CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/861,364, filed Nov. 29, 2006, incorporated herein by reference.
Numerous board games exist that provide players with an opportunity to employ a combination of strategy and luck while competing against each other in a recreational setting. These games are enjoyable, in part, because they provide a social activity during which people can enjoy each other's company. Games are also fun because they provide a forum to match wits and experience while trying to beat the other players. However, one problem with board games is the need to wait for your turn while the other players are taking their turns, and this problem only becomes worse as the number of players increases. For example, consider the classic games of Chess or Checkers. By necessity, each player must wait for the other player to take his or her turn for this game to work. If, for example, you realized your opponent was about to capture one of your pieces on the game board, and you didn't have to wait for your opponent to complete their turn, you could avoid losing the piece by moving it during their turn. This would be unfair to your opponent and disrupt the flow of the game. While there is a need for sequential play, it does result in each player having to wait for their turn. As another example, consider the game of Monopoly. If the players did not wait to take their turns, and more than one player landed on the same property at the same time, it would not be clear who had the right to purchase it.
To avoid these problems, traditional board games have been designed with a sequential manner of playing in which each player waits for the other player(s) to complete their turn(s) before taking their own turn. This sequential game play can slow down the pace of the game, making it drawn-out and boring. In fact, play time can become so lengthy that the participants tire of a game before it has even been completed, especially if many participants are involved. In the modern world, where fast-paced electronic games provide a real-time experience of continuous, uninterrupted play, the slow and sequential manner of playing traditional board games is becoming less exciting and losing appeal.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing embodiments of Character Type A game pieces associated with individual game participants and Character Type B game pieces also associated with the individual game participants,
FIG. 2 is a top-plan view of an embodiment of a game board on which the Character Type A and Character Type B game pieces may be positioned.
The headings provided herein are for convenience only and do not necessarily affect the scope or meaning of the claimed invention.
Traditional board games involve players or participants of a game moving game pieces or characters from one place to another place (or other places) on the game board. Objectives in these games include: (1) being the first player to reach a destination on the game board; (2) being the player to accumulate the most wealth, materials, property, points, and/or powers; (3) being the first player to capture all of the other player's game pieces, or a specific game piece; (4) or some combination of these objectives. Examples of these traditional board games and their objectives include, respectively: (1) Sorry!, where players draw cards sequentially to determine the distance and direction they can move their four game pieces around a track on the game board, attempting to block their opponents while moving all of their own pieces back home to where they started; (2) Monopoly, where players take their turns sequentially by moving around the board by rolling dice, and competing to acquire wealth by the buying, renting and trading of properties using play money; (3) Chess, where two players each control 16 game pieces, including a king, queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns, and move these pieces by taking alternating turns in an attempt to be the first to capture their opponent's king; or Checkers, where two players control 20 game pieces each and take alternating turns in moving diagonally on a 10 square by 10 square checker board, attempting to be the first player to jump over and capture all of the opponents pieces to win the game; and (4) the 1970s/1980s version of the Game of Life, where players take turns spinning a small wheel with numbers between one and ten to move along a track or road, accumulating a business trade or college education, salary, spouse and children, insurance and stocks, and occasional lump sums of money, until reaching retirement at the end of the road, at which time each player decides to try and win by being the one who has accumulated the greatest wealth, or by being the first player to take a final gamble in an attempt to spin one number out of ten and immediately win the game without having accumulated the greatest amount of wealth (combination of game objectives 1 and 2).
Traditional board games such as these typically involve players moving game pieces across the game board by taking their turns in sequence, and then waiting for other players to take their turns before getting another turn themselves. Such sequential turn taking in these games is required to avoid game conflicts such as: (1) players avoiding capture of, or attack on their game piece by an opponent by moving their threatened piece during the opponent's turn; (2) an ambiguous outcome (good or bad) resulting from more than one player landing on the same space in the same turn if the outcome is limited to one player at a time (e.g. acquiring a reward by being the first player to land on a space, or winning the game by being the first player to reach the final destination); (3) an unfair advantage of some players having more turns than others because they are not only moving during their own turn, but also during their opponent's turn.
In general, these game conflicts result from player-to-player interactions amongst the players of a particular game. For example, attacking, slowing down, or capturing other player's game pieces to gain an advantage is one type of player-to-player interaction. Competing to be the first player to reach a destination is another form of player-to-player interaction, especially when the game provides opportunities to slow down your opponent, or to accelerate your own trajectory at the expense of your opponent.
Ultimately, there is a need for relative parity between players in a game for it to be enjoyable by all of the players. Accordingly, sequential turn taking can contribute to this parity by ensuring that a more or less equal number of turns is provided to each player, avoiding game conflicts and ensuring some parity in the opportunity to win the game. However, waiting for other players to take their turns is a negative trade-off that can slow down the game. The game would move along more quickly if there were another way to avoid game conflicts and achieve parity.
Although creating a potential for game conflicts, player-to-player interactions provide for much enjoyment of a game as well as game-to-game variation. If a game only involves a race from one location to another on a game board, and there are no interactions between the players, the winner will be determined simply by who was fortunate enough to roll, spin, or otherwise obtain the highest numbers, or specific sequence of numbers during the race. Although providing some entertainment value for younger children, this type of simple race game is based on chance or luck, and requires little or no skill or strategy to win. Instead, most popular board games for older children and adults primarily utilize only strategy, as in the game of Chess, or a combination of luck and strategy. Interactions between the players create opportunities for incorporating strategic thinking and planning into a board game. Interactions between players also contribute to the variability and unpredictability of a game because players have the opportunity to interact in different ways and at different times during the game. Therefore, any new approaches to improving board games that eliminate sequential turn taking between individual players should not entail the loss of player-to-player interaction because this would also result in a forfeiture of the enjoyment derived from strategy, opportunistic game-play, and game-to-game variability.
Various examples of the invention will now be described. The following description provides specific details for a thorough understanding and enabling description of these examples. One skilled in the art will understand, however, that the invention may be practiced without many of these details. Additionally, some well-known structures or functions may not be shown or described in detail, so as to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the relevant description.
The terminology used in the description presented below is intended to be interpreted in its broadest reasonable manner, even though it is being used in conjunction with a detailed description of certain specific examples of the invention. Certain terms may even be emphasized below; however, any terminology intended to be interpreted in any restricted manner will be overtly and specifically defined as such in this Detailed Description section.
Accordingly, embodiments of the present disclosure employ concurrent turn taking, which reduces or eliminates sequential turn taking between individual players while retaining the positive aspects of player-to-player interactions, such as those described above. FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing example game pieces that can be employed in a concurrent turn taking scheme. More specifically, FIG. 1 shows Character Type A game pieces A1-A5 and Character Type B game pieces B1-B5. In this example, five individual players have an individual Character A piece and an individual Character B piece, and each Player's Character A does not interact with the other Players' Character A. For example, the A1 piece cannot interact with any of the A2-A5 pieces. Similarly, each Player's Character B does not interact with the other Players' Character B. However, any Character A can interact with any Character B, and visa versa. For example, the A1 piece can interact with any of the B1-B5 pieces. By separating out the interactions between these two sets of Characters, each of the Players can move their Character A in a first turn, and move their Character B in a second turn. Thus, concurrent turn taking alternates between Character A and Character B, and not sequentially between individual players of the game.
FIG. 2 is a top-plan view of an embodiment of a game board on which the Character A and Character B game pieces may be positioned. For example, the A1-A5 pieces are positioned at locations (C10, R2), (C7, R4), (C6, R10), (C2, R9), and (C11, R8), respectively, prior to a first turn. During the first turn, Players' may either concurrently or collectively roll one or more dies, or other type of random number generators corresponding to their individual Character A. The pieces A1-A5 can then be re-positioned on the game board based on an individual Player's die roll at locations (C9, R4), (C9, R13), (C6, R7), (C4, R11), and (C12, R11), respectively. In the same way, during a second turn, the B1-B5 pieces may be moved in a similar fashion from locations (C5, R12), (C7, R11), (C3, R5), (C11, R6), and (C1, R1), respectively, to locations (C8, R12), (C12, R11), (C7, R3), (C11, R3), and (C6, R2), respectively. Thus, all Players move one of their characters in each turn of the game, and avoid having to wait for other player(s) to take their turn(s). Players can also have the opportunity to use one or the other or both of their game pieces (Character A for example) to attack, slow down, or capture other player's game pieces (Character B for example) to gain an advantage at the expense of their opponents. At the same time, by eliminating interactions between all of the same Characters (Character A for example,) all players can move concurrently in each turn, and yet still avoid the game conflicts that would occur in traditional games (i.e., with interacting Characters moving in the same turn).
In many embodiments, such concurrent turn taking can be used in games with more complexity, and interactions between the players can be created with a concurrent turn taking. Player-to-player Interactions can be defined in a way that is compatible with concurrent turn taking as described above, by separating the activities or roles of a player's game piece into two or more activities or roles. For example, when players interact with each other in battles while also trying to win the game by reaching a destination, the roles of attacking opponents and racing to the destination can be segregated into two or more characters. Alternatively, if players interact by trying to take materials, property, points or powers away from the other players while also trying to win the game by accumulating their own materials, property, points or powers, the roles of taking objects from opponents and accumulating objects to win can be segregated into two or more characters. In some embodiments, each player can have two playing pieces or characters, one that tries to win the game (e.g., Character A) by, for example, racing for a destination or by accumulating materials, property, points, or powers. The second playing piece or character then tries to impede other players from winning the game (e.g., Character B) by, for example, by attacking, stealing from or other forms of interaction with other players' Character A which are intended to take away their materials, property, points, or powers. In these examples, turn taking would alternate between Character A and Character B. All players would take their turn with Character A at the same time, and then take their turn with Character B at the same time, and then back to Character A, and so forth. If a game was designed with three or more playing pieces or characters per player, turn taking could alternate between each type of character. For example, if there are 3 characters or playing pieces per player, turn taking could alternate between A and B and C and back to A, etc. Alternatively, more complex sequences can be used such as A,B,A,B,C,A,B,A,B,C, etc., or any other sequence appropriate for the specific game. In all these examples, interactions would primarily take place between different character types (A and B, A and C, B and C, etc.) and primarily not between the same character types (A and A, B and B, etc.). Interactions between characters of the same type in a game where turn taking is concurrent as described above would need to be defined in a way that avoids or reconciles conflicting situations.
