W. Eric Martin
• Designer Jason Stone has released his St. George's Gauntlet through the newly founded Jason Stone Games. English rules are linked to on the BGG game page, and a short description of the game follows:
St. George's Gauntlet is a "push your luck" dice game. As a knight of the Order of St. George, you must collect gems from a cavern guarded by a gauntlet of dragons. The roll of the dice determines whether you collect gems or get killed by the dragons. Certain rolls will allow you to kill the dragons, if you are willing to take the risk of rolling a special "Dragon Slayer Die". Collecting the last gem in a level of the cavern results in a big bonus, but failure gives your opponents an easier shot! Do you leave the cavern to earn glory, or push forward for greater rewards?
The game can be played two ways: In the Basic Game, all players compete until the sixth level of the cavern is explored. In the challenging "Video Game" variant, each player begins with a set number of lives and is eliminated when all lives are lost.
• ACD Distribution, Queen Games' exclusive distributor in the U.S., received the reprint of Dirk Henn's Shogun on August 14, 2012, so expect it in stores soon.
• As part of its huge Ogre Kickstarter project, Steve Jackson Games is reissuing Ogre Pocket Edition, a new version of its first ever release from 1977 that uses "the original cover, map, and counters that literally fit in your pocket" while keeping the $2.95 price tag from more than thirty years ago. While KS backers will receive this item with their deluxe Ogre tomb, Ogre Pocket Edition will be released for sale in regular retail outlets in Q2/Q3 2013.
• In the category of news that's not about a new game but rather about an old game that will be put in front of new people, Z-Man Games announced that starting in September 2012 Matt Leacock's Pandemic will be sold in the Toys 'R' Us chain in the U.S. From the press release: "Pandemic has become a landmark, must-play game. It is one of the games that have changed people's perception about board games, and we are more than happy that Pandemic will be available to a wider audience thanks to Toys 'R' Us."
• Days of Wonder will reprint Pirate's Cove after it being out of print for many years, with the game scheduled to hit U.S. retail outlets on September 19, 2012 in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The game will appear in Europe in late August where such holidays viewed as the ridiculous trifles they are.
• Good news, bad news on the Smash Up front: Alderac's Todd Rowland says that while copies of the game will be at Gen Con as promised – due to them being shipped in especially for the convention – the general release date for the game has been moved from August 16, 2012 to September. That said, AEG's August 2012 newsletter mentions that an expansion is in the works for "winter" – so let's say Q1 2013 – titled Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000. An image from a ghosts faction was included in the newsletter (and is reprinted below), and Rowland also tweeted a link to multiple images of a Plants faction, as illustrated by Heather Sheppard.