Before we start, I must admit that I wrote the draft of this article a week in advance. Between then and now, a lot has happened in the world, and I feel the need to at least speak out about it. I know that it is early in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but I feel it is important to take a stance against aggression and the needless loss of human lives. It feels horrible to have to watch things unfold in Ukraine in 2022 and my thoughts go out to everyone affected by the war. But I feel that I should do something more, so I will be donating this month’s profits from selling the playthrough notebooks to a good cause helping the refugees from the crisis. I know it may not be much, but in these times, the gesture should at least clear my conscience that I was at least supporting those in need during this difficult time. This will not impact the quality of the loot this year, so no need to worry about that. I just found that it was the right thing to do. If you are not supporting the blog financially, I would urge you to also donate to the efforts of the Red Cross, Unicef, and many other organizations that are trying to help those in need. Thank you.
Despite being the shortest month of the year, I feel that a lot has happened in February this year. Maybe that’s just because I have had all the time in the world to interact with the community, but there has been a constant stream of news and new content coming out by both FFG and the community itself. People got their hands on the new Legacy of Feanor cards, another round of First Age prints is being organized, and AleP has been busy with the release of the Glittering Caves expansion. On top of all of this, the community is growing incredibly quickly now that more players are getting their hands on the Revised Core Set and the Dark of Mirkwood. Better buckle up for next month, when the pre-made Starter decks are slated for release!
This month is usually dedicated to a particular theme with the community, though with the influx of new players, that has been a bit difficult to balance. Card Talk did well with their New Player February series during the month, helping people to understand how a round works and what early game combos there are to explore. I have kept myself busy with the Contract reviews and have been actively participating in the community. It even got to a point where I am now a moderator for the Facebook group LOTR LCG Players, which reached their 5.000 member milestone this month! And let’s not forget that it was also this month that GameZenter (previously the FFG Center but now under the same management but removed from the FFG/Asmodee umbrella) has been reprinting older PODs and Nightmare expansions! It has been great to see people complete their collection of Nightmares, and I hope everyone will have a good time with them. With most of the major stories covered, let’s take a more in-depth look at the blog this past month.
It has been done. After 4 years, it is finally over. We have completed the review of every regular scenario in the game now that The Fortress of Nurn has been completed by Morten. This does not mark the end, though, as I will be returning to some older articles soon, updating them from when I wrote them all those years ago. The other series will also continue on the blog, including completing the Saga’s, PODs, and Nightmare content. Once all of that has been completed, I will look at some of the other projects that I have lined up. But this should last us for the rest of the year at the very least! A huuuuge thanks to everyone who has helped to complete the cycle scenario reviews!
I have not published an article on this series yet, but work has begun on Peril in Pelargir NM. This will be my focus for the coming months, as I hope to at least complete this cycle of Nightmare reviews this year. It means that I will have to get my ass into motion because that’s 9 articles that will probably be very long, thanks to the complexity and difficulty of those scenarios. It should be a good time when I’m testing these quests out and finally completing them, but I welcome any help you guys may be willing to offer. Perhaps you picked up some of these packs with the GameZenter reprints and want to help?
Traits and mechanics
Of course, the month was dedicated to the contract reviews by me. I have done 5 articles on the Vengeance of Mordor contracts that had not been covered at that point. This now completes the cycle, though there are a few contracts that still need attention. A Perilous Voyage was released after the cycle and will be outsourced to a member of the community who knows it through and through. Because of the complexity of the article, it got delayed a little bit, so we hope to release it in March. This will be alongside some of the AleP contracts, which will also be covered by other community members because I have not yet touched fan-made content at this moment in time.
The blog has also been working on some of the other articles in this section. I got approached a few weeks back by a community member who was inspired by my work on the Wose trait, and he expanded on it with a fleshed-out Wose deck. The decklist and its description can be found on the original Wose article and an import link to DragnCards. I have also updated some other old trait articles that still needed work, so everything should be caught up to Fortress of Nurn by now.
The keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I have added an additional section to the blog’s main menu. This is for the three largest fan-made projects for the game, where you will be able to find all the scenario and player card reviews for those projects. The pages are pretty barren right now, but with contract reviews coming in, and perhaps even people stepping up to write scenario analyses, we will be able to fill out those pages with guides over the coming years. It also gives me something to constantly update as new releases are planned by those projects.
There weren’t that many extra articles released this month, though I have a few being worked on by others. This will include overviews for fan-made stuff, but I also intend to do a First Impressions article for the Starter decks once they release (likely next month). I have been doing some work on the blog in terms of pages, like one for new players I slapped on the front page in all-caps. I have a few more blog upgrades to get through this year, which will be a great time.
Not only has February been busy for the game, it has also been a very busy month for me personally. I shared last month that I had been fired from my job thanks to the company going bankrupt, so I have used February to search for a different place to work. Luckily, there are a lot of applications open for people of my background, as there is a severe lack of engineers these days. So I have just been applying to some of these companies and have gotten several now to the point that they re-invited me for a meeting. So this will hopefully work out in the end. I’m not giving too much detail right now, but know that I am working on digging myself out of this hole. Luckily I have the blog to distract me, and I am getting a few months worth of paychecks paid out to me thanks to the unemployment bureau.
In the meantime, I’m also working on my health (mentally and physically) as well as taking up German language classes again. Speaking 3 languages never hurts, and I found that it is often a nice thing to have during applications in the technical field. I would have used my German during the Lure of Middle Earth convention next month, but I might as well explain myself in the next section.
I was on the fence about going to Lure of Middle Earth this year, which will be held in Germany on the first weekend of March. But while I do have time off from work (because of the whole bankruptcy thing), I have to spend my weekends elsewhere for the time being. My mother is moving house, and I really have to help with redecorating and lifting the heavier furniture. I hope that everyone attending Lure will have an amazing time, and I hope to see many pictures of people enjoying in-person events again now that COVID is slowly passing on. This makes me hopeful that I can travel to the US again this year and hopefully attend Con of the Rings again!
Two things here; the first is that I do still have some notebooks remaining that I made earlier this year. I’d be happy to send them to you if you feel that you’d enjoy a logbook or if you want to gift one to a new player in your area. Follow this link for the order form.
The second bit of Loot news is that I have decided on the item for this year, and that work has begun into bringing this idea to life. Details will be given out at a later date, but if I were to mention that it will be a “Field Guide to LOTR LCG,” then I think you can picture a lot already. The community and I are busy working on the contents, especially a list of fun achievements for you to overcome, and I hope to bring more updates in the near future.
In order to qualify for the loot this year, you must be a Patron of the blog at the Guardian tier ($3) or higher and pledge before the end of April. Pledges of $10+ will be receiving an extra piece of swag this year as well (sorry for last year, high-level patrons). Go to this link to start your pledge today!
~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~
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