Game: The Pioneer Road (1902)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

How to play the game

We call this game “The Pioneer Road,” because it represents allegorically the fortunes of the pioneer who sets forth to seek his fortune over hill and mountain, valley and dale, to return either with good luck and well in the lead of his fellow travelers, or else far behind and sore of foot and poor in purse.

Now here is the way to play “The Pioneer’s Road”:

Cut out the game on this page and paste it on cardboard. Four people can play very well on one board. If you wish to have more than four at your party, get an extra game for each set and then make it a progressive party. Change tables and players in as many combinations as you may have time during the evening, and then the one who wins the greatest number of games is the winner of the tournament.

Let us now see how four can play the game.

Each player must have a pin with which he can mark his progress on the board.

You can use either two or more dice as counters. If you should use only one, it would make the game too long. If you use five, it will set the game going at quite a lively pace.

In order to distinguish between the pins, you should tie different colored ribbons on each in order that there may be no confusion as to ownership.

Should you have no dice, a deck of cards may be used — in the latter case, remember that each face card is to count twelve.

To decide who is to play first, let each player either throw the dice or draw a card. The player who makes the highest cast or draws the highest card is to play first, the next highest second, and so on — the lowest playing last.

All the pins are placed in a row at X, the beginning and ending of the game, and then the player who comes first either throws the dice or takes the top card off the pack. The number of spots counted together, in case of the dice, indicates how far he is to progress on the board; or if cards are used, he advances on the board just as far as that card, indicated by its number, regardless of its color. In case you use cards, let each player take a card off the top of the pack as it comes his turn, and then finally when all of the cards have been used, the players can return them to the pack and they can be shuffled and used again in the same manner until the game is ended.

MORE  Easy vintage crafts: How to make wooden clothespin trivets & coasters

Now that we have established how the counting is to be done, let us see how we are to travel in the adventurous footsteps of the pioneer and how fortune will help us to the lucky spots and keep our feet out of the pitfalls.

Remember each player is to advance by the road marked “left” and comes home on the road marked “right” — the first player back to the starting point wins that game.

Suppose the first player counts five on his throw or draw, he checks off five squares to his credit and finds that he has reached the square marked XX; then he must wait until it is his turn to throw again. If the second player throws seven, he goes two squares beyond his opponent.

The first obstacle that you must look out for is when you reach the point half way up the mountain and marked A. Here it is that if your throw counts up so you land in the square A, you must go back to XX and wait until you have another throw before you can advance on the Pioneer’s Road. If you should get beyond A instead of into it, you are all right for the time being and can proceed without fear until you come to the square marked B. If you strike B, you must go back to A and commence again at that point.

The next letter indicated on a square is a lucky one, so land on it if you can. This is the spot C. If you throw so your cast brings you on C, you may take the shortcut down the trail and take up your position at number 2; which will put you well in the lead of your fellows for the home trip.

Fifteen is also a lucky square and if you happen to get into it by a fortunate cast, you can move on to the square marked E.

MORE  How do you wrap a blender? A frying pan? Get some creative ways to wrap oddly-shaped gifts (1960s)

D must be avoided. If your luck is bad and you happen to hit on D, you must go back to B.

If you strike E, you are privileged to advance to number 1. If you land on number 1, when you come up to that point, you have to go back to D.

Ten is a lucky square, and if you strike it you can take up your headquarters, awaiting your next throw, at 11.

If you make an unfortunate cast as you progress on this “Pioneer’s Road” and happen on the square marked 2, you must go back to 15.

If you strike 11 you go back to D. If your luck sees fit to bring you to 3, you must go back to E and start again from that point.

After you have passed E successfully you are well on the home stretch, for there are no more obstacles in your way before you come to X — and remember, the first one who reaches X is the winner of the game.

Brief rule table

In order that you may have the rules in a concise form, a table of the fines and the rewards is given below. You can cut this out and paste it on one side of the game so as not to interfere with the outline of the squares, and then it will be handy for reference:

A — Go back to XX
B — Go back to A
C — Advance to 2
15 — Advance to E
D — Go back to B
E — Advance to 1
1 — Go back to D
10 — Advance to 11
2 — Go back to 15
11 — Go back to D
3— Go back to E

Click the game image to get a larger printable version!

More stories you might like

See our books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Because the fun never ends:

Pin It on Pinterest

join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.