US 3899176 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Aug. 12, 1975 United States Patent [1 1 Gregan 1 GAME APPARATUS  Inventor: Daniel P. Gregan, 4773 Wolff Dr.,
Br n i k, Ohi 44212 Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Oct. 15, 1974  Filed:
 App]. No; 514,431
 ABSTRACT There is disclosed herein a game apparatus comprising a game board, scoring markers, playing chips, a die, and blinders. The game board is marked off with pairs of opposed grids, arcuate bands connecting the grids around the board, and a center scoring area. A blinder  US. 273/130 R [51} Int. Cl. A631 3/00  Field of Search 273/130 R, 130 A, 130 AB,
7 3( shields each players grid while he strategically locates 5 6] References Cited playing chips thereon for subsequently playing first the opponent on one side and then the opponent across UNITED STATES PATENTS from 273/134 AD 273/134 AD 10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 412,297 10/1889 Ruthcrfordhm,.......... 3,170,696 2/1965 Nielsen PATENTEB AUG 1 2 I975 SHEET PATENTEU sum FIG. 2.
GAME APPARATUS This invention relates to a game of the type having a playing board around which the players are seated during play. Games of this type known to the present inventor range from those depending almost entirely on the element of chance to games calling for great strategy and skill and/or which have exceedingly complicated rules of play. Also, such prior known games are commonly limited to play by a set number of players and to a single mode of playing for all players.
The present invention combines the need for both skill and luck in a game which is sufficiently complicated to sustain the interest of the players without burdening them with rules encompassing endless ramifications and which, additionally, provides for varying numbers of players and different modes of play.
One object of the invention is, therefore, to provide a gam game the type referred to which affords an opportunity for the player to utilize strategy and skill in dealing with opponents.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a game which is adaptable for various modes of play by two, three, or four persons.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a game of the above type wherein winning depends upon both the alertness of the player and the element of chance.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a game having the above characteristics wherein a player sequentially plays different opponents during each round of play.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a game as set forth above wherein a player sequentially plays in different directions on the board during each round of play.
An added object of the invention is to provide a game having the entertaining feature of affording the player an opportunity to plan his assaults upon his opponent without unduly burdening the play with complicated and unwieldy rules.
Other objects of the invention and the advantages thereof will be readily understood from the following description of one embodiment of the invention as described in the accompanying drawings, in which said drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the game board alone;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary view showing part of a scoring area of the game board; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail showing a scoring marker in position in the scoring area.
Referring now to the drawings in all of which like parts are designated by like reference numerals, a preferably square game board is marked off to define nine rectangular areas including a central scoring area 11, said scoring area being defined by the inner edges of four rectangular grids 12, 13, 14, and comprising right angularly intersecting rows of grid squares 12', 13', 14, and 15', respectively. The grids 12-15 are disposed 90 apart around the board and are similar in design to checkerboards except that the number of squares and the arrangement thereof is different from a conventional checkerboard. The individual grid squares 12-15 which make up the grids 12-15 are preferably alternately colored in the manner of a checkerboard or chessboard although this is not necessary to the playing of the game. Each grid 12-15, as viewed by a player seated at the board in front of the grid, has nine squares in the horizontal dimension parallel with the inner and outer edges of the grid and six squares in the vertical dimension extending from the central scoring area to the outer edge of the game board. This arrangement leaves four corner rectangles 16, 17, 18, and 19 disposed on the right-hand side of the grids 12, 13, 14, and 15, respectively. The comer rectangles l6, 17, 18, and 19 are provided with enlarged numerals l, 2, 3, and 4, respectively, which indicate the number of the grid on the clockwise side of each numeral.
Each of the corner rectangles, 16-19, is provided with outer and inner arcuate corner connecting bands 20 and 21, respectively, the ends of which are aligned with the second horizontal row 22 and fourth horizontal row 23, respectively, of squares in each grid, counting inwardly from the outer edge of the game board 10. These arcuate bands are preferably provided with a distinctive color whereby they appear to be continuous around the board passing through each of the grids 12-15. The arcuate bands 20 and 21 are each provided with an arbitrary scoring number 6 or 3, these numbers being reversed with respect to said bands at alternate comer rectangles 16-19 to provide added interest to the scoring.
