March has been a month of highs and lows for me. On the one hand, I have gotten a crazy amount of new expansions in this past month, and am nearing completion of my Nightmare collection. Just 4 packs remain at this point. I also received the components of a Fellowship kit, allowing me to finally cross those items off the list. On the other hand, I had a pretty dark episode of depression halfway through the month and had to step away from social media and the blog for a week. While I do feel a lot better at this point, I am still getting panic attacks and am not feeling the same as I was, so it will take time to get better. I am working on it and am reaching out to friends to help me with this. Let’s just say that the past year has not been kind to any of us, and we must hope that the second half of this year will allow us to compensate for that. But while I did leave the blog alone for a short while, stuff still happened in the community, so let’s tackle that before moving on to what happened on the blog.
While the news wasn’t directly from FFG but from Asmodee, a French interview teased a revision of the LOTR LCG game. This won’t feature new content, but will look to improve the content that is already there. This might mean rebalancing the game, changing some cards, but no new expansions for now. So don’t get excited for the Second Age stuff, as I don’t think we will ever see that in the game. The good news is that this 1.5e will be compatible with our cards, so we don’t have to drop a lot of money to spend on new decks.
While the 1.5e does not bring you new cards, the AleP project will! They dropped their Deluxe box this month and have all the details on how to print the cards for yourself on their blog. Please check their website first, and refer your questions about the expansion to them through Discord, Reddit, Twitter, or facebook. I am really excited about this fan-made endevour finally being released to the public and have already played 2 of the 3 quests. I will hold off on buying the printed version of the expansion for now, as I hope to bundle the Deluxe with all of the APs and save some money that way. In the meantime, I can still play with the cards on OCTGN, so try the quests out there if you haven’t already!
There were no new scenario analyses added to the blog this month, but I am going to try to start and finish Wrath and Ruin in April. I have not played this quest very much, but if I can give it a few attempts and do a write-up in the time I have off work, then that’s another Vengeance of Mordor scenario that can be crossed off the list.
I released NM Seventh Level this month, and should continue with NM Flight from Moria. However, I would like to alternate Nightmare analyses with regular scenarios, but if I can finish Wrath and Ruin quickly, I might be able to make some good progress on NM Flight from Moria. I did receive all of the Nightmare packs from the Dwarrowdelf cycle this month, so the progression reviews of these packs can continue until I hit The Morgul Vale. I am getting really close to complete my Nightmare collection, so I’ll have plenty to write about for years to come.
Player card analyses
After a break, Silblade has returned with his player card analyses. This time he delved into the Against the Shadow cycle with the Heirs of Numenor Deluxe box. These Deluxe boxes take some more time to write as they contain more cards, but the final result was very in-depth and useful to progression players as well! He will continue with his review of the cycle, meaning that the Steward’s Fear, one of the best packs in the game, is next!
Middle Earth Tour
The Tour has cruised on this month, and released 2 new articles for the Against the Shadow and Ringmaker cycle. These articles aren’t very long, but offer you some more variety to your games by adding in the new locations. I have yet to try this format for myself, but I hope that many of you are enjoying it. The Tour will continue in April with likely 2 new articles for the Angmar Awakened and Dream-chaser cycles.
The Deckbuilding series has started its run of the APs in the cycle, releasing a deck of a very tricky quest, Wastes of Eriador. The series will continue with an easier quest to deckbuild against, Mount Gram, but I am not sure if the article will release next month.
I published one article that didn’t fit any of the series, which was about how you (yes, you reading this) can support the community. The article features a list of community contributors that you can support through Patreon, and get some nice rewards in return for. The important part of this that I’ll mention is that the Vision of the Palantir swag will only be available to people who subscribe to the service before April 30th. I am not sure if I will have additional articles in April, as I will be quite busy with the scenario analyses and the storage solution article that I am slowly chipping away at. Time will tell if we get more articles, but if you have an idea for a topic, let me know.
April will start with some more spare time for me off work. We are starting to get back into project again, so I have a week off before the mayhem begins. In that week off I would like to do some writing of the articles in my pipeline, so hopefully some of them will be released early in the month. I did receive my final bits for the storage solution last month, so I feel confident to complete the fourth version of the article soon, and then start to put my focus again on scenario analyses for Wrath and Ruin, plus NM Flight from Moria afterwards. Combine this with the work that my co-authors are doing, and we are certain to release a lot of content real soon.
The swag has not been worked on in March, but I plan to make my final preparations after April. At that point I know exactly what my budget is, and how that translates to size of the notebook and the possible number of pages. Again, the deadline to be eligible to receive this year’s loot is APRIL 30th. From then on, I will dedicate more time towards this project, and start figuring out how many books I’ll need for everyone. Hopefully I can start handing out the notebooks at Con of the Rings this year, but if that is not possible, I will do my best to get them shipped to you all as soon as I can. I cannot guarantee that I will cover everyone’s shipping, but if support of the blog stays at this level, I’m sure I can figure something out.
I hope you all are doing well. It has been a difficult time for all of us, and I cannot wait to see you all again in person at conventions. In the meantime, I will be available for some online games here and there, as I will continue to play the new AleP quests and to prepare myself for the articles that I should write. Hopefully I don’t have to take another week to mind my mental health, but if so, I’m sure I can count on this community’s support. Thank you all, and I hope you have a great Easter!
~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~
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