W. Eric MartinUnited States
• At SPIEL 2016, the European branch of Blue Orange released English-language versions of Captive and Knights, two solitaire, choose-your-own-adventure-style, RPG-ish games in books. In response to an inquiry, Kathryn Hill of Blue Orange Games says that the company is in discussions with BOG EU to see whether they can make these items available for the U.S. market.
• Another SPIEL 2016 update: Uwe Rosenberg's Cottage Garden, originally released by newcomer Edition Spielwiese, has been picked up for co-publication by Pegasus Spiele, with the new printing of the game due out in December 2016.
• Designer Antoine Bauza notes that Oink Games, publisher of Dungeon of Mandom (the original version of Welcome to the Dungeon), will release a Japanese version of Welcome Back to the Dungeon, which IELLO debuted at SPIEL 2016.
• Other titles coming from Bauza in 2017 include Victorian Masterminds from Space Cowboys (as previewed in this video from 2015), La Grande Evasion from XII Singes, Sentaï Cats from IELLO, Welcome from Repos Production, and Paku Paku from Ravensburger, with this latter title being a game in which you roll dice and stack plates, cups and bowls.
Arve D. Fühler tested an El Gaucho expansion several combinable modules, with one of those allowing a fifth player to join the game. No scheduled publication date yet, but now you know it's in the works.
• Steve Jackson Games has announced another delay to the sixth edition of Car Wars due to the current playing time — 90-120 minutes for four-player games instead of their 60-minute target — so the publisher has decided to hold off on its planned early 2017 Kickstarter in order to extract the core of the game and continue playtesting.
• Z-Man Games has posted updated release dates for a handful of titles, with Cacao: Chocolatl and Micro Robots being available in most locations, Pandemic: The Cure – Experimental Meds being available in some places and still waiting to be delivered in others, Carcassonne: Amazonas supposedly out by November 18 but not yet available, Merchants & Marauders: Seas of Glory due before the end of November, Pandemic: Iberia due December 2, Nautilion due December 5, and First Class due mid-December.
These release date updates come with a message that "possible shipment and logistics issues out of our control" could cause titles to be available later than anticipated, with part of those logistics issues stemming from the Asmodee Group's purchase of Z-Man Games and other parts of F2Z Entertainment. That purchase was finalized in October 2016, as noted in this post, but details of the purchase and how the F2Z studios might (or might not) function as part of the Asmodee Group has still not been made public. Given all that they've purchased in the past couple of years, Asmodee might still be figuring this out themselves...