Month in Review: March 2020

I think many of us are going to remember this month and the ones to come for a long time. This isn’t the best situation we are currently finding ourselves in, but remember that this is not the new normal and this too shall pass. With that said, the LOTR LCG community is coming together like never before at times like this, and players have been organizing different events throughout the month. I myself have been streaming some more, and there has been a first recorded Epic Multiplayer stream organized, which is amazing. Despite having to stay at home for the majority of the month, you may have noticed that blog activity has been low. That has to do with 2 things, the first is obviously the virus. I have to look after my family as most are a vulnerable group, and the second reason is that I started my new job in earnest this month. This has left very little time for me that I have had time to work on blog articles. And most of the spare time I did have was either spent away from my monitor, or chatting online with some friends with whom I have started a new Minecraft server to replace the outside world with. Anyway, enough doom and gloom, let’s check on the blog in this post and look ahead at what there is to come.

March

There wasn’t much news from FFG, though some cards of the fourth AP were spoiled in the final week of the month. This cycle will be amazing when I see all of these new player cards. There is no telling on when the new pack will arrive though, as some distribution channels might be affected by the current conditions and the different protocols that are in place. There is also no telling what will happen to the Fellowship events that were scheduled for this Spring, or what will happen to GenCon this Summer. Hopefully things have cleared up at that time, allowing us to attend smaller conventions like Con of the Rings in October. News articles on the final few packs might also be delayed at this point, which will postpone the eventual hiatus with a few weeks, but it will also mean a longer drought of content.

Scenario Analyses

While the Ered Mithrin cycle did not see any development this month, I did start to work on the Withered Heath. This scenario analysis should be released in April, marking our journey into the Ered Mithrin cycle of Adventure Packs. From there, I plan on doing Roam Across Rhovanion next, and then see what fun new quest I will do afterwards. The current planning will be to finish the cycle during the summer, which will allow me to finish all the extraveganza quests for Con of the Rings well in advance. We did get our article on the Mumakil from RedSpiderr, who is moving on with Beneath the Sands at this moment. Hopefully that too will be finished on time to conclude that cycle before the Con.

Nightmare Analyses

I published the nightmare article on Return to Mirkwood this month, which was quite a difficult scenario to cover. Not many tips to give, as the quest shuts a lot of decks down with various encounter cards. I am closing in on my goal of finishing the first NM cycle this year, and will likely cover some other NM quests I own before moving on to the second NM cycle, since I don’t yet own any of these. The NM scenarios are difficult to find here in NL, so I will either have to get them shipped to me from overseas, or I will have to wait until I ship myself to the US this October. There is no real rush in completing all of the nightmare quests, so I will focus on some other tasks while I wait for more NM quests to arrive.

Traits/Staples

I have been slowly updating some of the trait analyses this month, with an update to the Archer article, as I don’t expect that to get more cards in the other packs besides the Hobbit Archer (which was quite unexpected). Once all player cards are known for this cycle, I will start updating the articles in earnest, as that will be the complete cardpool for a while. In the meantime, I did publish an article on the Fellowship contract, with more articles on the other contracts to follow soon. These will be outsourced to Banania, who did an excellent job on the Messenger of the King article. Once the full cardpool is finished, I will also start to update the staple articles, and will be working on some of the other articles in that series that I have planned.

Player card analyses

With Silblade being stuck in his house as well, he has had more time to work on the player card analysis article for the Long Dark. We now only have 2 top-tier packs of player cards remaining. There will be a lot of 5-star or even 6-star cards coming very soon. This will include the “Sporfindel pack” and the “Elrond pack” before the cycle is over.

Encounter deck analyses

Silblade has also continued to work on his encounter deck analyses written from the encounter deck’s point of view. Since there are a lot of encounter sets left to cover, we can expect quite a lot of articles from him this year. The next one on the list will be the Spiders of Mirkwood set, coming to you in April.

Storage Hub

These past few weeks I have been seeing a lot more posts talking about storage solutions. While I have directed many newer players to the hub, it hasn’t been updated since October, sticking at 10 posts. While I am happy to have 10 articles already, I feel that it doesn’t represent the entire community. Especially the lower-end solutions remain without an article, which is something newer players will be interested in. Because of this, I would like to ask those that are willing, to write an article on the different storage solutions that you use, attach a few pictures to it, and send them to me so that I can put them online. I have received confirmation of 1 new article and 1 update of an older one, so the hub should see some activity in the near future. More is always better though, so check out the Second Call to Arms segment later in this article.

Additional Articles

There were no other articles published this month outside of the standard series mentioned above. I have nothing in particular in the pipeline, so if you have any topics that you would like me to discuss, feel free to message me with your idea and I’ll see if I can turn it into an article.

The Future

With no end in sight of this current situation, I urge everyone to follow up the directions of your local government and stay indoors as much as possible. While it may be hard on you and your family to stay indoors, this pandemic will pass at some point. Staying indoors is the smartest thing to do to limit the impact on others around you.

The blog will keep pumping out content in April as it usually does, with plenty of articles in the pipeline. I hope to see some extra activity from my co-creators as well, who are facing similar circumstances. April will also be the month where I hope to get the equipment I need for this year’s loot, so I will have plenty to do outside of work and writing articles.

A (second) Call to Arms!

However, not everyone has this much to do, and some of you may be bored staying at home all the time. If you want to do something for the community, then I am offering you the chance to write some articles for the blog. Details on this can be found here, but it boils down to reaching out to me (either by filling in a contact form or messaging me through other media). We can work out what sort of article you can write for the blog, and then I will put it up on the blog. This not only keeps you busy and invested with the community, but it also provides other players with entertaining articles to read during this difficult time. To give you an idea on what the current projects on the blog are, here is a list:

If you are interested in writing articles like these, reach out to me and we can work out the details. There are no deadlines to when your articles should be finished (except for some Ered Mithrin articles that have to be ready by September), so you can spend some free time you have, giving back to this amazing community. If you are unable to write for the blog, then consider supporting our efforts through Patreon, so that I can assure people that the blog will remain operational during this crisis and that I have some loot to give out to the folks helping out this way. Writing articles for the blog this year will guarantee you a piece of Vision of the Palantir 2020 loot, as well as those that donate to our cause.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you stay safe during these weird times we are having. Remember to stay indoors and keep good personal hygiene. Read some books, play some games, or write some articles, anything you can do to stay away from other people and enjoy life a little. I will be back next month with an update that hopefully will be a little more positive. In the meantime, make like a good Hobbit would, and stay at home, without any need for adventures.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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