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.
Castle Itter is the next design in the Valiant Defense series, and the sequel to Pavlov's House, one of the top rated wargames of 2018. The Valiant Defense series allows you to play amazing stories of courage, with small forces holding the line against unimaginable odds. Games in the series focus on the individual defenders and are deeply rooted in history, while providing a quick play experience with a light complexity ruleset.
The Design Team
Castle Itter was created by David Thompson, the designer of War Chest, Pavlov's House, Armageddon, and Orc-lympics. The artist for the project is Matt White, the designer of Panzer Orders and Until the Bitter End. You can visit Matt's WW2 Art Facebook page here.
Not only are we EU-Friendly, we are Worldwide-Friendly! All international games will ship from France and we prepay taxes and VAT fees!
- The blend of easy to learn rules with rich historical accuracy makes this a perfect game for veterans and newcomers alike.
- Plays in 45 - 60 minutes.
- Solitaire play with a 2 player competitive variant.
- Extensive historical research.
Castle Itter is divided into turns. Each turn consists of two phases:
- Defender Phase: Take five actions with Defender counters
- SS Phase: Play three SS cards
The game board depicts Castle Itter and its immediate surroundings. The colored square areas of the board are combat positions used by the Defenders. The large circle areas are where SS Counters are initially placed on the board, and the small colored circle areas are the SS Counter advancement positions. The large areas outlined in white are key locations and have an impact on the Defender movement and defense.
We've made the prototype version of Castle Itter available online so you can try the game out now. Keep in mind this is just a prototype. The components will change, and the gameplay is still in the final design and development stage.
- Read David Thompson's Design Diary.
- Check out the Board Game Geek entry.
- Read an interview with designer David Thompson on Way Too Many Games.
- Read an interview with designer David Thompson on A Wargamers Needful Things.
- Read an interview with designer David Thompson on The Player's Aid.
- Read an interview with designer David Thompson on Print and Play News Blog.
- Listen to Futility Closet's podcast about the Battle of Castle Itter.
- Listen to Cool Canadian History's podcast about the Battle of Castle Itter.
- Listen to Intelligent Talk's podcast interview with Stephen Harding.
- Watch an interview with designer David Thompson on the No Enemies Here Youtube channel (interview begins at the 10:00 mark):
- Watch an interview with Stephen Harding, author of "The Last Battle," the seminal book on the Battle of Castle Itter:
Playthrough and review from The Gimpy Gamer Part 1:
Playthrough and review from The Gimpy Gamer Part 2:
Playthrough and review from The Gimpy Gamer Part 3:
Playthrough and review from The Player's Aid Part 1:
Playthrough and review from The Player's Aid Part 2:
- "An excellent game! The play matches the historical sequence of events closely." - Mark Hansen (BGG)
- "A good adaptation of weird battlefield circumstances producing a nice experience." - Aris Aravantinos (BGG)
- "Great solo game with an interesting story and nice artwork. Lots of room for varying strategies." - Mark Yang (BGG)
- "WUNDERBAR" - Willy Schneider (BGG)
- "It looks great, it's based on a fascinating piece of history, and it's tense right from the beginning which only heightens as you play it." - Steve Oliver (BGG)
Castle Itter won the following awards during the first annual Board Game Geek Wargame Design Competition:
- Best Overall Game: Second Place
- Best Artwork: Second Place
- Best Writing: Second Place
- Best Solitaire Game: First Place
- Innovative Mechanic: First Place
- Large Game: First Place
- 33" x 17" Map
- 62 cards
- 105 1" counters
- 77 circular tokens
- Rulebook (24 pages)
- 5 six-sided dice
(All component information is based on the prototype and subject to change)
Here is a draft of the rulebook. Please note that this is still a work in progress.
• $25: Pavlov's House Neoprene mat version of the game board (33" x 17")
• $10: five custom WWII USSR 6-sided dice
• $10: five custom WWII Germany 6-sided dice
• $10: five custom WWII US 6-sided dice
• $10: five custom WWII UK 6-sided dice
• $10: five custom WWII Japan 6-sided dice
• $40: All 5 sets of the WWII 6-sided dice packs!
• $1.50: Pack of 100 Card Sleeves (2 packs of sleeves should be enough for Castle Itter)
• $15: 5 Counter Trays
• $40: Gamer Pack (can hold up to 50 lbs of games!)
After the campaign is over, we will send out a Backerkit Survey. All in-stock DVG products will be available to buy in the Backerkit.
Your Add-Ons will not increase your shipping cost. We will cover the extra shipping charges. For example, if you pledge $50 for the game, plus $15 for shipping, your pledge amount is $65. If you then want to add on an item for $50, you'd manually change your pledge amount to $115.
About 100 copies of the Pavlov’s House Companion book will be made available as a purchasable add on through the Backerkit. The first 100 to put it in their Backerkit carts will be able to purchase it.
Risks and challenges
Dan Verssen Games (DVG) has the knowledge and skills to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. We have published dozens of games. If you have any questions or queries, the people at DVG will be here to assist you as quickly as we can. If you would like to see the quality of the games we publish, please visit our website:
With several Kickstarter campaigns behind us, we are able to professionally deal with setbacks while keeping you, the backer, informed with what's happening every step of the way - and not just while the campaign is running. When funding closes and production starts, we aim to provide the most up-to-date information possible regarding each stage of the game's journey to your tabletop.
We believe that honesty is as important as regular contact with our backers. You can expect the very best from us, no matter what. As part of our honesty pledge, please be aware that we do not offer refunds after a Kickstarter campaign closes. We need the funds to pay the printer and to purchase the add-ons and stretch goals people have earned during the campaign. If you pledge, and later change your mind, that's okay, but you need to cancel your pledge before the campaign ends.
By working with high quality production facilities that we've dealt with during previous campaigns, we are confident that we'll be able to deliver the game in a timely manner. Our exacting standards mean that you're guaranteed to get a great game.
Our Kickstarter History for funded games...
Rise of the Zombies... Published!
Battle For Stalingrad... Published!
The Cards of Cthulhu & Booster... Published!
Warfighter & Expansions Wave #1... Published!
Fleet Commander Nimitz… Published!
Tiger Leader... Published!
Warfighter Expansions Wave #2... Published!
The Cards of Cthulhu Expansion, Beyond the Veil… Published!
Phantom Leader Deluxe... Published!
Hornet Leader: The Cthulhu Conflict... Published!
U-Boat Leader 2nd edition... Published!
Gato Leader... Published!
Ship Miniatures for Gato & U-Boat... Published!
Warfighter WWII Wave #1... Published!
B-17 Flying Fortress Leader... Published!
B-17 Flying Fortress Leader Aircraft Miniatures... Published!
Israeli Air Force Leader... Published!
Sherman Leader... Published!
1500 - The New World... Published!
War of the Worlds... Published!
Down In Flames - Locked-On... Published!
Pavlov's House... Published!
Corsair Leader... Published!
Warfighter WWII - Wave #2... At the Printer!
Warfighter Modern - Wave #3... Final Proofing!
- (22 days)