Title:
GAME WITH PLANNING, MOVEMENT AND CONFLICT, AND REPLENISHMENT MECHANICS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game in which players move game pieces across a field in order to occupy objective regions. During each turn of play, players first plot movements. Subsequently, the players execute their plotted movements one at a time, thereby attempting to move one or more of their game pieces to occupy particular regions of the field. Game pieces are eliminated from the field when one player's game pieces enter a region containing another player's game pieces. The elimination of game pieces is based upon a comparison of the amount of the game pieces in each player's grouping in the region. A player wins the game when he has at least one game piece on a sufficient amount of his objective regions.



Inventors:
Scharler, Peter Hans (Uniontown, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/537320
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
08/07/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Peter Hans Scharler (Uniontown, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for playing a game on a field, the method comprising: a game commencement, the game commencement comprising a plurality of players each placing a grouping of game pieces on a starting region on a field, wherein each grouping and each starting region is associated with one player; a turn, the turn comprising at least the following three phases, wherein each player performs each of the following three phases prior to the ending of the turn: a planning phase, wherein each player plots a movement for one or more of the game pieces associated with that player, wherein the movement includes the moving of one or more game pieces from an originating region to a destination region; a movement and conflict phase, wherein a first player attempts to move one or more of the first player's game pieces from an origination region to a destination region per the movement plotted in the planning phase; and if the destination region is occupied by one or more additional first player game pieces, the moved first player game pieces and the occupying first player game pieces are combined in the destination region; and if the destination region is occupied by one or more of a second player's game pieces, a conflict resolution is executed, the conflict resolution comprising: determining the amount of first player game pieces attempting to enter the destination region; determining the amount of second player game pieces occupying the destination region; and if the amount of first player game pieces is equal to the amount of second player game pieces, the first player game pieces do not move and the second player game pieces continue to occupy the destination region; if the amount of first player game pieces is greater than the amount of second player game pieces, the first player occupies the destination region with an amount of game pieces equal to the amount of moved first player game pieces less the amount of occupying second player game pieces, wherein the remainder of the first player game pieces and second player game pieces involved in the conflict resolution are removed from the field; and if the amount of the first player game pieces is less than the amount of second player game pieces, the second player occupies the destination region with an amount of game pieces equal to the amount of occupying second game pieces less the amount of moved first player game pieces, wherein the remainder of the first player game pieces and second player game pieces involved in the conflict resolution are removed from the field; and a replenishment phase, wherein each player adds a game piece to one of the player's starting region or a region occupied by one or more of the player's game pieces; and a determination, wherein the determination the comprises determining whether a player has one or more game pieces on each objective region associated with the player, and if none of the plurality of players has one or more game pieces on each objective region associated with a player, another turn is taken; and if a player has one or more game pieces on each objective region associated with the player, the player is designated the winner of the game.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein plotting movement comprises each player determining the amount of game pieces to move from a grouping of game pieces.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein a valid destination region is a region unassociated with an opposing player.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the amount of game pieces available for a player to add during the replenishment phase is dependent upon the amount of game pieces the player has lost due to conflict resolution.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising game piece supplementing, wherein each player moves one or more game pieces from a region occupied by the player to another region occupied by the player.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising objective region positioning, wherein the location of one or more objective regions on the field is determined.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising game piece removal, wherein one or more game pieces are determined to be removed from the field.

8. A game comprising: a field, wherein the field comprises: a plurality of regions, each region in the plurality including a location marker; wherein the plurality of regions includes: a starting region for each player; one or more objective regions for each player; and a plurality of game pieces, wherein each game piece includes a player identifier.

9. The game of claim 8, wherein the field is a grid.

10. The game of claim 8, wherein the each region of the plurality of regions is of equal length and width.

11. The game of claim 8, wherein each region of the plurality of regions is a geometric shape.

12. The game of claim 8, wherein a location marker comprises one or more of the following: an alphanumeric character, a pattern, a color, and a symbol.

13. The game of claim 8, wherein a player identifier comprises one or more of the following: an alphanumeric character, a pattern, a color, and a symbol.

