BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to games played on a board where indicia on the board defines steps or stations and a piece, symbol or man is progressively advanced along a designated path defined by the steps or stations. The board game is a bicycle race game having a track or path, over an area on the game board, with interim hazards, to a finish.
2. Prior Art
Games, played on a board defining an area or track of play are well known. Several examples of issued US patent on game boards include:
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| ||U.S. Pat. No. 5,482,288 ||issued to Cedeno ||1996 |
| ||U.S. Pat. No. 5,350,178 ||issued to Hollar ||1994 |
| ||U.S. Pat. No. 4,729,568 ||issued to Welsh ||1988 |
| ||U.S. Pat. No. 4,550,917 ||issued to Ferris et al ||1985 |
| ||U.S. Pat. No. 4,346,889 ||issued to Barlow et al ||1982 |
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U.S. Pat. No. 5,482,288 ('288) teaches a board game that is a race-to-the-finish, with obstacles and set-back stations. A plurality of stations, which are fixed indicia on the board, define a fixed track along which a player moves a token, progressively. The track includes hazard stations. Each player has two tokens, one representing himself and a second token representing a public servant. When the “self” token is advanced along the track and lands on a certain hazard or designated event station, the self token must remain on that station until receiving assistance in the form of the second token or public servant token. When the self token lands on other designated event stations, the path of the self token is diverted, favorably or unfavorably, according to the designated event. Dice are used to determine advancement of a token along the track.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,350,178 teaches an automobile race game in which a board game simulates an automobile race track for one of more players. The game board, which is a flexible member, has fixed race track paths printed on both sides of the board, one relatively large and one relatively small. The flexibility of the board permits the board to be placed on a non-flat or uneven surface so that either track may simulate a banked track. The flexibility of the board and the making of an uneven or non-flat surface defining a race track changes the orientation of the track but the tracks over which the races are run, remain fixed. A plurality of charts determine the course and type of movement along the track. A pair of dice are used to determine advancement of the vehicle along the track as well as selection of a chart. Although the board may be flexible, the track on the board is fixed.
The U.S. Pat. No. 4,729,568 teaches a horse race game played on a board. The game includes a fixed game board having a plurality of tracks printed thereon, a pair of gaming dice for determining the play of the game and a plurality of pieces which are moved along the respective racing tracks during play of the game. Prior of the race, but as part of the game, dice are rolled to determine which one of a predetermined number of playing pieces are to be “scratched” for the subsequent race. The remaining playing pieces are placed in starting positions on the respective tracks and are advanced along tracks, in accordance with the roll of the dice. Cards, from a plurality of sets of cards, are randomly dealt to the players. Each set of cards is composed of a plurality of numbered cards corresponding to the numbers of the respective ones of the playing pieces. The first playing piece to reach the “finish line” is declared the winner and the players share a central pot representing a purse.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,550,917 teaches a tiled board racing game. The track consists of a plurality of shiftable or sideway movable straight segments of track positioned between fixed curved segments of track. The fixed curved sections are offset with respect to each other, so that a movable straight track may be aligned with either adjacent fixed curved segment. Players are permitted to shift track segments to assist the advancement of the player's own piece or to interfere with the advancement of the opponent player's piece.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,346,889 teaches a movable tile board game with a path or track created in the tiles for a vehicle. The game is played on a board with a plurality of generally rectangular tiles. Each tile is slidable with respect to other tiles on a board base. The tiles are captured on the board and form a rectangular pattern with at least one vacant space, equal to the size of one tile. Grooves of different orientation are formed in the surface of the tiles and the tiles must be shifted to define a continuous track. The groves on each tile extend between the mid-point of side edges of the tile supporting the groove. A continuous path or track from tile to tile may be formed by orienting tiles on the board. A self-propelled vehicle is provided to move along the track created across the face of tiles, following the track formed by the adjacent tiles. An alarm on the vehicle is sounded when the vehicle reaches the unconnected edge of a tile.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
U.S. patents to Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 4,185,823 and to Mazza et al, U.S. Pat. No. 5,149,101 each teach apparatus game, Brown teaches an apparatus for playing a movable vehicle game. The game may be played using one vehicle or two vehicles. A movable vehicle, when played as a single vehicle game, is moved by the apparatus and can release a plug or similar object, during such movement, so as to drop the plug on a target. When the apparatus is played with dual vehicles a lead vehicle can use a trailing line, for temporary detachment by a pursuer vehicle. Mazza et al teach an apparatus for playing a horse racing game on a game board. The game board is formed with fixed spaced game path spaces. A spring loaded apparatus provides a starting gate for the game.
