Title:
SHIP BATTLE GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ship battle game includes an environment. Each playing piece is non-descript, so that opposing players are unable to visually identify the type of ship the playing piece represents. A non-descript identifier is provided for each playing piece. Game information is provided on different types of ships and the fighting capability of each ship which is fully accessible by all players. A hidden legend is provided for each player indicating the type of ship that each playing piece identified by each non-descript identifier represents. The object of the game is for each player to engage ships of opposing players in battle, while strategically using the hidden knowledge of the fighting capability of each of their playing pieces.



Inventors:
Robinson, Larry (Calgary, CA)
Kowtaluk, John (Vittoria, CA)
Application Number:
11/561367
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
11/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Christensen, O'connor Johnson Kindness Pllc (1420 FIFTH AVENUE, SUITE 2800, SEATTLE, WA, 98101-2347, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ship battle game, comprising: an environment in one of a game board format or a computer game format, the environment including one of an area of water or outer space; playing pieces for each player, each playing piece representing a ship and being sufficiently non-descript that while the opposing players are able to view the playing piece as it navigates the environment, the opposing players are unable to visually identify the type of ship the playing piece represents and are, therefore, unable to identify in advance the fighting capability of the ship; a non-descript identifier for each playing piece which is fully viewable by the opposing players; game information on different types of ships and the fighting capability of each ship which is fully accessible by all players; a legend for each player indicating the type of ship that each playing piece identified by each non-descript identifier represents, the legend being kept hidden from the opposing players; the object of the game being for each player to engage ships of opposing players in battle, while strategically using the hidden knowledge of the fighting capability of each of their playing pieces.

2. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein each player is required to reveal the type of ship one of their playing pieces represents when such playing piece is one of engaged in battle with or in close proximity to a playing piece of one of the opposing players.

3. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein some playing pieces represent ships that there are penalties for firing upon, thereby preventing indiscriminate firing upon one of the opposing players pieces.

4. The ship battle game as defined in claim 2, wherein each player has a homeport and the non-descript identifier for each playing piece can be changed at homeport, thereby enabling the player to hide the fighting capability of a playing piece which has previously been identified as being a particular type of ship.

5. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein the fighting capability includes weaponry and different types of ships have different weaponry.

6. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein the fighting capability includes speed and different types of ships have different speeds.

7. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein the fighting capability includes an ability to withstand enemy fire and different ships can withstand different amounts of enemy fire before sinking.

8. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein the game is a naval battle game.

9. The ship battle game as defined in claim 8, wherein the environment includes areas of shallow water and the fighting capability includes an indication as to whether the type of ship is capable of navigating in the areas of shallow water.

10. The ship battle game as defined in claim 4, wherein each player has a homeport and each playing piece returning to homeport becomes “repaired”, so it leaves homeport without any damage from previous battle engagements with playing pieces of the opposing players.

11. The ship battle game as defined in claim 2, wherein each player has at least one “disguised” ship, and when asked about the type of ship in accordance with the rules, the player can misrepresent the type of ship.

12. The ship battle game as defined in claim 1, wherein provision is made for ramming of other ships.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a ship battle game in the form of a naval battle or a space battle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Battles between ships have proven to be a popular subject matter for games. Examples of existing United States Patent relating to naval battle games include: U.S. Pat. No. 2,277,301 (Channer 1942); U.S. Pat. No. 2,414,165 (Pashal 1947); U.S. Pat. No. 3,343,841 (Arend 1967); U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,704 (Massimei et al 1981); and U.S. Pat. No. 5,026,070 (Watt 1991). An example of an existing United States Patent relating to a space battle game is U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,126 (Moore 1998).

