lane 12 and finally rest on space 8c. He may move through cross-over zone 15 and turn on space 8d into lane 11 and move through lane 11 until he finally rests on space 8e. He may move through cross-over zone 15 and turn on space 8finto lane 10 and move through lane 10 until he finally rests on space 8g. Or he may move through cross-over zone 15 until he finally rests on space 811 in such cross-over zone. If the player elects to occupy space 8h with his marker, he will still be in cross-over zone 15 when his next turn comes and will again have certain alternatives for his move. It should be noted that the only allowable place to transfer from one lane to another is the cross-over zone. Therefore, when a player moves his piece around one of the four turning corners of the playing path, he must stay in the lane in which his piece is confined.

A player may take control of any space (including those in the cross-over zones) on which his playing piece finally rests by occupying such space with one of his markers 19. Additionally, if the space upon which his playing piece finally rests bears indicia authorizing him to obtain additional markets or indicia authorizing him to obtain additional option cards, or both, then the player may draw a preselected number of such markers or option cards, respectively. It is preferred that each such indicia on the spaces authorizes the player to draw only one marker and/or only one option card. The player is allowed to obtain an additional marker and/or option card regardless of whether he elects to take control of the space, unless, as will be explained below, such space is already under the control of another player.

After moving his piece, obtaining any additional 'marker or option card allowed by the indicia, if any, on

the space on which his piece rests, and deciding whether to take control of such space, the player may exercise a preselected number of his option cards. It is preferable that a player be allowed to exercise only one on the pile of remaining option cards, it is the next players turn.

In order to facilitate formation of the desired control pattern, it is preferable to allow a player who rolls doubles" with his dice'to take an additional turn immediately thereafter. This additional turn encompasses all of the benefits of a normal turn, for instance, the player can again move his piece, take control of the space upon-which the piece lands, obtain an additional marker and/or option card if the proper indicia is on such space, and exercise another option card. Although the player could conceivably continue to move and'ex ercise benefits attendant thereto so long as he continues to roll doubles, it is preferable that after the third roll of doubles and movement of the playing piece and exercise of option attendant thereto, the players turn cease. As should be recognized, rolling doubles can be quite advantageous.

Should a players piece (Player No. 1) come to rest on a space already occupied by another players (Player No. 2) marker, the player-(Player No. I) may, if he wishes, remove such other players marker and replace it with one of his own, if he has any, unless such other players marker is safe or temporarily safe as will be explained hereinafter. Once the other players (Player No. 2) marker is removed, the marker is returned to the remainder of the markers in the center of the board and not to the player to whom the marker belonged. However, to remove the other players marker, it is preferable to require that the player (Player No. 1) whose piece comes to rest thereon announce that he intends to remove it and replace it with a marker of his own. Until he so announces, the player is not allowed to look beneath the other players (Player No. 2) marker to determine if there are any indicia on the space. After announcing that he intends to remove the marker and replace it with one of his own, he then is given the benefit of any indicia on the space therebelow.

It is preferable that there be occasions when a players marker is safe, either temporarily or permanently. A players marker is temporarily safe when his playing piece rests thereon. In such a situation, another player is not even allowed to place his piece on the space; if the roll of the dice by the other player necessitates that he land on the temporarily safe space, that is, he cannot avoid such by choosing another alternative in a crossover zone, then such other player must roll the dice again. Additionally, a players marker is safe when it comprises one of a preselected number of contiguous spaces controlled by such player. The markers are temporarily safe or permanently safe depending upon whether rearrangement of one or more of the sets of spaces would destroy the contiguousness of the required number of spaces. For instance, as illustrated in FIG. 2 with set placed on the board in the relationship shown, marker 19a would be contiguous to 19b, which in turn would be contiguous to 19c. In the preferred embodiment of the game, whenever a players marker, such as 19b, is contiguous to two other of that players markers, such as 19a and 19c, all of such markers are safe. Since rearrangement of set 25 could destroy the contiguous relationship between markers 19b and 190, these three markers are considered to be temporarily safe. If all such markers were contiguous to each other on spaces not comprising a' rearrangeable set or were contiguous to each other on the same set, then they would be permanently safe. When a players marker is safe, whether temporarily or permanently, it

' cannot be removed by another player whose piece lands thereon. Additionally, in the preferred embodiment of the game, if a player has taken control of four contiguous spaces, whether temporarily or permanently, these spaces are deemed to be his controlled territory and if another players piece would have landed on any one of these spaces, such other player forfeits one of his markers from his hand, if he has any, and such marker is returned to the center of the board.

