W. Eric Martin
• Mayfair Games long ago announced that Martin Wallace's Steam and Automobile would be part of a transportation-themed trilogy and now the U.S. publisher has revealed the third title in that series, which is due out May 2012. Here's the description of Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant
Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant explores the dawn of commercial aviation, an exciting era between 1919 and 1939. Experience the difficulties and triumphs of commercial airlines in Europe, pioneering airports and service in continental Europe and around the world!
Aviation spurred the growth of intercontinental travel, and airlines struggled to dominate the regions of the globe that they served.
Rapid technological advances in planes play a vital role in this development as you compete to purchase newer more efficient aeroplanes, build airports, and move passengers around the globe. Earn bonuses and prestige for being the first to fly to North or South America, and win by maintaining the most airports around the world and by running your airline profitably.
Can you balance your investment in aeroplanes, customer service, and routes well enough to become the premier airline of the era? The fate and future of air travel lies within your hands!
• Days of Wonder has now dropped details on Zug um Zug: Deutschland, which I had brought up seven days ago in another new games post. At the time, one wag responded, "I thought Ticket to Ride: Märklin Edition was TtR: Germany." To which I rebutted, "Well, we'll see about that, won't we? Personally I can imagine the desire – from both the public and the publisher – to have a less fiddly version of the game set in the German landscape."
Turns out that we're both right. According to DoW's Mark Kaufmann, Zug um Zug Deutschland is a complete, standalone "adaptation of the same map and routes first introduced in Ticket to Ride: Märklin, with a thematic change, the map now being set in turn-of-the-20th-century Germany. The game rules do not include the Merchandise and Passengers mechanisms present in Märklin."
Kaufmann notes that Zug um Zug Deutschland was developed and produced at the request of Asmodee GmbH, DoW's German distributor, for release in the mass market. Accordingly, this game will be sold only in Germany and Austria in a German-language edition. Says Kaufmann, "It is expected to ship during the second half of 2012 with pricing and specific availability dates to be announced later by Asmodee GmbH. Ticket to Ride: Märklin will continue to be available worldwide in English, French and German language editions."
• Dutch publisher White Goblin Games has announced two more card games for release in March 2012 to go along with the previously revealed Crooks (designer diary here) and Little Devils. These new titles are a trick-taking design from Leo Colovini called The Witches of Blackmore in which you try to collect witches in tricks to acquire magic points and Michael Schacht's Crazy Creatures of Dr. Doom, which is described as follows:
Strange noises are heard from the Mad Mansion of Doctor Doom. Clouds of all colors come out of the chimney, and people tell weird stories about crazy creatures seen in the forest around the mansion. Help Doctor Doom finish his extravagant experiments to create the world's wackiest and craziest creatures ever seen!
In Crazy Creatures of Dr. Doom, all players try to get rid of their cards as cards in hand score penalty points at the end of a round. The player with the fewest penalty points at the end of the game wins and becomes Doctor Doom's new apprentice!