Title:
Board game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates a board game wherein players are educated on emergency preparedness, response and recovery and on the homeland security threat advisory levels as issued by the Department of Homeland Security while the players attempt to move tokens from a designated start space to a designated home space. The game further includes playing cards, player tokens, and disaster kit tools.



Inventors:
Muller, Rebecca Joy (Yountville, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/242249
Publication Date:
04/05/2007
Filing Date:
10/03/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/254
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond M. Galasso (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a board game comprising: moving at least one token on a playing surface having: a plurality of spaces configured in a contiguous path, said spaces providing designations of at least one of one state of the United States, a territory outside the United States, a vacation, a blank, a start, and a home; a disaster kit area, said disaster kit area containing a plurality of disaster tool kit tools, at least one of said plurality of disaster kit tools for enabling said at least one token to enter a home space; selecting a playing card from a plurality of playing cards placed in a draw pile on said playing surface, when said at least one token lands on a select one of said plurality of spaces; and accumulating at least one of said disaster kit tools from said disaster kit area by at least one of: landing on a blank space and collecting a disaster kit tool from an opponent; and drawing a playing card from said draw pile that specifically designates a particular disaster kit tool.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein utilizing a random number generator allows the player to move the token along said path a number of spaces equal to the number produced by said random number generator and engage in a predetermined action.

3. The method of claim 3, wherein the predetermined action is drawing a playing card from said draw pile.

4. A method of playing a board game comprising: having at least two players, each of said players have three tokens; each player, in turn, moving at least one of their three tokens on a playing surface, with the playing surface having; a plurality of spaces configured in a contiguous path, each of said plurality of spaces designated with at least one of a land territory, a vacation, a start, a home, and a blank; a disaster kit tool area, said disaster kit tool area for providing a plurality of disaster kit tools, said plurality of disaster kit tools enabling a player to move said tokens to a home; a draw pile of playing cards, said playing cards for selecting there from a playing card, said selection subsequent to said token landing on said space designated by a state or vacation; accumulating at least one of said disaster kit tools from said disaster kit area by at least one of: landing on a blank space and collecting a disaster kit tool from the disaster kit tool area or from an opponent; and drawing a playing card from said draw pile that specifically designates a particular disaster kit tool.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein moving said player tokens along said path is accomplished by rolling at least one six-sided die.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein said disaster kit tokens consist of miniature embodiments of a battery-operated radio, bottled water, first aid kit, hand tools, flashlight, food, clothes and special needs, sanitation and cash.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein said player tokens consist of miniature embodiments of ambulance, police car, helicopter, boat, fire engine, and military vehicle.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein said playing surface is generally square in shape and configured in a substantially planar manner with a colored border circumferentially disposed on said playing surface, said border consisting of red, orange, yellow, blue, green and white.

9. A method of playing a board game comprising: moving three player tokens on a playing surface having: a plurality of spaces configured in a contiguous path, said spaces designated by states, vacation, start, home, and blank spaces; a draw pile of playing cards, said playing cards for selecting there from a playing card, said selection subsequent to said token landing on said space designated by a state or vacation; a disaster kit tool area, said disaster kit tool area for providing a plurality of disaster kit tools, said disaster kit tools enabling a player to move said tokens to a space designated by home; accumulating at least one of said disaster kit tools from said disaster kit tool area by: landing on a blank space and collecting a disaster kit tool from an opponent; or drawing a playing card from said draw pile that specifically designates a particular disaster kit tool; and retaining at least one of said disaster kit tools, possession of said disaster kit tools necessary for moving said player tokens into a home space.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the step of moving the three player tokens is accomplished by rolling at least one six-sided die.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein landing said player tokens on spaces designated with a state or as a vacation space allows the player to engage in a predetermined action.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein said predetermined action is drawing a playing card from said draw pile.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein said disaster kit tokens consist of tokens embossed with a battery-operated radio, bottled water, first aid kit, hand tools, flashlight, food, clothes, and special needs, sanitation and cash.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said player tokens consist of tokens embossed with an ambulance, police car, helicopter, boat, fire engine, and military vehicle.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein said path further includes fifty spaces that are designated by states.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said path further includes eight spaces that are designated as vacation spaces.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said draw pile includes sixty playing cards.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein said playing cards further includes terrorist threat level cards.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein said playing cards further includes eight vacation cards.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein said playing cards further include eight disaster took kit cards.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates a board game to be played by more than one individual, more specifically but not by way of limitation, rules and apparatus for playing a board game wherein the object of the game is to move the player tokens from their starting position to a home position around a path designated on the game board. Further, the board game is based on the security threat advisory levels issued by the Homeland Security Department and geographic hazards (natural and technological), which require emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

BACKGROUND

Playing board games has been a popular pastime amongst family and friends for decades. Examples of board game wherein players move around a board to visit different locations are numerous.

