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Subject: Mina's Not-So-Mini Review - Millennium Blades With Two rss

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Milena Guberinic
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Mina's Not-So-Mini Review - Millennium Blades With Two


Magic: The Gathering was my gateway into the world of gaming. Peter introduced me to it in the early 2000s and we both remained engrossed in it for a long time. At the time, I loved building decks and creating fun, thematic sets, but I did eventually grow tired of it and saw no need to play after discovering Dominion and other modern board games. That said, I was instantly drawn to Millennium Blades! A BOARD GAME THAT SIMULATES THE EXPERIENCE OF COLLECTING AND PLAYING CCG GAMES!? I AM SO IN! Recreate my obsession, Millennium Blades! GO!



The Overview


In Millenium Blades, players take on the roles of players (yes, players will be players in this game) of a collectible card game called Millennium Blades (yes, a collectible card game with the same name as the board game). The game is played over 3 rounds and each round consists of two phases. In the first phase, players build their decks, visit the market to buy common cards, trade stacks of common cards for powerful rare cards, and build their decks and collections in real time. In the tournament phase, players will pit their decks against each other to gain reputation and points if they win.

Each player receives a player board, a character card, flipped to its deck-building power side, one starter deck, 3 cards fromt eh top of the store, and sell markers (as well as friendship cards, if playing with more than two players).




Characters


Blue starter deck


The store deck is set up by shuffling together the core set, 5 expansion sets, 4 premium sets, and 3 master sets and 9 cards are placed face-down in their slots in the store, available to be bought during the deck-building phase. To set up the aftermarket, 2 stacks of metagame cards are shuffled separately and placed on their designated places.



The game is played over the course of 3 rounds and each round proceeds as follows:

*Deck-building round 1
In the deck-building phase, players will receive 30 millennium bucks and 6 cards from the store. An element metagame card will be revealed and this will determine one scoring criterion during the tournament phase, encouraging players to include at least one card with the revealed element in their decks.



Players will have 7 minutes to do any and all of the following actions simultaneously and in any order:

1. Build deck - You can add and remove cards from the deck you will use to duel with others during the tournament.

2. Make a collection - You can add and remove cards from your collection. Your collection must contain cards with different star values that all share the same element or the same type.


Type collection


Element collection


3. Buy a pack from the store - You can use your cash to buy a "pack" (which is represented by a single card) from the store, taking either one of the 9 cards arranged face-down in the store area or the card on top of the store deck into your hand and paying the cost shown.

[imageid= 3051331 medium]


4. Fuse cards to obtain a promo - You can remove 5, 7, or 9 cards from your hand from the game to take a bronze, silver, or gold promo from the store board. These cards are uber powerful and can often be worth building your deck around. But they also get you lots of money by using only a single sell marker, so they can get you some points for cash on hand or allow you to buy more packs from the store later on.



5. Sell a card to the aftermarket - You can sell one of your cards to the aftermarket face-up by using one of your sell markers. You immediately receive cash from the bank for this sale and can get your sell marker back if another player decides to purchase your card.

6. Buy a card from the aftermarket - You can buy any card in the aftermarket that does not have your own sell marker on it.

7. Trade with other players - You can make even trades with other players, using your friendship cards to sweeten the deal. These score the player holding them extra victory points at the end of the game, but they are not used when playing with only two players.

Once the first 7-minute timer has gone off, players repeat the exact same sequence given above for another 7 minutes. The only difference is that they do not get any cash and a type metagame card is revealed.

Once the second 7-minute timer has gone off, players play another 6-minute phase, but they do not receive new cards or cash and do not reveal any new metagame cards. Also, they are unable to sell any more cards to the aftermarket.

At the end of the deck-building phase, players score victory points for their collections and then remove these cards from the game. Of course, larger collections score more points.


Friendship cards (not used under any circumstances when playing with two players)


*Tournament round 1
During the tournament phase, players place their decks into their hands and set their reputation points to 0. Each player sets his accessories and deck box onto their allotted spaces, holding only their single cards in their hands.

On a turn, a player must play a single and may take one action.

Using an action is optional and involves using the effect of an "action" keyword on an accessory or single and then flipping the card face down.

Playing a single involves placing a single face up in the next open leftmost slot of the singles area on the player board.

Cards generally either give you rank points or somehow disrupt your opponent from gaining rank points. Some cards score rank points during the score phase at the end of the tournament for cards that meet certain conditions in your tableau.

After activating all score effects in players' tableaus to gain final rank points, players score victory points for how well they performed in the tournament. The player with the most rank points in the tournament is awarded 21 points, the player with the second-most rank points in the tournament is awarded 15 points, etc.


Deck boxes


Accessories


Some cards and their effects


*Deck-building round 2
Same as round 1

*Tournament round 2
Same as round 1

*Deck-building round 3

Same as round 1

*Tournament round 3
Same as round 1

The game ends after 3 rounds of play, at which time points are added for:
1) Tournament VPs
2) Collection VPs
3) Remaining Millennium $ at a rate of 4:1
4) Friendship card victory points

Playing with two players

There are two variants provided for playing with 2 players, including a "duel" variant and a "turn-based" variant. The duel variant is the closest to the regular version of the game. No points are awarded in this version of the game. Instead of building 1 collection, players may build 2 collections (one element and one type-based collection), but these collections only score reputation points (RP) for the player during the following tournament (10 RP per card). The firs player to win 2/3 tournaments wins the game.



The Review


Played prior to review: 6x






1. Mind-boggling amounts of gorgeous artwork
The first thing that struck me as I opened the box for Millennium Blades was the quantity and quality of artwork in the game. The game comes with giant towers of cards that are covered with unique (for the most part), vibrant, and detailed art. One of the first things that Peter said when he saw the game was, "Wow. Fábio Fontes' hand must have fallen off!" And I agree. There is an absolutely stunning amount of material here!

The game is well produced too! The cards are nice and thick and although the money is made of paper, the game comes with stickers that are used to wrap stacks of this paper cash into wads to simulate the experience of shelling out big bucks for cool promos and card packs! There are simply a tonne of great ideas both in the way this game works and the way it was produced!

2. HUGE amount of content and high replay value
Did I mention the stunning towers of cards that come in this game? Yeah? I'll just say it again to make sure I get my point across. This game comes with hundreds and hundreds of cards that can create hundreds and hundreds of combinations. You will use the same set of "core" cards in the store in each game, but will select 5 of 11 available expansion sets, 4 of 9 available premium sets, and 3 of 8 available master sets to add to that core set each time. I'm no mathematician, but I KNOW that amount of variety would generate a mind-blowing number of possible combinations! Plus, each of those sets is very different in focus and the kinds of powers it gives players from each of the others AND the store deck is so huge that (at least when playing with only two players), you'll never get through it all, so you will REALLY never play the same game twice! That said, I wouldn't suggest trying to re-jig your entire store deck EVERY TIME you play the game because it would be more trouble than it's worth, but the option is there for the dedicated!

On top of that, you have 6 different starter decks and 6 different characters, each of which can be combined in any which way to provide a massive number of gameplay combinations. The characters in particular will affect the way you approach the game and the strategy you take both in the deck-building and the tournament phases, as they have massively important effects in each of these phases. For example, during the deck-building phase, Morrey Caardman will give you $2 extra when you sell a card to the aftermarket and allow you to buy cards from the aftermarket at a $2 discount! This means that you could use him to turn over cards in the market and try to make lots of money points at the end of the game! It is possible to make as many money points at the end of the game as you would make in one tournament, so this can be an effective strategy. Meanwhile, Cardine starts with a random bronze and silver promo and is able to fuse card for at a 1-card discount, so you can focus your strategy around the more powerful and expensive promo cards when playing with her. Each of the characters will give you something to focus on during the deck-building phase and then some synergystic effect in the tournament phase. Together, these effects will encourage you to adopt a different strategy depending on the character you are using.

You also have the metagame cards that will encourage you to build your deck around a different combination of element and type cards in each tournament. The combination of these cards will differ from round to round and from game to game. And the 15 reputation points each of these cards provides during the tournament are not to be taken lightly, as many of our tournaments have ended in 1-point differences! So you will absolutely have to build somewhat different decks every time!

And then there is the slew of variants presented at the end of the rulebook! Don't like real-time games? Try the turn-based mode! Want a bit more power in your deck from the get go? Try the Millennium Accessories draft! Want a little more round-to-round variety? Try the venues variant! There is no need for you to play tournaments in the same store every week! With the venue deck, you can visit exotic locations that change the tournament phase, deck-building phase, or both! And there are still more variants in the rulebook! More is never enough!