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention there is provided a ship battle game which includes an environment in one of a game board format or a computer game format. The environment includes areas of either water or space. Playing pieces are provided for each player, with each playing piece representing a ship. Each playing piece is sufficiently non-descript that, while the opposing players are able to view the playing piece as it navigates the environment, the opposing players are unable to visually identify the type of ship the playing piece represents and are, therefore, unable to identify in advance the fighting capability of the ship. A non-descript identifier is provided for each playing piece which is fully viewable by the opposing players. Game information is provided on different types of ships and the fighting capability of each ship which is fully accessible by all players. A legend is provided for each player indicating the type of ship that each playing piece identified by each non-descript identifier represents. The legend is kept hidden from the opposing players. The object of the game is for each player to engage ships of opposing players in battle, while strategically using the hidden knowledge of the fighting capability of each of their playing pieces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings, the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended to in any way limit the scope of the invention to the particular embodiment or embodiments shown, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a simplified perspective view of a ship battle game provided in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2A-2D are plan views of cards displaying information on different types of ships involved in the ship battle game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The preferred embodiment, a ship battle game generally identified by reference numeral 10, will now be described with reference to FIG. 1 through FIG. 2D.

Structure:

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown ship battle game 10, including an environment 12 in a game board format, including areas of water 14, islands 18 or impassable areas for ships, and areas of shallow water 16 within water 14. Each player has playing pieces 20, and each playing piece 20 has a non-descript identifier 22 which is fully viewable by the opposing players. Each playing piece represents a ship, and is sufficiently non-descript that while the opposing players are able to view playing piece 20 as it navigates environment 12, the opposing players are unable to visually identify the type of ship playing piece 20 represents and are, therefore, unable to identify in advance the fighting capability of the ship. Also provided is game information on different types of ships and the fighting capability of each ship which is fully accessible by all players.

In the preferred embodiment this information is provided in a Ship Reference Card shown as Table 1 and as individual ship cards 21 shown in FIG. 2A-2D. A card for each type of ship listed on the Ship Reference Card in Table 1 is provided, similar to the four examples provided. The fighting capability of each ship is indicated on each card 21, and includes the type or level of weaponry, speed capabilities, and the ability to withstand enemy fire, where each ship will have a different combination of weaponry, speed capabilities, and ability to withstand different amounts of enemy fire before sinking. As environment 12 also includes areas of shallow water 16, the fighting capability may also include an indication as to whether the type of ship is capable of navigating in the areas of shallow water. There is also a legend for each player that is kept hidden from opposing players that indicates the type of ship that each playing piece 20 identified by each non-descript identifier 22 represents. In the preferred embodiment, this legend takes two forms a Ship Log as shown in Table 2 and a card rack 23 into which cards 21 representing the ships are inserted in an order that allows the player to recall which identifier corresponds to each ship. In the preferred embodiment, the identifier is either a letter “A, B, C, etc.” or a number “1, 2, 3, etc” or a combination of the same. As illustrated in FIG. 1 identifiers 22 are shown as being numeric. Card rack 23 will, therefore, have numbered slots into which one of cards 21 can be inserted next to its numeric identifier. It is to be noted that the Ship Log in Table 2 enables players to keep track of damage to ships. As will hereinafter be further described under the Rules of Play, play proceeds by rolling dice 26, 28 and 30 for various actions, such as attacking, with guns, attacking with torpedos, or moving ships, respectively.

The object of the game is for each player to engage ships represented by playing pieces 20 of opposing players in battle, while strategically using the hidden knowledge of the fighting capability of each of their playing pieces 20. As a playing piece is engaged in battle with, or in close proximity to (e.g. within 3 playing spaces), a playing piece of an opposing player, each player is required to reveal the type of ship one of their playing pieces represents. However, each player may have at least one “disguised” ship, and when asked about the type of ship in accordance with the rules, the player can misrepresent the type of ship. In addition, to prevent indiscriminate firing upon players' pieces, some playing pieces may represent ships that there are penalties for firing upon, such as passenger liners or medical ships.

Each player has a homeport 24 along one of the coastlines. At homeport 24, non-descript identifier 22 for each playing piece 20 can be changed, thereby enabling the player to hide the fighting capability of a playing piece 20 which has previously been identified as being a particular type of ship. In addition, each playing piece returning to homeport 24 becomes “repaired”, so it leaves homeport without any damage from previous battle engagements with playing pieces of the opposing players. If desired, requirements, such as time penalties, may be required during repairs.

Below is an example of a set of instructions that may be used with the present invention:

CONCEPT: the described version is a board game of simulated NAVAL WARFARE. It permits 2 to 4 players to assume command of a naval fleet.

