Well, the first month of the new year is behind us. It does still have the feeling of 2020 though, with people rioting in my country and no visible light at the end of the tunnel yet. But we will carry on and hope for the best. In the meantime, let’s reflect on all the things that happened in the community this month. It has been quite a busy month for me, as I did some restructuring of old articles, fixing up the loot for this year, and continued to work on the new articles. This month has also had an LCG Con, so I spent the majority of a weekend playing the game, and not working on the blog as much. The convention was a lot of fun, and I even got the chance to play some new AleP quests! I am very much looking forward to the Deluxe expansion from the team and will be keeping you all up to date on their progress.
While I did not expect news out of FFG this month, a few community members have gotten their hands on the latest Fellowship kit that was supposed to be released last year. It is becoming quite a scramble for the many items in this kit, as it comes with 4 sets of new threat trackers, 4x 5 alt arts, 4 small deckboxes, 4 sets of dividers, a single playmat, and a large box to keep it all in. I do not understand why the contents are so different than previous Fellowship kits, and the single playmat is extremely weird to me. This is a co-op game, and you would have had people arguing and fighting over who gets to bring the mat home. On Ebay, the few sets that got released early are getting inflated prices. A set of alt arts, deckboxes and dividers can set you back $250! I would suggest everyone in the community to stay calm and wait until more Fellowship kits are released. These were created before the pandemic, so there should be a ton of them sitting in a warehouse somewhere. I know people who are in touch with their FFG contact to try and get these kits to the masses. So keep your money in your pocket and wait until you can get a good deal on these cards. No need to reward people for getting kits early. I hope to have another update on this by the end of next month, but keep an eye out on community servers for further developments.
With that rant out of the way, let’s look at the different articles that were produced this past month for the blog, and look at what we have in store for you all for February.
We released one new scenario analysis this month, but it was quite a long one. Ruins of Belegost isn’t a quest you breeze through in 15 minutes, so naturally the scenario analysis took some time as well. We are coming close to finishing the POD scenarios though, and will be continuing our articles in the coming months. For February, I would like to focus my attention on the Vengeance of Mordor cycle again. This cycle is quite difficult and has a lot of mechanics, so the articles will be more spaced out. I will try and finish at least one in February though, focusing all my hatred for Under the Ash Mountains to push past this quest as quickly as possible.
I have recently picked up the Nightmare analyses again. Now that the first cycle has been completed, I took on the first NM quest of the Dwarrowdelf cycle. Into the Pit is a fun quest to tackle in Nightmare mode, and I have to say that I enjoyed writing that article. I have also already played and beaten Seventh Level on Nightmare mode recently, so I am eager to start doing the write-up for that one as well. We are also soon releasing our article on NM Treachery of Rhudaur, so you’ll have plenty of NM content to enjoy in February.
While no new deckbuilding article was released this month, I did plan together with Roka that he is going to prioritize Fortress of Nurn over Wastes of Eriador for his next article. This was because he thinks he has had enough attempts at the quest to beat it pretty reliably, and I don’t want such an article to go to waste. I am not sure of exactly when this article will be released, but you can expect the Deckbuilding on Nurn before the Angmar Awakened cycle.
Encounter Set Reviews / Player card reviews
After a break, Silblade has returned with his series on encounter set reviews, posting his review of the Escape from Dol Guldur set shortly after my revision of the Escape from Dol Guldur scenario analysis. He will now continue with his player card analysis, breaking into the third cycle of the game. Since the Heirs of Numenor box contains quite a few cards, it may take some time to cover them all, but expect a long article covering those cards in depth once Silblade finishes.
I had 2 additional articles for this month, both of which were recurring series I do every year. The year in numbers article is always fun to do in order to see how much of the game I played last year. It also shows a positive trend for the blog with daily views, a trend that has grown this past month as well. I also published a shorter article on the third birthday of the blog. Since this article comes soon after my recap of 2020, I don’t usually reflect back as much, but I took the time to thank the community and look ahead at what the fourth year of the blog will bring to the community.
For February, I have a few articles planned that are written by a returning author. They have been busy with a new project, which I like to share with you all. I will also continue to update a few older articles. Some recent community projects need to be mentioned in some articles, and I feel that others are starting to show their age. I will do these updates behind the scenes, but will post updates on Twitter when adjustments are made.
2021 has been off to a rough start, but let’s hope that things get better from here on out. I am luckily still doing well, and have a relatively quiet month ahead when it comes to work. I will try and take this time to work on some more (NM) scenario analyses. I also hope that by the end of February we will have more info on what the Fellowship kit is going to cost us. I think that more kits will pop up as time goes on, so please be patient and wait until you can get a kit at a fair price. There is no need to buy a mat for $250+ if you can get a kit for $35. We’re not going to events anyway to show the mats off, so just wait a little longer.
As for the blog, I have been seeing that it is doing better and better as time goes on. This month was special as we got more than 1000 views every day, which is a new record. It wasn’t long since I thought 300 views per day was a lot. I would like to thank all of you for this upwards trend, and hope to see it continue in the months to come. For reference, all of 2018 had 48k views. January 2021 alone had 34k… These are numbers that I wouldn’t have dreamed of back when I started the blog, so I want to thank you all for visiting the site and reading my random ramblings on this fantastic game.
The trend is also noticeable in the Patreon support, which is at an all-time high as well. This will likely grow even more in the months to come as I try and finish the loot in time before larger conventions start again. I have made no secret of this year’s loot, unlike other years. This is to build up hype a little, and to make sure that people are not going to be missing out on this wonderful notebook. More work is still required though, but updates will follow soon. To make sure you get your hands on the notebook, pledge to the blog on Patreon now, or contact me with other ways to help out the blog and guarantee a set for yourself.
~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~
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