14. The game of claim 8, wherein a starting region comprises a player identifier.

15. The game of claim 8, wherein a starting region is located at central region of the field.

16. The game of claim 8, wherein an objective region comprises a player identifier.

17. The game of claim 8, wherein an objective region is located at the perimeter of the field.

18. The game of claim 8, wherein a game piece is designed to stack with another game piece.

19. The game of claim 8, wherein a game piece is designed to interlock with another game piece.

20. The game of claim 8, wherein a game piece includes a marking to assist in counting grouped game pieces.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This application claims priority benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) from provisional application No. 61/188,322, filed Aug. 8, 2008. The 61/188,322 provisional application is incorporated by reference herein, in its entirety, for all purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This present invention pertains to a game. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a game involving the movement of game pieces upon a field in order to eliminate opponent game pieces and to occupy particular regions of the field.

BACKGROUND

Various games exist in which players take turns one after the other, planning their actions in reaction to the actions of other players. In multi-player games, this can result in a player being able to focus mainly on the actions of the person that takes his turn immediately before or after the player. This can lessen the interaction amongst players and can also limit opportunities for strategy. Other games exist in which players plot their actions ahead of time, and then reveal them simultaneously. Such games are often warfare simulations games that can seem overly complicated, which might lessen their appeal to casual gamers. Furthermore, since such games often seek to represent realistic combat via simultaneous player actions, the effects of turn order can be marginalized.

What is needed is a game that employs both the plotting of game piece movement and the structure of a turn order to allow for an engrossing, strategic experience while maintaining accessibility.

SUMMARY

The present invention pertains to a game in which players move game pieces across a field in order to occupy objective regions. During each turn of play, players first plot movements. Subsequently, the players execute their plotted movements one at a time, thereby attempting to move one or more of their game pieces to occupy particular regions of the field. Game pieces are eliminated from the field when one player's game pieces enter a region containing another player's game pieces. The elimination of game pieces is based upon a comparison of the amount of the game pieces in each player's grouping in the region. A player wins the game when he has at least one game piece on a sufficient amount of his objective regions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to describe the manner in which the above-recited and other advantages and features of the invention can be obtained, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a game board according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of game pieces according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Various embodiments of the invention are discussed in detail below. While specific implementations are discussed, it should be understood that this is done for illustration purposes only. A person with ordinary skill in the relevant art will recognize that other components and configurations can be used without parting from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Although the aforementioned game is described herein in terms of a traditional board game, this is not to be construed as limiting. The present invention can be implemented in an electronic fashion, such as with electronic pieces. Additionally, the invention described herein can be implemented as a game for play on a personal computer, a video game console, mobile device, or the like.

FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a game board (100) according to the present invention. The game board (100) can include a field (102), such as a grid, made up of multiple regions. In one scenario, the regions can be of equal length and width and can be geometric shapes. For example, the field (102) depicted in FIG. 1 is a square grid comprising one hundred square regions of equal length and width. The field (102) depicted in FIG. 1 is not to be construed as limiting and it should be understood that other field designs can be employed. For example, a field may include triangular regions or the regions may be of varying shapes and sizes (e.g., various geometric shapes, asymmetrical shapes, etc.). As another illustration, a field may comprise the layout of a standard checkerboard.

Each region can be identified by a location marker. For example, as depicted in FIG. 1, a region (104) can include a location marker (106) that comprises a letter and a number (e.g., “B10”). A location marker can include one or more of an alphanumeric character, a pattern, a color, a symbol, or any representation that may assist in identifying a particular region on the field (102). In addition to, or instead of a location marker, one or more of the rows and columns of the field (102) can include a heading label. For example, a number may be placed at the top of each column and a letter may be placed at the start of each row.

Particular regions of the field (102) can be designated as starting regions. In one embodiment, the starting regions can be at the center of the field (102). For example, as depicted in FIG. 1, the starting regions can be the regions associated with location markers E5, E6, F5, and F6. In addition to including location markers, starting regions can include a player identifier. A player identifier can be one or more of an alphanumeric character, a pattern, a color, a symbol, or any representation that may assist in identifying a particular player. For example, a starting region (108) can include a circle as a player identifier (112).