Ultimately, if you enjoy this game, you will not tire of it quickly. Guaranteed! There is simply too much great content to explore!

3. Unique theme that is effectively carried by the mechanisms and art/production
Millennium Blades is a game about a game! How cool is that!? But it's not just a game about a game; it's a game about a full-fledged gaming experience! Players become collectible card game collectors and competitors, frantically seeking out powerful rare cards, trading buckets of common cards for less common cards, selling unwanted cards on the market, and gradually crafting increasingly powerful decks. And the way in which this process is simulated in the game closely mimics the way in which this process takes place in real life.

Now, I was never exactly a professional Magic: The Gathering player, but I have played my fair share of the game and am very familiar with the crazy, frantic search for THE ONE super powerful, super expensive, super rare card that will take your deck from good to unstoppable (at least in your mind). I am familiar with trading stacks of cards in for that one super awesome card and with selling cards to make cash to buy other cards; it's a vicious circle! And I am familiar with trying to reduce the bloated, enormous pool of available cards to a manageable, focused selection on which to base your deck. Millennium Blades players have to do all these things during the course of a deck-building phase. They are given a rather large stack of cards they have to reduce to a workable deck and they have to work within the current "meta." They are able to trade cards for other cards, sell cards, and offer other players "friendship." And the fact that all these actions occur in real time means that the obsessive, frantic search for "the one" card that will solve your deck's shortcomings for a set of similarly themed cards that will expand your collection to epic proportions is well conveyed.

The tournament phase also accurately reflects the realities of ccg tourneys, with extra reputation points awarded for working within the current meta. And the fact that the tournament is the somewhat more subdued phase is also reflective of this reality as most of the hard work of building decks and collecting cards is over and all that is left is to test your deck against that of other "champions."

Despite all the jokey references to everything and anything geeky (The Princess Blade, anyone?), Millennium Blades does not joke around when it comes to delivering what it purports to deliver. It says it simulates the CCG competitor life and it really does!

4. Unique mechanisms
Millennium Blades features a unique theme, but the uniqueness of the game does not end there; it is unique from a gameplay perspective as well. Between the somewhat chaotic real-time action in the deck-building phase and the player-versus-player battle tournament phase that involves spatial relationships between cards, Millennium Blades just does everything differently. In what other game are you frantically throwing cash down and grabbing cards from the board in competition with other players, while trying to create a strategic combo chain of cards? In what other game are you able to use your cards for 5 different purposes and have to decide what you're going to do with them under the pressure of the clock? In what other game do you get a giant stack of cards to sift through each round? Yeah. No other game.

5. Super exciting real-time deck-building phase
The deck-building phase is my favorite part of Millennium Blades! I love the fact that it is timed (even though the rulebook says the time limit is a "soft" one) and that players can simply simultaneously perform any actions in any order they like during that time. As I mentioned above, this, combined with the nature of the actions players are taking, makes Millennium Blades quite unlike any other game. It also makes the game feel very exciting!

In this phase, players are all doing everything at once, so there is literally zero down time and everyone is engaged in making the most of their cards at all times. Players are sharing a common experience at the same time, so there is a great sense of connection, despite the relatively isolated exercise they are performing. I'm certain that trades and friendship would further enhance this element of the game, but the simultaneous nature of players' actions is enough to bring it out on its own.

The challenge of making tough choices under a timer also makes the deck-building phase incredibly exciting, particularly because of the MANY different ways in which players are able to use each and every single one of their MANY cards...

6. Multi-use cards!
Much of the tension in Millennium Blades comes from the fact that it is essentially a multi-use card game. You can put a card you receive in your deck, in your collection, sell it to the aftermarket, trade it with another player, or fuse it for a promo. And each card may have an action or effect that you want to take advantage of during the tournament, as well as a type or element that you want to put into your collection as well as a high star-value that you want to turn into cash! Players are faced with a constant dilemma about the best use for their cards and if a time-limit wasn't in effect for the deck-building phase, they could probably spend all of eternity trying to optimally use each card. Of course, some cards will be more suited to certain applications than others. You will probably want to include high-star-value cards in your deck or sell them to the aftermarket (the latter particularly before the final tournament) and use your low-value cards in your collection, but you will have to make some concessions at times. And it is when you are faced with a tough decision between sticking a card in your collection to jump from 16 to 21 collection points or sticking it in your deck to possibly help you win the tournament that true strategic nature of this game comes out. And the best part it, you have to do it all under the gun!



