Title:
Method of movement and play in a game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of movement and play in a game by which cards are used to define the path of movement for the game pieces in the game, movement markers are used to plot the path of movement for a game piece, and the game piece is moved along the plotted path according to the rules of the game.



Inventors:
James Jr., Long D. (Redmond, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/243034
Publication Date:
03/18/2004
Filing Date:
09/13/2002
Assignee:
LONG JAMES D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/262, 273/255
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F1/04; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE, LLP/SEATTLE (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method for defining the movement of a game piece in a game, comprising: providing at least one game piece; providing a plurality of movement markers; defining a path of movement with a navigation card; plotting the path of movement with the plurality of movement markers for the at least one game piece; and moving the at least one game piece along the path plotted by the plurality of movement markers.

2. The method of claim 1, the method further comprising providing a plurality of navigation cards.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein defining the path of movement further includes selecting one of the plurality of navigation cards to define a path of movement for the at least one game piece.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein providing a plurality of navigation cards includes providing different paths of movement on different navigation cards within the plurality of navigation cards.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein defining a path of movement with a navigation card includes selecting one path from multiple paths of movement on the navigation card.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein plotting the path of movement with a plurality of movement markers includes placing the at least one game piece at a starting location, the path of movement plotted from that starting location.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein plotting the movement of the at least one game piece with a plurality of movement markers includes laying out multiple movement markers on the playing surface to match the path of movement.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein plotting the path of movement with the plurality of movement markers includes aligning one side of a movement marker with the side of an adjacent movement marker to create a path of movement identical to the path specified by the navigation card.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the movement markers are octagonal tokens.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein providing the at least one game piece includes providing variable information on the at least one game piece, the variable information relating to the status of that game piece during a game.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein moving the at least one game piece along the path plotted by the plurality of movement markers includes moving the at least one game piece a distance along the path, the distance defined by the variable information on the at least one game piece.

12. A method of defining the movement of game pieces in a game, comprising: providing a plurality of game pieces; providing a plurality of movement markers; providing a plurality of navigation cards for determining the paths of movement by the game pieces; plotting the paths of movement of the game pieces with the plurality of movement markers to match the paths of movement specified on the navigation cards; and moving the game pieces along the paths plotted by the plurality of movement markers.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein providing a plurality of navigation cards includes providing different paths of movement on different navigation cards.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein providing a plurality of navigation cards includes at least one of the plurality of navigation cards having multiple paths of movement.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein plotting the paths of movement with a plurality of movement markers includes placing the game pieces at starting locations, the paths of movement plotted from the starting locations.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein plotting the paths of movement of the game pieces with the plurality of movement markers includes laying out multiple movement markers on the playing surface to match the paths of movement specified by the navigation cards.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein the movement markers are octagonal tokens.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein plotting the paths of movement of the game pieces with the plurality of movement markers includes aligning one side of a movement marker with the side of an adjacent movement marker to create paths of movement identical to the paths of movement specified by the navigation cards.

19. A card for use in a game having a game piece, the card comprising: at least one path of movement for the game piece.

20. The card of claim 19, wherein the path of movement defines a direction and a distance.

21. The card of claim 20, wherein the direction is non-linear.

22. The card of claim 19, wherein the path of movement is defined by multiple shapes illustrated on the card.

23. The card of claim 22, wherein each of the multiple shapes indicates an orientation of the game piece.

24. The card of claim 23, wherein the multiple shapes are identical shapes.

25. The card of claim 24, wherein the multiple shapes are octagons.

26. The card of claim 19, wherein the at least one path of movement includes two paths of movement.

27. The card of claim 26, wherein the two paths of movement are mirror images of each other.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to the use of miniatures in games, and more particularly methods of moving the miniatures in such games.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A degree of realism can be added to games, especially war and fantasy games, through the use of miniature figures to represent characters in the games. Each participant in the game manipulates characters, each represented by a miniature figure and each being endowed with certain characteristics, e.g., strength and range of movement, that enter into the resolution of a given event, such as a battle or other interface between characters. As the complexity of each character and each scenario grows, and as the number of characters increases, the complexity of the game increases.