The field (102) can also include one or more objective regions for each player. For example, as depicted in FIG. 1, the objective regions can the regions associated with location markers A1, A3, A8, A10, C1, C3, C8, C10, H1, H3, H8, H10, J1, J3, J8, and J10. The objective regions for each player can be designated by a player identifier. For example, the regions (110a), (110b), (110c), (110d) can be the objective regions for the player represented by circle player identifier (112). In one embodiment, the objective regions can be located around the perimeter of the field (102). The objective regions can be placed on the field (102) in locations that ensure conflict between opposing players as each players move his gaming pieces to reach these regions (as described below).

FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of game pieces (200) according to the present invention. The structure, shape, color, and symbology of the game pieces can vary per implementation and the game pieces (200) depicted in FIG. 2 are for illustrative purposes and are not to be construed as limiting. FIG. 2 illustrates an example of four single game pieces (208a), (208b), (208c), and (208d). Each game piece can comprise a color and/or player identifier to associate each game piece with a particular player. In one embodiment, the game pieces (200) can include both a colored border (202) and a player identifier (204) to, for example, ease play for colorblind individuals. In one scenario, the game of the present invention is a four player game and the game pieces (200) include colored borders with symbols at the center. For example, the game pieces (200) may be colored red, green, yellow, and blue, with the player identifiers (204) being, respectively, a star, a cross, a triangle, and a circle. Each player can be assigned a specific amount of game pieces at the beginning of play (e.g., one player can receive a set of game pieces (208a), another player a set of game pieces (208b), and so on).

In one scenario, rather than, or in addition to, bearing a player identifier (204), each set of game pieces can be shaped differently. For example, game pieces for one player may be red and star-shaped pieces and game pieces for another player may be green and cross-shaped. In an alternate embodiment, the game pieces can only include a color or a player identifier (204).

The game pieces (200) can be designed to be stacked and/or interlocked. For example, the game pieces (200) may be designed to be stacked in a fashion similar to checkers or poker chips. In one embodiment, each game piece can include a marking (206) to assist players in accurately counting grouped (e.g., stacked) game pieces. For example, if a game piece is a stackable chip, the marking (206) may be on the side of the game piece. In one embodiment, the game pieces (200) need not be stackable or interlockable. For example, the game pieces can be figurines or pawn-shaped. In such an embodiment, a player may group game pieces (200) into a pile or simply place them side by side.

In one embodiment, a grouping mechanism can be used to group game pieces. For example, a carrier, such as a tray, can be used. The design of the grouping mechanism can vary per implementation and it should be understood that any suitable grouping mechanism can be used. For example, the game may have a military theme with military figurines for game pieces (e.g., soldiers, ships, airplanes, etc.) and the grouping mechanism may be designed to resemble a military vehicle (e.g., tank, warship, aircraft carrier, etc.). Multiple grouping mechanisms can be provided to each player to enable him to manage multiple groupings.

Described herein is an explanation of manner in which the aforementioned game board (100) and game pieces (200) can be employed to play a game. The objective of the game is for a player to move his game pieces from his starting region (108) across the field (102) to his objective regions. When the player has one or more of his game pieces on a sufficient number of his objective regions (110), he has won. In one embodiment, a player must have a game piece in each of his objective regions to win.

The game can accommodate as many players as can be accommodated by the board. For example, the game board (100) depicted in FIG. 1. can accommodate up to four players. In one embodiment, a minimum of three players can be required to play to ensure balanced and satisfying play. To begin, each player is assigned a number of game pieces and places these game pieces in a grouping (e.g., a stack) on the starting region corresponding to the player identifier associated with his game pieces. In one embodiment, each player begins play with ten game pieces

The game can be played in successive turns. Player order can be established in one or more ways. For example, the first lead player may be the youngest participant, the player who rolled highest on a die, or the like. Player order may then flow from player to player in a logical manner (e.g., clockwise). A token can be used to indicate which player is the current lead player (i.e., the player that goes first in the current turn). Each turn can include three phases:

    • 1. Planning,
    • 2. Movement and Conflict, and
    • 3. Replenishment.
      After a full turn is completed, the next turn is lead by the next player in the established player order.

