Monthly Poll: January 2020

With the hero’s tournament almost a month behind us, it is time to wrap up the next monthly poll that I had running on the site during the month of January. This poll required you all to make the difficult choice of what two Shadows of Mirkwood cycle scenarios you liked best. For most of us, these scenarios carry a lot of nostalgia with them, as they were the first scenarios we’ve ever played. While the more recent scenarios are better balanced and have a more engaging story, the first cycle remains special to many, as it was their first encounter with this game. But in a cycle of 9 scenarios, some scenarios are held in higher regard than others. So this poll had to settle that debate.

The poll ran for over 4 weeks, and has received just over 150 votes. This is higher than usual for these sort of polls, but that has possibly got a lot to do with many people having played these scenarios, and more people being engaged with the monthly poll right after the hero’s tournament I held last December. With so many votes, no scenarios were left unvoted for, with all scenarios (even the less popular ones) receiving at least 4 votes. So let’s see how those votes were cast!

Not a huge surprise to me, but Journey along the Anduin is the obvious winner here with over 40% of the total votes. The quest still holds up to this day as a great introduction quest with not too many moving parts, but enough challenge to keep you on your toes. The Hill Troll has remained a rite of passage for all serious players, and taking it down is a big feat. The quest was so popular that it received an updated version with Journey Up the Anduin, which came in at third place during the Ered Mithrin poll I did back in October. Journey Along the Anduin is likely the most played quest by the entire community as a whole, just because all players have at least attempted this quest, and have felt the threat of the Troll coming down too soon. A great quest, worthy of the top spot on this list.

We keep with the Troll-theme for the number 2 spot, as Conflict at the Carrock takes home the silver for this poll. With a quarter of the total votes, this quest has a solid second place, and for a good reason. This quest really taught the community that playing scenarios blind can be dangerous task, as you can suddenly become engaged with 4 Trolls at the same time. This scenario taught us that it is ok to turtle for a bit and build up at the first stage, before optionally engaging each troll individually in the second phase. This quest has a learning curve to it, but it is an enjoyable one. Players also have to watch out for the Sack mechanic that this quest introduces, and for other Trolls that can pop up out of the encounter deck. A fun quest to go back to if you want to try out a combat-heavy deck.

From the third place onward, the margins between the number of votes is greatly reduced. But A Journey to Rhosgobel takes the third place with 5 more votes than either Hunt for Gollum and Return to Mirkwood. Rhosgobel is still a difficult scenario that throws a lot of direct damage towards you, so healing is a must for that quest. Players who are running Eagle decks should also give this one a try, as they will be better equipped to take out the enemies in this scenario. The quest is still pretty difficult in lower player counts, as you might miss some Athelas plants. But it is not impossible to defeat if you bring healing of your own, and manage to mill the encounter deck somewhat for those objectives.

In the middle of the pack we encounter some of the more generic quests of the cycle that are somewhat on the easier side. Passage through Mirkwood and Hunt for Gollum aren’t tricky quests, but once in a blue moon, they can throw you a curveball and you have to be able to deal with them. They are good quests to list off early if you are doing a progression style playthrough or want to beat all scenarios in a year, but don’t have as many memorable features as some of the higher ranked quests.

At the bottom of the list, we have a shared final place with both The Hills of Emyn Muil and the Dead Marshes receiving just 4 votes each. These can be slogs of quests, and can take forever, without much happening in them. I won’t hate Emyn Muil too much, as I quite enjoy that quest to test my location control decks against, but I will say that the Dead Marshes can be broken in normal mode, taking forever to clear. The Nightmare versions of these two quests do fix a lot of issues, without adding all too much difficulty, so if you own those expansions, give the NM mode a try.

While I want to continue the monthly polls to include all the favourite scenarios of each cycle, I don’t want to be doing them back-to-back. So instead of voting for your favourite Dwarrowdelf cycle scenarios, I will be polling what sort of Weapon attachments you prefer to run in your decks. There is a choice of well over 20 different weapons, so I will be giving everyone 3 votes for this one, as some Weapons are preferred in specific decks. I won’t be counting Boons as Weapons, since all of them, except Anduril, have received regular player card versions. You have until the end of February to cast your votes on this weapon-poll, before we vote for our favourite Dwarrowdelf cycle scenarios in March. After that, who knows? Maybe I’ll do an Armor poll as well, though I think the list of options would be a lot smaller. You can vote now for your favourite weapon in the side-bar of the blog, or at the bottom of the page for mobile users.

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