The present invention provides a board game that simulates a bicycle race, known as a “tour”, with an improved game board. A bicycle tour race is a bicycle race that takes place or is run over a predetermined track within a predetermined geographic area. For example, the race may be run along a “track” established in a geographic area of France, or a geographic area of Italy, or of Spain, or any other country or countries, such as Belgium and Holland, for example. The “track” or path on which the race is usually defined by selected public roads of the geographical area. Since the “track” of the race extends through a relatively large geographic area of a country, the “track” may pass through or pass close to places of interest and/or sites within the particular geographic area in which the race is run. For this reason, and the fact that spectators of the race may often travel through and/or “tour” the geographic area in which the race is run, this type of race has become known as a “tour”. Typically, when such race is run in France the race is known as “Tour de France”. When such race is run in Italy, the race is known or as Tour de Italy”, and so forth. In other words the race is a “tour” of the geographic area through which the race is held or run.
In accordance with the nature of the sport simulated by the present invention, a game board or playing area is provided which includes a track or path printed or otherwise fabricated on the game board. The path of the race or “tour” established on the board of the game includes a geographic area with individual sites and/or places or things of interest within the geographic area defined.
In accordance with the present invention, the game board or playing area provides a virtual geographic area, through which the race or tour is run. The track on which the race is run, passes through the geographic area fabricated on the game board so that an illusion or fantasy of the “tour” is created for the players of the game. In addition, a player may create a team of cyclists of the player's selection, essentially forming a fantasy team with which to play the game. In a preferred embodiment of the game and also in a preferred embodiment of the game board, one or more strips or sections of the track are provided, wherein each separate strip or section of the track defines a unique geographic area, complete with sites and/or places of interest within the particular geographic area, with each unique geographic area of a strip different from the geographic area on the basic game board and different from the geographic area on other geographic area strips. A selected geographic area strip may be substituted for or lain over the basic or current geographic area strip thereby creating a “tour” of another geographic area. Any number of geographic area strips may be provided, each with a different geographic area and/or different sites and/or places of interest within the particular geographic area. A substitute strip which defines a different geographic area may be positioned or set in overlay on the game board and held on the game board by a clip, for example. Preferably, the game board is provided with a set of receiving and retaining slots, into which the strip defining the different geographic area is inserted and thereby held on the game board.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The novel board game is played by two or more persons, each of whom begin playing the game with three selected pieces or cyclists which represent a team of cyclists running the race or tour. Tracks through the tour are established on the board so that as many as two through eight teams may run the tour or race together. The Rules of the Game establish “stages” for each geographic area through which the tour is run. The roll of a die, by each player establishes the order of play and, during play, the advancement of the player's team of cyclists along the route of the tour. Hazards and/or penalties are encountered along the tour which may slow down or reverse advancement of a cyclist in a team. There are cash awards, in the form of play money for sprint bonus and mountain bonus, along with stage winners, sprint king elevation, mountain king elevation, tour winner and best team. The tour winner captures the winning prize of the purse. The object of the game is to make the tour in the shortest accumulated time, as advancement of a cyclist is calculated in time increments. Colored shirts, shorts and head gear of the cyclist team are used to enhance excitement and fun.
FIG. 1 is a representation of a game board on which the tour game is played;
FIG. 2 is a representation of a strip attachable to the game board showing a different geographic area and local sites from the geographic area and local sites on the game board of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2a is a representation of part of a game board such as represented in FIG. 1, with receiving and retaining slots for holding an attachable strip as represented in FIG. 2;
FIG. 2b is a representation of a clip which may be used for holding an attachable strip to a game board in lieu of the receiving and retaining slots represented in FIG. 2a;
FIG. 3 is a representation of a cyclist or piece used by a player of the game;
FIG. 4 is a set of rules for playing the novel board game;
FIG. 5 is a representation of a set of rules establishing the stages in various geographic areas;
FIG. 6 is a representation of a set of rules establishing awards for the game;
FIG. 7 is a representation of a stage time card usable with the game;
FIG. 8 is a representation of a Final Standing card usable with the game;
FIG. 9a is a representation of a sprint bonus chip usable in the game; FIG. 9b is a representation of a penalty chip usable in the game;
FIG. 9c is a representation of a mountain bonus chip usable in the game;
FIG. 9d is a representation of a die used for playing the game; and
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 9e is a representation of play money usable in the game.
As used hereinafter, the term, tour, is defined as a bicycle race of two or more teams of two or more cyclists racing over a continuous track or path which includes public roads in urban and suburban areas, open country road, roads through villages, up, over and down mountains and through valleys of a selected geographic area. The tour has a starting point and a finish point and the continuous track or path of the race may be several hundred miles from the starting point to the finish point. An actual Tour de France, for example, may take place over several days, with intermittent, designated stops along the route. The object of the race is to complete the race, in as many stages as required, in the shortest accumulated time. The present invention is a board game that represents a tour or bicycle race.
Referring to FIG. 1, the board game of the present invention is played on a game board 10. The board has indicia thereon which sets out a STARTING LINE 15/FINISH LINE 12. The track of the tour is defined by intervals or advancement steps set out in seconds with five (5) sets of tracks around the internal periphery of the game board. A geographic area 14 is established along one side of the game board, through which the five sets of tracks pass. A fixed geographic area is represented on the game board as France so that the fixed or basic tour game is in France and the race played on the game board as represented would simulate the Tour de France. The invention provides for other geographic areas to be substituted for the basic geographic area on the game board so that the board game may be played as a race in another geographic area.
Rules for playing the game are set forth in FIG. 4 and are believed to be self explanatory.
Since a tour may be run in any one of several geographic area, there is provided, with the game board, one or more substitute geographic area strips, suitable for overlay, over the established geographic area on the game board. Such a substitute geographic area strip is represented in FIG. 2 at 30. The substitute geographic area strip 30 may be placed in overlay over the section 14 on the game board 10 of FIG. 1 thereby virtually changing the geographic area through which the tour is run. The substitute strip 30 may be held in place on the game board 10 by a binder clip such as 25 in FIG. 2b, or any other paper clip or clip means, for example. Preferably the game board 10 includes a set of receiving and retaining slots such as represented in FIG. 2a. FIG. 2a includes a representation of part of a game board 10 a. Located at the ends of the geographic area on the game board are short vertical strips 28 (only one show) and, along the bottom of the geographic area of the game board, an horizontal strip 29. A substitute geographic area strip 30 a, such as represented in FIG. 2a, for example, suitable for overlay, over the established geographic area on the basic game board, may be slid into the set of receiving and retaining slots 28 and 29, thereby establishing another, different geographic area through which the tour may be run. In an alternate embodiment the horizontal slot 29 may be eliminated. Opposing vertical slots, coupled to both ends of the geographic area of the board, may be made sufficiently tight for holding and retaining any substitute geographic strip slid into the opposing slots, without using a horizontal slot, such as 29.