The play of the game encompasses both offensive and defensive tactics, which tactics are heightened when the game is played with the players comprising teams. It has been found that these offensive and defensive tactics are readily recognizable by both children and adults. For instance, since each player preferably commences with only five markers and additional markers are almost always needed to form one of the requisite control patterns, the player should strive to land on a space bearing an indicia allowing him to obtain an additional marker. Moreover, as will be explained below, option cards are instrumental in a players offensive and defensive tactics and, therefore, a player should strive to have his playing piece land on a space bearing an indicia authorizing him to obtain an additional option card.

The offensive and defensive tactics of the game are primarily conducted through the exercise -of option cards. These option cards allow the rearrangement of sets of spaces to facilitate formation of a players desired control pattern and to allow the dismemberment of an opponents proposed control pattern or the removal of an opponents playing piece to a relatively disadvantageous portion of the playing path. It becomes readily apparent that one must take control of clusters of contiguous spaces in order to form the desired control pattern. Rather than take the time and number of moves necessary to travel repeatedly complete circumferences of the playing path, it is preferable to rearrange the sets of spaces so that ones playing piece and spaces already under-ones control are brought into a relationship to each other wherein the player may take control of additional spaces contiguous or near thereto. On the other hand, when it appears that an opponent is about to form his control pattern, a player may decide it is advantageous to exercise an option card and rearrange the sets of spaces whereby the opponents piece is separated from the spaces already under the opponents control. I

Since a player is only allowed to exercise an option card after he moves his playing piece, it follows that the arrangement of the spaces in the playing path and the position of his playing piece thereon are generally set for him by his opponents. However, when a player is fortunate enough to roll doubles, the player is allowed to move his playingv piece and exercise an option card-if he has one-to rearrange certain sets so that the arrangement of the spaces-in the playing path is favorable to him for his second move.

It becomes apparent that whether or not a player has. one or more option cards at a particular point in the play of the game can be of utmost importance. Indeed, there frequently occurs a situation in which a player obviously has taken control of spaces necessary to form his requisite control pattern but due to the skill and tenaciousness of his opponents, he is not able to rearrange sufficient number of sets of spaces to form such attern.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate an alternate embodiment of a game apparatus according to this invention. In this embodiment of this invention, the game apparatus provides on its surface a plurality of spaces formed or grouped in a plurality of sets which are physically rearrangeable to change the arrangement of the spaces. There is, however, no distinct route or playing path drawn through the spaces on the playing surface of the game apparatus for the players to follow. Additionally, in the preferred play of the game apparatus illustrated in .FIGS. 4 and 5, there are involved no elements of chance; each player must rely only on his own skills.

As illustrated schematically in FIGS. 4 and 5, the playing area of the alternate embodiment of this invention preferably is in the form of a game board, referred to in its entirety by the numeral 45, comprising a receiving means 46 and nine modular sets of spaces 47. The receiving means 46 preferably is a plastic or wooden member having a base 48 with a plastic or wooden raised ridge 49 secured thereto around its periphery. Receiving means 46 functions to receive and to contain laterally the nine modular sets of spaces 47.

Each of the nine modular sets of spaces 47 preferably is a plastic or wooden member providing a surface with nine circular holes or recesses 50 therein for receipt of the player's markers 19. The holes or recesses constitute the spaces. In the embodiment of the game apparatus according to this invention illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, each modular set 47 provides nine holes 50 or spaces arranged in three rows of three each. Since there are nine modular sets of spaces, there is a total of 81 spaces provided on the playing surface of the game apparatus. A player takes control of a particular space by playing his marker 19 in such space (as is illustrated in FIG. In accordance with the spirit of this invention, the construction of the modular sets and the spaces thereon could differ from that described herein. The modules and the markers could be constructed of magnetized materials, or the modules could be constructed with small holes therein into which pins 'attached to the markers would fit. It is preferable only that the construction be such that the markers will not be disturbed when the modular sets of spaces are rearranged, as will hereinafter be described.

Each set of spaces 47 is a separate and distinct modulewhich may be physically reoriented inplace within the receiving means 46 or physically interchanged with another modular set of spaces 47 within the receiving means 46. To allow the players to easily grasp and rearrange the modular sets of spaces, a plastic or metal ring 51 preferably is attached to each modular set of spaces.