Many board games are used for educational purposes as well as entertainment. Currently no board game has been shown to provide a theme designed to educate the players about different security threat levels issued by the Homeland Security Department.

The advantages of the present invention will be understood more readily after a consideration of the drawings and Detailed Description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a board game and a method for playing thereof that is designed to educate the players on the security threat level indicators of the Homeland Security Department.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a board game that contains a graphical illustration of the United States on the board.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a board game wherein the players will use tokens that are shaped as emergency responders such as but not limited to a fire engine or ambulance.

Yet another object of the present invention is to accommodate 2-6 players during a game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description and appended claims when taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawings wherein

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of the playing surface suitable for use with the game of the present invention; and

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate and embodiment of the game components suitable for use with the game of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, wherein various elements depicted are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in particular FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, there is illustrated a board game 100 comprising of the elements according to the principles of the present invention.

The elements of one embodiment of the board game 100 includes a game board 10, player tokens 15, disaster kit tools 17, random number generator or die 20 and playing cards 25 made up of four different types of cards. The playing cards 25 include as described herein, state cards, terrorist threat level cards, disaster tool kit cards and vacation cards. Typically, the game will be played by at least two players. The rules of the game require that each player choose three tokens, the color of each corresponding to the color of the corresponding start 70 and home 90 for each player. The players take turns moving each of their three player tokens 15 around the path 45 in a clockwise direction with the player tokens 15 commencing the process at the start space 70 and finishing the board game 100 at the home space 90 of appropriate designation adjacent to the original start space 70.

The players utilize a random number generator 20 to determine the number of spaces to move their player tokens 15 along the path 45. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the random number generator 20 could be either a single die or a pair of dice, however, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that numerous different types of random number generators 20 could be utilized in place of and or in conjunction with the dice to achieve the functionality as described herein. Furthermore, while no specific material are required to manufacture the player tokens 17 and the disaster kit tools 17, good results have been achieved with player tokens 15 and disaster kit tools 17 that are manufactured from plastic.

It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that they player tokens 15 although illustrated as coins with depictions of emergency responding vehicles, that the player tokens 15 could also be miniature embodiments of emergency responding vehicles. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the player tokens 15 could include 3 white ambulances, 3 yellow helicopters, 3 orange boats, 3 blue police cars, 3 green military vehicles, and 3 red fire engines.

Similarly the disaster kit tools 17 could be either tokens or miniature embodiments of the item which is represented, such as but not limited to bottled water, first-aid kit, battery operated radio with extra batteries, non-perishable food, flashlight with extra batteries, tools, extra clothes and shoes, or special needs, sanitation and cash.

While traversing the path 45, the player must accumulate at least one disaster tool kit 17 by drawing the specific card identifying a component of the disaster tool kit from the draw pile 30 or take one from an opposing player, or from the disaster took kit area when a player token 15 lands on a blank space 65.

The path 45 comprises a plurality of spaces 47 which are differentiated from other spaces 47 by a specific color, pattern or writing. The path 45 is circumferentially disposed on the game board 10. Externally adjacent to the path 45 are the border markings 105. The border markings 105 in the preferred embodiment are comprised of the colors of threat levels such as used by the Department of Homeland Security. More specifically but not by way of limitation, the borders markings 105 include, red, orange, yellow, blue, green and white (white added for the affect of six colors and player tokens and represents no terrorist threat and is beyond the Homeland Security threat level colors). Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous colors could be used in place of and or in conjunction with the colors of the borders markings 105 as described herein.

Landing on the spaces 47 may require a player to perform a particular action such as drawing a playing card 25 from the draw pile 30. The draw pile 30 is placed on the card repository 55 at the beginning of the board game 100. Those skilled in the art will recognize that any number of card repositories 55 may be used and that the card repositories 55 may be embodied in any number of manifestations. It is also within the scope of the present invention that the playing cards 25 would have a color pattern printed on one side of the card that corresponded to the colors of the border markings 105 of game board 10.

The playing cards 25 included in the draw pile 30 consist of a plurality of vacation cards, disaster kit tool cards, terrorist threat level cards, and state cards. Upon drawing a vacation card the player earns a vacation. The player will advance to a vacation space 85 corresponding to the vacation space illustrated on the specific drawn card, which is a recognized safe zone on the path 45. While occupying the vacation space 85 the player is protected from any disaster or terrorist attack. Further, the player is protected from being removed by an opponent. Subsequent to a player moving a player token 15 to a vacation space 85, play will shift to the player on their left. It should be noted that it is within the scope of the present invention that more than one player can occupy any particular vacation space 85.

