Monthly Poll: March 2020

Amidst all the commotion that the current situation creates, I nearly forgot that it was nearing the end of the month, and so I had to finish the monthly poll that I ran during March. This month, I polled what everybody’s favourite quest from the Dwarrowdelf cycle was, giving everyone 2 selections from among the 9 quests. The second cycle is one that has been heralded for its player cards, but most of the quests were fun as well, a significant step up from the first cycle.

As many players own these scenarios, I received a lot of responses on this poll. 94 total votes were cast, and all quests received at least 2 votes. This is a sign that we all prefer different quests, and even some of the less popular ones are still beloved by others. Here are the results:

Results of March 2020

I wasn’t surprised to learn that 35% of votes got cast for Foundations of Stone, which put it in first place by a very wide margin. The quest is often used for playing with new players, but is also enjoyed by veterans. There is a lot to love here, from interesting enemy design with the Nameless enemies, to the split of players at stage 4, where they have to find each other before escaping the depths. Being washed away for the first time at stage 3 is also very memorable, especially when players are going in blind. The quest can be quite long, but I don’t often find that to ba an issue. There are even some beneficial locations and loot to find in the encounter deck! A clear victor of this poll, but let’s see who takes the silver medal this month.

That silver medal goes to The Watcher in the Water, which was a bit surprising to me. While the fight is memorable, and the quest comes at you hard and fast with those Tentacles, the conclusion can be a bit… odd. Escaping through the Doors of Durin involves a very weird gamemechanic, where players have to match letters on encounter cards and player cards. The easier way out is to take out the Watcher, who proves to be a great boss-fight at the middle of the cycle. I haven’t gone back to this quest in a while, but might give it a shot some day soon with a more modern deck, and see how I fare against the slimy tentacles of the Watcher.

Third place goes to the first quest of the cycle: Into the Pit. This classic quest is often used for decktesting, as it requires players to dodge nasty treacheries, explore through locations, and deal with enemy patrols. The quest tries to limit players by not allowing them to gain resources or to play cards at some stages, so if your deck completes this quest, it will likely perform well in other scenarios. This quest was also the first time we got introduced to the Cave Torch, and all of the fun location exploration that comes with it.

Near the bottom of the list, we find Road to Rivendell, which has gotten a hard time thanks to Sleeping Sentry and Orc Assault being terrible treacheries that are causing trauma to whoever sees the art. If you take those cards out of the encounter deck, the quest is surprisingly fun though. The Ambush mechanic is one that I would love to see revisited, as it encourages sneakier decks (probably because Secrecy got introduced at this time). The quest has several twists and turns, but aside from those two treacheries, it is pretty fun.

At the very end, we find The Long Dark, which was expected beforehand. The quest has a bad reputation for discarding player’s hands early, preventing them from beating the quest. The quest is also way too easy if you bring enough willpower from the start, and can be completed in just 2-3 turns if you put your back into it. The Locate tests are way too swingy, and only really encourages Noldor decks that run triple Elven-lights. An upgrade to this quest would be to discard cards from the top of your deck for each test, as that encourages a Dwarven deck style, and will ensure that players have enough cards to discard for the test. Even with all of that, it will be difficult to pursuade other players to sit down for a game of The Long Dark, which makes it an obvious last place on this list.

As announced a few months ago, I will be doing a poll on the different armor attachments for the month of April. There are a lot of options thanks the latest 2 cycles giving us quite some extra pieces of armor to strap to our chests. While I think that armor attachments are played less often than weapon attachments, there is still a wide variety of armor sets for both heroes and allies. So I will be giving everyone 3 selections from the total card pool of armor attachments. The results will be shared in a month’s time.

Stay safe everyone, and stay indoors if you can. Spend some quality time with each other and get your family members to play this game with you to kill some time. I wish you all the best and hope that next month’s poll won’t need the same warning.

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