In a preferred embodiment of the elements of the game, at least eight (8) substitute geographic area strips are provided. FIG. 5, which represents apart of the rules of the game establishes the number of stages to be run for each geographic area through which the tour may be run. With a basic or fixed geographic area established on the game board, a selection of other geographic areas, in the form of substitute strips, is provides for playing the game on or over one of nine (9) geographic areas. It will be appreciated that fewer or more substitute geographic area strips may be provided and/or used, if desired.
In order to play the board game, FANTASY TOUR, a player selects a team of three (3) playing pieces or cyclists. A playing piece or cyclist, usable in playing the board game, is represented in FIG. 3. Three (3) playing pieces or cyclists form a team. The base 35 of the cyclist or piece is sufficient to support the figure which represents a cyclist on a bicycle. The base 35 may include identifying indicia, such as the country of the team, and other identification, for example. The shirt or jersey 37, shorts 38 and head gear 39 may be colored in team colors. Known cyclists, from different times and places may race together, as a fantasy team. A player may name, number and/or identify a cyclist and/or team of cyclists with which the player is playing the board game, with the name, number and/or identity of a contemporary or former bicycle racer, effectively making the cyclist and/or team a fantasy cyclist or team and the race a fantasy tour. Each team is allocated a track around the game board, of which five (5) tracks are shown. More of fewer tracks may be used, if desired.
Referring to FIG. 1, a SPRINT LINE is established at 16, where a SPRINT BONUS chip, represented in FIG. 9a and cash awards, in the form of play money, represented in FIG. 9e, are collected when selected cyclists or pieces reach or pass the corner 18. A MOUNTAIN LINE is established at the corner 20 where a MOUNTAIN CHIP, represented in FIG. 9c and additional cash awards are collected when selected cyclists reach or pass corner 20. The space 22 and 24 each represent a hazard in the form of a FLAT TIRE, and penalty for a cyclist that may stop on that space. A FLAT TIRE chip is represented in FIG. 9b. FIG. 6 provides a schedule for prize money, payable with play money, FIG. 9e.
A die, FIG. 9d is used when playing the board game, to determine order of play and for advancement of the cyclists in a team. The elements of the game include 28 playing cyclists and one non-playing yellow cyclist. The 28 playing cyclists are consecutively numbered and may have colorful attire. A player selects three cyclists, which define a starting team. The game is played in STAGES and the first cyclist to land on or cross the FINISH LINE is a STAGE WINNER. The symbolic Yellow Jersey is awarded to the player whose cyclist is the leader of the race after each STAGE. A yellow, non-playing cyclist is used to represent the symbolic Yellow Jersey. SPRINT BONUS chips and MOUNTAIN BONUS chips are selectively awarded to cyclists who land on or cross an established SPRINT LINE, in the second corner 18 and an established MOUNTAIN LINE in the third corner 20, during a STAGE. Prize money is awarded for SPRINT BONUS chips and MOUNTAIN BONUS chips collected during the tour. “Pink” and “Green” play money is awarded according to the chips collected. The player collecting the most “Pink” money is proclaimed KING of the MOUNTAIN. The player collecting the most “Green” money is proclaimed SPRINT KING. Prize play money is distributed according to a schedule shown in FIG. 6. A Stage Card, FIG. 7 is used for recording timing of cyclists of a team. The FINAL STANDINGS, FIG. 8, are recorded for the tour run.
A novel board game has been described in the drawings and defined in a description thereof. Those familiar with the sport of tour racing will understand the connotation and denotation of terms used herein as such terms relate to sport of tour racing. In the foregoing description of the invention, no unnecessary limitations are to be implied from or because of the terms used, beyond the requirements of the prior art, because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed. Furthermore, the description and illustration of the invention are by way of example, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the exact details shown, represented or described.
Having now described a preferred embodiment of the invention, along with certain alternative construction and suggested changes, other changes that may become apparent to those skilled in the art may be made, without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims.