Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Pappy Winchester


Jérémy Pinget

Blue Orange Games

No. of Players:
3 - 5



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Pappy Winchester is dead. Once one of the richest men, he leaves a lot of fortune and estates for his heirs. But Pappy Winchester was also a cunning trickster and swindler. Even in his last will he still likes to provoke and asks us – as his heirs – for a challenge. Only one of us can become the new head of the family and he wants the best of us to be the one. On the same time he wants all of us to share his fortune. And this is what he has thought out:

Everyone of us gets the same amount of money at the start of the challenge. To make it easy - Pappy Winchester is a family game - there are only 1000$ Dollar notes, no bigger or smaller notes. So there is no change in the game! With this starting capital it is our task to bid on plots of the land of Pappy Winchester. The land is divided into 19 plots, so there are plenty of chances to be successful. But only of can win and become the new head, of course that's the player with most money at the end of the game (the land is only means to an end, there is only a small bonus for the player who owns the most land at the end of the game...).


Click on image to enlarge!

The mechanics are quite simple: Each round a new plot is randomly chosen for the bidding. In turn order the players can either outbid the previous player's bid or pass, meaning that the player no longer participates in the current auction. The winner of the auction then pays the other player by dividing his bid equally among the players. Remaining money that cannot be divided equally goes to the saloon as a tip. Finally the player takes possession of the land by placing one of her or his hat tokens on the plot. And he collects one of three different bonus tokens that either lets her or his move a boat or locomotive, take the money from the saloon or enables the player to look under one of the still covered cards on the table.

Taking money from the saloon (that was placed there in previous actions as described before) is obviously a very useful bonus. But the other two options are not bad either: The boat and the locomotive give the landowners with a side adjacent to the new position of the vehicle a bonus of $1000. Looking at cards is very useful to plan your further auctions, because there are four plots that not only have bonus tokens, but also a hidden treasure. And it is always good to know if this is a worthwhile goal to achieve or just an old clunker.


Click on image to enlarge!

You see even if you do not win an auction, you participate in it by getting “paid”. Especially in the end game it is extremely important to be aware of that. Some players, mostly the youngest ones, tend to make to high bids, because they want to possess more and more land. But this is not always the best way to win the game. Of course, the land helps to achieve shared objectives that further expand the game and will bring even more money into the game. For example the player who first possesses five plots might get between $3000 and $7000 extra money. Or another player might get extra money for having four bonus tokens of the same kind. Five shared objectives are randomly chosen at set-up, so getting these awards is not the worst strategy to win the game.


But there are also secret objectives that are not revealed before the end of the game. And these objectives can considerably change the final scoring. That's what counts! Although it is great to hold all that dollar notes in your hand during the game, the final scoring determines the winner.

Pappy Winchester is a funny game for the whole family. Although it basically uses a very simple bidding mechanism, me and all my fellow players – not only the children – gleamed with pleasure after each successful auction. The reason for this are the great graphical design and the excellent game components, combined with clever payment and bonus rules to bring more and more money to the players and into the game. At the moment the favourite game of my youngest son!

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Copyright © 2019 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany