Zankapfel (Apple of Discord)

Designed by Ralf zur Linde.
Published by VSK.
Translated by Peter Wotruba (



In a small village on the edge of the Taunus, the traditional high point of the year approaches: The apple harvest. The apple farmers gather in the village's orchard, and try to get the freshest apples. What a colorfull picture: red, yellow, green, and blue apples hanging on the trees. Under the guidance of the mayor, who decides which parcels will be harvested, it is now time to pick the apples. But not all types of apples are sought after, and since every type of apple may only be harvested once from each parcel, this guarantees that arguments will arise.

The Gameboard

The gameboard has a few distincly different sections. Along the outside twists the path on which the player's figures move. The path begins and ends withe the starting space - the one on which there is a picture of an apple.

In the middle of the board there is the orchard. It is 5 x 5 parcels big, and will be harvested during the course of the game. The farmhouse serves as a space for the deck of cards, and the barn is for the discards of the apple cards.

Game Preparation

The red apple farmer is the starting player. He recieves the apple as a symbol of his position and then sets up the rest of the board. The game figures are placed on the starting space, and the 25 parcels of the orchard are marked with harvest markers. The starting player then chooses any of the parcels to place the mayor on.

The apple cards are shuffled and placed face-down on the farm house. Every player recieves a set of 10 quarrel cards in his color, and 4 apple cards. Now the top apple card on the pile is turned over and placed face-up on the top of the deck.

Finally, depending on the number of people playing, some of the harvest markers must be removed from the orchard's parcels. These harvest markers are removed one at a time in turn order.

4-6 players: Everyone removes 1 marker
3 players: Everyone removes 2 markers (in 2 rounds)

The markers removed are not used in the game.

Object of the Game

To win the game, a person's figure must be the first one to move around the outside track, and reach or pass the start space. If no player reaches this objective, after the last apple card is played, the player who has his figure furthest along the path has won.


In the course of the game, points are both awarded and used. These points are not paid out in game chips or money, but are marked through the positioning of the figures on the path. Players who recieve points, simply move their figure forwards the corresponding number of spaces. To use points, the figure is moved backwards. It is possible to fall behing the starting space, and to have negative points.

Game Summary

Every round consists of the following 3 phases:

  1. Buying an apple card, or playing one face-down
  2. Moving the mayor
  3. Harvest and Quarrels

At the end of each round, the apple is given to the next player, who will be the starting player for the next round. It goes around in a clockwise order.

Phase 1 - Playing or Buying Apple Cards

Beginning with the starting player, everyone in turn chooses to do one of the two following possibilities:

A) Buy an Apple Card

The player can buy the face-up apple card, which is on the top of the deck. With this card he earns the right to harvest a single apple of this color in later game rounds.

The price of this card is determined by the color of the apple card, and the position of the mayor in the orchard. The price corresponds to half the number which is shown on the edge of the orchard at the level of the mayor. From the four choices (top and bottom of the column, and the left and right of the row), the one which is used is the one which has the same color as the apple card. The four colored apple is a joker, and always costs 3 points.

After the apple card is bought, the next one is turned over and placed on the top of the deck.

Example (pg 5): The mayor is on the space marked BM. The buying price is:

B) Playing an Apple Card

If a player does not want to buy the top apple card, he must play one of his apple cards face-down. The card remains face-down in front of him until the third phase. Only those people who played apple cards can harvest (ie. recieve points). If a player does not have any apple cards in his hand, he must buy the top apple card on the pile.

Phase 2 - Moving the Mayor

The starting player moves the mayor to any non-harvested neighboring parcel. He may either straight or diagonally to the next parcel. If all neighboring parcels have already been harvested, the mayor may be moved to any unharvested parcel.

As a symbol that the parcel has already been harvested, the harvest marker is removed from the space when the mayor is moved to it.

Exception: When the mayor is first placed at the start of the game, no harvest marker is removed because no harvest occurs in that space.

Phase 3 - Harvest and Quarrels

All players, who had played a card face-down in phase 1, reveal their cards at the same time. Now there is a harvest!

Now everyone recieves the value of their played cards in points, and moves their playing piece forwards along the path the corresponding number of spaces.

The number of points a player recieves is determined by the number printed on the edge of the orchard corresponding to the row and column where the mayor is positioned. From these four numbers at the ends of the column and row, the one corresponding to the color of the played apple card is the one that gives you points.

Example: (page 6) The mayor is placed on the space marked BM. Correspondingly:

Because of this, it is always best to play an apple card which would give you the most points. But pay attention:

* Each color of apple can only be harvested once per parcel!

If 2 or more people play an apple card of the same color, the stricken players break into a quarrel. Only the victor of that arguement harvests during the round, the other participants go away empty.

If a person plays a joker, he can choose his harvest color. He may, naturally, even choose a color which would cause him to participate ina quarrel.

If more than one joker is played in a round, the players choose the joker's color starting with the starting player, and going clockwise.