[0003] Since these games are often not played on a game board or other surface with predetermined movement units, one factor adding to the complexity of these games is determining a way to measure the movement of the characters. Present methods for measuring character movement include the use of a ruler to measure distances in a game where, for example, moving two means moving two inches, or the use of cards to measure movement where, for example, moving two means moving two card lengths or two card widths, as specified by the game rules. These methods are limited to defining the distance of a move but do not define the complete path for the characters to follow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The invention described herein provides a method for defining character movement using navigation cards to define the path of movement of the game pieces in a game. The navigation cards define both the distance of the movement and the direction of the movement. The path of movement is plotted according to the navigation card using multiple movement markers placed on the play area of the game. The movement markers are placed adjacent each other to form the path. The game piece is then moved along the plotted path according to the rules of the game.

[0005] Each of the navigation cards provides a different path of movement, and some navigation cards provide multiple paths of movement. This allows the player to strategize what is the best move for them. This strategy is further affected by the variable information on the game piece as this information can affect how far along a plotted path a game piece can move.

[0006] Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims, and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game piece for use with the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a cross-section view taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a movement marker for use with the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a front view of a navigation card for use with the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 5 is a top view of the game piece shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a target line and a firing arc of the game piece.

[0012] FIG. 6 is a sample of a piloting skills and equipment card for use with the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 7 is a sample of a speed skills and equipment card for use with the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 8 is a sample of a gunnery skills and equipment card for use with the present invention.

[0015] Before one embodiment of the invention is explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including” and “comprising” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

[0016] Miniature figures are often used in games, especially war and fantasy games, to represent characters in the games. These characters, for example, can be a Roman legionnaire, a Civil War Union soldier, an ace pilot, or a mythical beast, depending on the game. Games can be played to re-enact historical battles, such as the Spartan defense of Thermopylae against the invading Persian army under King Xerxes, or to create a battle on the ground or in the air. Each participant in the game commands an army of characters, each represented by a miniature figure. Each character is endowed with certain strengths and weaknesses, all of which enter into the resolution of a given battle. To add interest to the battle, other factors such as magic and terrain can also be included.

[0017] FIG. 1 illustrates a game piece 4 for use with the illustrated invention. The game piece can include a FIG. 8 attached to a base 10, the FIG. 8 representing a character in the game. Each game piece 4 adjustably displays variable information relating to the characteristics of a character in the game using a self-contained record-keeping device, similar to that described in pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/958,201, filed Oct. 5, 2001, the entire contents of which is incorporated by reference herein.

[0018] As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the base 10 includes an aperture or stat slot 12. The variable information relating to the characteristics of a character in the game can be seen through this stat slot 12. The base 10 also includes a speed dial 16 that is adjustable by rotating the spindle 20 that is connected to the speed dial 16. The speed dial 16 shows a different set of variable information relating to the characteristics of a character in the game.

[0019] Although the invention described herein may be used for a wide variety of games, a game called CRIMSON SKIES will be used as an example to illustrate the invention. In CRIMSON SKIES, a player takes on the role of a flying ace that enters into a dogfight with other pilots. CRIMSON SKIES is a game of tabletop combat using collectible CRIMSON SKIES FIG. 8, an example of which is shown in FIG. 1. Each FIG. 8 is also referred to as a pilot 8. For the purposes of this description, the terms pilot, plane, and figure will be used interchangeably. A player builds an air squadron from his or her collection of planes 8. A game may be played using bases 10 with or without an attached FIG. 8.

[0020] In the illustrated embodiment, the game piece base 10 shows sets of numbers that define a pilot's characteristics. Each time a pilot 8 takes a point of damage during a game, the player clicks the game piece base 10 clockwise to the next set of numbers. Each point of damage taken by a pilot 8 changes the pilot's variable game piece base numbers, thereby changing the pilot's characteristics and typically reducing the pilot's effectiveness. Each time a pilot 8 takes a click of healing during the game, the player clicks the game piece base 10 counter-clockwise to the previous set of numbers.

