US 3895804 A
A fast playing game suitable for enjoyment by young and old, which tests metal faculties and yet is amusing to players of all ages and abilities, includes a game board or playing surface marked with stop positions on a circuit or a circular path which has a crossover between non-adjacent positions thereon and communicates with home bases for each player, from which home bases game pieces are moved onto the circuit, with the object being to move in such a manner so that an opponent cannot move onto an adjacent unoccupied stop position without moving his game piece off the circuit or crossover and backwardly onto the home base or to a different position thereon, other than a move toward the circuit. Points or scores may be earned, based on the numbers of moves made by the players before this is accomplished.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Lee 1 GAME APPARATUS  Inventor: Elizabeth Anna Lee, 39 Fox Hunt Ln., Amherst, NY. 14226 221 Filed: Mar. 12, 1973 211 App]. No.: 340,114
 US. Cl 273/131 AD; 273/131 BA; 273/134 GM; 273/136 A; 273/136 E  Int. Cl. A63f 3/00  Field of Search 273/131  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 963,505 7/1910 Boulware 273/131 K 1,262,312 4/1918 Dewante 273/131 K 1,899,177 2/1933 Bedell 273/131 B 2,727,745 12/1955 Jenkins... 273/131 BA 2,751,228 6/1956 Rojo 273/131 B 3,547,436 12/1970 Breslow 273/134 GM UX FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,054,769 1/1967 United Kingdom 273/131 D Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Raymond F. Kramer [451 July 22,1975
 ABSTRACT A fast playing game suitable for enjoyment by young and old, which tests mental faculties and yet is amusing to players of all ages and abilities. includes a game board or playing surface marked with stop positions on a circuit or a circular path which has a crossover between non-adjacent positions thereon and communicates with home bases for each player, from which home bases game pieces are moved onto the circuit, with the object being to move in such a manner so that an opponent cannot move onto an adjacent unoccupied stop position without moving his game piece off the circuit or crossover and backwardly onto the home base or to a different position thereon, other than a move toward the circuit. Points or scores may be earned, based on the numbers of moves made by the players before this is accomplished.
The game board and game pieces may include various elements for holding the game pieces in position on the board, including magnetic, Velcro or like elements, may be of different colors or other indicia, may be of given or changeable values so as to determine a winners score at the termination of the game and may include scoring recording devices.
12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures looooooooooooooooooool PATE NTEDJuL22 191s Fooooooooooooooooooi 9 fioooooooooooooooooooi I 3 M F 1 GAME APPARATUS to an open stop position in a permitted, area orcircuit and is unable to move any other pieces on home base, except backwardly, away from the circuit, which backward moves there are forbidden.
Games to provide amusement, while at the same time stimulating and testing the mental faculties of players have been known for thousands of years. In addition to card games, board games involving movable pieces, such as chess, checkers, backgammon and pachisi are well known and have been highly accepted. However,
i the more complex of these, such as chess and checkers,
may be too complicated for very young children to play with pleasure and the simpler games soon become boring to them as well as to older players. Some simple games, requiring the use of only a few game pieces or movers, such as tic-tac-toe, which, like the present ers of all age groups, especially pre-school age children, to encourage them to socialize with other children without regimentation and simultaneously to develop their mental capabilitiies. Such a game should be one which is playable on a simple game board with only a few game-pieces per player and should be sufficiently interesting so that the players do not quickly become bored. The game should be one in which the outcome is relatively unpredictable by the average player, although he may think that he can forecast the result, and
which is modifiable to include elements of chance, preas by older persons, which tests mental faculties and yet is amusing to the players, comprises a marked game playing surface having a plurality of home base positions in each of a plurality of separate home bases of players so that another player cannot move any of his pieces to an adjacent unoccupied stop position on the circuit or connecting path.