In the preferred play of the game apparatus according to this invention illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, there are only two players or two teams of players. Each player or team of players is allocated a selected number of markers such as 25 markers. There are no dice, playing pieces 18, or option cards utilized by the players as in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The spaces have no first and second indicia means thereon as in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. I

A control pattern is agreed upon, either by drawing one of the control pattern cards 21 or by the players simply agreeing on the particular control pattern. For example, the players may agree that the control pattern to be formed will be seven contiguous spaces in a row, whether the row is horizontal, vertical or diagonal.

The player who plays first places one of vhis markers 19 on any space he desires, and thus takes control of such space. After he has placed his marker on a space, the player may rearrange any two modular sets of spaces he wishesthat is, reorient in place any two (or only one if he wishes) modular sets of spaces or interchange any two modular sets of spaces (and, if he wishes, reorient the sets of spaces as they are being interchanged). The sets of spaces rearranged by the player become frozen" for the next succeeding player for the next turn to play i.e., they may not be moved. This concludes the first player's turn to play.

The next player then takes control of any other space on the board (other than the space controlled by the first player), and thereafter has the option of rearranging any two of the modular sets of spaces which are not frozen to him for that particular turn.

The play continues with each player in turn taking control of a space (which is not already occupied by a marker) and thereafter rearranging any two of the nine modular sets of spaces which are not frozen to him for that turn to play (each player will always have a choice of at least seven modular sets of spaces to choose from as thepreceding player can only have frozen two of such sets of spaces). The first player or team of players to form the selected control pattern (either by simply playing a marker or playing a marker and then rearranging the sets of spaces) is the winner. If no player or team of players has formed the control pattern when all markers have been played, then the player or team of players who played first is the automatic loser of the game.

Thus, the embodiment of this invention described in FIGS. 4 and 5 provides a challenging and educational game apparatus involving geometrical arrangements, logical and analytical thought, and inductive reasoning. The game apparatus provides a playing surface presenting a plurality of spaces forming a plurality of sets in which there is no preselected and defined route through the spaces for the players to follow. With such an apparatus, the players simply alternate occupying the spaces with their distinctive markers and rearranging the sets of spaces in accordance with'the offensive and defensive objectives to form, and to prevent the opponent from forming, the preselected pattern of,

spaces. There is no element ofluck involved, but rather only elements of skill.

It can now be seen that the board game according to this invention provides the players with many opportunities to employ various aggressive offensive or defen sive tactics. Additionally, the game is thought provoking in that the players must study-the geometrical patterns being developed on the board in view of their own and their opponents requisite control patterns The game according to this invention provides a logical exercise in taking control of contiguous spaces,,or spaces which are capable of being made to becontiguous by rearrangement of the sets, to form a desired pattern of spaces.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the foregoing preferred embodiments of the invention can be modified without departingfrom the scope of the invention. For instance, in a board game according to this invention utilizing aplaying path, the playing path can be comprised of a different number of lanes, such as five lanes rather than four, and contain a different .amount of spaces. The number and-arrangement of the sets of spaces in such playing path can be different (each set possibly being square as previously described so as to be reorientable in place) and, unlike the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, not all of the sets need be the same shape. With a different number of spaces and lanes in such playing path, it may be desirable that the number of spaces comprising the individual control patterns, as well as the number of markers which must be contiguous in order to be safe, be different. In a board game according to this invention in which there is no defined path through the playing surface, the number of spaces presented by the playing surface, the number and arrangement of the spaces in the various sets, and the shapes of the sets of spaces, may all vary.

Accordingly, the forgoing disclosure and description of the invention is only illustrative and explanatory, and

various changes in the details of construction of the various game elements and modifications in the play of the game may be made within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A game apparatus, comprising:

a board having on its surface a playing path, the playing path being divided in a predetermined manner into a plurality of spaces, at least some of the spaces being grouped in a plurality of sets, at least some of the sets of spaces being physically rearrangeable in the playing path;

a plurality of control pattern cards for designating different preselected patterns of the spaces; and

a plurality of distinctive groups of markers, each group being indicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players, said spaces being suitably dimensioned for occupancy by the markers.

2. A game apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:

the spaces define a plurality of continuous lanes through the playing path irrespective of the physical rearrangement of the sets of spaces; and

at least some of the spaces define at least one crossover zone from one of the lanes to at least another of the lanes.

3. A game apparatus according to claim 1, including:

playing pieces for indicating the movement of the players through the playing path; and

means for selecting by chance a number to determine the extent of movement of the playing pieces through the playing path.

4. A game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each space is contiguous to at least three other spaces irrespective of the physical rearrangement of the sets of spaces, thereby facilitating the formation by the players of the preselected patterns of spaces by occupying the spaces with the makers.

