Having been nearly a year since the last one, I thought it was time that I did another one of these Q&As. With the blog receiving just over 100k views at this point in the year, and with the blog overall getting 150k views, it was the opportune moment, so here we are. A few weeks ago, I posted a form online in the community where everyone could ask me questions. I am glad to see so many people having asked me questions, so here are your answers!
Q: When are we getting the swag?
A: The exclusive Vision of the Palantir loot is handed out each year (2 years in a row is a tradition right?) at Con of the Rings in early October. Those attending the Con can pick up a piece by coming to me. I will be noting your badge number for this, to make sure everyone gets at least one of them. Those who cannot attend the convention will receive the loot in the mail if they have been supporting the blog through Patreon, writing articles, or helping out in another way.
Q: Sleeve, Sort or Spoke the following cards:
Beravor, Haldan, Bifur Heroes
A: Oh boy, some tough choices here. Let’s start with the heroes first. I will have to sleeve Haldan, as he is one of my personal favourites. His card draw ability is no joke, and with Guarded Ceaselessly, he can quest for 4. His 3 attack is also nice in Lore, especially if you can give him Ranged with the new Longbow. I will store Beravor for a rainy day, since she is a very flexible hero to have in any deck that needs a bit of Lore splashed in. Her card draw ability is a nice bonus if you didn’t use her for anything else. This leaves Bifur to be spoked, which is a shame, since I like Bifur in many decks. I ran him in a Silvan deck to get access to Unlikely Friendship, and it was amazing. Still, I find Beravor the better pick for splashing than Bifur.
Q: Can I stop by if I’m ever in the neighborhood?
A: Sure, I am more than happy to receive fans of the blog in my house for a few days. Don’t expect much luxary though, but at least there will be food. If ever anyone is in the Netherlands, and especially near Rotterdam, just send me an email or a private message over Discord, facebook, or Twitter, and I will see if I’m home at the time.
Q: Is the game dead? What will you do after content has ended?
A: No, the game is not dead. We still have roughly a year worth of content from FFG before the game will take a break. If the game would have ended after the current cycle, Andrew would have phrased it differently. As such, hope remains that after a break, the game will return. Perhaps with some changes, but it will definitely return. In the meantime, the community has come together to form a team to create a community cycle, where they try to keep us satisfied with new player cards and scenarios.
As for the question on what I will do next, I have outlined my strategy in this article. There is a lot of content still heading your way, so don’t despair!
Q: How’s your graduation going?
A: It’s going great! I have finished my time at the company and am now waiting on a date to present my findings to the graduation committee. As for the subject: I have been investigating a welding process for thermoplastic composites. It’s been a really cool project, but I’m glad the end is in sight.
Q: How are you so active in the community?
A: I might have been spamming the forums a bit much in these past few months, hopefully that didn’t annoy anyone. I just had a lot of spare time left during my experiments. And since I otherwise rarely get the chance to work on the blog, I did some community stuff in the spare hours. Last month my project was up for review, so I had a lot of time left to spend on the forums and with the blog to crank out a few more articles.
Q: Sleeve, Sort or Spoke the following cards
Explore Secret Ways, The End Comes, Spirit Pippin
On to the next game of SSS, this time with some less popular cards. I will sleeve Explore Secret Ways, as I have gotten some uses out of it at least. Side-quest synergy is also mostly in Lore, so this is a nice in-sphere side-quest if I have no access to Scout Ahead. It at least has some uses when explored, though I doubt many players will want to go there if there are other options. As for storing a card, I will go with Spirit Pippin. I will acknowledge that he is a hero with a blank textbox and terrible stats in most cases, outclassed by his other versions. However, he can grant you a Spirit resource icon at a low threat cost, which is nice at least. Gives you time to play The Fall of Gil-Galad on him before defending an attack with him. Not ideal, but at least it doesn’t take up a spot in your actual deck. The End Comes is just a very niche card that requires a Dwarf hero to leave play in order to even function. This is just too high a cost, since no Dwarves have any synergy with this. The response you get in return is just terrible, and is only useful if you discarded an objective by accident. This card saves you some time, but so would Shadow of the Past. Put this in my bikespokes and never show it to me again!
Q: Are you left- or right-handed?
A: I am right-handed, though I use both hands for writing articles, saves me a lot of time. For most other things, I prefer right-handed, except for when I really need my handwriting to suck (more than it does naturally).
Q: What cards are you looking to find in this final cycle?
A: Good question, there are a lot of cards on my wishlist, probably more than there are player cards left in the APs that are to come. I feel like a Spirit Aragorn hero is inevitable, and I hope that he comes out in the final AP before the break. Other things that would be on my wishlist is more Palantir support, maybe get some unique ones that are named. A Saruman hero accompanied with the Palantir of Orthanc would be all I ever play for the next year if that is released! I have heard rumours that Wilyador will be in the game as well as a player card, so if those end up to be true, I will be very happy. As for scenarios in this cycle, I hope to find the return of some of the community’s most favourite keywords and mechanics. We’ve had Danger in Dorwinion’s take of Steward’s Fear, so perhaps we will get some more old quests in a new format or something.
Q: Do you plan to attend GenCon this year?
A: I assume you are talking GenCon 2020. Honestly, I don’t think I will be able to make it. Living in Europe makes it quite tough for me to make frequent trips to these conventions in the US. So I wouldn’t count on me making it to GenCon, but I hope to see you on another convention some day.
Q: Do you plan to attend Lure of Middle Earth this year?
A: Granted, I added this question in myself, to hook in on the GenCon one. But this convention is much closer to me and involves less problems that a convention in the US would. However, since I have no idea what my life is looking like in March, I have decided to not yet buy tickets. I need to get things sorted out before being able to go to Germany for another convention. I do like how it is set up differently, and being much closer makes it a lot more appealing to me. So perhaps you will see me strolling down the castle halls in March, but I will let you know.
Q: Final convention then, can we expect to see you at Con of the Rings 2020?
A: I have gone to both previous Con of the Rings events, so it would be a shame to miss out on the next version. But I have plenty of time to make up my mind about whether or not I will attend. Con of the Rings is a relatively cheap event for me compared to a potential GenCon, so I would prefer to go there over Indianapolis. But with me having no idea what I do and where I am next year, I can only say that I will hopefully attend the Con next year.
Q: What is currently your favourite archetype?
A: Though one, as so many are so well developed these days. I like how Radagast made Eagle decks more powerful, but have found that playing the deck is difficult in multiplayer with your other heroes. Instead, I like the new Fellowship contract with Dwarves a lot. It has been a while since I’ve seen Swarm Style Dwarves, but with Leadership Dain and Fellowship, the archetype is very powerful and easy to get out. Playing them quad-sphere also opens up some room for other allies in there as well. I might go and publish the deck at one point.
Thank you all for this amazing achievement for the blog. I hope that next year will see 100k views as well as this blog continues to grow. I will look into doing another Q&A at that time or when the community is ready for another one. In the meantime, I have recovered enough to start putting out new articles again. This week will likely see V3 of my Storage Solutions, as well as the continuation of the mono-sphere archetype analyses. Stay tuned for more!