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Escape from Colditz
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Store:  War Games
Theme:  World War 2
Genre:  War & Combat
Format:  Board Games

Escape from Colditz

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Designer(s): Major PR Reid

Publisher(s): Parker UK

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Product Description

This is a family game based on the now legendary escape exploits of Allied Prisoners of War held by the Germans in the multi-national maximum security prison of Colditz Castle, during the Second World War. The object of the game is for each player (Escape Officer) to be the first to achieve an escape of one or more of his P.O.W. team. He can obtain rope, food, compasses, clothing, wire cutters, and more to achieve an escape. At the same time the German Security Officer is deploying his forces to prevent escapes.

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 5 in 1 review

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Escape from the German POW Camp!
May 22, 2003

If you liked the movie 'The Great Escape' then you'll probably love this game!

Escape from Colditz is one of the most interesting and fun games I've ever played--and I am something of a game addict. It is also (unfortunately for legions of gamers who would enjoy it) one of the best-kept secrets in board gaming.

Escape from Colditz was created by an actual POW who was imprisoned in Colditz Castle during World War II. The camp was designed to hold all the POWs who kept escaping from the regular POW camps. Of course, by putting all the 'bad eggs' in one basket, the Germans created a fantastic concentration of the best escape artists...which resulted in some of the most amazing escapes of the war! The game is based on the daring exploits of these elite Allied POW escape artists as they made many attempts (some successful) to free themselves this maximum security POW camp.

The game requires one player to be the 'enemy' by playing the German prison guards against the other players who each take one of the allied POW teams (British, American, French, Polish, Dutch).

The object for each of the POW players is to be the first to have a certain number of prisoners escape before a pre-determined time limit. The object for the German player is to make sure none of the POW players achieves the victory conditions before time runs out.

The most interesting thing about the game is that although there can be only one player who wins, the POW players must cooperate with each other against the German player or they will tend to lose.

Since there are so many different ways the game can work out, depending on luck, skill, and the interaction between the POWs, the game is always exciting.

The game starts a bit slowly, as the POWs take time to put together their personal escape kits. Then, they begin to accumulate escape equipment. There are many ingenious 'opportunity' cards for both the POWs and the Germans, which add more sizzle to the chase!

The game usually gets very intense near the end, because the POWs tend to have their best opportunity to escape near the end of the time limit, having by then accumulated a good supply of escape equipment.

I've been playing the game for about 10 years now. A friend of mine was introduced to the game while living in England. He brought a copy of the game back with him on a trip to Europe, and we've been playing the game ever since. I bought my own copy on a trip to London and then introduced it to my friends, who then bought used copies here in the United States and continue to spread the word about this great game to even more people. (I sure hope Funagain can start offering this game for sale!)

Probably the biggest drawback to the game is the fact that SOMEONE has to play the Germans, and occasionally no one will be in the mood to do it. This will not be a problem if you always invite a player who doesn't enjoy winning half as much as making everyone else lose. If you are in the mood to spoil someone else's day, talk smack to them, and so forth, then PLAY THE GERMANS!

The other problem is that there are quite a few things about the game that are simply not explained in the rules. There's a sort of 'oral tradition' that has developed around the game that fills in the gaps in the rules, but most of us don't have access to it. The best thing is to fill in the gaps with your own 'house rules,' using common sense and whatever knowledge you have of the story behind the game.

I suggest reading the book and watching the movie 'The Colditz Story' at some point. It will give you a better appreciation of the game, and may help you to make your own 'house rules'. A former British officer and POW at Colditz wrote the book and created the game.

If there are any game dealers out there: start promoting and selling this game! Your customers will be glad you did!

- Bill the Gamer

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