5. A game apparatus, comprising:

a board having a playing path thereon which is divided in a predetermined manner into a plurality of spaces which form at least one continuous lane through theplaying path;

at least some of the spaces being grouped to form a plurality of sets, each of the sets being of modular construction separate and distinct from the board and adapted to be physically reorientedin place and interchanged with each other in the playing path to rearrange the order of the spaces; plurality of indicia means for designating different selected patterns of the spaces; and

a plurality of distinctive groups of markers, each group being indicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players, each of the spaces being suitable dimensioned for occupancy by the markers whereby each of the players may strive to occupy the spaces with the markers and reorient or interchange the modular sets of spaces to form one of the preselected patterns of spaces.

6. A game apparatus according to claim 5, wherein there are a plurality of lanes and each of the spaces is contiguous to at least three other of said spaces regardless of the physical rearrangement of the playing path in order to facilitate the formation by the players of the selected patterns of spaces.

7. A game apparatus, comprising:

a board, the surface of which is divided in a predetermined manner into a plurality of spaces, at least some of the spaces being grouped in a plurality of sets, at least some of the sets of spaces being physi' cally reorientable in place and interchangeable with each other;

a plurality of control pattern cards for designating different preselected patterns of the spaces; and

a plurality of groups of markers, each group being indicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players, the spaces being suitable for occupancy by the markers.

8. A game apparatus, comprising:

a board having a surface which is divided in a predetermined manner into a plurality of spaces;

at least some of the spaces being grouped to form a plurality of sets, each of the sets being of modular construction separate and distinct from the board and adapted to be physically reorientable in place and interchangeable with each other on the board to rearrange the spaces:

a plurality of indicia means for designating different selected patterns of spaces; and

a plurality of groups of markers, each group of markers being indicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players, each of the spaces being suitable for occupancy by one of the markers whereby each of the players may strive to occupy certain of the spaces with the markers'and to reorient and interchange the sets of spaces to form one of the preselected patterns of spaces.

9. A game apparatus, comprising:

a board;

a plurality of modules, each of which is separate and distinct from the board and is adapted to be received by the surface of the board;

the modules being divided in a preselected manner into a plurality of spaces;

each of the modules being adapted to bephysically reorientable in place and interchangeable with each other on the surface of the board to alter the arrangement of the spaces;

a plurality of indicia means for designating different patterns of the spaces; and

a plurality of distinctive groups of markers, each group being indicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players, each of the spaces being suitable for occupancy by such a marker.

10. A game apparatus wherein the players strive to form, and to prevent their opponents from forming, a selected geometric pattern, comprising:

a playing surface presenting a plurality of spaces, at

least some of the spaces being formed into a plurality of sets, at least some of the sets of spaces being physically reorientable in place and interchangeable with each other; and

a plurality of groups of markers, each group of markers being indicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players, each marker being suitably constructed and each space being suitably dimensioned for each space to be occupied by one of the markers;

whereby the players occupy the spaces with the markers and reorient or interchange the sets of spaces to form, and to prevent their opponents from forming, a-selected geometric pattern.

11. A game apparatus wherein the players strive to form, and to prevent their opponents from forming, a selected geometric pattern, comprising:

a game board;

dicative of one of the players or one of the teams of players;

each space being suitably dimensioned for occupancy by a marker;

wherein the players occupy the spaces with the markers and reorient or interchange the modules to form, and to prevent their components from form-

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4136881 *Jan 31, 1977Jan 30, 1979Ralph AnspachGame equipment and method having simultaneously played, balanced, multiple game theories
US4341386 *Jul 15, 1980Jul 27, 1982Kleva Jacob JGame board apparatus having removable playing piece movement areas
US4385763 *Jun 18, 1981May 31, 1983Ivan MoscovichPattern forming ball game
US4453718 *May 17, 1982Jun 12, 1984Dale ChristopersonSwivel switch game
US4611811 *Mar 22, 1984Sep 16, 1986Robert HaaseBingo game with means to change part of the bingo pattern
US4647049 *Dec 23, 1983Mar 3, 1987Oretsky Philip HMethod for playing an alignment game utilizing a moveable grid
US5087052 *Sep 28, 1990Feb 11, 1992Simon Richard MGame with variably configured board
US7766335 *Jan 6, 2006Aug 3, 2010Greenawalt Thomas HBoard game with 3D dynamic game play
US20130320623 *May 25, 2013Dec 5, 2013Edwin Arsenio Cruz-RiveraBoard game and method of play
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/243, 273/284, 273/275
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2003/00359, A63F2003/0034, A63F3/00
European ClassificationA63F3/00