Month in Review: August 2020

Is it jsut me, or did August fly by really quickly? While we are still mostly in quarantine here, I would urge everyone to stay inside and keep playing games at a comfortable distance. And with a new AP being released to the public in this month, you have more than enough reason to stay inside. The month wasn’t filled with exciting news, like it usually is around this time of year. We received a post from FFG OP that the Fellowship event has been postponed without getting a date, so we will keep an eye on that in hope of getting the pack here in Europe at some point. But let’s look at how the month of August went for the blog!

August

Like I mentioned, we got the Land of Sorrow expansion early this month. That was a great relief, as Ash Mountains has been out for a while in Europe. Despite the quest being quite brutal, the player cards were excellent and I have been having a lot of fun with my new Eagle deck. I did not have a lot of time to play this month though, as I have been very busy with work and with creating the loot for all supporters of the blog. But more details on that later.

Scenario Analyses

We have had two scenario analyses completed this month, with both Fate of Wilderland and The River Running completed. This means that the Ered Mithrin cycle has already been completed, and that work has begun on the Vengeance of Mordor cycle, the only one that we have left for now. I have already distributed the other scenarios from the Deluxe box, and will schedule the AP articles during the coming autumn. I myself will not be as much involved with these, as I instead will try to focus on some updated versions of the first cycle. Once the cycle is nearing its completion, we will also look to complete other scenarios like the Sagas and PODs. Work on the PODs has come along nicely, and we have 2 more in the pipeline that are being worked on.

Nightmare Analyses

The Nightmare analyses also received an update this month with the analysis of the Dread Realm in Nightmare mode. Since then, I have put several people on other NM articles which will be shared with the community in the coming months. This gives me hope that we will one day complete this series, despite it being difficult to find those NM packs these days.

Player card and encounter set reviews

We have gotten one of each this month. The player card review series concluded its second cycle and will schedule a cycle-wide review of the awesome player cards that were in the Dwarrowdelf cycle. We are working on how to cover the next cycle, but more info on that will come as the series progresses. As for the encounter set reviews, towards the end of the month the Wilderlands encounter set got reviewed. This set features some of the biggest and baddest encounter cards that we have seen in the Core Set. The conclusion of the Core Set encounter cards will come soon, but in the meantime, Silblade will be going through all the previous encounter set articles to add some more information about the various shadow effects that are on some encounter cards. This will be done for any future article as well, as the series moves into the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle.

Additional articles

With the release of a new AP, I shared my initial thoughts about the new quest and the included player cards. I hope others have had as much fun with the quest as I have, and are looking forward to the final AP of this cycle which my sources tell me will be released in October. So we have a content drought ahead of us in September, and then the final AP the following month. During next month, I have one other article scheduled where I talk about why people don’t seem to like locations in the game. I wanted to do a location control article as well, but figured that it would perhaps be best to tackle the issue with locations first. If I get any more bright ideas, I will share them with you all!

Loot

As you should all know by now, I have been working hard on getting this year’s loot together for all the supporters of the blog. I have put out a form to everyone who was eligable to receive the loot this year and have begun the creation of over 100 custom engraved cards. This is quite a long process, considering that both the front and the back have to be engraved and the edges need to be sanded smooth. I’m glad to have skipped steps like staining the wood and such, but this is still taking quite some time to get all cards ready to go. Luckily the engraving process can happen in the background of my home-office, while I am working from home or spending time on the computer in my free time. It also allows me to constantly keep an eye on the laser, which has helped to save a few cards so far. The quality of the engraving is really good in some cases, and I am looking forward to the reactions to the finished product. The only thing I am worried about are the grey-scale cards and the fact that some cards don’t have exact 90 degree angles, causing them to skew a little bit. This isn’t a major problem as long as they can still fit in sleeves.

Batch #3 of cards after I have trimmed them. Their backs still need to be done and their edges need to be sanded off.

On top of the custom made cards, I have also been working in Photoshop for the highest tier supporters of the blog. Those at the highest tiers and those that have pledged over $100 to the blog since its creation will be receiving a custom made playmat, of which only 8 were produced. These turned out amazing with solid detail and nice stitching along the edges of the mat. I am keeping one for myself, as it has quickly become my primary playing mat for this game thanks to its material and the fact that I have printed my name on mine. These will be shipped out to the highest tier supporters together with the cards towards the end of next month.

Afbeelding
The custom playmat which will be sent to high-tier and long-time supporters this year!

If anyone has questions about their loot, let me know and I will hope to answer your questions soon. I am in the middle of production at this point, so some changes can still be made, though nearly half of the cards are ready to go at this point. I am still figuring out shipping, especially to the US, as that might be delayed. But I will make sure that everything is ready for shipping in a month’s time.

The Future

Summer is coming to an end, and I start to notice that my job is requiring more and more attention as we are hiring more people to work with me and with more projects kicking off. Combine this with the added effort I have to do in order to complete all the loot in time, and you can probably already guess that you won’t be seeing much from me this coming month. However, I do have a few articles that I would like to release, including the reworked version of my very first article on the blog. I will also continue to delegate my fellow authors on the blog, who have been working very hard these past few months. I have a long list of articles that are currently being worked on, and I hope to have these released in September and October before getting the next batch ready to go.

I have noticed that I have slipped into more of a manager role for the blog instead of the active author that I was a year ago, pushing out 7 articles in the same month. But I always wanted the blog to be a platform for many different authors sharing their thoughts and stories on the game, so I am glad it has gotten to this point. I will be looking forward to sharing the many new articles that are to come in the near future, and will sprinkle in some of my own articles here and there. Towards the end of the month I am taking a 2 week break from work, so I will hopefully be able to dedicate some more time to the blog, working on articles and perfecting those written by others.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~


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