During the Planning phase, each player can plot his movement for the upcoming Movement and Conflict phase. This can be done in private and/or simultaneously so that each player is unaware of what other players are planning. The movement can be recorded via an instrument provided with the game. For example, pencils and notepads can be included with the game. As another example, the game may include a counter or an electronic device through which players may record their movement. Alternatively, players can use their own supplies for recording movement (e.g., their own pencils and paper).

Plotted movement can be indicated by the location marker of the originating region (i.e., the region currently occupied by one or more of a player's game pieces), the number of pieces to be moved to the destination region, and the location of the destination region. A player can move all of the game pieces in a particular grouping or can move a portion of the grouping. For example, a player with six game pieces in his starting region E6 can indicate plans to move three pieces to E7 by recording his movement as “E6-3-E7.” In one embodiment, a player can be allowed to move one region at a time (e.g., a player may not be allowed to move from region E6 to region E10 in one move). A player can plot movement so as divide a grouping of his game pieces into multiple groupings. For example, a player with six game pieces on one region can plot to move three game pieces to one adjacent region and three game pieces to another adjacent region (e.g., “E6-3-E7” and “E6-3-D6”). If the player has multiple groupings on the field (102), he can be allowed to move game pieces from more than one grouping. Alternatively, he may be allowed only to move game pieces from one grouping per turn.

A valid movement can be any region adjacent to a starting region, but not another player's starting region or another player's objective region. In one embodiment, movement may be restricted for particular regions depending upon the layout of the field (102). For example, in the field (102) depicted in FIG. 1, a valid movement may be as aforementioned, but with the restriction that a game piece cannot be moved diagonally.

During the Movement and Conflict phase, one by one, starting with the lead player, the players can reveal their plotted movements and can execute them on the field (102). If a player moves one or more game pieces into a region in which he already has game pieces, he can combine the moved game pieces with those already present into a single grouping in the destination region. If a player moves one or more game pieces into an occupied region, conflict ensues and it can be resolved before continuing to the next player's movement. One of three scenarios can be implemented to resolve the conflict:

    • 1. If the number of game pieces in the occupied region is equal to the number to be moved, the game pieces do not move into the region and the occupying player's game pieces remain in the region. Neither player loses game pieces. A player may purposefully attempt this scenario in order to block another player from, for instance, an objective region. This can be particularly effective if the conflict occurs adjacent to regions prohibiting movement to the moving player (e.g., the starting regions or objective regions of other players). In an alternate embodiment, instead of neither player losing game pieces, both players lose all game pieces involved in the conflict.
    • 2. If the number of game pieces in the occupied region is lower than the moved game pieces, the moving player can take over the region with the difference of the number of game pieces. The lost pieces are set aside. For example, if a first player moves five game pieces into a region occupied by three game pieces of a second player, the first player gains control of the region. Two of the first player's game pieces are left in the region, the other three are removed, and the second player's three game pieces are also removed (i.e., 5 first player game pieces versus 3 second player game pieces=2 first player game pieces in the region).
    • 3. If the number of game pieces in the occupied region is higher than the number of moved game pieces, both players lose game pieces equal to the number of moved game pieces. In other words, the moved game pieces are deducted from the occupying game pieces. The lost game pieces are set aside. For example, if the first player moves two game pieces into a region occupied by six game pieces of the second player, the second player maintains control of the region. The first player's two game pieces are removed and four of the second player's game pieces are left in the region (i.e., 2 first player game pieces versus 6 second player game pieces=4 second player game pieces in the region). Although, the moving player has lost the conflict, he may do so purposely for replenishment purposes, as described below.

In general, a player cannot move into a region if the amount of moving game pieces is equivalent to the amount of occupying game pieces. If the amount of moving game pieces and occupying game pieces differ, the player with the most pieces controls the contested region, but his grouping of game pieces is reduced by the number of game pieces that were included in the losing player's grouping.

