Description: Turf Champ, Williams #207, 7/58, one player, horse race theme pinball with horse running unit in playfield, only horse race pinball that allows the player to pick their horse (instead of the game doing it for you). Note Williams Turf Champs has no scoring! The objective is to get the playfield mechanical horses to the finish line using five balls. The game ends after five balls are played, or with the ball that third horses get to the finish line as win, place, show. There is however no traditional pinball score. This is different than any of the other "horsey" games such as Hayburners, Nags, Daffy Derby, etc. Clearly a gambling machine as the patron can pick their horse. If the picked horse wins, places, or shows, the patron wins game credits (which in 1958 may have been payed off by the bartender) as shown on the credit unit.
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Player gets to select which horse he wants to win at the game's start. As soon as the first ball is plunged, the player can no longer change his horse selection. If the player can get his horse to the finish line in one ball, 5 replays are awarded. As the ball number increases, the number of replays decreases (4th and 5th ball only award one replay for the player's winning horse). Same concept applies for the "Place" horse (assuming the player's selected horse does not win) up to two replays. Only one replay is awarded if the player's horse "Shows".
Very large playfield width and longer than a standard woodrail pinball of the time. Not a very good playing game, because the playfield is so wide, and the flippers are positioned so far apart, making ball time very short. But a very impressive looking game with the mechanical horses on the playfield. Note there were two versions of this game. The early games say 'advance' on the bumper caps, and it is unclear which bumper controls which horse (because the game varies which bumper controls which horse). Later games have the bumper caps numbered, so it is obvious which bumper controls which horse. The game rules had to be changed to accomodate this change, but the later games with numbered bumper caps are much easier to understand and play because of this change. There also may be two different schematics available for the game (early or late).
Because of the almost random outcome in regards to which horse wins, I personally modified my Williams Turf Champ pinball to give the player a skill edge. Normally the button on the glass lockdown bar is inactive after the first ball is plunged to the playfield. But using a jumper wire, I made this button also change which pop bumper is lit (I have the 2nd version of Turf Champs, where the bumpers are numbered and correspond to a horse number on the playfield). This allows the player to change which horse is moved by pop bumper hits. The modifications changes the whole game and frankly makes it much more fun.
Scorecards are available for download in JPG and Photoshop format here.
This is the earlier style playfield with the "advance" bumper caps.
This is the later style playfield with the numbered bumper caps.
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