board games -

Escape from Colditz

Escape from Colditz is a card and dice-based board game based on the experience of Major P.R. Reid, a British soldier and prisoner of war, who escaped from Colditz during WW2. The game is a semi-cooperative game in which one player plays a German Security Officer, and the others team up against the first player with the roles of Escape Officers of different nationalities. The aim of the game is to ensure that the prisoners all go free at the end of the game.

This game is considered a classic and was originally published in 1973. Designed by Bob Brechin, Brian Degas, and Major P.R. Reid, Escape from Colditz can be played by 2 to 6 players. The gameplay always ensures that the German player moves last. The movement of the playing pieces are determined by the throw of dice. This is where the element of unpredictability comes into the game, making it more interesting.

The aim of the game is for each prisoner to obtain an escape kit, consisting of food, disguises, compass, and forged papers. Once this kit is collected, extra items such as keys and wire cutters must also be collected. The German player can hinder the other players at every step by moving them back, confiscating equipment, and putting them into solitary confinement. He or she can also kill the prisoners if they attempt to escape. The game works on a pre-determined time or rounds principle. If two prisoners manage to escape before then, the players win. Otherwise, the German officer wins the game.

The illustrations for Escape from Colditz done by Antonio Catalán and Peter Dennis bring out a feel of the concentration camp. Published by Gibsons Games, this classic British board game is a great way to get into the shoes of Allied prisoners of war during the Second World War.


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