OBJECT: To find, sink or capture your opponent's FLAGSHIP

Eouipment

BOARD: The game is played on a board with a playing area of 44 by 44, equal squares. One side of a square is 2 nautical miles. The dark blue area represents deep water, light blue is shallow water and green for islands. Centered along the 4 sides of the board is a HOMEPORT or starting point for each player.

DICE: There are 6 dice—4 red gun dice representing number of deck guns and to inflict shell damage—1 white die for ship moves—1 green die used to inflict torpedo damage and depth charges.

HIT SHEET: A pad of hit sheets to record damage to the players' ships.

SHIP CARDS: Provided are 24 ship classes. In total 244 cards. Each card describes a particular class of ship, armament and speed.

SHIP HULLS: There are 26 ship hulls in 4 sets of colours, red, yellow, green and black lettered A to Z. These are used to represent the ship cards while at sea.

CARD STAND: There are 4 card stands, one per player, used to display each players ship cards.

SHIP REFERENCE CARD: There are 4 cards that contain information on all ship classes, that players may use.

Optional Game Pieces

SCALE MAP: To mark players own and opposition submarines and minefields.

PLANES: There are 6 plane markers per player corresponding to ship colours.

Rules of Basic Play

1. Provide each player with a card stand, hit sheet, FLAGSHIP card and 26 coloured hull pieces. All players have use of the dice included.

2. Discard scale maps, plane pieces, submarine and aircraft carrier cards

3. Players decide on an equal number of ships per player. The larger the fleet, the longer the game. A suggested number for novice is 5 ships each.
4. All ship cards are spread out face down on the game board and mixed. Each player rolls a die and the highest roll selects 5 ship cards. The next player selects 5 cards and so on, until the agreed number of ships has been selected. Conceal ship cards from other players. Since the ship cards are selected at random, each player's fleet will differ, making for a suspenseful game.

5. All remaining ship cards are returned to the game box and are not examined.

6. The first player chooses his/her HOMEPORT on the board and places it before them.

This is the starting point for all that players ships (excluding submarines). Other players choose their HOMEPORTS.

Ship Movement

The player who goes first, rolls the white die, which indicates how many ships, may move off HOMEPORT. The player decides what ship(s) to sail. A roll of 2 means: 2 ships may move, up to, the maximum speed printed on each ship card.

NOTE—A ship piece moves only once during the players turn and ships may move in any direction.

The ship card is placed on the card stand, in the slot of the matching letter of the hull piece. The card stand is placed facing the player, which creates a strategic situation, as other players are unaware of what class of ship has sailed. It is the end of that player's turn.

Ship cards on the card stand do not change identifiers while the playing piece is off HOMEPORT.

Each player has a maximum of 26 ships at sea. When a ship is sunk or returned to HOMEPORT, the hull piece may be used for another ship card.

Common Rule of Play

TO ENGAGE: Engagements are started by the player who is moving his/her ships. No other player may start an engagement, but may RETURN FIRE.

Ships may attack BEFORE the move and/or at the END of the move.

The players' ship must be IN LINE vertical, diagonal or horizontal with another playing piece. Player may engage numerous playing pieces.

A RETURN FIRE takes place when a ship is attacked and the attacking ship has completed the move and remains in range and IN LINE.

IDENTITY: A ship class may be asked when within 3 squares and IN LINE from any ship.

Shelling: Red Dice

Number of gun dice and gun range is on ship card.

Total equals amount of damage inflicted above the waterline.

Shell damage is instant. Record on hit sheet.

A ship sunk on a shelling salvo cannot return fire.

Ships cannot shell onto or over land.

Torpedoes: Green Die

Ships equipped with torpedoes are stated on the ship card.

Range is 3 squares and IN LINE with another ship.

The torpedo ship must be broadside to the attacked ship.

A roll of 1 to 4 indicates number of hits. A roll of 5 or 6 is a complete miss.

Total equals amount of damage below the waterline.

Torpedo damage is instant. Record on hit sheet.

A ship sunk on a torpedo salvo cannot return fire.