[0021] As illustrated in FIG. 2, each pilot's base 10 contains important information. This information includes the pilot's: a) name 28, b) point value 32 (1-50), c) squadron symbol 36, d) collector's number 40 (1-160) and e) combat values 44. The stat slot 12 displays variable information that represents the statistics for that pilot 8. Each pilot 8 has seven combat values 44, four that change during the game and three that stay the same. The four values that change are maximum speed 48, front gunnery 52, rear gunnery 56 and piloting 60. These four values are on the game piece base 10, and can be seen through the pilot's stat slot 12. The remaining values, silhouette 64, front gunnery range 68 and rear gunnery range 72, never change and are printed on the base 10. The silhouette value 64 determines whether a shot fired on the game piece by an enemy is a hit or a miss. The front and rear gunnery ranges 68, 72 determine how close an enemy needs to be to the game piece 4 in order to fire on that enemy.

[0022] Three changeable values are shown in the speed dial 16: current speed 76, front gunnery modifier 80 and rear gunnery modifier 84. During the game, the player may change the speed of the pilot 8 by rotating the spindle 20. If the player rotates the spindle 20 counter-clockwise, he throttles up. If the player rotates the spindle 20 clockwise, he throttles down. As a plane's speed changes, its firing skill, represented by the front and rear gunnery values 52, 56, may change with it. The front and rear gunnery modifiers 80, 84 shown in the speed dial 16 show how the plane's current speed 76 may affect its firing skill.

[0023] Game Items: In addition to a player's CRIMSON SKIES pilots 8 and a rules sheet, a player needs the following items to play a CRIMSON SKIES game: a) a deck of navigation cards 88 (an example of which is shown in FIG. 4), b) at least two six-sided dice (not shown), and c) multiple movement markers 92 (shown in FIG. 3). In the illustrated embodiment, the movement markers 92 are octagonal tokens, approximately two inches in width. However, it is understood that the movement markers 92 may be of any suitable size or shape to define the path of movement of the pilots 24. Although in the illustrated embodiment the movement markers 92 are identically shaped, the markers may also include different shapes that can be combined to define a flight path. Optionally, a player may also collect simple terrain items (not shown).

[0024] Blank stickers are provided with each pack of CRIMSON SKIES pilots 8 for ownership identification. A player writes their initials on the stickers and places them on the bottom of each of that player's pilots 24. This helps a player to sort out which pilots 8 are that player's at the end of each battle.

[0025] Beginning the Game: CRIMSON SKIES can be played on a flat tabletop. The players designate an area to play that is at least three feet long on each side. A game can be played with any number of people, but the game is best when there are two, three, or four different squadrons. The players determine how big each squadron will be by setting a build point limit. Once a build point limit is chosen, the players may staff their squadron with planes 8 whose combined point values 26 are less than or equal to the build point limit. Each player selects one edge of the battlefield to be the player's, and then the game piece bases 10 of each pilot 8 are manipulated such that a green triangle is showing between the rear gunnery value 54 and the piloting value 60, indicating the pilot's starting position. Terrain items such as mountains and buildings can be added to the play area to obstruct flight patterns and shooting lines. In a standard game, no terrain items are used. However, if the player's decide to add terrain items, the terrain items are placed in the play area immediately after each player selects his squadron.

[0026] Each player then places a pilot 8 on a movement marker 92 in the play area within three inches of the player's edge, starting with the first player and rotating clockwise until all of the players are positioned. In another embodiment, the base 10 of the game piece could be the same shape as the movement markers 92, thus negating the need to place the pilot on a movement marker to begin the game. The remaining movement markers 92 and navigation cards 88 should be put off to the side of the play area. These will be used to plan and execute your movements during each turn.

[0027] Each player will then set the speed 76 for each of his pilots 8 to any value on the speed dial 16 of the game piece base 10. Setting your speed 76 is important because it determines which player goes first and which maneuvers you can perform. Once you start playing, you can only throttle up or down one click each turn and you cannot turn the speed dial 16 past the red line on the dial.

[0028] After all the speeds 78 have been set, resolve what pilots 8 move first by determining which planes 8 are moving the fastest. To do this, start counting down from ten, one point at a time, until a player announces that he has a plane 8 set to the announced speed. The player(s) with planes 8 at this speed 76 then prepare to move their planes 8.

[0029] Turns and Actions: In CRIMSON SKIES, players alternate moving their pilots 8 and attacking opposing FIG. 8 to win the battle. Most of the time, opponents will alternate actions. Sometimes, they will both act at the same time.

