Month in Review: March 2022

Sometimes I miss those hiatus days when all the new content could be summarized into a single sentence, and I could just continue with the article as usual. But no, LOTR LCG is back, and we certainly got our fair share of content in March. With the release of the Starter decks and the announcement of the repackaged Angmar Awakened cycle, we are in for plenty of content again! Personally, March has also been a very busy month for me, but more on that near the end of the article. Some of you may have followed my quest to find a new job (blogging doesn’t pay much), so I have an update on that as well. The team has also made a lot of progress on the loot for this year, for which I will share another update at the end as well.

March

FFG released the Starter decks around the time we anticipated. Good to see that their boats aren’t falling behind on schedule anymore. I had ordered one of the starter decks, but it never arrived because of stock issues. That’s too bad, but it goes to show that these packs are in high demand! And that’s despite the printing flaws on many of the cards. For a full overview of what is and what isn’t errata, check the First Impressions article I did earlier this month. We also got the announcement that the Angmar Awakened cycle will be repackaged into two boxes and be released this summer. It doesn’t really match with the temperatures we’ll be having at that time, but I’m glad that we finally get some content that isn’t set in Mirkwood for a change. Based on the theory that the repackaged boxes do not clash with the player cards from the Starter Decks, Dream-chaser and Ered Mithrin should be next, though I can understand it if the boxes are placed slightly further apart. We may get Dream-chaser for the holiday season, putting Ered Mithrin in 2023. From there, the LOTR Saga seems an obvious next step, though I doubt they would be adding anything to the box since it already comes with a campaign.

With all this content, I am glad to see the community thriving again, as we welcome new players to the game every day. I hope everyone is having a good time with the game and will continue to play for a long time. Let’s take a look at the content on the blog this month.

Scenario analyses

No news on scenario analyses this month, unless you are counting Nightmare stuff. We have completed the cycles, and whilst I promised to revise some older articles, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Those revised articles are a lot longer than the original, and I’d rather spend the time on other stuff like working on the loot or Nightmare articles. We still need to cover the final Saga articles, but both authors taking care of those have been told to hurry up, so I hope to bring some of that content to you soon.

Nightmare analyses

I finally did it; I started my journey into the Against the Shadow Nightmare cycle. I have finished the articles on Peril in Pelargir and Into Ithilien already and am making good progress on Siege of Cair Andros. I’ll take a bit of a break after that one, as I’m burning out on resetting games so often. I will be through a third of the cycle soon, so that gets me on schedule to deliver the complete cycle by the end of the year. Again, I would welcome any help with Nightmare articles (even beyond this cycle) if anyone is up for the task. Otherwise, I’ll just keep going in chronological order and eventually finish them all.

Traits/Staples

I updated the traits for the Starter decks, which mostly included the Gondor article that hadn’t yet been updated to include the Vengeance of Mordor cycle. On top of that, we got another Contract article done by community member Autumn on Into the West, which is an AleP exclusive contract from their 2021 Stand-alone scenario. I still have 2 contracts left to cover, but both will be done by guest authors at some point.

Additional articles

I released a First Impressions article on the Starter decks this month, under the impression that I would be getting my pack soon after the article was released. That wasn’t the case, but with the card lists spoiled and many players tinkering with the side-board and putting in Core Set cards as well, we have enough info on the decks to give some advice to new players. I’m glad we got these decks to play with, and I hope people have had a higher win rate with these decks.
I also released the Epic Multiplayer adaptation for Fire in the Night this month, which has been a long time in the making. This completes the Epic Multiplayer adaptation articles for now, but more may be on their way as the team works hard to design some new ones for the upcoming event season. I will keep you all posted on that front.

For April, I do not have any plans for additional articles yet, as I will be powering down a little to work on other things. With no official content releasing in April, I doubt that I will have anything to talk about.

The Future

I have mentioned earlier in the article; I am headed into a very busy period. As many of you know, I have been without a job since January (December, really) and have worked tirelessly on the blog during that time. But I have also been scouting for a new job. Luckily, there is a huge demand for engineers with a background in material sciences. So I managed to get myself a position as Production Engineer at ASML, a large company here in the Netherlands that provides machinery for producing microchips. I will be starting this job in early May (though perhaps sooner) and will have to move in order to bring down my travel time to and from work. Because of this stressful time and the potential lack of an internet connection for a while, I will not be writing as many articles in April and May as you may be expecting. I will still keep up with monthly reviews, and I have asked most of my co-authors to ready their next article for the coming months so that my absence won’t affect the content on the blog.

I will try and sneak in some articles here and there, it’s not like I’ll be without spare time all month, but these are some big changes for me, so I also need the freedom just to take a break from everything. I did the same last year (twice even), and that helped a lot. So I won’t disappear completely for a month, but you’ll see a lot less of me. Hopefully, I will get everything set up for me to start a new job in about a month’s time, and I hope to inform you all about my progress at the end of April.

Loot

We have done a lot of work preparing to design the field guide this month. All art has been assembled, and most of the statistical data is ready to be implemented. I also reached out to an artist to make a custom design for the front cover. That will have to wait until summer though, as the artist was too busy with commissions until then. But that gives me time to prepare designs as well. The next step will be to design the pages and work out what to include on each page. All the challenges and achievements should be ready to go afterward, and we can start making prototypes by June. I really hope that it all comes together well and that people get to enjoy our hard work later this year. The faster we work on getting the prototypes ready, the more we can add to the book to make them even more useful to you all.

I also now have a date ready for when you have to be subscribed to the blog via Patreon in order to be eligible to receive the loot for free. You have to be a Patreon supporter at the Guardian tier or above before April 29th in order to receive the book later this year. You will also be expected to maintain your pledge until September/October so that I have a continuous income to pay the books with. Hopefully, this gives me enough funds to also cover shipping for most of the books. Supporters at the Eresseä level and above will also get another custom item that will be easy for me to make once I have the artwork I commissioned.

It is important to note that the field guide and the extra loot will not be available for general purchase after the deadline. I may hand some of the books to the Con of the Rings crew to add to their raffle, but do not expect to get this book in the same way you got the Playthrough Notebook last year. This new book will feature a lot of art from the game, and while the artists are credited, I cannot go around selling an item with their artwork in it without paying royalties to all of them. So you will only have this chance to get your hands on the book.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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