It has become somewhat of a ritual now to wrap up these polls at the end of the month. And this month’s article is no different. Since we have started to delve into the Haradrim cycle properly this month, I wanted to rank the different scenarios of the cycle with each other. The scenarios in this cycle are pretty diverse and have interesting mechanics that lead to some great discussions in the community. But after a month of polling, the results are in. Only one scenario can be the best of the cycle, and it is time to find out which one it is.
For this poll, I gave everyone 2 picks. This made sense as there would otherwise be several quests with no votes, and while people might have a clear favourite, a runner-up can be difficult to decide upon. In total, the poll received 64 votes, with all scenarios receiving at least 3 votes from players. This goes to show that the cycle has a consistant quality when it comes to quest design. It also shows that different players can enjoy different scenarios, so the spread of polls like this is understandable. Here are the results:
By quite a large margin, Escape from Umbar has won this poll. This was the very first scenario of the cycle and serves as a relatively easy quest but with some mechanics that transform it into a fast paced quest where you have to keep enemies off of you and make enough progress to beat the two stages. There are some nasty combo’s that the encounter deck can throw at you, but the quest can be beaten if you know what you are doing. The quest is used for a lot of decktesting, which is why people woule see it more often and would remember it more fondly than any other quests. I will have the scenario analysis of this quest ready soon, so that if you are stuck on this quest, you can read that in order to get some tips on how to best play this popular quest.
Second place goes to the Mumakil, which is one of my picks as well. The quest is very enjoyable as you get to hunt down these massive Creatures. The different traps offer some replayability to the quest, and it is fun in both solo and multiplayer games. The quest does have some nasty encounter cards, with heavy hitting Jungle Creatures, and a treachery that can swiftly discard your boardstate, Savage South. These traumatic experiences do cause you to remember your playthroughs and make any victory a lot sweeter.
We have a tie for third place, with Race Across Harad and The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat both getting 7 votes. Race across Harad gets a lot of points already for having us ride our captured Mumaks, which is a great feeling to be in control of these big objective allies. The quest plays as a reverse Flight of the Stormcaller, but is a bit more difficult as you really have to keep going in order to stay ahead of the orcs and wargs pursuing you. Cirith Gurat is probably my least played quest of the cycle as I never really gotten around playing it a lot. I have beaten it, and the quest is pretty thematic with you sneaking in the dungeons to get your captured characters, and then having to run for your life in the final stage.
A 4-way split for fourth place goes to show how consistent the quality of these quests really is. People have split opinions over what quests are their favourites, which is a much more satisfying result than having 2-3 quests with 0 votes. My personal favourite from the bunch has to be Desert Crossing, which plays around with the temperature mechanic keeping you on your toes.
In last place we have the Long Arm of Mordor, which is quite a quest that is easily forgotten, which tends to happen to the third scenario in a Deluxe box (what’s the last time you played Into Fangorn?). The quest is also less accessible thanks to its main mechanic where you have to find your heroes. I do like how you have some time to set up and how the different objective heroes can help you to get everyone back. Give this quest a try if you have nothing else to play. The theme of the quest is on point and you may miss out on some fun encounter cards if you have never touched this quest before.
September needed another poll, and so I settled on this next question for you to think about and to vote in the polls on the blog. With the conclusion of the Ered Mithrin cycle, we now have 7 Guarded (X) attachments that can be put in your deck. While all these cards are strong, some might fit your playstyle better than others. So you will be able to find a new poll with those attachments on the blog. I have given everyone 2 votes again, as I fear that otherwise some attachments may not receive votes. As always, you have a month the time to vote, and I will recap the results of this next poll at the end of September!