[0030] At the beginning of a turn, the players must determine the initiative. Players at the announced speed are called active planes 8 and all other players are called inactive planes 8. To determine initiative, each player with an active plane 8 rolls two six-sided dice and adds the result. The player with the highest total is the aggressor. The aggressor places his navigation cards 88 next to his active planes 8 first and also shoots first. A tie results in a re-roll.

[0031] Navigation and Movement: Next, players need to plan their moves using the navigation cards 88. Typically, a player chooses a navigation card 88 from a personal deck of 11 navigation cards 88, however, a deck of any predetermined number of navigation cards 88 can also be used. In the illustrated embodiment, the navigation cards 88 are rectangular cardboard cards, similar to playing cards. However, it is understood that the navigation cards 88 may be anything of suitable size, shape and material that defines a path of movement for a game piece for use in a game. Navigation cards 88 show one or more flight paths 96 and represent maneuvers 102 a plane 8 can perform. Each increment 104 of the flight path 96 is represented by a movement marker 92 that is placed on the play area when a player moves their plane 8. The card 88 a player selects for their current turn is based on the pilot's current speed 76. The pilot's speed 76 must equal or exceed the speed rating 100 as shown on the navigation card 88 in order to use that maneuver. The player plans his move by selecting a navigation card 88 and laying it face down straight behind the player's plane 8. For a card with multiple flight paths 96, the player places the card left, right or straight behind their plane 8 to indicate the path they have chosen. If a player has more than one plane 8 moving at the announced speed, the player chooses a navigation card 88 for each plane 8 as each active plane 8 must have its own navigation card 88. After the navigation cards 88 are selected, the players may move.

[0032] Starting with the aggressor, each player reveals his navigation cards 88 and states the maneuvers 102 his active pilots 8 are performing. But before each active pilot 8 can execute his maneuver 102, the other players must check the speed of plane 8 to see if the pilot is redlining the engine. If the current speed 76 of a plane 8 exceeds the maximum speed 48 printed on the game piece base 10, the pilot 8 is redlining the engine. A pilot check must then be made for each such engine.

[0033] A pilot check is used to see if a pilot 8 is skilled enough to perform the task at hand. To perform a pilot check, roll two six-sided dice, add them together and compare the result to the piloting value 60 on the game piece base 10. If the result is greater than or equal to the piloting value 60, the pilot check is successful. If not, the pilot check fails. If any pilot 8 rolls a total of two on the two six-sided dice, this is a critical failure.

[0034] If the pilot check is successful, the pilot 8 maintains his current speed 76. If the check fails, the plane 8 realizes one click of damage by turning the base 10 clockwise once. After failure, the speed dial 16 must be turned clockwise to the maximum speed on the game piece base 10. If the pilot 8 experiences a critical failure, the plane 8 is destroyed and removed from the game.

[0035] Once speeds have been checked, each player moves his active planes 8 at the same time. Using movement markers 92, lay out the plane's movement with the movement markers 92 based on the flight path 96 illustrated on your navigation card 88. The plane 8 will proceed to the point on the flight path 96 equal to its current speed 76. If the pilot's current speed 76 is greater than the highest number shown on the flight path 96, the plane 8 ends its movement on the highest number shown. Place the plane 8 on the appropriate movement marker 92 and remove the remaining movement markers 92 from the play area. Each increment 104 of the flight path 96 illustrated on the navigation cards 88 indicates the final direction a pilot 8 will face if the pilot 8 ends their move on that increment 104.

[0036] Skills and Equipment: There are special colored blocks on each pilot's game piece base 10. These colors represent skills and equipment that a pilot 8 has while they are displayed. There are many areas in which a player can find colored blocks representing the pilot's special abilities including: i) behind the max speed value 48, ii) behind the front gunnery value 52, iii) behind the rear gunnery value 56, iv) behind the piloting value 60 (all of which can be seen through the stat slot 12 on the pilot's game piece 4), and v) behind the values on the speed dial 16. Descriptions of these skills and equipment appear on the CRIMSON SKIES Skills and Equipment Cards, examples of which are shown in FIGS. 6-8. If a special ability is described as optional, the owning player decides if the ability is, or is not, used for the turn.