soblue


soblue 1. Resetting the game is troublesome
There are MANY MANY cards in this game. MANY MANY CARDS! And every time you want to re-set the game (i.e. change the composition of promo packs combined with the core cards), you will have to spend A LOT of time removing and sorting the promo packs that were in the game, replacing these with new ones, and thoroughly shuffling the deck, which brings me to point #2.

soblue 2. Shuffling is hard
WOWZERS! The "deck" of cards that makes up the store in Millennium Blades is essentially a tower of cards. I have no idea how to shuffle it other than to take it to our King-size bed and mahjong it.

soblue 3. Takes a long time to play
Millenium Blades takes about 2 hours to play. Our first game went on for about 3 hours, but play time has fallen to that stated on the box since. That said, I'm not sure how accurate the stated play time would be for more than 2 players...I suspect it would take significantly more than 2 hours, given the fact that the tournament phase is not played simultaneously. In any case, you have to be aware that this is a time commitment...well worth it, but a time commitment nonetheless...

HOWEVER, Millennium Blades is flexible, so you could potentially just play a round or two (which we have done) and have fun with it. You don't HAVE to go through the full three rounds of gameplay. Plus, one of the Venue variants reduces the deck-building phase to 10 minutes, with the aftermarket closing at 1 minute. That's half the time for deck-building! We have tried this to great success and found that it not only increased the tension during deck building, but also reduced the play time tremendously...or at least by 30 minutes ...which is enough for time to play a little game!

soblue 4. The tournament phase doesn't involve a lot of decision-making
For all the excitement and thinking and tension of the deck-building phase, the tournament phase feels somewhat lacking. It is still fun to see the deck you have built in action, but there aren't many decisions left for you to make at this point. Of course, you may have to make a few minor adjustments to your plan A depending on other players' actions, but these will be minor at best and most likely already fully planned during the deck-building phase.

soblue 5. Millennium $ assembly is a serious commitment
Project "Assemble Millenium Bucks" took us several days and hours to complete. We are not crafty and quite slow, so this may not be everyone's experience, but we quickly grew impatient with creating stacks of cash and wrapping them in stickers. While some may find this a meditative task, we found it an exercise in drudgery. We had to break it up into 20-minute blocks spanning several days.

Fortunately, the game is perfectly playable without assembling and stickering stacks of Millenium $ and the end result is rewarding enough to justify the effort, but it is an effort.

soblue 6. Rules are not quite as well developed as they could and should be in some places
The rulebook is quite clear about most aspects of the basic game, but the variants in particular are in sore need of clarification. The turn-based mode of the game is a particular sore point for me because it's one of two ways to play the game with only two players. However, the rules that were provided left too many questions for me and the player boards were not built to accommodate this mode as well as the others. We did try this variant, but we quickly realized we didn't know what to do about the after market (i.e. when to clear it) and had to make that part up as we went. The player boards are also not built for this version of the game, which means that it takes even more room on the table than the regular game.

I also found the rules for actions in the tournament phase somewhat unclear. I had trouble understanding whether players were allowed to use previously played cards in their tableaus for their action effects, the order in which action effects and the flipping of the action effects resolved in clashes (i.e. whether the "top" card involved in the clash was the card played to carry out the clashing action or whether it was a previously placed face-up card), and a number of other small things that were cleared up on the forum.

The minor rules gaps aren't a huge problem and don't prevent players from being able to play the game, but I do hope that a clearer set or an official FAQ is created at some point in the near future.

soblue 7. Two players does not appear to be the ideal player count
My gaming sessions are basically limited to the 2-player count, so I NEED games to work well with two players. The 2-player rules for Millennium Blades are featured in the "Variant" section of the rulebook. There are two options for playing with two - the turn-based game, which is itself a variant, and the 2-player dual game. The turn-based game completely changes the Millennium Blades experience, doing away with the real-time, dual-phase nature (i.e. deck-building, card-buying, etc. + tournament) of the basic game, limiting players' hand sizes, and having players take turns buying, selling, playing cards into their collections and tableaus, and scoring their tableaus. While this is an effective way to play the game, it doesn't feature the same level of excitement and "fun" as the basic game (and the rules for it are not exactly perfectly outlined in the manual). And because players are doing everything at once, alternating between playing cards and buying cards, the turn-based mode does it capture the theme to the same extent as the basic game; it just feels a bit unnatural.

Then there is the 2-player duel variant. In this variant, collections do not score points and cash on hand at the end of the game does not score points. In fact, there are no points to be had at all! The 2-player duel variant is simply an RP contest, with the winner of 2 out of 3 tournaments winning the game. Collections score RP that is added to tournament scores. So this is a completely different version of the game and is missing the economic contests that can occur in the 3+ -player game.

I wasn't satisfied with playing Millenium Blades exclusively in the duel and turn-based modes because the duel mode is missing so many elements of the 3+-player version of the game and the turn-based mode is a bit less exciting, so I decided to give the regular version of the game a try with two players (with only friendship points removed and players getting more sell tokens than when playing with 4 players). And it worked. And it was good. Now, I'm 1000000000000% certain that Brad had a perfectly valid reason for changing the rules for 2 players and I'm fairly certain that reason had a little something to do with the distribution of points to be gained from winning/losing the tournaments versus cash versus other point-scoring options. However, we did still have fun with the basic 3+ player rules and had a very tight and exciting game and will probably play this way many more times, even if it's not necessarily the "right" way to play. Millennium Blades comes with so many variants and options that it appears to be robust enough to allow players to pretty much do with it what they like. And that's pretty cool!


Some assembly required...Smells like real money...


Final Word


Millennium Blades was clearly a labor of love for the designer and publisher and represents a most beautiful ode to geek culture. From CCGs to Pokemon to the Princess Bride and Legend of Zelda, you will find all kinds of references and in-jokes here. And when you step away from the details, you will find a game that beautifully encapsulates the experience of being a collectible card game enthusiast. Ultimately, I think that this game appeals to me as much as it does because I am familiar with many of the references and jokes and experiences portrayed in it and I think that it will, for the most part, appeal to others who are similarly inclined. It is frantic and fun and can feel chaotic at times, but it is actually full of strategic and tactical decision points to challenge and engage players. Between the fun and the strategy, I can't see myself parting with this stunning achievement of a game EVER! SO MUCH LOVE! I could play this all day!

MINA'S LOVE METER heart heart heart heart LOTS OF LOVE



LOOK! It's my name! Sort of!





***


Mina's Love Meter


Burn it! - I dislike this game so much that it makes me angry. (I rate these 4 or less on the BGG scale)
Dislike - I don't like this game, but I can see why others like it.
(5 on BGG scale)
heart Some like - I find this game somewhat appealing, but it doesn't really grab me. I am glad to have had the opportunity to try this game, but it is unlikely to stay in my collection for very long.
(5.5 to 6.5) on BGG scale)
heart heart Like - I like this game and appreciate the design. I am happy to play this game occasionally when the mood strikes and enjoy doing so.
(7 to 7.5 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart Some love - I love this game. It's not perfect, but it really appeals to me and I will play it frequently.
(7.5 to 8 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart heart Lots of love - I really love this game. The design really speaks to me. I want to play it most of the time.
(8 to 9 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart heart heart All love all the time - I ADORE this game and can see myself playing it many times and for many years. I would go to sleep clutching it in my arms and want to play it all day every day...only not literally because that would be insane.
(9 to 10 on BGG scale)



To see my other reviews, visit this geeklist.



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Gamer D

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Nice review. Regarding shuffling that intimidating monster sized deck of Store cards, I think the quickest method that legitimately shuffles the cards as randomly as possible is to do about 11 full riffle shuffles of the stack. Of course it's impossible to hold half that stack on your hands so to riffle shuffle you need to split it in half, then take each half and split those into about three piles each, giving you three pairs of piles to shuffle. So effective you are doing 11 sets of riffle shuffles with each set involving three pairs of substacks.

Of course that's still a lot of shuffling but it is mathematically far more random than a lot of other shuffling methods people might think to use like "moshing" the cards on the table or doing "pile shuffles", etc. It's basically a scaled up version of shuffling a standard sized deck of cards which require about 7-9 riffle shuffles to be completely randomized. Because the store has about four times as many cards you need to add in at least two or three extra shuffles to account for the extra cards (the number of riffle shuffles needed is proportional to the log base 2 of the number of cards.)