The central scoring area 11 is provided with certain scoring indicia as well as scorekeeping means. The indicia comprise arbitrary scoring numbers provided at the top or inner end of each vertical row of grid squares 12, 13', 14' or 15. The scoring numbers in either direction across the inner edge of each grid, read I 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1. The exact use of these scoring numbers will be herein later fully described. The central scoring area also contains four scoring blocks 24 each of which is suitably numbered to correspond with the enlarged numerals l, 2, 3, and 4 immediately adjacent to the outer corners of the corner rectangles 16-19, respectively. Each scoring block 24 is divided into three columns 25 each of which has, in the form of the invention disclosed herein, 3O scoring spaces 26. The scoring spaces in each scoring block 24 are provided with sequential numbers imprinted thereon, preferably progressing down one of the side columns 25, up the middle column, and down the opposite side column whereby each player is provided with means for maintaining his score in full view of the other players. Each scoring space 26 is preferably provided with a small recess or aperture 27 adapted to receive a scoring marker 28. As best seen in FIG. 4, a scoring marker 28 comprises a small grip portion 29 and a coaxial pin or shaft 30 for insertion into one of the apertures 27. Thus when a player seated in front of the grid 12, for example, scores, said player will indicate the same by moving a scoring marker 28 along the columns of the scoring block 24 having the numeral 1 at the upper end thereof to indicate his score. The players seated at the grids 13, 14, and 15 will note their scores in a similar manner with scoring markers 28 placed along the columns of the scoring blocks 24 marked 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
Referring now to FIG. 3 of the drawings, selected scoring spaces 26 disposed any number of spaces apart may be provided with identifying indicia such as a color as indicated at the scoring spaces 26'. The scoring spaces 26' may be utilized to add an exciting additional element of chance to the scoring by observing the rule that when a players scoring marker 28 lands on a scoring space 26' at the end of a round of play, he must retreat to the last preceding scoring space 26. The players may also decide to reward such a scorer by allowing him to advance to the next scoring space 26.
Referring now specifically to FlG. 1, each player is provided with a blinder 35, only one of which is herein illustrated. The blinders 35, as well as the game board 10, may be made of any suitable heavy cardboard or thin plastic in the usual manner of games of this type. Each blinder comprises a front shield 36 which preferably tilts backwardly from the inner edge of the grid. A pair of side shields 37 are preferably hinged to the side edges of the shield 36 as indicated at 37 whereby the entire blinder can be folded flatwise for insertion into a game box. When the blinder is in the position illustrated, a players grid is effectively protected from visual spying by an opponent.
Each player is provided with an arbitrary number of playing pieces such as chips 38 which he will strategically position in the grid squares of his grid as illustrated. The game apparatus also includes a starting block 39 which is preferably in the form of a die but may be of other form.
Use of the game apparatus of this invention will best be understood by first describing a game in which four players participate. Prior to the first round of play, one player is selected to possess the starting block 39. This may be readily and fairly decided by rolling the die until one of the players has won the starting block by rolling the highest value. After completion of the first round of play, the starting block 39 is passed in a counterclockwise direction to the next player, provided the next player asks for it. Otherwise, the starting block remains in place.
All of the players then place their blinders 35 in the position shown in FIG. 1 and proceed to place their chips in selected grid squares upon the grids in front of them. if the winner of the starting block 39 is seated at the grid facing the lower left-hand comer of the drawing in FIG. 1, said starting block is placed in the corner rectangle 16 as illustrated. Each player is provided with chips 38 which he may use at his discretion provided that in each round of play he places at least one chip upon his playing grid. Placing of the chip or chips on the grid takes place while all of the blinders 35 are in position to shield each players grid from all of the other players. A chip may be placed in any grid square aligned with any of the numbers at the top of the grid and may be in line with one of the bands 20 and 21 as the player chooses. After all players have placed their chips, all of the blinders 35 are removed and placed to one side. Scoring now takes place.
The first scoring is between the person holding the starting block 39 and the person immediately to his left and is played along the arcuate bands 20 and 21 and the respective grid squares l2 and 13' aligned with said bands. lf any player has any number of chips in the grid squares aligned with one of the bands 20 or 21 and his opponent has none in his aligned grid squares, the first player scores the number of points indicated by the numerals in the arcuate bands between the opponents, multiplied by the number of chips in that row of grid squares. Ifa player has more chips in line with the arcuate bands than his opponent, he scores the value indicated on the band and gives the opponent the number of chips in excess of those of the opponent in line with the same arcuate band. Thus, if the starting player at grid 12 has three chips placed in the grid squares l2 aligned with the arcuate band 20 and the player at grid 13 has only two chips aligned therewith, the player at grid 12 receives 6 points and surrenders one chip to the player at grid 13.
After both arcuate bands 20 and 21 have been played between the players at grids 12 and 13, similar scoring takes place between the players at grids 13 and 14. Finally, the player at grid 14 scores or is scored against with respect to the player at grid 15. All scores are recorded by the scoring markers 28 at the appropriate scoring blocks 24 of the respective players.
Scoring does not continue between the player at grid 15 and the player at grid 12. The significance of the starting block 39 positioned in the corner rectangle 16 is that play around the board stops at this point. However, scoring continues by players on opposite sides of the board scoring against each other with whatever chips are left upon their grids. Scoring is determined by the number of chips in aligned vertical rows, reference being made to the values as indicated by the numerals at the inner or top edges of the grids. If opposing players have the same number of chips in aligned rows, there is no scoring. If a player has more chips in a vertical row on his grid than the chips in the aligned row of his opponents grid, he scores the value at the top of the row and gives the difference in the number of chips to his opponent. Additionally, a player can score against his opponent by having chips in vertical rows in which his opponent has none on the following scale: three rows equal 2 points, four rows equal 4 points, five rows equal 6 points, six rows equal 8 points, seven rows equal 10 points, and eight rows equal 12 points. In each of these lastmentioned methods of scoring, the scorer keeps the chips by which he has scored.
If a player has every grid square in a vertical row occupied against the row of an opponent which has no chips, the first player then receives a bonus of 6 times the value indicated at the top of the row without forfeiting any chips.
After all scores are determined and recorded in the appropriate scoring blocks 24, the starting block then passes to the next player from left to right provided, and only provided, that he is alert enough to ask for it before the next round of play begins.
The object of the game is to be the first to score the highest number of points indicated on the scoring blocks, in the present illustration a score of 90. However, it can be readily seen that in some instances the gaining of points can be costly in terms of the loss of chips. Thus, the player must be constantly deciding whether or not a score attained would be worth the possible loss of chips or whether it would be better to allow the opponent to score whereby to obtain extra chips for overwhelming him at a later time. It can be readily seen that this involves a great deal of thought, strategy, and increasingly acquired skill, without burdening the players with excessive and exhaustingly complicated rules. When four players are playing, they may play for a single winner or for places such as first, second, third and fourth. When playing for places, the first place winner leaves the game taking his chips from the board and the remaining players play under the rules for a threeplayer game until a second-place winner is determined. The second-place winner then leaves the game with his chips and the remaining two players observe the two-player rules.
When three players are playing, whether from the beginning of a game or as a result of a first-place winner out of four players having been determined, the above rules apply except that the odd player who has no direct opposition across the board can only score along the arcuate bands. By the same token, he can only be scored against along these arcuate bands. This considerably simplifies his plan of strategy.
When two players play a game from the beginning, they play from opposite sides of the table, each player starting with 20 chips. No starting block is used and all scoring is directly across the board along the vertical rows of grid squares. All scoring is also directly across the board when two oppositely positioned players remain from an original threeor four-player game. If the two players are the remaining players of a threeor four-player game and are not opposite each other, then all scoring is along the arcuate bands until the thirdor second-place winner is determined, depending upon the original number of players.
