Castle Itter 18

Publisher: DVG

Status: In development

45 – 60 minutes / ages 10+ / solitaire

The Battle of Castle Itter was fought near the Austrian village of Itter on 5 May 1945, in the last days of the War in Europe during World War II. US soldiers joined forces with Wehrmacht infantrymen, an SS officer, an Austrian resistance fighter, and recently freed French prisoners of war to defend the castle against an attacking force from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division.

Object of the Game
During a game of Castle Itter, you take the role of the force that defended the castle from on 5 May 1945. The goal of the game is to last until the SS deck is depleted, without allowing SS Counters to reach the castle. You score points for each Defender that survives the assault and lose points for each SS Counter remaining on the board at the end of the game – the higher your score, the better.

2015-16 Wargame Print and Play Contest

  • Best Overall Game (2nd place)
  • Best Solitaire Game (1st place)
  • Large Game (1st place)
  • Innovative Mechanic (1st place)
  • Artwork (1st place)
  • Rules Writing (2nd place)
  • Design Notes (2nd place)

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18 thoughts on “Castle Itter

  • Olekman


    Played your game on Tabletop Simulator and I must say that it has very interesting and well put mechanic! I’m having a blast with this solitaire game.

  • Bill Mazon

    I had printed out the game. And I noticed on set up instructions I do not see the Defense value tokens. Instructions says must have six of them. I do not know what they look like.
    Please advise.

    Thank you

    Bill Mazon

  • Mark

    My first play through of Castle Itter, I failed horribly. Figuring I was just not used to the game yet, I tried again only to fail horribly a second time. My initial thought was this game is brutally difficult. After reading someone else’s review on BGG, I came to realize I failed to implement 1 rule which changed the entire game for me. A third play resulted in a win with 8 points worth of casualties. The rule? It’s the one about mortars and machinegunners not advancing down the track towards the castle. In my first two games I have them swarming the castle with everyone else. You can imagine now what chaos I had to deal with.

    My thoughts now, after successfully playing a winning game:
    1. The story is intriguing. The pages in the rulebook that illustrate the timeline of the historical battle is very well done and adds to the theme of the game. Fantastic.
    2. The artwork is excellent.
    3. The game is tense all the way through, with a small bit of relief in the middle of the deck, which I found interestingly consistent in all three of my plays. Well designed deck!
    4. Getting Borotra out was like a mini-game inside of the game. I cheered when he escaped.
    5. The rulebook was easy to read and understand.
    6. The line-of-sight mechanism is pure genius.
    7. I found it less thematic that you could only activate a few defenders each turn, but at the same time recognized that this is what creates tense decision making and makes the game a game.

    Some suggestions for improvement:
    1. The term “score” used to cound casualties is misleading and not thematic, it sounds rather positive when in fact it is a negative accumilation in the game. Rather, try a term such as “casualty point” or “negative score”.
    2. Page 16 of the rulebook, Sniper Gameplay Example, there are 2 Gamelin counters on the board graphic.
    3. It would be nice to have a table that lets players know how well they did based on the number of casualty points they accumilated. For example, 0 pts = Excellent, 1-5 pts = Good, 6-11 pts = Fair, 12+ pts = Poor
    4. The mapboard has numbers for each space that is used for the Suppress Defenders cards. It would be helpful if the numbers were outside of the spaces so that they are visible even when there are defender counters on them.
    5. The player aids could be summarized for easier referencing. Currently the paragraphs of text is no different than just reading the rulebook.
    6. Player aid for defender actions need to separate exhaustive and non-exhaustive actions for quick reference.
    7. Double check the rules in the player aids. There was a rule that I couldn’t find in the player aid that should have been there, and I had to re-read the rulebook to find it. (Mortars and Machinegunners don’t advance).

    • David Thompson Post author

      Mark, I’m so glad you enjoyed the game (once you got past the rule that was unclear)!

      Thanks so much for the praise. The game was a labor of love, and I really, really enjoyed designing it. I had tons of helpful feedback from playtesters and the BGG community.

      Your suggestions for improvement are all great. Some of them I’ve heard before (the players aids, for example). And some of them are new. But regardless, they are all helpful and easy to implement. Technically the game is with the publisher now, but I’ll make sure all your issues are addressed, as I think they are all valid.

      Thanks again for taking the time to play the game and provide feedback. Much appreciated.

  • Johan Stie


    I am a boardgameplayer but 1x month playtime with the group is not enough 😉 I got a lot of wargames but ..hmm soloplay is not that easy.
    So – i will try this game and come back to you !

    Johan, Flanders. (still a part of belgium ..:-()

    • David Thompson Post author


      Thanks for the interest in Castle Itter. Please let me know what you think of the game once you have time to give it a try.

  • Nick Sakkas

    Thanks for this game. It looks awesome. It’s going to be my first PnP game (along with Pavlov’s house) that I am going to print in a local print-shop. Can you plase add an A4 version for the board (as was done with pavlov’s house?


  • Shane

    This game looks great and very interesting ! My son and I love WWII games and we love board games. Perhaps, I’ve missed it somewhere, but is this available to purchase as a board game ? or only for print ? and if so, where kinda…

    • David Thompson Post author

      Shane, thanks for the interest. Castle Itter was signed by a publisher and is in development now. I’ll make sure to update my website and the game’s Board Game Geek entry when the game is released. In the mean time, you can check out more about the game with the print-and-play files or play it via Tabletop Simulator. Let me know if you have any questions.


    • David Thompson Post author

      Well, the design is with VPG right now for development, but I’m not sure where exactly it is in their queue. Hopefully I’ll have some info soon. As soon as I learn something definitive, I’ll pass the news along.

  • Tom Cundiff

    We’re coming up close on a year since anyone’s asked about VPG publication. Is this still slated for VPG or has it sort of ended up on a back burner? I think the game is a great concept on a subject that is one of the strangest in all of WWII. Ought to make for an increased interest by wargamers as they learn about the people engaged in trying to save the people inside the castle.

    • David Thompson Post author

      Tom, sorry for the late reply. Somehow I missed this! The contract with VPG expired. But the good news is that the game will now be published by DVG – the same publisher behind my other game in the series – Pavlov’s House. The kickstarter for Castle Itter is set to launch later this month (November 2018).

  • Don Carmelo

    I hope that the graphics and the cards of the game will be very different from those of Pavlov’s house (which I own) it would be a pity otherwise

    • David Thompson Post author

      Don, the cards have a similar style. The defender counters feature art by Matt White. You can see previews (from the Pmayer’s Aid and The Gimpy Gamer) on the Kickstarter page.