We are steaming along with 2021, and April is almost over. During this month, I posed the question on what quest you liked least of all. Much like the February poll, I took my poll entries from previous cycle polls, and this time took the quest that was the least favourite. Putting all 9 quests together gave people plenty of choices between quests that are not as enjoyable as others. I again gave everyone 2 votes to select their least favourite of the bunch and collected the votes over the course of one month.
In total, the poll received 113 votes. This is not as much as previous polls, perhaps because negative topics like this appeal less to players, or because people just couldn’t decide. Anyway, here are the results!
It sort of makes sense that the top 4 spots are occupied by the quests from the first 4 cycles of the game. These quests have seen the most plays over the years, and people with incomplete collections tend to at least have played these quests. The top spot going to The Dead Marshes is no surprise either. This quest can be pretty infuriating if you lose Gollum and have to spend 20 rounds having to find him. This is fixed in the Nightmare version a little, but not everyone owns the Nightmare pack or is brave enough to attempt it. This quest stands out to the sub-par game design of the first cycle, but we are fortunate enough to have only gotten better and better quests since. If the worst quest of the game is over 9 years old, then the developers have done something right since then!
The second and third place share a bit of a theme in my eyes. Both quests can be very easy, allowing you to beat both in just 3 turns if you are lucky and spam out willpower. Especially in lower player counts, these quests are easy and therefore not really memorable. Into Fangorn has the option to last a lot longer though, as Mugash can hide in the encounter deck much like Gollum does in The Dead Marshes (maybe I’m seeing a pattern here?). The Long Dark involves just a lot of luck in case you ever want to pass a Locate test. These sorts of tests have been done better in later games, and the Long Dark just fails to compare to the rest of the cycle it’s in. At least Into Fangorn has some other sub-par quests from the same period (Nin-in-Eilph), but those are more memorable to people.
One of my votes, Druadan Forest, took fourth place. This quest actually does have some unique characteristics, which makes it stand out from the top 3. This one annoys players with stealing resources through the Prowl keyword, punishing players for not having resources anymore, and peppering characters with a ton of Archery damage. It is possible to reach upwards of 20 points of Archery in higher player games. This is, fortunately, one of the quests most improved in the Nightmare version, where the game really changes the way you get your resources. Players also accepted the higher difficulty of this quest thanks to the cycle that it was in. Heirs of Numenor wasn’t easy, so a tough Druadan Forest stands out less.
Some more recent quests fill in the slots halfway through the list. The Ghost of Framsburg needs little explanation why it made the list, as the only reason that it does not rank higher is that people are still busy playing the quest. It just takes an age to complete if you aren’t lucky (again because of objectives in the encounter deck). This time, there is no redeeming Nightmare pack, so you are better off just playing Ruins of Belegost, as it is more enjoyable in my eyes. The Long Arm of Mordor falls into the forgettable category of quests. This quest does have some really unique mechanics with objective heroes, but apparently, it didn’t click too well with players. But with less than 10% of people voting for it, we start to enter the zone where quests are deemed “all-right.” The quests are just unlucky that they came out amid better quests in the cycle.
I am not quite sure why Under the Ash Mountains is so far near the bottom, though it might just be because people haven’t gotten the chance to play the quest yet. I voted for this one, as it forces the players towards a certain deck strategy in order to stand a chance. Most other scenarios offer several strategies to win, but you have to include recursion cards in your deck for this one, else you stand no chance against it.
Dread Realm and City of Corsairs got the fewest votes on this list. These quests are ok in my eyes, but I can see the argument for why they rank at the bottom of their respective cycle. Dread Realm is difficult but can be broken with Power of Orthanc. City of Corsairs is a bit of a mess, with half the quest being on a boat and the rest being a battle to a boss-fight. These quests are still enjoyable to me and conclude their cycles in a nice way. Maybe people just voted for these because they didn’t like the cycle being over?
For May, I will fulfill my promise of an alt art hero showoff that I promised last month. Since we got 5 new “alt art” heroes in the previous Fellowship kit, it is high time to see which one people like most. This will not be a question on what hero you like best, but which artwork. Since there are so many options, I will give everyone 3 votes on heroes. I have a feeling that I know which ones are going to rank high, but I want to see whether or not that will actually be the case. In one month, we will have our answers! You can vote now for your favourite alt art hero in the blog’s sidebar or near the bottom of the page on mobile devices.