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Ecthelion III

A Brief History of Resource Acceleration in LOTR LCG

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A Brief History of Resource Acceleration in LOTR LCG

(that sounds like such a boring scholarly title XD)


                Resource acceleration, also known as resource generation, is the family of abilities which adds resource tokens to heroes, allowing you to pay for cards at an accelerated rate. The general opinion seems to be that it’s one of the game’s more powerful effects (as has been stated by many users and is evidenced by the continued use of heroes such as Theodred who have meager statlines and extremely limited utility outside of the function of resource generation). In this article/post, we’ll explore the evolution of resource acceleration effects throughout the history of the game and come to learn a striking truth. Spoiler alert: It’s all Caleb’s fault.

                For the purposes of this article, we’re considering effects that reduce the cost of cards (such as Theoden or O Lorien!) to be resource acceleration effects, since they have the same general effect. We’re NOT considering effects that don’t have a net resource gain (sorry Bifur and Miruvor).


                A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… the Core Set was released. If I were to ask the users to name one resource acceleration card, I guarantee that the first response would be Steward of Gondor--the original (and EXTREMELY overpowered) effect. It’s joined by Theodred, Gloin, and Horn of Gondor, its three less-loved brothers.

                Out of these four cards: Steward, Theodred, Gloin, and Horn, three are Leadership, setting the precedent of Leadership as the sphere of resource acceleration. This has been the general guideline throughout the game’s history.


                Then we move on to the game’s very first cycle, Shadows of Mirkwood. It had a grand total of--wait for it--ZERO resource acceleration effects. In fact, it’s not until the next deluxe expansion that players get another resource acceleration effect to add to the original four from the core set.

                Khazad-dum and the Dwarrowdelf cycle featured two resource generation cards: the infamous Zigil Miner and perhaps more infamous (thanks Seastan) Love of Tales. Both of these effects received errata due to insane combos and general resource-acceleration mayhem.


                So there the game was: two cycles and as many new resource acceleration cards, both with the official stamp of errata. The future of resource acceleration effects looked bleak. Could anyone design a balanced resource acceleration card that didn’t end up relegated to the binder or the errata pile?

                And that is where Caleb Grace entered the story.

                If my memory serves, his first real job on the Lord of the Rings team was to work on the Hobbit saga expansions. In those two boxes alone, he churned out two resource acceleration cards--Thorin Oakenshield and the ally version of Gloin. Neither of them even required errata. (Granted, there was a rather embarrassing slipup with Ravens of the Mountain, but we don’t like to talk about that….)


                Heirs of Numenor came next. Though not under Caleb’s full direction, his influence could be felt from behind the scenes. With the expansion came two new effects: Master of Lore and Wealth of Gondor. The Against the Shadow Cycle featured Gaining Strength and Hidden Cache. It is to be noted that of those four cards, only one of them is repeatable. I’ll let you guess which one got the errata.

                It was clear that something needed to change. Following the Core Set, only the legendary Caleb Grace had performed the impossible feat of creating a repeatable resource acceleration effect that didn’t receive errata. It is no coincidence who the game was handed over to next. Caleb Grace.

                The herald of the golden age of resource acceleration.


                From that point on, resource generation would flood in from all corners of Middle-earth. The Voice of Isengard and Ring-maker cycle featured SEVEN resource acceleration effects, including the second and third resource-accelerating heroes since the Core Set: Grima and Mablung. Keys of Orthanc and O Lorien were the first faction-based resource generation cards. The Day’s Rising, Tighten Our Belts, and Legacy of Numenor rounded out the set.

                The Angmar Awakened cycle also had its fair share of resource acceleration effects: Amarthiul, Arwen Undomiel, Sword of Numenor, Keen as Lances, and Heir of Valandil. Once again, the deluxe expansion featured a faction-based cost reduction card. We can also see that once again, Leadership has taken the majority of resource generation effects.

                Caleb’s saga expansions aren’t dry of resource acceleration either. Each one after the first has featured a unique resource accelerator: first Gandalf’s Staff, then Theoden, then Damrod.

                Though the Dream-chaser cycle is only beginning, we can already see the amount of resource acceleration in store for us. The deluxe box once again contained the faction-based cost reduction card, this time To The Sea! To The Sea! for the Noldor. The very first pack in the cycle contained TWO resource acceleration cards: Denethor and Captain’s Wisdom. While that doesn’t seem like a whole lot now, keep in mind that the first two cycles had two resource acceleration cards.


                Hopefully this article has been informative (and not too cheesy). I know that you hate reading conclusions (or at least I do) so have a good evening!

Edited by Ecthelion III

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I feel it is important to note that both the Zigil and Love of Tales errate didn't come until well after their release. They were in the card pool for awhile before getting the notice of the FAQ.  At least it seems to me.   Also, it should be noted that the Core Horn has also received an errata.  

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The White Council has a resource acceleration ? it just move ressource since it cost at least 1. Remove it or add moving cards to keep consistency. Don't miss Bifur if you do that.


Great post by the way. Looking forward to others.

I would like to translate it and post it in the french community forum.

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