Month in Review: May 2020

As we are slowly getting used to the new situation we are finding ourselves in, the month of May comes to an end. It was a month of spoilers, with the final cards of both Land of Sorrow and the final AP, The Fortress of Nurn being spoiled in the community. This marks the conclusion of the Vengeance of Mordor cycle and the final additions to our now finite card pool. But all is not lost, the community has been stepping up its game this month, with more livestreams, articles, videos, and podcast episodes now that people have a lot of time on their hands. And with the packs of Fellowship 2020 and the GenCon 2020 quest still not released, we have some final bits of official content to enjoy before the game goes into hiatus. The blog itself has also been very busy, with a lot of content being released and a lot of support received over the past month.

May

FFG has been awefully quiet this month, so we don’t yet have an announcement article on the final AP, even though some community member have a hold of the cards already. I am also expecting a roadmap for the final bits of the game now that GenCon has been cancelled, and the Fellowship event has been postponed. Maybe the Fellowship set will move to POD immediately, so that we can still get the second half of the competative encounter sets for Moria, although we would be missing out on the alt art hero and the playmat if that were the case. For now, we will have to wait and see.

As for the blog, support has been amazing so far. The Patreon goal of $75 was reached this month, and we are getting close to $100 at which point I would like to do a little livestream of me disassembling my decks, getting everything in my binders, and then do a community wide deckbuilding session with my decks. This will probably need to be done in a few parts, but would be fun to at least try. I have also been busy this month with doing some more livestreams and podcast appearances. I would also like to announce that the blog has been receiving some support from community members who have stepped up to do an article for the blog, which is greatly appreciated! Let’s look at what articles were released in May, and what the summer will hold in store for us.

Scenario Analysis

We got 3 new scenarios covered this month, which is more than we usually publish. From the Ered Mithrin cycle, we got both Roam Across Rhovanion and Fire in the Night covered, which means we only have 3 more scenarios left to cover before the cycle is complete. We have also started to work on the POD scenarios, with Murder at the Prancing Pony being released this month. For next month, the number of scenario analyses will be a little lower than this month, as I shift my focus elsewhere for the entire month. But we should still get the analysis of the Stone of Erech POD scenario, and perhaps an article from the cycles as well, who knows?

Nightmare Analysis

With great effort I have completed the Journey to Rhosgobel Nightmare scenario analysis this month. This leaves us with just Conflict at the Carrock in Nightmare mode to cover, which might be done by a big bear instead of me. I don’t have that much experience with the Carrock scenario, let alone in nightmare mode. After that scenario has been covered, the entire first cycle of Nightmare scenarios has been covered! I will take on anyone who would want to do a take on nightmare analyses for other cycles, as I don’t own that many nightmare packs outside of the Hobbit Saga and the first cycle.

Traits and Staples

To boost the number of articles this month, I decided to do some more Staples articles on both the card pool’s ability to muster allies outside of the regular phase or with great discounts, and on the card pool’s ability to recycle cards from its discard pile. If I come across more topics for this series, I will try and make an article with the best cards of that mechanic. The articles are quite a lot of fun to make and don’t take up much time (depending on the number of staples for that mechanic).

The traits are in for a big overhaul during coming month. Now that we know all the player cards in the Vengeance of Mordor cycle, I will be able to update the articles accordingly to include any additions from that cycle. I will start with the traits that have gotten their support early in the cycle, so to not spoil the contents of the final pack until FFG officially announces it. I have a lot of archetypes to cover, so this will keep me busy for a long time during this cycle. So many archetypes got just a little better with this cycle, and not many new archetypes got introduced. The only one that I would want to make an article on is the Master trait, as that card pool is now also complete and I can analyse the trait as a whole.

I will also be including some other things in the Traits articles, such as things that the archetype is missing, and which ones of the packs to get first to get your taste for the archetype. You will see the changes being rolled out over the course of the next month.

Player card and Encounter set analyses

Silblade has had a busy month, but not for the blog. Still, he was able to produce his player card review for the Foundations of Stone Adventure Pack, which is one of the best packs to get with regards to the player cards inside. For June, he will be looking to update his encounter set analyses with Journey Along the Anduin and Sauron’s Reach, so be on the lookout for those article!

Additional Articles

Besides all of the articles I have planned for June and the overhaul of many trait articles, I have a couple of extra articles in the pipeline that will hopefully be finished in June or July. This includes the First Impressions article for at least the Land of Sorrow, and maybe even the Fortress of Nurn. Once I get the physical copies of those packs in my hands, I will be releasing the articles. Land of Sorrow has already got all its player cards reviewed, so I only need to write a few paragraphs on its scenario. Besides FI articles, RedSpiderr will be busy reviewing all the possible options with the new Thorongil attachment from Fortress of Nurn. This is quite a long list of options, but you should get a sense of what combinations are the most powerful. Lastly, I also would like to give a peek behind the scenes as to how an article on the blog is created. Just to give an overview of the steps I take to write my usual articles. I don’t expect the article to be very popular, but to those that want to know how an article is born, it would be a nice sneak-peek behind the curtain. If you have any other suggestions for articles that we could work on during the summer, feel free to let us know and we will consider it.

The Future

While the quarantine rules are starting to slowly fade away, it will be a while before things are back the way they were, if we ever get to that point. In any case, the blog will continue to do its best to entertain you all with more articles than ever and with more interaction with the community itself as well. As the audience for the blog continues to grow (seriously, the views each day are what a week was worth in 2018), I want to do some more fun things with the community. I have already been playing a lot of games online with people, and have even streamed a game of Under the Ash Mountains this month.

Since Patreon income has also exploded this month in anticipation of this year’s loot, I am getting close to the milestone of $100 per month. If that milestone is reached, I will be doing a chill livestream with me disassembling decks, talking about cards, chatting with the people there, and putting all my cards back into the binder. During a second livestream shortly after, I will be doing a community wide deckbuilding session where people can help me to build some strong decks. I tend ot build 12-14 decks at once, so we will see how far we can get. I might have plans for afterwards, but I will be waiting to receive the final 2 packs of the cycle before I start to record anything.

As for the rest of June, I will be hoping to complete at least 10 articles between me and my co-authors. We have received some support with new authors joining us, and I have plenty of ideas on articles to come. I will also be working on updating all the trait articles, which will take up some time. I will keep you all posted on what articles have been updated via Twitter. With all of that, I’m sure you will find plenty to enjoy on the blog in the coming month. I hope you are all staying safe and hope to see the blog grow even bigger during the summer! Thank you all for the amazing support!

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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2 thoughts on “Month in Review: May 2020

  1. Is lotr lcg content truly going on hiatus? I recently got back into the game after a hiatus of my own. It would be a shame if this was a polite way of saying that the game is dead to FFG.

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    1. See this AMA with Andrew Navarro, head of FFG studios, at 15 minutes in, he talks about the hiatus: https://youtu.be/6VseOrN5B58

      The current format of the game will end after the current cycle, with no new expansions planned other than the POD scenarios that should have been released but got delayed because of COVID (events cancelled and such). It won’t be a second edition, but the language he used does leave the door open for a new format compatible with the current game after their hiatus. They didn’t say that the game is concsidered dead, like they did with other games such as Netrunner. So if the game was dead, they’d tell us. This leaves the door open for a ton of different formats, of which we know nothing so far. Possible reason for this is to give Caleb time to develop Marvel before returning to this game

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