Month in Review: July 2020

July has been a good month for the blog. Not only did we get a ton of work done this month, but I have also been welcoming a lot more authors to the blog this month to work on various articles. Some of these articles were published this month, others will be released next month for you all to enjoy. Between all the new articles, I also finally received my laser engraver, allowing me to start working on this year’s VotP loot, but more on that at the end of this round up. Let’s first take a look at everything that happened on the blog in the month of July, and look ahead towards August.

July 2020

While FFG did publish some LOTR news articles, it didn’t concern this particular game. A new expansion for Journeys was released, and an old LOTR game got a new version made by them. There was good news for the digital game as well, as it got picked up by a different production studio to continue working on the game. As for LOTR LCG, nothing was heard about the Fellowship event and the final two APs are still not available for general purchasing. On top of that, people in the community are starting to note that there really isn’t that much in stock anymore at retailers, meaning that a new wave of reprints should hopefully be around the corner, or we will face another stock drought like in 2018. Especially the Nightmare packs appear to be difficult to find, as I am slowly trying to collect the final bits. But hopefully these will be included with the next wave of reprints.

Scenario analyses

It has been a good month for the Scenario Analyses part of the blog, as I have been able to complete my article on The Ghost of Framsburg. This was joined by the Mount Gundabad article to nearly finish the Ered Mithrin cycle. The final scenario on that list, Fate of Wilderland, has already been distributed and will hopefully come to you all before the end of the summer. Near the end of the month, the blog also managed to complete the Haradrim cycle with the Beneath the Sands scenario analysis. From here, we will begin our work on the Vengeance of Mordor cycle, now that all quests have at least had their cards spoiled. I myself will start working on the River Running quest, but I welcome anyone who would like to cover other quests from that cycle.

The POD quests are now also quickly being analyzed, with the Stone of Erech being released this month. The next quest on the list will be the Ruins of Belegost, but it is going to take a while to completely cover, as that quest can be very long, with a ton of different quest stages and some interesting mechanics. I cannot assure it will released next month, but it will come eventually. Work has also begun on Massing at Osgiliath, so these extra quests will be featured on the blog soon, but will take a time to complete.

Nightmare analyses

This month the blog celebrated the completion of the first cycle of NM scenarios. With Beorn coming in to provide us with an excellent narrative for the NM Conflict at the Carrock scenario, the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle has now been completed in all forms. I will get back to redoing the regular scenario analyses of that cycle at one point, to bring them up to par with the current articles. From this cycle on, the blog will jump between NM quests a little, as we cover what we own. VeggieGollum has started to work on the Angmar Awakened cycle in Nightmare mode releasing Across the Ettenmoors this month. I will look to cover a few quests in NM provided that I own the NM pack as well. We again welcome anyone who would want to help us complete the task of covering all NM quests.

Storage Hub

It has been a while since I updated this part of the blog, since I am not receiving any new articles from the community talking about their storage solutions. So I would like to ask again to those with more time on their hands in the current situation to please snap a few pictures of your collection and storage, and then send it to the blog accompanied with a bit of text to explain your solutions. See the Storage Hub tab on the front page of the blog for more info.

Player card and encounter set reviews

No new articles were released in these series this month, but only because the end of the month was pretty full with different articles already. The player card review for Shadow and Flame will be released in early August, and work on the next encounter set review will also begin soon. This will likely cover the Wilderlands encounter set, which has some of the nastiest encounter cards in the Core Set. Both series have plenty of content left to cover, so be on the lookout for any updates on them in the coming months.

Traits and mechanics

I continued to work on the updates for the traits and mechanics this month, without creating any new ones myself. We did get an extra update to the archetype list, but that was for the many (and I do mean MANY) different combinations that the Thorongil attachment. I believe it is to date the longest article on the blog, but will be a great read for everyone to read if they are interested in using that attachment. For the future, I will try and complete some more articles and bring them up to speed with the current cardpool.

Additional articles

Besides the regular content on the blog, I also published another article this month. This one was sponsored by the person creating the tokens, which I received for free. I probably won’t be doing very many of these articles, but I do like giving some exposure to the people creating items for the community. For August, I have the first impressions on Land of Sorrow planned, as it has been a long time since I have received any new cards and the pack is scheduled for the first week of August. I have also started the review of Fortress of Nurn, but would like to own the pack before spoiling its contents.

Loot

Dain Iron-wood

Some major developments concerning this year’s loot have occured this month, since I now own the laser engraver that I ordered back in January. I have started prototyping the loot already, and will be sharing some more information on this soon. I have some more details in this Patreon post, where you can also pledge to the blog in order to secure some loot for yourself. Note that the deadline for this will be August 1st so be sure to act quickly or miss out. Due to Con of the Rings being cancelled, I won’t be producing as much this year, but I will also have to ship all items myself instead of handing some over to people in person. That means that some restrictions may apply, more info in the Patreon post. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me.

For long time supporters and high level supporters, I have something special planned. I have already ordered these extra items and will be keeping them a secret for a little while longer. I will also first have to do some quality checks before I ship these out, but it should help you with your games!

The Future

Some good news, 2020 is already more than halfway done. The bad news is that we still have 5 months to go. I myself have seen most plans get cancelled, so I will be able to dedicate more time to the blog when I am not at work. I do feel sorry for everyone (including me) who was looking forward to going to Con of the Rings this year. The convention has been cancelled, which was a tough decision to be made by the organizers, but in my eyes, it was the right call to make. I hope that I will eventually be able to see you all again next year, perhaps even during Lure of Middle Earth if that convention is still on.

The blog is still going strong though, and while I myself am releasing fewer and fewer articles each month, I do appreciate the many co-authors that are working on the blog with me, who are able to keep up the good content while I am busy with the loot, my own articles, work, and personal struggles. Thanks to this team, you all can enjoy some more LOTR LCG content in these difficult times.

There are no changes to the regular schedule planned for August. I will be busy with work for most of the month, but I’m sure I will find some time to work on articles. I will also be dedicating a lot of time to preparing the loot, so my articles might be few and more wide-spread. I feel that I am taking on a role that is more of a manager of co-authors than writing myself, but I’m fine with that.

I would also like to thanks the many people that have started to support the blog through Patreon in the last few weeks. Pledges are at an all-time high and I am able to produce some quality content for you all because of it. All money collected is put back into the blog and whatever is left over goes on a pile to be spent on making the loot for everyone. This has allowed me to make some sweet new items with the new equipment I bought with the money, that I cannot wait to share with you all next month and in the months to come.

Stay safe everyone, and I hope to see you all again some day!

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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