Month in Review: April 2021

This was a very special month for the game and its community. On the 20th of April, the game turned 10 years old! This is a great milestone for any game to reach, and I’m happy to see that the game’s community is still so strong. We are still seeing new players appear in groups and on forums, and while the support by FFG is lacking (and that’s putting it lightly…), the community members are there to pick up these new players and send them on their way. Here’s hoping for 10 more years, with hopefully some more new content eventually.

April

FFG did do something for the “celebration” of the 10 year anniversary. They held a live stream with Caleb Grace, Nate French, and MJ Newman, all of whom have worked on this game as developers for at least some part. It was really nice seeing these people talk about the game and the various stories that occurred backstage. The downside of this stream was that it was only 15 minutes long and that there was no chance for audience participation. People were also expecting some major announcements, but I kept my expectations low (it’s FFG, after all). In the end, we got nothing worth noting, except the achievement list of 8 achievements. These are… something, at least. Some of them are really easy, and others can take the better part of a week to complete. So yeah, the community was a bit disappointed in this “celebration,” and we hope for better news in the future (GenCon quest, FAQ, or at least reprints…).

Besides that “news” by FFG, there wasn’t much to talk about on community news. AleP released a very interesting developer article on how to balance the game. I am also still trying to get my hands on their Deluxe. Once I get my hands on it, I will let you all know. For the blog, it has been a month of hard work behind the scenes. The blog now has its own editor, who will be double-checking all articles as they are written and will retroactively work through the massive backlog I’ve built up over the course of 3 years. So hopefully, you will start to see a bit more polish to the articles going forward. Let’s have a look at the articles released this month.

Scenario analyses

We got one article closer to completion this month, with Wrath and Ruin being finished halfway through the month. As I mentioned at the end of that article, I will first go back to the NM Dwarrowdelf cycle before I do my best to analyze The City of Ulfast. Meanwhile, I hope some of my co-authors will be putting in some work for the rest of the scenario analyses, so we can finish the cycle before summer is over. These articles are just taking a long time to write, thanks to their many mechanics. Nightmare articles will be my main focus afterward to finish at least the NM Dwarrowdelf cycle this year. With more articles being written by other authors, you can expect some more updates in the near future as we move closer to completion!

Traits

No, I didn’t add any new articles to the Traits category, but I did update a few of them. At the beginning of the month, it was pointed out to me that some of the articles were not updated fully. So I have worked hard to update the articles again, keeping the complete card pool in mind up to Fortress of Nurn. I have not finished this task yet, as the Gondor and Valour articles both still require significant updates. After that, I would be interested to see if we can continue analyzing all of the contracts. If anyone would care to write an article about their favourite contract, I’d welcome it!

Storage Hub

I did promise an update to storage, and on the 1st of April, you all got to see it! It was great fun detailing the benefits of keeping your cards in garbage bags, though I will admit that I have since changed storage solutions again. So I will be bringing you all version 4.5 of my storage solutions very soon. This one takes a little more time to write, but it will cover all the boxes, tokens, and sleeves that I use. If that article inspires you to share your own unique storage solutions, feel free to reach out, and I’ll see if we can publish an article on it!

Deckbuilding

The Deckbuilding series has released its article on Escape from Mount Gram this month. The series will continue with some easier articles until it hits the end of the cycle and is forced to defeat The Battle of Carn Dum and The Dread Realm. The articles will continue, though, so people struggling against those scenarios will have to be patient.

Middle Earth Tour

The Tour took a bit of a break this month, as the articles quickly caught up to the recent content they are producing. However, I heard that the new article on the Angmar Awakened cycle and its new locations will be released next month. The series has been getting a lot of love, but it just takes some time to complete.

Additional articles

No additional articles were released this month, but plans have been made to start writing some more extra articles for May. The first of these is a comprehensive list of all the keywords in the game and what cards work well with these keywords. Think about the Archery keyword and the benefit of having Honour Guards or Mithril Shirt on the table. The second article will be the last in the series of ideal quests to play with a certain number of players. We only need the 4 player article, but with RedSpiderr taking a break, that article was delayed a little. I am also expecting an article on Epic Multiplayer and how to bring that format to other scenarios. That one will be done by The Purple Wizard, who has been using these formats for online conventions with great success. He is currently working on a format for Helm’s Deep, which no doubt will be explained further in the article. Aside from those articles, I have nothing extra in the pipeline for now, but that can always change.

The Future

April has been a month without many articles, and I apologize for that. Work has been crazy, and without many articles from other co-authors, the blog was a bit quiet last month. I cannot promise that this won’t happen again, but I will do my best to at least release some more articles in the future. Besides writing articles, I did update a fair few of them. More updates will be coming soon to older articles now that the blog has an extra editor who is spending time correcting articles here and there.

For May, I will be working on completing the Storage Solution article and work on the NM Flight from Moria article. If that’s finished sooner than expected, work will begin on City of Ulfast, but I doubt it will be finished in May. If a fun new article gets recommended to me (or I come up with one in the shower or something), I will make sure to release it as soon as possible. But hopefully, the month can be filled out a little more with other articles mentioned earlier in the overview.

Loot

I did want to give a brief update on the loot, as the deadline for subscribing to the Patreon page is TODAY (day of release). This means that you have until the end of the day to pledge to the blog on Patreon to at least the Guardian tier in order to qualify. The loot will be worked on a little more in the coming months, and I hope to have prototypes available towards the start of summer. That way, I will have enough time to place an order and make sure that everyone gets their copy of the notebook by the time conventions begin (assuming Lure and Con of the Rings are still happening in October). I did see a significant uptick in subscribers this month of people who didn’t want to miss out, so hopefully, I can send everyone a notebook later this year.

Patreon supporters at the $10 tier and higher will be receiving some extra loot, but I have yet to come up with a good idea. I have some items that I could make myself, but I might just outsource some of the work elsewhere with all the money coming in these days. If support for the blog keeps growing like this, I will also look to cover all shipping, though obviously, I will try and hand out as many items to people in person at conventions.

So sign up today using this link! People subscribing later this year will probably be losing out on this year’s loot. Still I can make an arrangement with higher-level patrons subscribing later. While I might not have the notebook for you, I still have the option to make some wooden cards for you.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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