As far as the review goes I think I agree with all the points. It is a fun game but feels a bit long, pulling out and sorting all the sets of cards before and after the game is a beast, and while two players is probably fun I think you would lose a bit of the fun of extra trading and actually using the victory points instead of just seeing who won the most tournaments. In particular that allows for the possibility of someone winning the game without winning the majority of the tournaments by virtue of clever collection building and horse trading and special cards, meaning a player who is a good negotiator but not quite as good at deck building can still make a run for the win. (A player who can win all three tournaments though is probably going to win the game because of the huge number of combined points they get.)
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Milena Guberinic
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dugman wrote:
Nice review. Regarding shuffling that intimidating monster sized deck of Store cards, I think the quickest method that legitimately shuffles the cards as randomly as possible is to do about 11 full riffle shuffles of the stack. Of course it's impossible to hold half that stack on your hands so to riffle shuffle you need to split it in half, then take each half and split those into about three piles each, giving you three pairs of piles to shuffle. So effective you are doing 11 sets of riffle shuffles with each set involving three pairs of substacks.

Of course that's still a lot of shuffling but it is mathematically far more random than a lot of other shuffling methods people might think to use like "moshing" the cards on the table or doing "pile shuffles", etc. It's basically a scaled up version of shuffling a standard sized deck of cards which require about 7-9 riffle shuffles to be completely randomized. Because the store has about four times as many cards you need to add in at least two or three extra shuffles to account for the extra cards (the number of riffle shuffles needed is proportional to the log base 2 of the number of cards.)

As far as the review goes I think I agree with all the points. It is a fun game but feels a bit long, pulling out and sorting all the sets of cards before and after the game is a beast, and while two players is probably fun I think you would lose a bit of the fun of extra trading and actually using the victory points instead of just seeing who won the most tournaments. In particular that allows for the possibility of someone winning the game without winning the majority of the tournaments by virtue of clever collection building and horse trading and special cards, meaning a player who is a good negotiator but not quite as good at deck building can still make a run for the win. (A player who can win all three tournaments though is probably going to win the game because of the huge number of combined points they get.)

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you agree. We have found that our point based two player variant works for us. We played again last night and had a lot of fun, but we are still missing the trading and friendship aspects. Still, a tremendous game!
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fightcitymayor
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milenaguberinic wrote:
I wasn't satisfied with playing Millenium Blades exclusively in the duel and turn-based modes because the duel mode is missing so many elements of the 3+-player version of the game and the turn-based mode is a bit less exciting...
That's my main thing with Millennium Blades: I want a quicker, more streamlined 2-player version of the same game, but then you're at risk of losing the flavor & glamour of the full experience that makes it so worthwhile. I'm hoping the solo mode (releasing this fall with the expansion) might scratch that itch.
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Matt Barr
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Always love these reviews and agree with most of it (though I liked assembling the money - bought the game after a con and it was a good thing to do on the trainride home when I had no energy or brainpower left!)

I've bought a tonne of Fantasy Flight-style card sleeves that I'm hoping will help with making the store deck more shuffable.
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Jason Sherlock
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I generally agree. However, it only took us about 20 minutes to assemble the money. I counted out the bills and my girlfriend bundled them.

For setup and take down, what we are doing is to just rotate out one of each type of sets (premium, master, expansion) from the main store and just leave the store deck assembled between plays. You get more familiarized with the sets that are staying in, and there is still a ton of variety.
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Brad Talton
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Thanks so much for the review Mina!

Regarding the store deck, what we do with our copy is to keep it intact between plays, and play two or three games with a single store, to let some emergent strategies develop. Then we replace a few sets from the store deck, keeping most of it intact, but removing 2 or 3 from each tier and swapping in new ones.

As for Tournament Play, I think Set Rotation will add a lot to that aspect... look out for it!
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Mark Ellis
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As for the shuffling: I bought a cheap hand-cranked card shuffler, which can shuffle even sleeved cards (which mine are). I break the main stack up into 3 large stacks, then shuffle the 3, cut them, mix them with the others, and do it in 3 more stacks. Then lastly, make a few small cuts and it gets them pretty much randomized. Let me see if I can find the shuffler I use online, and I will post a link here.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/manual-card-s...

The reason I avoid an automatic shuffler, is when you run into a little resistance, you can stop cranking, whereas the automatic shufflers would keep going, risking damage to the cards or sleeves.


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