After each player has performed his movement(s) and, if necessary, conflict(s), the lead player can start the Replenishment phase. In one embodiment, starting with the lead player, each player can place one lost game piece on his starting region or any of his occupied regions. In one embodiment, a player must have lost game pieces in order to participate in the Replenishment phase.

Alternatively, players can be allowed to replenish more than one game piece. The allotment of game pieces for the Replenishment phase can be a set number (e.g., two pieces) or can be dictated by the number of game pieces available (e.g., the number of game pieces lost during Movement and Conflict). In one scenario, each player can be allowed to replenish multiple game pieces on his action. He may be restricted to placing all of the allotted game pieces onto one region or he may be allowed to divide them amongst occupied regions. Alternatively, Replenishment may consist of multiple cycles through the player order, allowing each player to replenish one or more game pieces on each cycle until he has reached his allotment.

One may interpret the Replenishment phase a reinforcement period in which a player can add additional game pieces to an existing grouping in order to strengthen it. A player can purposefully lose game pieces during the Movement and Conflict phase in order to deploy the game pieces elsewhere on the field (102) during the Replenishment phase.

In one embodiment, in addition to, or instead of, the aforementioned Replenishment practices, a player can be allowed to move one or more game pieces from a region he occupies to another region he occupies, thereby strengthening his position in that region.

Once the Replenishment phase is completed, the next player in the player order becomes the lead player and a new turn begins. As aforementioned, play can continue until a player has moved one or more of his game pieces onto a sufficient number of objective regions, thereby winning the game.

One or more variations can be applied to the described manner of play. These variations can be used in addition to or instead of the aforementioned methods. In one variation, objective regions can be determined by the players instead of being fixed on the field (102). In one embodiment, the location of the objective regions can be determined randomly. This can add an element of randomness to the game which may appeal to some players. For example, a player can roll one or more dice to determine the location of an objective region. The game can include multiple, moveable objective region markers that can be placed in the randomly determined regions. If the field (102) includes permanent objective regions (e.g., printed on the game board (100)), the game can include blank makers that can be used to cover the permanent objective regions so as to prevent confusion amongst players.

In another variation, one or more game pieces can be removed during play, such as after the Replenishment phase. The game piece(s) to be removed can be determined randomly. A player can roll one or more dice to determine the effected region and one or more game pieces can be removed from that region. This scenario can be used, for example, to simulate artillery fire or a land mine exploding on a field of battle. Alternatively, players can decide which piece is to be removed, such as by voting. Certain regions can be excluded from such effects, such as objective regions and/or starting regions.

During play, a player may become aware that teamwork will be necessary to prevent a particular opponent from winning. In one variation, coordinated teamwork can be allowed between players. However, some players may find it unfair for participants to communicate strategy or advice to other players (e.g., suggesting what move they should plot). In another variation, the rules of the game can prohibit players from communicating with one another (i.e., “table talk”) in order to, for example, plan against a particular player. This type of communication can be disallowed. Alternatively, players may be allowed to communicate advice to one another in a restricted fashion. In one scenario, each player may be allowed to indicate the player whom he thinks has the advantage, but offer no further advice. This can be at the end of each turn (e.g., after the Replenishment phase). Various ways to relay this information can be allowed, such as by speaking a player's name, pointing at a player, or by way of a physical token. For example, each person can indicate the player whom he thinks has the current advantage by displaying that player's game piece or other token with the appropriate player identifier.

In addition the manner of play described above, players can enjoy a mathematical challenge that is entrenched in the game. For example, if the game board (100) is implemented as depicted in FIG. 1 and the victory condition is to have a game piece on each of the appropriate objective regions, victory can be obtained in sixteen moves if a player is allowed to proceed unhindered. Players may enjoy determining the moves necessary for the “perfect game” and/or thwarting the attempts of fellow players to obtain the “perfect game.”

A game board, game pieces, and a manner of play employing the game board and game pieces have been illustrated. It will thus be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other variations of the present invention will be possible without departing from the scope of the invention disclosed.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art by a review of the preceding detailed description. Although a number of salient features of the present invention have been described above, the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways that would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art after reading the disclosed invention. Therefore, the above description should not be considered to be exclusive of these other embodiments. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purposes of description and should not be regarded as limiting.