In another embodiment, each character or playing piece can have attributes that vary with respect to one another. For example, such attributes can include the strengths and weaknesses of each character, and what each player must accomplish with their character to win the game. In conventional board games, each character or playing piece in a game has a set of strengths and weaknesses, or the potential to gain strength or overcome weakness and thereby contribute to these attributes. However, the strengths and weaknesses are more or less comparable between the different characters, so that each player has a roughly equal opportunity to win the game. Similarly, the way to win a game is roughly comparable between characters in the game so that each player again has a roughly equal opportunity to win. In contrast to conventional board games, embodiments of characters and playing pieces can have non-comparable strengths and weaknesses, while at the same time providing each player a roughly equal opportunity to win the game by adjusting what each player must accomplish to win the game. For example, characters with greater strengths or fewer weaknesses, can complete either a greater number or more difficult tasks to win the game. Likewise, characters with less strength or more weaknesses can win the game by doing fewer or less difficult tasks. In this way, players with a weaker character have roughly the same opportunity to win the game, as do players with stronger, faster, or better characters. For example, if the pieces A1-A5 (FIG. 1) are used to win the game and pieces B1-B5 are used by the players to impede the progress of other players from winning with their Type A character, the strengths and weaknesses of each individual character can be defined such that character A1 is stronger than A2 which is stronger than A3, etc. Parity in the overall opportunity to win the game is achieved in this example by making it more difficult for A1 to win the game than A2, and more difficult for A2 to win the game than A3, etc. Accordingly, the relative abilities of each character to win the game (that is the strengths of each character) and the relative difficulty of what each character must do to win the game (that is the tasks that each character must complete to win the game) are defined in such a way that their combination provides each character with a roughly equal opportunity to win. Stronger characters must do more to win the game while weaker players can win the game by doing less. One advantage of defining the various characters or game pieces in this way is that it provides a more complex substrate for players to develop strategies for winning the game. It also creates a more realistic game experience by allowing the use of both stronger and weaker characters (as in real life) while maintaining an equal opportunity for all players to win. In addition, parity in the overall opportunity to win the game can be further achieved in this embodiment by the selection process for choosing playing pieces at the beginning of the game. Since each player has two types of characters (Type A character and Type B character), the order of selection can be reversed between picking a first character and a second character. For example, players can roll dice to determine who picks a character first, and who gets to pick next, etc. Then after everybody has picked a first character, the selection process for a second character can be in the opposite order so that the player who picked last gets to pick first and visa versa. In this way, the advantage of winning the opportunity to pick the first character in a first round is balanced by having to pick the second character last in the second round. This selection process can be defined so that each player is required to pick a specific type of character in the first round of picking (for example, Character A) and the other character type (for example, Character B) in the second round. Alternatively, the choice of which type of character to pick in the first round can be up to each player as long as they pick the other type of character in the second round.
Embodiments of a game employing any of the foregoing features may also be partitioned into separate game phases. For example, consider a game where players accumulate objects and/or powers that can then be used to actually try to win the game. This type of game can be structured into two or more parts. In the first part or initial phase, players can only engage in activities directed toward acquiring the objects and/or powers needed to try and win the game, but are restricted from actually initiating any attempts to do so. In the second part or final phase of the game, players can initiate attempts to try and win the game by using the objects and/or powers accumulated during Part 1 of the game. The transition from Part 1 to Part 2 of the game can be defined in any one of a number of ways. In one embodiment, each character may have a specific set of tasks to perform to acquire the objects and/or powers useful for trying to win the game. For example, the transition from Part 1 to Part 2 of the game can be defined to occur when the first player completes all of their character's tasks, or some predetermined number of tasks, or a specific selected task from their set of tasks, or after some predetermined duration of time. The game could be structured such that players must switch from accumulating objects and/or powers in Part 1, to using their accumulated objects and/or powers to try and win the game in Part 2. Alternatively, players could be allowed the choice in Part 2 to either continue accumulating objects and/or powers that increase their ability to win the game, or to initiate attempts to actually win the game.
In a related embodiment, each character's strengths and weaknesses can change when making the transition from Part 1 to Part 2 of the game. For example, if one type of character (e.g., Type A or Type B) has a predefined unique set of strengths and weaknesses in Part 1 of the game, these strengths and weaknesses can be adjusted when Part 2 of the game begins. This change in the strength or weakness of each character at the onset of Part 2 of the game could be an increase in strength, compensating for a loss of ability to impede the progress of other players (e.g., as a result of Type A or Type B players having gained more materials, property, or powers during Part 1 of the game). For example, this could re-establish or revive the ability of Type B characters to impede the progress of Type A characters, compensating for the strengthening of Type A characters during Part 1 of the game.
In another related embodiment, the players may have tasks or adventures that must be completed to acquire more materials, property or power to increase their ability to win the game. When a player's character has a set of tasks or adventures to perform, one of these tasks or adventures may be defined as the Final Adventure, one that can only be started after all of his other Adventures have been completed. This Final Adventure or Task may also be the one designated to make the transition from Part 1 to Part 2 of the game as described above.
In yet another related embodiment, the interactions between Type A and Type B characters can change in the transition from Part 1 to Part 2 of the game. In several embodiments, games that incorporate battles between Type A and Type B characters, the reward for winning a battle, or penalty for losing a battle, may be different in Part 1 than it is in Part 2, or it may be different when a Type A character is trying to accumulate materials, property or powers to improve their ability to win, rather than actually trying to win. For example, if a Type A character loses a battle in Part 1 of the game, its penalty may be the loss of a turn, strength, or some material, property or power acquired by completing tasks. During Part 2 of the game, the Type A character may lose something else, such as progress towards winning the game, or it may be sent back to some location from where it will be more difficult to win the game.
In these and other embodiments, characters may move on the game board in a variety of ways. For example, when a random number generating device is used to determine how far a character can move (for example, dice or a spinner or an electronic device), game pieces are typically moved across the game board the exact number of spaces indicated on the number generator. Alternatively, players may move their character any number of spaces, up to and including the number of spaces rolled or indicated on the number generator. This is especially useful in a game where characters must land on a specific destination to complete a task or adventure, or to land on a specific destination to win the game. In this way, players don't have to exactly determine how to move across the game board in order to land on a specific destination without overshooting the designated space.
Additionally, characters may move in a variety of ways across a game board. For example, a compass die or spinner or electronic device can be used along with the numbered dice to determine which direction the character moves on any given turn. Certain regions may be established on the game board map that require use of a compass die when a character lands in that region. The compass dice may have N, S, E, W indicators to determine the character's direction of movement according to the directions on a compass. Alternatively, directions could be defined in other coordinate systems: up/down/right/left, or in polar coordinates (radius, angle).
In a game where all players take their turn simultaneously, it is possible that more than one character wins the game in the same turn. For example, such an impasse may occur when more than one player reaches the final destination to win a game in the same turn, or more than one player may acquire the materials, property or powers required to win a game in the same turn. When this situation arises in a game, there are several means to reconcile the fact that more than one player is winning. Games can be created where its acceptable to have more than one winner or, alternatively, games can be created where there is a final competition between the winning players to determine a sole winner for the game. This additional competition between the winning players can be structured with a sequential or concurrent turn taking. If, for example, the winning players race to some destination to become the one and only final winner, this final competition could be played with sequential turn taking to ensure that there is only one player who reaches the destination on any given turn. Alternatively, if the multiple winning players are going to compete to become a sole winner via battle or some other interaction between their characters or playing pieces, they could all move in the same turn and continue the battle or other interaction until a sole winner is determined. Another aspect of this final part of the game is that players who did not complete the game to become one of the multiple winners, could also have a role in this final part of the game where still remains an opportunity to become the sole winner, but there is a smaller chance to win than for the players who did become one of the original winners.
The elements and acts of the various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments and to create new games with varying levels of complexity, and varying degrees of opportunity to develop novel strategies for winning the game. Novel games employing the foregoing embodiments can be implemented in any of a wide variety of formats including: (1) a traditional board game, (2) an electronic version of the game (stand alone or networked), (3) a virtual reality version of the game, or (4) a life-size version where each player becomes their own character and moves across a “life-size game board” as in an amusement park setting.
Another example is provided below in the form of a rule book for a board game entitled “Adventures in Cephalon.” It will be appreciated that other types of games may include other features and could be applied to a myriad of different types of themes, stories, movies, etc. Such embodiments may include some or all of the various features described herein.
Adventures in Cephalon
Each player has two characters:
- A Warrior who tries to win the game by completing Adventures and being the first to complete a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force.
- A Monster who attacks the other Warriors to impede their progress toward winning the game.
There are two parts to the Game:
- Completing Adventures to earn more speed for Travel and strength in Battle (see Part 1—Completing Adventures).
- Winning the Game by being the first player to complete a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force (see Part 2—Quest to Destroy the Dark Force). If more than one player completes a Quest in the same turn see Race to Startup.
Setting up the Game—Picking your Warrior and a Monster
All players roll dice and the highest number picks first. If there is a tie, winners roll again until there is one winner.
Winner chooses a Warrior or a Monster—only one or the other. Next player to the left chooses a character and so on around the circle of players. Last player to choose gets to pick both a Warrior and Monster. Selection then goes back around the circle of players in the opposite direction with the starter picking last. Each player ends up with one Warrior and one Monster.
Each player gets a set of Warrior cards (1 Character card and 4-5 Adventure cards) and Monster cards (1 Character card and 1 Battle card). Each player also gets two sets of dice—one set for each Character. All Monster playing pieces are placed at their home which is indicated on the Monster's Character card. Home location is shown on the game board as a two space rectangle with a color gradient using colors from the Monster's Character card.
Part 1—Completing Adventures
Rolling of dice for travel alternates between Warriors and Monsters. Starting with their Warriors at Startup, all players roll dice at the same time and move him or her no more than the number of spaces rolled (see Warriors). After moving and completing any ongoing Battles, all players roll dice for their Monster and move it no more than the number of spaces rolled (see Monsters). After Monsters move and their Battles are completed, Warriors roll again. Game continues by alternating between Warriors and Monsters.
Players start their first Adventure by placing an Adventure card next to their Warrior's card. Warriors must stop at each destination on the Adventure card. Some Adventures include attacking a Monster at its home (see Battles). Each Adventure must be completed before starting the next one. Flip the Adventure card over to show when completed.
Adventure cards describe the Adventure to be completed and reward obtained upon completion. Reward can only be used after completing the Adventure unless indicated otherwise on the Adventure card. Additional details on each Adventure are provided in Adventures and Rewards Earned by each Warrior.
