We are already approaching the end of the first month of 2021, which means we can conclude the poll and start a new one! For the past month, I have been asking people what their favourite Ship objective from the Hunt for the Dreadnaught pack has been. These ships are rather unique and offer the players a lot of flexibility with their deck creations. The ships are almost comparable with Contracts, but also have a use during the quest with their stats and keywords. And so, I wanted to know which one of the six the community liked the most! I have had great success with the Eithiliant in the past, and am looking to play with the others as well, just to see how different they play.
Since there were only 6 ships to choose from (as I didn’t want to include the Gondor Warships that you can’t start play with), I only gave everyone a single choice out of the 6 ships. This means that the total number of votes is a little lower than usual, at only 48 votes. But we still got a clear winner in the end, and I recognise that not everyone has had the chance to play with (all of) these ships yet. Here are the results:
With over 40% of the votes, and more than double the number of votes than the #2, Twilight’s Call takes the top spot in this poll. This ship allows players to play cards from their hand without needing a resource match. At the basic side of the ship, it is only the first card you play each round, but once you upgrade the Twilight’s Call, you no longer need to have a sphere match for any card you play. This is very useful when you want to play a quad-sphere deck but don’t want to include sphere-granting cards. This ship with the Bond of Friendship contract is very interesting. But this is just the passive ability of the ship. It also comes with an action where you can play an ally or attachment at any point in the round (assuming there is an action window). The ability to play an ally is nice, but we already have seen this before with heroes like Thranduil and Hirgon that play allies outside of the planning phase. The attachment is much more interesting to me, as it allows you play traps like Forest Snare before enemies attack, and allows you to play location attachments on newly revealed locations. Without this ship, the only way you can do this is with Reforged. But that requires a 2-card combo and you can’t do that every round. To make things even better, the Twilight’s Call even allows you draw 3 cards when it upgrades, so you have even more cards to play!
Second place goes to the Swan Ship of Dol Amroth. This ship is all about action advantage which can be crucial in the early game. You start the game with an extra resource on each of your heroes, so it is like playing Sleazy mode. If you end up not using these resources to pay for cards, then you can spend them for the action on the Swan Ship. This allows you to spend 2 resources to ready a character. This is an expensive way to ready characters, but it can be a life-saver in some situations. It is limited to once per round, but you can ready any character in play, which can help other players as well. When flipping over to the Upgraded side, one of your heroes gets 2 resources and the readying ability on the ship gets an upgrade as well. Now the cost to ready a character is only 1 resource, and the effect can also ready attachments. Readying attachments is completely unheard of in the game, and can cause players to ready cards like Burning Brand, Steward of Gondor, Unexpected Courage, and many others. The possibilies are endless with this, and by the time you upgrade this ship, you will have a decent resource engine going to afford this ability each round. The flexibility of this ship is great, and worthy of second place in this poll.
Third place goes to my beloved Eithiliant. It scores lower on this list probably because the stats on this ship are worse than on many others when it comes to combat. That is because the Eithiliant is the best ship for questing, having 5 willpower and boosting all your heroes by +1 willpower as well! On top of this, you can select one of your heroes at the start of the game to gain all traits from another hero. This is very useful for heroes like Tactics Prince Imrahil and Lothiriel, who play around with trait a lot. But this also opens up abilities and attachments for other heroes as they get traits that they otherwise never could get. A Dale deck can now start with 3 Dale heroes (without using Messenger of the King on Wiglaf or something). Heroes can now also get the Hobbit or Dwarf trait, opening up some attachments that are otherwise way to small for regular sized beings. There are a lot of interesting possibilities with this trait-granting ability, though you have to make an effort during deckbuilding to make it work well. This isn’t something you can splash in any deck. Flipping over to the Upgraded side of the ship sees every hero get +2 willpower, which even turns combat characters into decent questers. Players also get to shuffle 6 cards from their discard pile back into their deck (useful for those Dwarven Mining decks) and place 6 progress on a location anywhere in the game (including other tables in an Epic Multiplayer game). This ship is still pretty weak during combat, but since it has so much willpower, you tend to quest with it anyways. This does mean that you are going to struggle to keep it afloat if you cannot cancel attacks and are engaging Ship enemies in a solo game. It is not the strongest ship, but it is very useful to have on the table.
In final place, we find the Golden Wing. This ship only received 2 votes during the poll. This ship is focused on Ranged combat, and has the Ranged keyword on top of an impressive 5 attack. The ship also gives the player an extra hitpoint to all of their heroes, and allows them to lower their threat by 3 at the start of the game. Both of these abilities make the Golden Wing a great ship for Hobbit decks, as the hitpoints are a great boost if you cannot get Bill the Pony out early, and the threat reduction helps out a lot as well. Secrecy decks that do a lot of Ranged combat (Silvans and Rangers) will also like this ship. They can stay at a distance and help out with a powerful ship and many Ranged characters. The ship even grants the Ranged keyword to one of your heroes, so you could even give characters like Treebeard ranged from the beginning of the game! When upgraded, the Golden Wing gives each hero you control +2 hitpoints and the Ranged keyword. The extra ranged characters are probably not as useful, as you might already start with a Ranged hero like Haldir together with this ship, or your quester might get Ranged. But with enough readying effects, you can be a big help to other players with this ship. You also immediately get to do 6 damage to an enemy in play, which can be in any group. 6 direct damage can take out a lot of enemies in this scenario, though some stronger ships might survive. However, 6 damage is a lot, so you can at least bring down their hitpoints substantially and then finish the ship off with Ranged attacks. For solo games, this one is less suitable, as your Ranged keywords won’t do much. You are also pushed towards a deck type that avoids enemies and attacks from a distance, which might cause you to struggle against enemies that engage you.
The next poll has already been published at this point. It features the winners of the 9 previous polls where people got to select their favourite scenario per cycle. So now we see which of these 9 scenarios tops the others! There might be a few among you that are confused at the entries on this poll, but all results can be found in previous articles on the Polls page of the blog. Everyone will get 2 votes again to spend on their favourite 2 scenarios on the list. I am very much looking forward to the results and will share them in a month’s time!