About Board Game:The Battle for 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 an Austrian castle against an attacking force from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division. Not surprisingly this was probably “the strangest battle” of WWII.

During a game of Castle Itter, you take the role of the force that defended the castle from 0400 – 1600 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 divided into turns. Each turn consists of two phases:

Defender Phase – take five actions with Defender counters. Among them Attack, Suppress, Move within a location, Move to a new location, Recover or Special Actions (Command and Escape).

SS Phase – play three SS cards. You reveal three SS Cards from the SS deck, one at a time, resolving the effect of each one before moving to the next. There are four different categories of SS Cards, based on the card effect: Attack Defenders, Attack Location, Disrupt Defenders and Place SS Counters.

The game ends at the end of the turn when the SS deck is exhausted or immediately if the 142nd Infantry Regiment card is drawn from the SS deck.

Can your U.S. GIs – with their Wehrmacht allies (!) – hold off the dreaded SS?
Number of players:1 (digital version), 1-3 (tabletop version)
Playing time:20-30 min (a lot of mechanics are really nicely automated in the app)
Platforms:PC (Steam) & Android (GooglePlay)
Game Publisher & DesignerDan Verssen Games (DVG), David Thompson
App DeveloperJérémy Zurcher
What I like:gameplay modes: we are getting all the boardgame set-ups: Beginner, Veteran, Elite – the latter two with increased difficulty due to Tactics Cards and initial counter mix (more Scouts and Strum). But we also have a Novice set-up, which will be a good entry point for people new to the series.

precise rules implementation – there are no errors I am aware of which is great; so many digital versions were a mere resemblance of great boardgames by erroneous conversion.

– this is definitely light and fast game – what I noticed, is that application is not using too much resources, especially on PC; seems well optimized but still looks good.

– quite intuitive interface plus great music. It is definitely not too crowded, has all details at hand and pretty good visibility of details.

– last but not least, this is fantastic boardgame after all, pretty challenging with possibility to increase the difficulty level with tactics cards; great if you cannot bring the boxed version to the table.
What I do not like:– There is no version for iPhone/iPad (not that I am aware of at least). Probably it might be only temporary, but still this is a pity.

– It steals time which I would normally devote to my boxed version of the game 🙂


With the series of screenshots from the game let me now present the application itself and its main functionalities:

The entry menu is intuitive; you have access to all modes with a clear legend to the left – choose your preferred difficulty level and start!
Main game interface – resembling the boardgame map – fits all the necessary elements. We have turn number, action count, track of suppression tokens, current score. Possible actions are clearly visible with percentage chances estimated. T
The SS cards are always played in the center, clearly visible with explanation of their effects. Above – Panzerfaust attack on US Tank!
At the end of the game you get a summary screen with detailed decomposition of what you have achieved and indication of defeat / victory.
The game provides also nicely available reference to core rules and components.
But instead of reading through the compilation, you have also access to full rulebook!
I think I am not alone in this – when I play wargames, I am always deeply interested in the historical background of the events. The Companion Book, which is part of the app, provide the info about this unbelievable battle. This is really very important and nicely prepared piece of design!


I am very happy that another great solo game in Valiant Defense series by David Thompson received such a great digital implementation. After Pavlov’s House Application we are now getting another great port, which works flawlessly, looks nice and meticulously implements the rules.

When I am approaching the digital versions of the boardgames I am pretty cautious. I have seen so many poorly developed apps that before I am convinced the product is good I have to extensively play it. In this case I have no doubts – this is great piece of work. Highly recommended!