Each Warrior has a Final Adventure which can only be started after his or her other Adventures have been completed. Upon completion of the Final Adventure, player turns over their Character card and can use the higher number of dice shown for Travel and Battle. Other powers obtained by completing Adventures can still be used by the Warrior.
Each Warrior has a Character card showing the number of dice to use for Travel (T) and in Battle (B)—one or two dice to start.
To move, players roll the number of dice indicated for Travel on their Warrior's card plus any extra dice earned for Travel by completing Adventures. Move no more than the number of spaces rolled in a horizontal or vertical direction. It is OK to move diagonally only if traveling on a road that runs diagonally. A Warrior can pass over an occupied space, and can share a space with another Warrior. Warriors can not land on a space occupied by a Monster unless it is at an Adventure destination. Warriors can cross over small rivers but not big rivers (with blue edging).
Monsters have a home location shown on their Character card along with the number of dice it uses for Travel (T) and in Battle (B)—lower number to start. Any Monster not chosen remains at home for the entire game and must be attacked by Warriors passing through its home (see Battles).
To move, players roll the number of dice indicated for Travel on their Monster's card and move it no more than the number of spaces rolled. Like Warriors, a Monster can only move in a horizontal or vertical direction unless traveling on a road, and can not cross big rivers (with blue edging). Monsters are free to remain at home or travel anywhere in Cephalon but can not land on an occupied space. Additional details on each Monster are provided in Monsters (general ranking in speed and strength).
The Snake has its own Adventure which can be done at any time during Part 1 of the game. To complete this Adventure, the Snake must travel to the Dark Tower in Bloodland via the Lost Trail in the Black Marshes. Upon completion of this Adventure, the Snake gets one additional die for Battle (exchange the Snake's Character card).
Dark Force of Cephalon
All Monsters share a common objective in their service to the Dark Force of Cephalon: to slow down Warriors from completing Adventures and Quest to Destroy the Dark Force. Similarly, all players of the game share a common objective: to slow down other players from winning the game. All Monsters—and their respective players—are encouraged to openly strategize against opponents to impede their progress in the game. This is the Dark Force of Cephalon at work.
Yet, the Dark Force of Cephalon is not absolute. Monsters exist to attack Warriors but a player is free to move his or her Monster to avoid Battle with his or her own Warrior.
Cephalon—the Game Board
Thin dark lines define the spaces available for travel. Heavy dark lines define the edges beyond where nobody can go. Heavy dark lines that form the Lost Trail through the Black Marshes can not be crossed over but anybody can travel into or through the pathway.
Monsters can not enter Darkwood Forest or the Black Forest except for Monsters from Darkwood Forest—the Spider and Green Goblin. Warriors can travel into and through Darkwood and Black Forests, but if a Warrior stops in either of these Forests, a Compass die must be rolled along with the Travel dice to determine their direction of movement until exiting the forest. Warriors can travel along the road through Darkwood Forest without using the Compass dice.
There are two kinds of rivers. Big rivers have a light blue edging and small rivers do not have edging. Characters can not cross big rivers unless they have a special power to do so (see Adventures and Rewards Earned by each Warrior). Any character can cross small rivers.
To cross over the Rocky Mountains via Whitehorn Pass, Warriors or Monsters first enter the pass. On the next turn players roll a Compass die along with their Travel dice. If an East or West direction is rolled, player can move the number of spaces rolled in that direction. One roll per turn. Players keep rolling the Compass dice along with their Travel dice until exiting the pass.
To cross under the Rocky Mountains via the Mines of Dementia, Warriors or Monsters enter the East or West gate and then continue their way on the separate Mines of Dementia game board. Upon reaching a gate in the Mines of Dementia, the player can exit and return to the main game board via that gate.
Battles with Warriors on an Adventure
Battles are only fought between Monsters and Warriors. Monsters attack Warriors to slow them down. Warriors don't gain anything by attacking Monsters but have to sometimes during an Adventure or Quest to Destroy the Dark Force.
Two situations result in a Battle:
1) Monster attacks Warrior by moving next to him,
2) Warrior attacks a Monster at its home.
1) Monster attacks Warrior
Monsters can attack any Warrior on an Adventure by landing on an adjacent space unless the:
Warrior already has the Monster's Battle card,
Warrior has not yet moved after losing a Battle,
Warrior is at an Adventure destination.
After all Monsters have moved, Battle begins by the Monster handing its Battle card to the Warrior. Both players roll the number of dice for Battle shown on their Character card plus any additional dice earned by completing Adventures. Highest number wins the Battle. Ties lead to another roll in the same turn until there is a winner.
If Monster wins the Battle, the Warrior loses his next turn and keeps the Battle card until the Monster Battles another Warrior.
Note: To track each Battle result, the Warrior indicates a loss by turning the Battle card over to ‘Lose Next Turn’. At the next turn, the Warrior flips the Battle card over to show that the turn has been lost and that he gets to roll next time.
If Warrior wins the Battle, he or she does not lose a turn and still keeps the Battle card until the Monster Battles another Warrior.
If more than one Warrior occupies the same space when attacked, they must both Battle with the Monster separately. If a Monster lands next to two or more Warriors on the same turn, they must Battle with the Monster separately.