The disaster kit tool cards of playing cards 25 identify any one of the items needed for the disaster tool kit 17. More specifically but not by way of limitation, there is a separate disaster kit tool cards for each of the first-aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlight with extra batteries, hand tools, battery-operated radio with extra batteries, extra clothes and shoes, and special needs, sanitation and cash. Subsequent to drawing a disaster token card, the player is entitled to the item that is depicted on the playing card 25. The player may select the item from the disaster kit area 60 or from an opposing player already in possession of the item. A player must collect and retain possession thereof at least one of these items per token to proceed to the home space 90 on the path 45.

Each of the state cards has one of the 50 states with an identified hazard occurring. Each state card identifies that a player in that area may have been exposed to a hazard or emergency, such as but not limited to a biohazard. Subsequent to selecting a state hazard cards from the draw pile 30 the player must move their respective token to the identified state space 75 corresponding to that state described on the card. If a stare card is drawn and the player's token is already on that state, the players loses a turn and does not move any tokens. Although no specific number is required, good results have been achieved with a path 45 that included 50 state spaces.

Each of the terrorist threat level cards of playing cards 25 will indicate a different threat level, such as 1-4 and the reason for changing the threat level to such. The player will then move the corresponding token the additional number of spaces corresponding to the threat level depicted on the drawn card.

Centrally located on the board 10 is a pictorial representation 110. As shown in the preferred embodiment in FIG. 1, the pictorial representation 110 is a map of the United States.

An example of a set of rules for a game constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is as follows:

Contents:

A Game board 10.

A plurality of playing cards 25: state cards, terrorist threat level cards, disaster tool kit cards, and vacation cards. Each card is approximately 2½″×3½″. Although no specific number of playing cards 25 is required, good results have been achieved with sixty playing cards.

A plurality of disaster kit tools such as but not limited to: bottled water, food (non-perishable), extra clothing, shoes, and bedding, first-aid kit; flashlight with extra batteries, hand tools (screwdriver, wrench and pliers), and special needs, sanitation and cash.

A random number generator or dice 20.

A plurality of player tokens 15 to accommodate up to six players, as depicted by color and design. Each player chooses a color and takes the three corresponding tokens, which are the white ambulance, green military vehicle, blue police car, yellow helicopter, orange boat, and red fire engine.

One strategy and instruction sheet will also be included with the game.

Directions and Rules of the Game:

Each player selects a color and receives the three player tokens 15 corresponding to that color, and sets up their player tokens 15 on their matching color start spaces 70 such as (ambulance—white; Military (National Guard—green; police car—blue; helicopter (air rescue)—yellow; boat (water rescue)—orange; and fire engine—red.

Each player moves from their start space 70 around the board 10 in a clockwise direction. The player will start from the start space 70 which matches their player token 15, i.e., ambulance—white; Military (National Guard—green; police car—blue; helicopter (air rescue)—yellow; boat (water rescue)—orange; and fire engine—red, traverse the board and end at the corresponding home 90 for that color.

Prior to beginning the play of the board game 100, all sixty playing cards 25 are shuffled and placed face down on the card repository 55 on the board game 100. Each player will receive three player tokens 15 and must place them on their matching start space 70. All eight disaster kit tools must be placed in the disaster kit area 60.

Each player is allowed only one play per turn as the players move their player tokens 15 in a clockwise direction around the path 45. The only exception is when the player is moving their player token 15 out of the start space 70. In this case, when the player utilizes the random number generator 20 and it produces on an even number, the player is allowed to use the random number generator 20 a second time and move their player token 15 the number of spaces which matches the number produced by the random number generator 20 on the second roll. After moving the required number of spaces, if the player lands on a state space 70, they may draw a playing card 25 from the draw pile 30. If they land on a blank space 65, they may choose a disaster kit tool from either the disaster kit area 60 or from their opponent. Play then continues with the next player on their left.

In order to move from the start space 70, the random number generator 20 is utilized. An even number on the random number generator 20 will allow each player to move from the start space 70 and to begin traverse the path 45 on the board 10. When a player uses the random number generator 20 and an even number is produced, you may move your player token 15 on the first place in front of the start space 70 or choose to move another one of your three player tokens 15 forward the number of spaces which matches the number on the random number generator 20 in a clockwise direction along the path 45. If you choose to move your player token 15 from the start space 70, you are allowed to use the random number generator a second time. If the player chooses to move another player token 15, which is already on the board 10, the player is allowed to only move once. If there are no remaining player tokens 15 in the start space 70, the player must move their other player tokens 15 along the path 45 in a clockwise direction.

If a player uses the random number generator 20 and receives an odd number and none of their player tokens 15 are already on the path 45, the player cannot move any of their player tokens from the start space 70 and play would continue with the next player on the player's left.

If a player lands on a blank space 65, the player cannot draw a playing card 25 from the draw pile 30 located on the card repository 55 but the player may choose to pick up a disaster kit tool from either the disaster kit area 60 or from an opponent. The disaster kit tools help a player move the player token 15 along the path 45 in order to reach the home space 90. A player must have possession of at least one component of a disaster tool kit per token, for each token to enter home space.

Each time a player lands on a state space 75, the player must draw a playing card 25 from the draw pile 30 located on the card repository 55 and display the playing card 25 to all the players. Subsequent to displaying the playing card 25, the player must follow the directions on the playing card 25 and place the playing card 25 in the discard pile 50. If a player draws a playing card 25 identifying a state where the player already has a player token, the player loses a turn and play continues with the next player on their left. If the playing card 25 drawn describes another state's emergency or disaster, the player must move their player token 15 to the state described on the playing card 25, regardless if the action advances the player closer to their home space 90. Each player may only draw one playing card 25 per turn. The state cards and vacation cards are the only playing cards 25, which may cause the player to bypass their home space 90.

If a player lands on a space identified as one of the player token spaces 80. For example the red fire engine, orange rescue boat, yellow helicopter rescue, blue police car or green military (National Guard), the player does not advance their player token 15, unless you have drawn a playing card 25 with a state, vacation, or threat level identification. One or more of an individual player tokens 15 may occupy the same space. No two opposing player tokens 15 may occupy the same space.

If all playing cards 25 have been utilized and placed in the discard pile 50 and no players have successfully moved all of their player tokens to their home space 90, the playing cards 25 must be reshuffled and placed in the card repository 55 with play subsequently resuming. Each player takes turns shuffling the playing cards 25, while play continues. Each time all the playing cards 25 have been moved to the discard pile 50 the playing cards 25 should be reshuffled and should be placed face down on the card repository 55. Although no specific number is required, good results have been achieved with a draw pile 30 that contained sixty playing cards 25. If a player token 15 lands on a state and another player's token 15 is already located thereon, the player must send the opponent's player token 15 back to their start space 70.

A player earns disaster kit tools when drawing playing cards 25 that contain specific information identifying one of the disaster kit tools or by taking a disaster token from the disaster kit tool area 60 or from an opponent. A player retains the disaster kit tool while traversing the path 45 in turn. The player must retain a disaster kit tool in order to enter the appropriate home space 90 that is adjacent to the start space 70 where the player had commenced the board game 100. After using a disaster kit tool to enter a token to the designated home space 90, the tool must be returned to disaster kit area 60 on the board 10.

There are eight vacation spaces 85, which are designated as free spaces. These spaces along dispersed along the path 45 of the board 10 and have been designated as a safe space. A player cannot be bumped or sent home. If a player lands on a vacation space 85 when already occupied by an opponent, both players may occupy the space at the same time.

A player must have acquired a disaster kit tool before each of the player's tokens 15 may enter the designated home space 90. A player does not have to roll the exact number of spaces for the player to be enabled to enter their home space 90, however it must be at least the minimum to carry the token to the home space 90. A player must utilize the random number generators 20 for the minimum number of spaces needed to enter the home space 90 to remain safe. If a player generates a larger number than the number of spaces required to enter the designated home space 90, the player may still move their token into the home space 90. Once a token has moved the required number of spaces to reach a home space, the players turn is over and play continues with the person on the left.

A player wins when they are the first to have all of their player tokens 15 reach the home space 90 adjacent to their original start space 70. Each player must have a disaster kit token before their player token 15 is permitted to enter the home space 90.

New players, totaling from two to six players may join the game at any time with the agreement of the other players, with the cumulative total of players not to exceed six players.

Whether a player starts playing at the beginning of the game or after other players have been beginning to play, the odds of winning are left up to chance. The number produced by the random number generator 20, the shuffle of the cards, the movement of player tokens 15 around the board, and the ability to acquire disaster kit tools in order for their player token 15 to reach home space 90 are all up to chance and the odds of winning are equal to all players. The more the game is played, the more familiar the player becomes with the game.

Although the described embodiment of present invention is a game board and corresponding pieces and cards, it is contemplated to be within the scope of this invention that the game could also be fashioned either in part or whole electronically or rendered in part or whole in computer software and hardware.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. The description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.