In preferred embodiments of the game the marked playing surface has from 2 to 8 home bases, each of which includes from 3 to 5 positions communicable through respective single paths from only one such position to only one stop position on the circuit. The cir cuit has from four to 30 stop positions, depending on the number of players and the number of movers or pieces per player, the main requirement being that there should be enough movers so that it is possible to prevent movement of a player by blocking all open spaces to which another player may move in the circuit-crossover area. In a most preferred embodiment of the invention the playing board is arranged for two players, the circuit is circular with four stop positions at 90 intervals thereon, with a central stop position on crossover paths from both sets of non-adjacent peripheral stops and with a pair of home bases, each with three stop positions thereon and communicable through a base position, preferably the center base position, with the circle.
In modifications of the described gameboards and pieces means will be provided to hold the pieces to the board during playing of the game and in some instances values or indicia may be marked on the stop positions or the bottoms of the game pieces, sometimes in such manner as to conceal the values from one player or the players until the end of the game. In some instances the value markers are adapted to be held to the gameboard and to hold the game pieces to them in removable relationship.
The structures of the gameboard and pieces and the method of playing the game will be readily understood from the following description and by reference to the drawing in which:
FIG. I is a top plan view of a highly preferred form of the present gameboard, with mover pieces thereon in starting position;
FIG. 2 is a corresponding view, showing the pieces at the end of a game, with the White pieces trapped and Black winning; and
FIG. 3 is a partial, enlarged, central sectional elevation taken in the direction of plane 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing the holding to the gameboard of a mover piece at at the ends of the home base and 47 at the middle marked for initial placements of at least three game pieces, one at each of at least three positions at each home base, a plurality of stop positions, arranged in a single circuit, at least one connecting path between stop positions that are on the circuit, said path having a stop position on it, a single path only for each home base, connecting only one home base position to the circuit for each home base, a plurality of game movers adapted to be moved along on the respective single paths from the initial bases to the circuit and along the circuit and the connecting path, when desired, said pieces comprising at least three pieces for each player and the numberof pieces being such that it is possible to have the stops on the circuit and the connecting path(s) occupied by the pieces of a player or a plurality thereof, which positions may be marked with a small dot or other means, as shown in FIG. 2, or may be left plain. A corresponding home base is provided for the white pieces identified by numerals 21, 23, and 25 and positioned at the start of the game at White home base section 27. Stop positions 51 and 52 are shown in FIG. 2, with the other position being covered. The home bases communicate with the closed path or circuit 29,
shown as a circle, and on such circuit are illustrated four stop positions 31, 33, 3S and 37, each located tion 43. Such. paths may also connect adjacent positions.
In the simplest form of the game, as illustrated, by chance or other means the player to go first is chosen and moves a game piece one stop position to an unoccupied stop. When Black moves first, his only move is to position 35 with game piece 13 and. similarly. Whites following move is with piece 23 to position 31. If desired, the game may begun in this position, which is also considered to be within the present invention. After the first move, however, a wide variety of moves may be made with any of the game pieces. Any move is allowed in the circuit or crossover area providing that it is onto an unoccupied next adjacent stop position with the exception that in the home base sections no move is allowed backwardly. By that it is meant that any move from the base area must be in the direction of the circuit and no move back to the base is allowed.
Players move in turn and at each turn the player is obligated to move one game piece to an unoccupied adjacent position. No jumping of other game pieces is permitted. The object of the game is to have an opponent so trapped that when it is his turn to move he is unable to do so. When that happens the game ends or if more than two are playing, the immobilized player is out. A few playings of the game will indicate various stratagems and tactics that may be employed to trap an opponents pieces, while still allowing the player escape routes or a safe move, as by preserving an opening on the home base at 47 or at the original position of piece 23 to which piece 11 or 15 in the one case or 21 or 25 in the other case may be moved. Also, it will be evident that it will be desirable to avoid having ones mover or movers trapped on the home base by an opponents or ones own piece. Such trapping is illustrated in FIG. 2, which shows one possible ending of a game. In that figure Blacks base positions 45, 47 and 49 and Whites base position 51 are indicated by small dots or other indicia on bases or base sections 17 and 27, respectively.