If, in the same turn, more than one Monster wants to attack a Warrior, the Monster with more dice for Battle gets to attack. If attacking Monsters have the same number of dice for Battle, they can roll dice for the highest number to see who gets to attack.
2) Warrior attacks Monster at its home
When a Warrior passes through or lands on a Monster's home, he must stop and attack the Monster if it is home even if he already has the Monster's Battle card.
If the Warrior is attacking a Monster at its home as part of an Adventure and the Monster is not home when he or she arrives, the Warrior must still stop. The Monster can then immediately move back to its home for the Battle. If the Monster does return home for the Battle, it starts Travel from its home on the next turn.
Attacking a Monster at its home is the same as when a Monster attacks a Warrior. Highest number wins the Battle. Ties lead to another roll in the same turn until there is a winner.
Part 2—Quest to Destroy the Dark Force
First player to complete a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force wins the game. Quest begins with a Warrior arriving at Wellspring and declaring their Quest by placing their Quest card at the center of the game board. Starting on their next turn, the Warrior then travels to Blackheart Mountain in Bloodland. The first Warrior to successfully travel from Wellspring to Blackheart Mountain completes their Quest and wins the game. However, no Warrior can start a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force until at least one Warrior has finished all of his or her Adventures. When the first Warrior completes all of his or her Adventures, a number of changes must occur before continuing with the game:
All Monsters turn over their Character card and use the higher number of dice for Travel and Battle.
The Spider's home is changed from Darkwood Forest to the Secret Gate into Bloodland, and she is moved to her new home (exchange Battle card).
The Blackcrow becomes a Prince of Bloodland with a new home in the Dark Tower of Bloodland (exchange Battle card and playing piece).
The King and Prince of Bloodland fly on winged beasts allowing them to cross rivers and attack anybody on a river. They can fly over but not attack anybody in the Darkwood and Black Forests.
Other Warriors who have not completed all of their Adventures are free to continue working on their Adventures, or to start their own Quest to Destroy the Dark Force. However, ongoing Adventures must be completed before starting a Quest. Warriors continue to use their powers from completed Adventures including total number of dice earned for Travel and Battle.
Battles with Warriors on a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force
1) Monster attacks Warrior on a Quest
Monsters can attack any Warrior on a Quest unless the:
Warrior has the Monster's Battle card,
Warrior is already in Battle
Warrior is at Wellspring
Warrior is an Invisible Warrior on a Quest (see Adventures and Rewards Earned by the Elven Prince and Princess)
Rules for a Battle during a Quest are similar to other Battles in the game except that when the Warrior loses he does not lose a turn but instead is returned to Wellspring. There is never a ‘loss of the next turn’ for any Warrior on a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force. Highest number wins the Battle. Ties lead to another roll in the same turn until there is a winner.
If Monster wins the Battle, the Warrior is immediately returned to Wellspring and keeps the Monster's Battle card until the Monster Battles another Warrior. The Warrior may start another Quest or unfinished Adventure on the next turn.
If Warrior wins the Battle, he or she can continue with their Quest on the next turn and keeps the Monster's Battle card until the Monster Battles another Warrior.
2) Warrior on a Quest attacks Monster at its home
If Warrior on a Quest lands on or passes through the home of a Monster, the Warrior must stop and attack the Monster if it is home even if he or she already has the Monster's Battle card. Rules for this Battle are the same as described above for Monsters attacking a Warrior on a Quest.
If Warrior wins the Battle, he or she can continue with their Quest on the next turn, and can not be attacked until after his next turn. If the Warrior (Wizard, Elf Queen or Elf King) uses their escape from return to Wellspring, he or she must continue the attack on their next turn to move through the Monster's home. The Monster must remain at home to continue the Battle and does not attack the Warrior during its turn. A second loss results in return to Wellspring.
Race to Startup
More than one Warrior can win the game by completing their Quest in the same turn. However, if all winning players agree, they can compete to become the sole game winner by winning the Race to Startup.
If all winning players agree to enter the Race, a couple of changes must occur before continuing with the game:
All Monsters except for the Snake are removed from the game board.
All Warriors who did not finish a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force are removed from the game board. These players can then roll several dice for one more chance to win the game. Highest roller wins the Snake. If there is a tie, highest rollers roll again until one player wins the Snake.
Winning the Race to Startup
The first Warrior to race from Blackheart Mountain to Startup wins the game. However, if the Snake can travel all the way through the Lost Trail in the Black Marshes and reach Blackheart Mountain before a Warrior reaches Startup, the Snake wins the game.
The Snake still uses four dice for Travel and can cross over or travel on rivers. Warriors continue to use the same number of dice for Travel and have the same powers that they had when completing their Quest to Destroy the Dark Force.
There are no more Battles but it is possible to impede the Snake in reaching Blackheart Mountain. If any Warrior lands on the Snake's space, he or she can immediately move the Snake to its home in Snake Pass. Warrior must stop there and resume journey on next roll. The Snake can renew its journey to Blackheart Mountain on its next turn. The Snake need only travel through the Lost Trail in the Black Marshes one time even if it is sent home by a Warrior after traveling through the Lost Trail but before reaching Blackheart Mountain.
Game restarts with the Snake rolling first and moving no more than the number of spaces rolled. Next remaining player to the left rolls and so on around the circle of remaining players. Only one player rolls at a time moving his or her Character no more than the number of spaces rolled.
Warriors have different powers and abilities. Stronger and faster characters like the Wizard, Elf Queen and Elf King also have longer and harder Adventures. The Soldier and Scout are not as strong and fast but have shorter Adventures and tend to finish sooner. The Dwarf Lord and Knight are intermediate between these other characters.
The Elven Prince and Princess have long Adventures even though they do not have the strength or speed of a Wizard, Elven Queen or Elven King. But when they complete their Final Adventure and become an Invisible Warrior, they are unstoppable and will win the game unless somebody else has already won.
Monsters also have different powers and abilities. Part of the strategy is picking a good combination of Warrior and Monster to win the game. Whereas, any Warrior can win the game, it is generally best to pick the best Monster.
Strategy for the Quest to Destroy the Dark Force
During Part 2 of the game, Goblins have 3 dice for Battle but all other Monsters have at least 4 dice. Since losing a Battle results in having to re-start your Quest from Wellspring, The Warrior's chances to win are better if he has at least 4 dice for Battle.
Monsters (general ranking in speed and strength)
King of Bloodland—start with 3T and 3B, finish with 5T and 4B
Can fly over but not attack in Darkwood and Black Forests—Part 2 only
Can fly over and attack on big rivers—Part 2 only
Spider—start with 1T and 4B, finish with 1T and 6B
Can travel through and attack anybody in the Darkwood and Black Forests
Snake—start with 3T and 2B, finish with 4T and 4B
Optional Adventure provides one extra die for Battle (see Snake's Adventure in Monsters), 3B
Can cross over and travel on (even in a diagonal direction) big rivers
Can attack anybody on a big river
Blackcrow/Prince of Bloodland—start with 4T and 1B, finish with 4T and 4B
Can fly over but not attack in Darkwood and Black Forests
Can fly over and attack on big rivers
Wolverine—start with 3T and 2B, finish with 4T and 4B
Red, Grey, Green and Purple Goblins—start with 2T & 2B, finish with 4T & 3B Green Goblins of Darkwood can travel through and attack anybody in the Darkwood and Black Forests
Adventures and Rewards Earned by Each Warrior
Wizard—start with 2T and 2B, finish with 6T and 5B
Attack Grey Goblins in Greytower and get the King of Horses at Equisetum—T
Attack the King of Bloodland in its Dark Tower and get a staff at Elvenwood—B
Attack Spider at her home & get a sword at Magic Mountain—B
Travel thru Eagle's Lair, Whitehorn Pass (W to E), and Lost Trail through the Black Marshes—T
Challenge Dementia in the Mines of Dementia & then return from the Netherworld(1,2)—Final
(1) The Wizard's Final Adventure involves a Challenge against the Demon, Dementia which is different than a Battle in two ways. First, the Wizard does not lose any turns in the Challenge, but instead must win the Challenge to complete his Final Adventure (see below). Second, the Wizard, does not have to complete his Final Adventure after it is started, but can abandon it and proceed to Wellspring to begin a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force at any time. Upon reaching the Dementia's home in the Mines of Dementia, Wizard immediately Challenges it by rolling two sets of dice—four white dice for himself and five black dice for Dementia.
If the Wizard rolls a number equal to or higher than Dementia, he wins the Challenge and becomes the White Wizard. He is then transferred to Netherworld and can head for Wellspring on his next turn.
If Dementia rolls a higher number, the Wizard continues the Challenge by rolling both sets of dice on subsequent turns until winning.
(2) The Wizard's Final Adventure provides a special power that can only be used one time. He can escape return to Wellspring once after losing a Battle while on a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force.
Elf Queen—start with 2T and 1B, finish with 5T and 4B
Travel to Equisetum & get a horse—T
Get elven bow in Elvenwood & attack the Spider in her home—B
Travel to Wellspring, Whitehorn Pass, Elvenwood & attack the Grey Goblins in Greytower(3)—T
Get sword in Wellspring & attack Wolverines at their home in the Brown Mountains—B
Attack Grey Goblins in Greytower & Red Goblins at the Gates of Bloodland(4)—Final
(3) Elf Queen can choose her own direction in the Forests after becoming a Master of the Woods.
(4) Elf Queen's Final Adventure provides a special power that can only be used one time. She can escape return to Wellspring once after losing a Battle while on a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force.
Elf King—start with 2T and 1B, finish with 5T and 4B
Travel to Equisetum & get horse—T
Travel to Southport & get a boat(5)—T
Travel thru Elvenwood, Whitehorn Pass, and Wellspring to get an Elfstone—B
Get sword at Wellspring & attack the King of Bloodland in its Dark Tower—B
Attack Grey Goblins in Greytower & Red Goblins at the Gates of Bloodland(6)—Final
(5) Elf King can cross over and travel along rivers (even in a diagonal direction) after getting his boat.
(6) Elf King's Final Adventure provides a special power that can only be used one time. He can escape return to Wellspring once after losing a Battle while on a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force.