Torpedo die and shell dice may be rolled together.

BLOCKING: Occurs when a ship or plane has moving IN LINE and in the immediate square next to the attacking ship or target ship. No attack can take place until there is a 1 square clearance between the playing pieces.
RAMMING: Any ship may ram. It occurs when a player moves the ship piece to occupy the same square of another ship. The ship with the largest tonnage survives the ram with 1 torpedo damage taken. Ships of the same tonnage roll a die. Highest roller wins the ram.
REEF GROUNDING: Ships 9,000 tons or under may enter shallow water. Larger ships are grounded and lost.

Sea Battle Engagements

EXAMPLE: On reds turn. Red rolls the white die for 1 ship move. Red's BATTLESHIP moves IN LINE and 8 squares (gun range) of green's BATTLESHIP. Red has the choice of shelling green using 4 gun dice or less. Red rolls four fives. The total of 20 shells has struck the green BATTLESHIP. Green records the hull pieces letter and damage on the hit sheet and checks the ship card to determine it the BATTLESHIP is still afloat. It is, so green may RETURN FIRE. Green rolls 4 gun dice for a total of 10 shell damage to red's BATTLESHIP. Red records the hull piece letter and damage on the hit sheet. The engagement is complete, with no further attacks between these ships while it is still red's turn.
On greens turn. Green rolls the white die for 1 ship move. BEFORE moving, the BATTLESHIP shells red's BATTLESHIP with 4 dice, total 16 shells, then moves the green BATTLEHIP OUT OF LINE. Red records the damage with no RETURN FIRE.
On reds turn. Red rolls the white die for 3 ship moves. Red moves 3 ships into gun range and IN LINE with greens BATTLESHIP. All 3 ships, one at a time, shell green, with green RETURNING FIRE to each ship, Both players record their damage.
On greens turn. Green rolls the white die for 1 ship move. Before moving green's BATTLESHIP shells reds 3 ships. Green turns the BATTLESHIP to a different angle on the same square ending the move and shells reds 3 ships again, one at a time with red RETURNING FIRE from each ship. Green gets 2 attacks to reds 1 RETURN FIRE.
Ships may remain at sea until their damage limit according to the ship card is reached and they sink or may return to HOMEPORT for repairs. When a damaged ship reaches HOMEPORT it is instantly repaired.

Rules of Optional Play

ISLANDS: These are neutral and may be captured by any player once 3 ships are landed in 1 turn. Island capacity is the number of squares (4 or 6) that the island occupies. Ships on land cannot be damaged. Damaged ships cannot be repaired on islands. ID range is 3 squares around islands. Coastal guns use 2 red dice with a gun range of 3 squares around the island.
CAPTURING OCCUPIED ISLANDS: To capture an occupied island the attacker must land in 1 turn, 1 more ship than what is already on the island. Landing an equal number of ships in 1 turn creates a stalemate, with the first player to land a ship on the island winning control. Captured ships remain on the island and ship cards are surrendered to the new owner. Exchange ship hulls colours and record any damage the captured ships may have. A capture FLAGSHIP card s exchanged for a BATTLESHIP card.
SUBMARINES: The SUBMARINE cards are mixed with the ship cards at the start of the game and picked at random along with the rest of the classes. The location of the SUBMARINE is marked secretly on 1 square of the scale map before any ship sails onto the game board. Submarines are a hidden threat and CANNOT be placed within 3 squares of any HOMEPORT. A SUBMARINE maybe surfaced onto the game board at anytime during the players' turn, costing 1 move. The surfaced SUBMARINE is represented by a hull piece. Place the SUBMARINE card on the card stand, in the slot of the matching letter of the hull piece. The SUBMARINE remains surfaced until it reaches HOMEPORT and it is instantly placed on the scale map again, wherever the player wishes.
Identity range and torpedo range is 3 squares IN LINE from the SUBMARINES hidden location on the game board. A SUBMARINE may be placed in shallow water. A SUBARMINE surfacing under a ship is considered a ram and surfacing in a minefield cause 2 torpedo damage.
DEPTH CHARGING SUBMARINES: Ships equipped with depth charges is on the ship card. To drop a depth charge, roll the green die. A roll of 4, 5 or 6 instantly sinks the SUBMARINE if it is within 1 square of the depth charging ship. A roll of 1, 2 or 3 the SUBMARINE is undamaged. A SUBMARINE may RETURN FIRE if IN LINE and in torpedo range to the attacking ship.
MINEFIELDS: The location is marked secretly on the scale map at the start of the game, before any ship sails onto the game board. This is a hidden threat. There is a maximum of 2 minefields per player. Each MINEFIELD extends 4 squares in a straight line, vertical, diagonal or horizontal. Ships that enter a MINEFIELD (if noticed) stop on that square and receive 2 torpedo damage. A MINEFIELD overlapping another is 4 torpedo damage. MINEFIELDS cannot be located within 3 squares of any HOMEPORT. Once placed a MINEFIELD cannot be moved or relocated.
PLANES: Must move before ships. The white die has a maximum of 6 moves, therefore a maximum of 6 planes flying. The speed of a plane is 4 squares per move. PLANES fly from AIRCRAFT CARRIER and may fly over any playing piece, but cannot finish its move over any playing piece. PLANES may attack a ship once using the green torpedo die, and then must return to the AIRCRAFT CARRIER to reload. A roll of 5 or 6 is a complete miss. The ship may RETURN FIRE to the plane using all gun dice. Any roll of 4, 5 or 6 instantly shoots down a PLANE. A roll of 1, 2 or 3 and the PLANE is undamaged. A PLANE crashing into a ship equals 5 shell damage. Identity range and torpedo range is 3 squares IN LINE with the target ship.
PLANE attacking PLANE: Gun range is 3 squares and IN LINE. Using 1 red die highest roller wins. PLANES may crash into each other but both are then lost.