[0037] Collisions: While completing a maneuver, the movement markers 92 of opposing planes 8 are permitted to overlap. If two or more planes 8 end with overlapping markers 92, a collision is possible. A plane 8 can only collide with another plane 8 once during a single maneuver. If a player's plane 8 completes its maneuver overlapping the movement marker 92 of an inactive opposing plane 8, place the active plane 8's token in its final spot and set the plane 8 off to the side until the inactive plane 8 completes its move. However, each plane 8 whose movement markers 92 are overlapping must make a pilot check, as described above. If one pilot 8 passes his check, the planes 8 pass close by but do not collide. If all pilots 8 in the collision fail their pilot checks, the planes 8 have clipped each other and each pilot 8 takes one click of damage. Alternatively, if a movement marker 92 overlaps with an active plane 8 (i.e., one that has already moved) the result is different. If both pilots 8 pass their pilot checks, the planes 8 pass close by but do not collide. If either pilot 8 in the collision fails their pilot check, the planes have clipped each other and each pilot takes one click of damage.

[0038] If any during any collision, a pilot 8 has a critical failure (i.e., a roll totaling two from two six-sided dice) on his pilot check, simultaneously give each plane 8 a click of damage and check to see if any planes 8 are destroyed. A plane 8 is destroyed when three crash symbols appear in the stat slot 12 of the game piece base 10. If so, remove the destroyed planes 8 from play. If not, give each player another click of damage and recheck. Repeat this process until only one plane 8 involved in the collision remains in play or all planes 8 are simultaneously destroyed. Once all collisions are resolved, combat occurs.

[0039] Combat: Each pilot may take a shot once during a turn. After moving, check to see if an opposing plane 8 is in range. If so, the pilot may take a shot. To determine if a target is within the range of a plane 8, check the plane's front range value 68 and/or rear range value 72. The range value is the number of movement markers 92 at which a pilot 8 can shoot an opposing plane 8. Each player has a front target line 120 and a rear weapons arc 124, as illustrated in FIG. 5. Place a number of movement markers 92 within the pilot's weapons arc equal to the range of the plane 8. If the markers 92 overlap, the pilot 8 may shoot the target. Terrain such as high buildings and mountains prevent a player from shooting at a target but other single base planes 8 do not.

[0040] Once all the active planes 8 have moved, the aggressor selects one of his active planes 8 and checks the range to a single target. To resolve a shot, the aggressor rolls a number of dice equal to his pilot's gunnery skill 52, 56 modified by his gunnery effects 80, 84 on the speed dial 16. If the attack passes primarily through the rear face of the target's movement marker, add one die to the roll. If the target is within one movement marker away from the firing plane 8, add one die to the roll. Each die which is greater than or equal to the silhouette value 64 of the target is a hit. The target must take one click of damage for each hit. When three crash symbols appear on a plane's game piece base 10, the plane 8 has been shot down and is removed from the game.

[0041] Continue resolving attacks one plane 8 at a time on alternating sides until every active plane 8 has fired or passed the opportunity to fire. Once combat is resolved for the active planes 8, proceed by announcing the next lowest speed value. Determine initiative, place movement markers 92, move active planes 8 and take shots before proceeding to the next speed value. Once all planes 8 have had the chance to move and fire, the turn is over and all players set their pilot's speeds for the next turn as previously described above.

[0042] Ending the Game: The game ends when any of the following occur: a) Only one player remains with a pilot 8 on the play area; b) A predetermined time limit for the game expires; or c) All remaining players agree to end the game. A player may also decide to withdraw during their turn. If a player decides to withdraw, the player removes all of the player's remaining pilots 8 from the game. The player's opponents retain the victory points they have earned for any of the player's planes 8 they have eliminated.

[0043] The winner of the game is determined by the player with the highest number of victory points. Victory points are accumulated by eliminating opposing pilots 8 and from surviving friendly planes 8. A player is Shaken 128 when a yellow box shows up behind his piloting value 60 (see Piloting Skills and Equipment Card 108, FIG. 6). This indicates that the pilot may not fire his weapons. If all a player's remaining figures are Shaken 128, then add no points. The points awarded for eliminating an opposing pilot 8 is the point value of that pilot 8. The points accumulated for each surviving pilot 8 is equal to that pilot's point value 32. After the game, all players retrieve their eliminated FIG. 8.

[0044] The method of movement described in the illustrated embodiment can also be used with other types of game pieces and in other types of games. The method is not limited to use with a game piece having a self-contained record-keeping device as in the illustrated embodiment.

[0045] Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.