W. Eric Martin
• German publisher HUCH! has unveiled the cover artwork of Stefan Feld's Forum Trajanum, which will debut at SPIEL '18 in October. No more game details, though, so we'll have to wait a bit longer for those.
One note about the design: Forum Trajanum was announced in January 2018 as a joint design from Feld and Michael Rieneck. The final design is being credited solely to Feld.
• Dutch publisher Keep Exploring Games has picked up licenses for Kramer and Kielsing's "Mask trilogy" from Super Meeple, but it's interesting to see that the KEG edition of Cuzco (the new version of Java) will have rules in Dutch, English, and German, while Mexica will have rules only in Dutch and German, and Tikal will have rules solely in Dutch. (Tikal is still in print from Ravensburger in Germany, and IELLO previously released an English-language version of Mexica.) Contracts are funny things sometimes...
• In March 2018, I had noted that German publisher Spielworxx was working on a new version of David Short's Ground Floor, and this second edition has now been announced as available for preorder ahead of an August 2018 release. This new edition of Ground Floor has a changed player count (1-5 instead of 2-6), incorporates most of the Overfunding Achievements expansion, plays in seven rounds instead of nine, and contains Automa rules for a 1-3 player variant.
• Uli Blennemann of Spielworxx has also dropped information about a second title coming in 2018, with Jason Dinger's Captains of the Gulf being due out in October 2018. Here's an overview:
South Louisiana has a long, rich history of delicious Cajun dishes like gumbos and jambalayas. A big part of what makes these meals so great is the seafood in them that is fished from the Gulf of Mexico. The men and women who run the shrimp boats that fish that seafood have to be both hard-working and crafty, finding the optimum strategy to bring in the best catch. They are the "Captains of the Gulf".
Captains of the Gulf is a thematic action selection game, full of flavor. In the game, 2-4 players each operate a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico, hoping to make the largest profit over eight game turns. The players try to upgrade their fishing boat, add crew members, then move out to fish crabs, oysters, and shrimp, after which they need to deliver them to ports.
Cards are multi-purpose; they are added to a player's mat on top (licenses), at the left side (crew), or at the right side (boat upgrade). Moreover, when you fish you need to play them out of your hand.
• In 2012, short-lived French publisher Witty Editions released the game Ice3 from Olivier Mahy, a game in which everyone attempted to bring their ice block to the finish line first while destroying the blocks of other players.
Now Ravensburger has picked up the design — possibly modified, but it's not clear from the press release — for release in July 2018 as Cool Runnings, with the game having rules in English, French, and German. A short description:
To play Cool Runnings, you'll need a dose of coolness and a freezer — yes, literally as the game "characters" are made of ice and you must create them prior to play.
The winner is whoever brings their ice to the finish line first — or whoever still has an ice character in play while everyone else has melted away. During the game — which is played on a modular, waterproof game board — players will attack one another with a pinch of salt, a water bath, or a simple hands-on approach in which your own heat can damage someone's character. If the defending player can play the same attack card as you, though, the attack bounces back on you!