In more complicated versions of the present game a greater number of players may participate and additional home bases, one for each player, may communicate with the circuit. If desired, other numbers of movers or playing pieces may be allowed for each player. Usually there will be from two to eight home base sections and each of these will contain from three to five positions communicable through a path from one such position to the circuit, with a corresponding number of movers or game pieces. In some variations plural communications of the home bases with the circuit may be allowed but such form of the game is not usually preferred. The circuit may have from four to stop positions thereon and will usually contain from one to five crossover paths which may have from one to 10 stop positions thereon. The rules of the game are the same when more players participate but it will be apparent that the method of play may involve a plurality of players teaming up or combining against another player to immobilize his movers. When one player is immobilized and others are still in the game, the losing players pieces may be removed from the gameboard or may be maintained in place. Generally, it is preferred to follow the latter course because otherwise trapping becomes more difficult as the number of available spaces becomes increasingly greater than the number of movers. Although the variations of the invented game topermit playing by more than two players are useful and interesting the game is considered to be at its most enjoyable in the illustration given herein for two players, with a minimum of pieces to be moved and a minimum number of stop positions for them.
It will be evident that an important feature of the present game is in the provision of a crossover between nonadjacent positions on the circuit. This increases the mobility of the movers and allows a greater variation in the number of combinations of moves to trap an opponent or secure the release of ones own pieces. Additional non-circuit stop positions on paths communicating adjacent circuit positions may be provided but are not necessary and usually are not preferred.
In the playing of the game allowances may be made for differences between players abilities by giving handicaps. These may take the form of earlier moves, preferred starting positions, a decreased number of pieces for the opponent, etc. However, such handicaps are not usually required because it has been found that by practice in playing the game even the very young are often able to win over their older competitors.
A great advantage of the present game is in its simplicity. Yet, the great number of combinations of moves that may be made and the different variations of endings keep the game ever interesting. Also, the average game is finished in from 1 to 5 minutes so that it holds the interest of the players throughout.
Frequently, in the game illustrated in the drawing, the object is to winand no specific scoring is made except. possibly, to award a point for winning a game when a series of games is being played. However, variations on the present game can be made in which each game is scored. Scoring can be by moves made (the fewer required to win the higher the score) or by the positions of the winning and/or losing pieces at the end of the game. Thus, each of the positions on the home bases, circuit and crossover may be given avalue, usually numerical, at the beginning of the game and an object will be to obtain the highest possible score, which score might be the difference between the sum of the numbers on the final positions of one player and the sum of the numbers of the final positions of the other player, with the difference, as a positive number, being awarded to the winner. In other cases, the numbers may be randomly assigned at the beginning of the game with neither player knowing what they are. This can be done by having the numbers face down on markers or indicators that are located on top of the various stop positions or adjacent to them and onto or next to which the movers are subsequently placed. If desired, each player can, without the knowledge of the other player,
.assign values to certain positions before the start of the game and in such situations the players may intentionally move onto such positions or avoid them so as to'obtain a better score.
To keep the game intact during play and to avoid unintentional movement or loss of pieces due to motion of the gameboard, as when the game is being played in a moving vehicle, means are provided to retain the various game pieces on the gameboard at the selected stop positions. Such means may be magnetic game pieces and/or gameboard. The gameboard may be of plastic or other suitable substances with a magnetic material or magnetizable material present only at the various stop positions. Instead of magnetic materials, other means for holding, such as electrostatically chargeable materials and preferably, hooked multifilament plastic mate- 5, rials. such as that sold under the trade name Velcro, may be employed. In such cases, the use of values or other indicia for each of the stop positions may be demarker 55 with, on the undersurface thereof. a value mark or number. Because it is steel, the upper surface thereof is a means for holding steel, ferrous or magnetic game pieces, such as piece 11, in place magnetically. It will be noted that marker 55 has a broader base than the game piece 11, allowing ready removability of the game piece from it during playing of the game, when desired, without disengaging the marker from the gameboard, after it is moved onto the circuit thereof in a first move by piece 1 1, until the end of the game when it is desired to add up the score. Different means for holding the marker to the gameboard and the game piece to the marker may be employed or these may be of the same type, usually either magnetic or Velcro (Trade Mark). A magnetic gameboard, magnetic bottom on the marker, Velcro (Trade Mark) top on the marker and Velcro (Trade Mark) bottom on the game piece may be used, for example. If desired, markers may be separately fastened to the gameboard adjacent to the stop positions by the means described so that the movers may be held directly to the gameboard, rather than to the markers. The game may be played without the use of the markers, if desired, and the movers may be held to the gameboard at the stop positions.
For scoring by moves made, pegboards 60 and 64 are supplied, the former being for Black and the latter for White. Holes 61 and 65 are provided in them and pegs 63 and 67 are inserted to record the moves made. A single peg may be used in each board instead and advanced with each move. Scores (not shown) may be indicated alongside the'boards, with higher scores accompanying fewer moves to the game ending. In the game illustrated in the drawing Black has won because he has completed his ninth move and White is unable to move. The pegboards or other scoring or move recorder may be'above the gameboard surface or set in i the board, as may be the various circuits, paths, stops,
' The invention has been described with respect to specific embodiments thereof but it is evident that it is not to be limited to these because one of skill in the art will be able to utilize substitutes and equivalents without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A fast playing game, suitable for enjoyment of the young as well as by older persons, which tests mental faculties and yet is amusing to the players, which comprises a marked game playing surface having aplurality of home base positions in each of a plurality of separate home bases marked for initial placement of at least three game pieces, one at each of at least three positions at each home base, a plurality of stop positions, arranged in a single circuit, at least one connecting path between stop positions that are on the circuit, said path having a stop position on it, a single path only, for each home base, connecting only one home base position to the circuit, for each home base, a plurality of game movers adapted to be moved along on the respective single paths from the initial bases to the circuit and along the circuit and the connecting path, when desired, said pieces comprising at least three pieces for each player and the number of pieces being such that it is possible to have the stops on the circuit and the connecting path(s) occupied by the pieces of a player or a plurality of players so that another player cannot move any of his pieces to an adjacent unoccupied stop position on the circuit or connecting path.
2. A game according to claim 1 wherein the marked playing surface has from two to eight home bases, each of which includes from three to five positions communicable through respective single paths from only one such position to only one stop position on the circuit,
which circuit includes from four to 330 stop positions.
3. A fast playing game, suitable for enjoyment by the young as well as by older persons, which tests mental faculites and yet is amusing to the players and which is suitable for playing by two people, which comprises a marked game playing surface marked with a home base for each player, each of said home bases having three aligned positions marked for initial placement of game pieces thereon and each communicating through only a center position with a different one of only four stop positions, which stop positions are arranged in a circuit with non-adjacent positions thereof being connected together through an additional central stop position, and six game movers adapted to be moved along on indicated paths, three from each of the home bases to the circuit and along the connecting path, when desired, so that it is possible to have the stops on the circuit and the central stop position occupied by the pieces of a player or players, so that a player whose turn it is cannot move any of his pieces to an adjacent unoccupied stop position on the circuit or connecting path.
4. A game according to claim 3 wherein the circuit is circular, the stop positions thereon are located at the center thereof and at intervals about the circumference with lines connecting the diametrically opposed bases, one of such lines being extended beyond the circle at both ends thereof and terminating in lines at both ends at right angles thereto, on which are located the home base positions on which the initial game pieces of each player are placed.
5. A game according to claim 1 wherein markers are present and values or other indicia of the stops are on the markers or on the stop positions of the game board and the markers are adapted to be held to the game board at said stop positions to indicate said values or such indicia of such stops.
6. A game according to claim 5 wherein the markers indicating such values are adapted to be held in face down position on the game board so as to conceal said values until lifted therefrom.
7. A game according to claim 6 wherein the markers are adapted to hold to the game pieces.
8. A game according to claim 4 wherein the game pieces are adapted to be held to the stop locations on the game board when placed thereon.
9. A game according to claim 8 wherein markers are down position on the game board so as to conceal said 12. A game according to claim 1 wherein the circuit,
values until lifted therefrom. home bases, crossovers and stops are above or below 11. A game according to claim 10 wherein the marka gameboard surface.
ers are adapted to hold to the game pieces.