As hereinbefore stated, an additional element of chance can be added by the use of the special scoring spaces 26 in the scoring blocks which can be used to either penalize or reward a scorer landing thereon after a round of play, as determined by the participants.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that the present invention provides a new and novel game incorporating different modes of play and calling upon a certain amount of strategy and planning by each player. Each player realizes that losing chips weakens his chances of scoring points but that he must sacrifice chips, in many instances, in order to score. Thus, the players goal is to spend the least amount of chips per point gained. It will be noted that although a player may be rapidly weakened by losing chips while scoring, the game is so designed that he can never lose his last chip and, in such weakened position, will in all probability gain chips with which to counterattack. It will be further noted that even a player reduced to one chip can score with a combination of the proper strategy and luck.
It will be understood that many changes in the details of the present invention may be made without. however, departing from the spirit thereof or the scope of the appended claims.
I claim 1. A game apparatus comprising a game board having a plurality of like grids disposed around the board and oppositely paired across the board; each said grid hav ing right an gularly intersecting rows of grid spaces, said grid spaces defining certain rows aligned across the board with like rows in the opposite grid, and transverse rows disposed perpendicularly with respect to said certain rows; said game board having means defining connecting bands connecting at least one transverse row of grid spaces in each grid with the corresponding transverse row in the next adjacent grid around said game board; said certain rows of grid spaces and said connecting bands being assigned arbitrary scoring values; a plurality of playing pieces adapted to be positioned on said grid spaces; and a blinder for each said grid for shielding the disposition of playing pieces until all playing pieces are in place whereby upon removal of said blinders, scoring is determined by the number of playing pieces in the corresponding one transverse row of a next adjacent grid around said board and by the number of playing pieces in any said certain row of a grid as compared with the playing pieces in the certain row aligned therewith in the opposite grid.
2. In a game apparatus as set forth in 'claim I, said game board having four of said grids positioned apart around said game board.
3. In a game apparatus as set forth in claim 2, the inner edges of said grids defining a central scoring area; means defining four scoring blocks within said scoring area for scoring by the players using said grids, respectively; each said scoring block comprising means defining a plurality of scoring spaces having sequential values; and a scoring marker for each player to record his score on a scoring space in his scoring block.
4. A game apparatus comprising a game board having four like grids disposed in pairs at opposite edges of the board and sequentially at generally right angles to each other around the board; each said grid, as viewed by a player seated at the game board, comprising vertical and horizontal intersecting rows of grid spaces, said vertical rows being aligned with vertical rows in the grid disposed at the opposite edge of said board; means defining connecting bands connecting at least one horizontal row of grid spaces in each grid with the corresponding horizontal row in the next adjacent grid around said game board; said vertical rows of grid spaces and said connecting bands being provided with numbers indicating arbitrary scoring values; a plurality of playing pieces adapted to be positioned on said grid spaces; and a blinder for each said grid for shielding the disposition of playing pieces until all playing pieces are in place whereby upon removal of said blinders, scoring is determined by the number of playing pieces in said one horizontal row in one grid as compared with the number of playing pieces in the corresponding one horizontal row of a next adjacent grid in one direction sequentially around said board and then by the number of playing pieces in any said vertical row of a grid as compared with the playing pieces in the vertical row aligned therewith in the opposite grid.
5. In a game apparatus as set forth in claim 4, each said grid having means defining connecting bands connecting two of said horizontal rows of grid spaces with corresponding rows in the next adjacent grid, there being at least one horizontal row not connected to a band between said two horizontal rows at each said grid.
6. In a game apparatus as set forth in claim 4, a starting block member adapted to be placed at one side of the grid of a starting player opposite said one direction indicating the point at which sequential play around said board stops.
7. In a game apparatus as set forth in claim 6, said grids having inner edges spaced inwardly from said opposite edges of said game board, said inner edges defining a central scoring area; and said central scoring area including means for each player at each said grid to record his score.
8. In a game apparatus as set forth in claim 4, said grids having inner edges spaced inwardly from said opposite edges of said game board, said inner edges defining a central scoring area; means defining four scoring blocks within said scoring area for scoring by the players using said grids, respectively; each said scoring block comprising means defining a plurality of scoring spaces having sequential values; and a scoring marker 8 tain of said scoring spaces being provided with indicia contrasting them with the remainder of said scoring spaces to afford means for requiring a change of score for the player whose scoring marker lands on one of said certain scoring spaces by requiring him to move to another one of said certain scoring spaces.