(Example - Page 7)

The mayor is on a parcel with these corresponding numbers: Green 7, Red 5, Yellow 3, and Blue 2. Player #1 played a green apple card, player #2 bought a new card, player #3 also played a green apple card, and player #4 played a joker. First, player #4 must decide which color he will harvest. Harvesting green apples is worth the most points, but that would involve a quarrel. Here he decides upon red apples, and recieves 5 points without a quarrel. Players #1 and #3 now must quarrel.

All played apple cards (including the loser(s) of the quarrel) are placed on the discard pile. If the deck of cards runs out, the discard pile is shuffled and placed face-down to create a new draw-pile.

The round is over. The player to the left of the starting player recieves the apple, and is now the starting player for the following round.

The Quarrel

If more than one person played the same color apple card, there must be a quarrel. One player can not sacrifice and play no cards, thus saving them for later.

All participants of a quarrel play one of their quarrel cards face-down. The quarrel cards have the values 1-10, and whoever plays the highest card wins the quarrel. To improve your chances to better your card, each player in a quarrel may buy up to _3_ dice. The resultant total on the rolled dice is added to the number on the person's played card, and the total is the player's quarrel number.

But all things have their price! Fopr each die rolled, two points are subtracted from a player's score. This payment is made immediately when the decision to roll dice is made. The payment is recorded by moving the player's figure back the corresponding number of spaces. So you must carefully consider whether or not to use the dice.

During a quarrel there is no turn-order. Everyone can buy or not buy dice as long as they want, and the maximum number of 3 dice is not exceeded. So everyone can react to what the other people do. Once bought, however, dice may not be bought again. So you have to decide how many you want when you originally buy them. In the same manner, once a card is turned face-down, it can not be changed.

As soon as everyone has made their final decision whether or not to buy any dice, the quarrel is carried out. All participating players turn over their cards, roll their dice (if they bought any), and total their score. The player with the highest total wins the quarrel.

It can happen that 2 or more players end up with the same highest quarrel number. In this case, another quarrel occurs between those tied people. All previously played cards are removed from the game, the dice are given back, and a new quarrel ensues.

The quarrel goes on until a victor is determined.

It can of course be the case that more than one quarrel occurs in a round (ie. a quarrel over the red apple, and one over the blue). These quarels are carried out one after the other. These different quarrels can be carried out in any order.

Should there not be enough dice for a quarrel, the players simply roll the dice one after another.

The quarrel cards are used once and then removed from the game.

Only one quarrel card may be played in each quarrel.

After a player's tenth quarrel, he will have no more cards to play, but he may still buy dice, and therefore win the quarrel that way.

Example: Player 1 plays an 8 face-down. Player 3 plays his highest remaining card, a 6. Because he believes his card is lower, he buys a die. Now it is up to player 1, who could lose with his 8 card, and so he buys 1 die. The dice are expensive, so he trusts to his luck, and decides against a second die, and hopes that he can roll better.

Player #1 rolls a 3, player #3 rolls a 4. Player #1 wins the quarrel. He had a total of 11 points compared to 10 for player #3. Had player #3 rolled a 5, both played cards are removed from the game, and the dice would have been given back. And the quarrel would have begun again.

Additional Rules - Bribery

Often the players feel that the mayor would be better if he was moved in another direction. Every player can therefore try to bribe the starting player with up to 2 points. to change his mind and move the mayor to another parcel. If the a bid of a player is high enough, and the starting player is agreeable, the mayor is taken off of the previous parcel and moved to the one the bribing player wants.

The bribing player's piece is moved back along the path equal to the ammount of the bribe, and the bribed player's piece is moved forwards a corresponding ammount.

During the bribing, there is no turn order. Obviously, bribing can only be done to move the mayor to a parcel he could legally get to. (The mayor may not be moved contrary to previously stated rules).

Tactical Hints

Quarreling is expensive, and therefore should be avoided if possible. In particular, each player's quarrel cards are limited. If you use them all, you have no more. The added element of dice serves to increase the bluffing possibility when used skillfully.

How do you avoid quarrels? Fairly simple - through humility. Whoever repeatedly tries to harvest only the highest valued apples runs into the danger of being involved in a quarrel.

Whoever is to the right of the starting player (the last person to play), has the chance to observe how many other people are harvesting (playing cards). If there are a lot perhaps he should buy a card instead.

Jokers are worthwile and expensive cards. They are of great value especially when a lot of players are harvesting.

You should make sure to have sufficient apple cards in your hand at all times in order to not be shut out of the harvesting.


The gods of Greece are situated on Mt. Olympus, and tlet the world pass. The gods of discord use this opportunity to once again devise and create proper mayhem.

The Apple of Discord

There was once a golden apple under the care of a group of gods. Two words were engraved upon it, "The (most) Beautiful" and the quarrels began. Simultaneously, three goddesses thought that the words were addressed to them, and they began to quarrel. Hera, the wife of Zeus, Athene, the goddess of war, and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. These argueing gods sought an arbitrator, and directed Paris, a prince of Troy with the mission of deciding who these words addressed. Aphrodite won the dispute by being an expert at bribery. She promised Paris the love of the most beautiful woman on the earth. This woman was Helen. But this woman was already married, and so again there was quarreling - The Trojan War. The outcome of this was described by Homer.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell