Month in Review: June 2021

We’re halfway through the year already, and luckily, things are starting to open again here. I will be receiving my two vaccination shots in the coming 2 months, which might be late but better than never. This should allow me to travel again after the summer, just in time for the third edition of Con of the Rings! This event is now selling tickets for everybody who is looking for a weekend of LOTR LCG with many of the content creators for the game. You can go to this site to try and get tickets before they run out! As for the rest of the month, I will be reviewing all the updates on the game and the blog in this article. I will also be sharing updates on the loot and will look ahead to what may be coming in July.

June

There was nothing to note from FFG in June, though the revised Core Set for Arkham Horror has some people speculating that LOTR might receive a similar update with alt art heroes, some cards from early expansions thrown into the box, and maybe some rephrasing of certain rules. It won’t be a second edition if that is the case, but at least somewhat of an improvement over the traditional Core. The GameZenter (the old FFG Game Center still run by ex-FFG staff) also happened to find a ton of Nightmare packs which they are selling at retail prices for a few weeks now. Sadly, I already completed my collection, but if you are looking for some NM packs, check out their shop, and maybe you can score some cheap NM expansions. We also got the release of the first Adventure Pack from the AleP team, which will try to flesh out the Scout trait and the Victory Display mechanic with Hobbits and Secrecy. I’m very much looking forward to this expansion and hope that the team will fix some other traits over the course of the cycle.

Scenario analyses

This month only saw one quest get a scenario analysis, but to compensate for this, it was one of the harder quests still on the to-do list. The Battle of Lake-Town is a tough quest, even to this day. But thanks to the Palantir Record Keeper, you will be able to properly prepare for this quest if you want to give it another shot someday. In the meantime, I have worked on the City of Ulfast scenario analysis but will be releasing that in July. The quest is pretty tough and will require some more time to complete. I am finishing certain sections already, so it shouldn’t take forever to complete. After that, I will continue with my Nightmare analyses for the Dwarrowdelf cycle.

Saga analyses

There was a bit of an unexpected update for the saga series, as we got two articles talking about the epic multiplayer version of Helm’s Deep. One was the announcement of the event where I tried to hold the Hornburg with other community members, and the other article was the rules clarification for this mode by the Purple Wizard. There will be another epic multiplayer event for Helm’s Deep held on July 17th. For more info, contact the Purple Wizard on Discord if you are interested in joining a group.

Middle Earth Tour

The Tour took a break this month but will be featuring the new locations from the Dream-chaser cycle in a new article that should be released in early July. We are currently also trying to get the There and Back Again series back online, with some of the draft articles being finalized. There is no telling whether or not we will continue this series after the drafts are released, but at least the series will get an update soon.

Monthly Poll

Some of you may have noticed the lack of an update on the monthly poll at the end of this month. That’s because I decided to let this poll last a little longer. There are several reasons for this. The first is time, as I did not have a lot of time to write the article near the end of the month. While this isn’t the longest article to write, I am not getting as much time to spend on the blog as I used to. Because of this, I have to make the decision on what articles to work on. So the hour or so that would have gone into the Monthly poll article has now gone into the City of Ulfast article, which will be more enjoyable to read anyway. The second reason is that the service I use for these polls, Crowdsignal, is setting a cap on how many free votes I can receive on my polls. At the moment, I have about 900 votes left, so I am looking to spread those out over the next few months. After that, I will have to make a final decision (perhaps a poll) on whether or not to continue the polls and use some Patreon money to continue this or to leave out the Monthly Poll after 3 years and dedicate the time to other articles. I’m not 100% sure about either option just yet. Lastly, it is also becoming more and more difficult to decide on topics for the polls. Without new official content, there isn’t much that I can poll. Some of you may have noticed that several polls this year have looked an awful lot like each other, which is due to this lack of inspiration. Hopefully, I can come up with a solid poll for August within a month then!

Additional articles

This was really the month of additional articles and not so much the regular content. Aside from the two articles on the Epic Multiplayer mode of Helm’s Deep, there was an article on all the different keywords in the game and what each of them mean. I also published an article on what quests to play at certain times of the year, which was a lot of fun to write. It has been well received too, so I hope people will have a look at the calendar whenever they need inspiration on what to play. For July, I do not have any additional articles in the pipeline, though that can, of course, change pretty quickly if I come up with a nice article in the shower or something.

The Future

June was a pretty ok month for me, and I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with members of the community to play Helm’s Deep again. While our table didn’t quite get the victory, we did win by ourselves against Helm’s Deep in normal mode, so I guess that somewhat counts. I am looking forward to the rest of the summer, which will be filled with fun interactions with the LOTR LCG community digitally. This includes the Card Talk trivia that’s coming up soon and the LCG Con in early August. I also already purchased my ticket for Con of the Rings in October, so hopefully, I can attend if this virus dies down a little and stays down for long enough for the US border to open up for tourists. It would be amazing to play games with people in person again and see everyone after 2 years. I’ll also be able to pick up some things from the GameZenter that are impossible to get for cheap in Europe, and will be sure to pack my bag to the Con with loot and cookies.

The blog itself is still going, though I do notice a dip in vissitors again. This is probably due to the lack of new content that people come back for, so hopefully, I can get some more exciting articles going in the summer. Rounding out the Vengeance of Mordor cycle would be ideal, but with each of those quests taking a long time, I expect it will take a little longer to complete. But we’re not in a hurry here, and we should be able to clear some other quests like the POD quests in the meantime. Once we finish with all the quests, there are always the AleP quests to review, and go back to older articles and improve them, as I did with my Core Set reviews.

With my job, it is becoming a lot more stressful, with work piling up and not enough people to take care of everything. Since I’m only leaving for 1 week during the summer, I’m getting assigned most of the R&D department work, as my manager is now on holiday for 3 weeks. Combine that with the installation of new equipment, being trained into company safety and risk assessment, and preparing for interns, and you can probably understand why I have so little time for the blog these days. There are some good things happening as well though, as I’m happy to finally get the equipment in my lab that allows me to do the research I was hired for. Hopefully, others can take care of my tasks down the line to get some breathing space. You’ll all start to notice it then in an uptick of article frequency!

For now, I hope you are all doing well and will participate in the various activities that the community has planned for this summer. See you all there!

Loot

For the loot this month, I am falling a bit behind schedule. I did complete the final things though, with the campaign log now integrated into the book. I am still waiting on the collection tracker but could start prototyping without it to get the details and dimensions of the book right. That will be the goal for next month, after which I can decide on the final size and change a few things before I complete the project and place the order. I will be in touch with everyone in the coming months through Patreon or a direct message for your details and how to best ship the item to you.

I do feel that I am starting to get burned out on this project, so I am not 100% positive that I will be doing the loot again next year. More details on this will follow closer to the end of the project, with everything handed out. I feel that the time that it takes to design and process items like this takes away my time to write articles. And since I generally do this thing alone, there is quite some pressure to get it done correctly. I will make a final decision in October for 2022, so expect an update by then.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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