DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan is an introductory adventure with five individual missions each which should take one to two hours to play.
Mission one is a pretty simple and short adventure that starts with the group in a tavern and contacted by a mysterious figure. This figure represents one of the Adventure League factions and needs the group to pose as a merchant, that one of the player character just happens to look similar to, and to do some basic espionage. The story is kind of bland in this one but can shine with players that are really invested in being deceitful and sneaky, for the good team.
Mission two introduces the player characters, who just so happen to be at a tavern, to the Black Fist. The Black Fist are the law and protection in Phlan and more than willing to pawn off their jobs to independent contractors who don't mind getting goblin blood on their weapons. This mission gives the players to be the heroes as the infiltrate a den of goblins to save some of the villagers before a goblin hoard returns. It also introduces the players to another one of the Adventure League factions. This is the best adventure in the series because it can be solved through fighting, diplomacy, or stealth depending on how the players decide to do it, plus gives the players a taste of being a hero. It also carries some risk for the group as at low levels even Goblins can be a threat to unprepared characters.
Mission three has another Adventure League faction giving a task to the players that starts off simple but quickly expands. I find this one to be the weakest of the adventures as players who aren't as quick thinking will find the NPC will complete some of the adventure for them. The mandatory fight in the adventure isn't bad as it has options to not be a straight up fight, but it's not interesting enough to make up for what I feel is the low points.
Mission four basically has another Adventure League faction representative tell the players that an NPC in the crowded room has a weapon that endangers everyone and the players need to find out who has it. This isn't a bad mission because it's easy to embellish the NPC's and make them interesting but has the downfall that if the player characters aren't quick thinking an NPC may solve the adventure for them.
Mission five is a fun little incursion into an illegal prison run by the corrupt Black Fist. This mission has an interesting monster fight with a hazard in the room making it a nice action scene. Plus the players get to help another Adventure League faction.
Overall Defiance in Phlan is an average adventure. The map quality is decent for theater of the mind DM's but lacking for DM's that are more grid focused.
If you're buying this adventure for Adventurer's League Organized Play this is a good adventure for very new groups or groups with little time to play, but suffers from several flaws. One of the major flaws for Adventure League play is that some of the adventures provide less experience points than the player characters have earned due to the maximum experience cap. For instance the fifth mission the players could earn double the experience of the cap. Though the series is a good source of downtime days.
For home play I think this would be better as you could easily flavor all of these adventures as happening in the same 24 hours giving a interesting challenge for slightly higher level characters then the first level it was written for. Or a home group could use some of the missions as short side quest whenever they stop by their local tavern for some rest.