Dwarf Lord—start with 1T and 2B, finish with 3T and 4B
Travel from Highland to the sea & get a pony—T
Attack Purple Goblins in the Mines of Dementia & discover a secret passage to the east gate—T
Attack Wolverines in the Brown Mountains & get a battle axe—B
Travel over Whitehorn Pass to Elvenwood & get a canoe(7)—Final
(7) Dwarf Lord gets unlimited rides across the Great River at Elvenwood
Knight—start with 1T and 2B, finish with 3T and 4B
Travel from Highland to the sea & get a horse—T
Travel to Castle Ruins & find the Knight's Horn(8)
Attack Green Goblins in Darkwood & Red Goblins at the Gates of Bloodland, get sword at the Last Frontier Town—B
Attack Grey Goblins in Greytower & travel to Wellspring—Final
(8) The Knight's Horn allows the Knight to call for help in a Battle one time only by asking an available Warrior to join them on the same space to throw their Battle dice. Warriors in a Battle or waiting for their turn after losing a Battle are not available. Horn does not work in Bloodland. If used on an Adventure, both Warriors lose a turn if they lose the Battle and continue from their current location. If used on a Quest, both return to Wellspring and do not lose a turn. Neither Warrior can be attacked by the Monster until it Battles another Warrior.
Elven Prince/Elven Princess—start with 1T and 1B; finish with 4T and 3B
Travel to Highland & get a pony—T
Attack Spider at home & get sword at Magic Mountain—B
Attack Purple Goblins of the Mines of Dementia & find Magic Armor—B
Travel to Whitehorn Pass, Elvenwood, Lost Trail through the Black Marshes, attack Red Goblins at the Gates of Bloodland(9)—Final
(9) Like other Warriors, the Elven Prince and Princess can start a Quest without having completed all of their Adventures (see Part 2—Quest to Destroy the Dark Force). However, when they do complete their Final Adventure, they become Invisible Warriors and have two unique powers for completing a Quest. 1) Magic Armor protects the Invisible Warrior from being attacked while on a Quest to Destroy the Dark Force. However, to pass through any Monster's home when it is there, the Invisible Warrior must continue to attack the Monster at its home until winning the Battle. One win or loss per turn. Ties lead to another roll in the same turn until there is a winner. The Monster must remain home to continue the Battle and does not attack the Invisible Warrior during its turn. When the Invisible Warrior wins the Battle, he may continue with his Quest on the next turn. 2) Their sword empowers them with only three dice for Battle against most Monsters, but against Spider it provides them with five dice.
Soldier/Scout—start with 1T and 1B, finish with 4T and 3B
Travel to Highland & get a pony—T
Travel to Castle Ruins & find the King's Horn(10)
Attack Purple Goblins in the Mines of Dementia and travel to Elvenwood to get a knife—B
Travel to the Black Forest & become a Woodsman(11)—T
Attack Grey Goblins in Greytower—Final
(10) The King's Horn allows the owner to get help in a Battle one time only by asking an available Warrior to join them on the same space to throw their Battle dice. Warriors in a Battle or waiting for their turn after losing a Battle are not available. Horn does not work in Bloodland. If used on an Adventure, both Warriors lose a turn if they lose the Battle and continue from their current location. If used on a Quest, both return to Wellspring and do not lose a turn . Neither Warrior can be attacked by the Monster until it Battles another Warrior.
(11) The Soldier and Scout can choose their own direction in Darkwood and the Black Forests, and cross over the Great River anywhere north of the Blackwash stream after becoming a Woodsman.
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise,” “comprising,” and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense, as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in the sense of “including, but not limited to.” As used herein, the terms “connected,” “coupled,” or any variant thereof, means any connection or coupling, either direct or indirect, between two or more elements; the coupling of connection between the elements can be physical, logical, or a combination thereof. Additionally, the words “herein,” “above,” “below,” and words of similar import, when used in this application, shall refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application. Where the context permits, words in the above Detailed Description using the singular or plural number may also include the plural or singular number respectively. The word “or,” in reference to a list of two or more items, covers all of the following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list, and any combination of the items in the list.
The above detailed description of embodiments of the invention is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed above. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the invention are described above for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications are possible within the scope of the invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize. For example, while certain game steps or processes are presented in a given order, alternative embodiments may perform steps in a different order, and some processes or steps may be deleted, moved, added, subdivided, combined, and/or modified to provide alternative or subcombinations. Each of these processes may be implemented in a variety of different ways.
The teachings of the invention provided herein can be applied to other games and systems, not necessarily the game described above. The elements and steps of the various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments.
These and other changes can be made to the invention in light of the above Detailed Description. While the above description describes certain embodiments of the invention, and describes the best mode contemplated, no matter how detailed the above appears in text, the invention can be practiced in many ways. Details of the system may vary considerably in its implementation details, while still being encompassed by the invention disclosed herein. As noted above, particular terminology used when describing certain features or aspects of the invention should not be taken to imply that the terminology is being redefined herein to be restricted to any specific characteristics, features, or aspects of the invention with which that terminology is associated. In general, the terms used in the following claims should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification, unless the above Detailed Description section explicitly defines such terms. Accordingly, the actual scope of the invention encompasses not only the disclosed embodiments, but also all equivalent ways of practicing or implementing the invention under the claims.
While certain aspects of the invention are presented below in certain claim forms, the inventors contemplate the various aspects of the invention in any number of claim forms. Accordingly, the inventor reserves the right to add additional claims after filing the application to pursue such additional claim forms for other aspects of the invention.