Month in Review: February 2020

With the shortest month of the year almost behind us, it is time to reflect on the past month and see what it brought the community in terms of expansions and articles from this blog. We got our third expansion of the Vengeance of Mordor cycle, and the Doomed archetype got revitalised with the release of Saruman and his toys. On top of that, I concluded the Wilds of Rhovanion Deluxe box’s scenario analyses, and introduced a new series to the blog. A lot of content got released, so let’s dive straight in.

February

FFG released a lot of news this month that was worth hyping about. They may have published some news about the Fellowship kit, but nothing we didn’t already know. It is good to see that the event will still be held this year, and I will try to see if I can get my hands on the expansion over here. The bigger news was that of the fifth AP of the cycle. The Eagle trait will have to receive another update at some point, plus the contract in that pack lit the community on fire as it gave us 100 new potential heroes. Besides that, we got Challenge of the Wainriders here in Europe without much delay, so that meant that we too can now enjoy our new Saruman deck. There are also people who have noticed that a lot of products just got reprinted, so that is a great help for many of the newer players that have joined this game in the past few months. Hopefully that can allow people to complete some cycles and to fill out their cardpool.

Scenario analyses

I carried on with the scenarios from the Wilds of Rhovanion Deluxe box. I had already started with Lost in Mirkwood at the end of last month, but it was still quite a chore to complete thanks to its many quest stages. The King’s Quest was more straightforward, though that included a ton of different encounter cards, which extended the analysis of the quest. For next month, I plan to take a break from scenarios to work on other projects. After that, I will start to cover the Ered Mithrin cycle, though I might take it slightly slower on that front and go back to some older Shadows of Mirkwood scenarios to update them with newer player cards and strategies.

Nightmare/saga analyses

Nothing new here, but I do hope to release a new Nightmare scenario analysis in March to make up for any lack in Ered Mithrin scenario analyses. I already know that I want to complete the Escape from Dol Guldur one soon, just to have the entire Core Set covered in Nightmare mode. As for the other scenarios of the cycle, I hope to complete them sometime this year, which shouldn’t be too difficult. I have also started to see progress on the NM Saga analyses, meaning that the first one of those should see publication soon.

Traits/Mechanics

Thanks to Banania, we got a new mechanics article out, focussing on the Messenger of the King contract. I plan to have all contracts discussed under the archetype analysis tab, of which this has been the first one. I plan to do Fellowship next, and it will likely be released early in March. If you want to write an article on any other contract you enjoy, and talk about the opportunities that it offers, then feel free to reach out.

Player card reviews

The player card reviews finally got to some of the better packs in this game. The final half of the Dwarrowdelf cycle will contain a lot of amazing cards that are still staples to this day. So be on the lookout for the player card reviews of those packs in the coming months. Next up should be the Long Dark, after which the Glorfindel and the Elrond packs are next!

Encounter set reviews

Silblade wanted to do more reviews besides the player card reviews that he does on the blog. As such, he wanted to write on each individual encounter set as they are found in each expansion chronologically. The first of this series has already gone up, and more should follow this year. The timing on these articles will depend on a few factors, but I will let you all know when the next one goes live. These set reviews will also be intertwined with the scenario analyses, and are written from the encounter deck’s point of view, making for an enjoyable read.

Additional articles

We’ve had a couple of different articles this month, which are worth to talk about. RedSpiderr surprised me with a decktesting article that went live at the beginning of the month. It has been well-received and I appreciate everyone’s comments on their experiences with decktesting. I have also made another First Impressions article this month where I covered the player cards and the scenario of the Challenge of the Wainriders adventure pack. For next month, I do not anticipate many different articles, but if Under the Ash Mountains appears in March, you can expect another First Impressions article on it. I am very much looking forward to that quest and especially the player cards, as it means that I can finally play with Gildor Inglorion.

The Future

With Spring around the corner, things are going to be changing somewhat in my personal life. I have been given the opportunity to work for a startup company that needed a test engineer to support R&D on their product and to run an entire testing center. As such, I will be working on my job a lot more from this point forward. This doesn’t mean that the blog will be going away, but it might mean that my articles will be less frequent. How frequent I can post remains to be seen, with hopefully next month giving me a good indication on the number of articles I can create in the evenings and during weekends. I try to aim for 8-9 articles per month, as that was a promise made to my patrons, but I will be relying on my team of co-authors to do some blogging for me while I am working.

I will still keep up to date with the community, and you probably won’t notice right away that I have other things to work on. The lack of new content coming out of FFG will help somewhat, as that means that my First Impressions series will come to a close at the end of this cycle. I might still do one for the Fellowship quest that I hope to attend if any are being hosted in the Netherlands. At the conclusion of this current cycle, I will still have a lot of content left in store for you all, as I have 1.5 cycles left to cover with scenario analyses and a ton of NM content left over.

Conventions

March will also be the time where players will flock to Germany for the annual Lure of Middle Earth event. While I would have loved to play with the European side of this community, I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it to the event. I have just started work at that time, and wouldn’t be able to arrive early enough to play a lot of games. I do hope that everyone attending will have a wonderful time, and that many of you will share your experiences with the community. I do still plan on attending Con of the Rings 2020, as that is slightly further into the future. I have heard that behind the scenes, a lot is happening in preparation for the event, so I am very much looking forward to seeing many of you there. Even if you are still on the fence whether or not you should go, read some of my articles on it, and hopefully it will convince you to attend this year.

Loot

This year’s loot will remain a secret for a little while longer, but I can hopefully share the first prototypes with my authors and Patreon subscribers by the end of next month. The equipment has to be manufactured in China, and with the current state of affairs, it might be delayed due to the factories being closed. However, I do not expect that this will impact the quality of the loot, nor will it cause delays on my end. I plan to release the loot late September/beginning of October, so that leaves enough time for me to design, assemble, and ship the loot to everyone supporting the blog. This year will have a cut-off date on the loot, much like last year. Since I have to buy the raw material beforehand, I will likely create a window between now and the start of the summer for everyone to either pledge to the blog via Patreon, or to do me and the blog a favor in some other way (writing articles, proofreading stuff, linking tons of articles, finding me collectables, etc). More info on the exact date will follow as soon as I have my first prototypes ready, which hopefully means next month.

With all that said, I hope you will continue to enjoy the blog and will support this wonderful community through the impending break in content.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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