TABLE 1
FLAGSHIPThis is the players' personal ship, once sunk game is over for
that player.
BATTLESHIPFast ships with long gun range, able to inflict great amounts of
BATTLE CRUISERdamage.
POCKET BATTLESHIP
AIRCRAFT CARRIERLong range attack from aircraft
DREADNOUGHTModerate guns with good range, excellent as lone hunters or
HEAVY CRUISERescorts.
LIGHT CRUISERExcellent shallow water ships and Submarine hunters.
DESTROYER
CORVETTE
ASSAULT SHIP
MINESWEEPERGood for finding opponents' minefields, without taking damage
SUBMARINEAttack from a hidden threat.
AUXILIARY CRUISERLarge ships with moderate guns. Capable of taking large
ARMED MERCHANTamounts of damage. Good brawlers.
TROOP TRANSPORTUsed to capture smaller ships when brought alongside target
ship.
Boarding a neutral ship is an aggressive act, neutral ship is
captured, but Troop Transport is lost.
PASSENGER LINERThese are neutral ships. When attacked, with intent to damage,
HOPITAL SHIPthe attacking ship, plane, or submarine is lost as compensation.
HEAVY RAIDERThese ships may disguise themselves in order to gain an attack
LIGHT RAIDERadvantage. True identity must be given (if asked) after raider is
fired upon.
FREIGHTERGood ships for identifying and decoying opponent.
TRAMP STEAMER
AMMUNITION SHIPHighly explosive ships. Any damage from shell, torpedo,
TANKERramming, or grounding, ship explodes and destroys any playing
piece IN LINE for 2 squares around the ship. Explosion will not
harm a blocked ship or aircraft.

TABLE 2

Variations:

While the preferred embodiment is described in relation to a naval battle environment on water in a playing board format, it will be understood that the present invention is adaptable to other environments, such as space, and may also be developed in a computer game format. In the space environment, ships would refer to spaceships, and obstacles such as coastal regions and shallow water may be replaced with other obstacles such as meteor showers, planets, etc.

In this patent document, the word “comprising” is used in its non-limiting sense to mean that items following the words are included, but items not specifically mentioned are not excluded. A reference to an element by the infinite article “a” does not exclude the possibility that more than one of the elements is present, unless the context clearly requires that there be one and only one of the elements.

It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the illustrated embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter defined by claims.





 
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