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Dominion: Empires» Forums » General

Subject: A curious unboxing observation rss

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Clive Jones

Cambridgeshire, UK
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I've just unpacked my Dominion: Empires box. While not back to previous standards, it's a considerable improvement on Adventures.

I've not noticed it mentioned here before, but I'm surely not the first person to notice that Crown is yellow rather than white/yellow on the organizer inlay?

While the new tokens have welcome heft to them, it's a bit of a pity they're stamped so crudely.

And something that wasn't obvious from the previews: the green background for Landmarks is very much darker than for Victory cards. You'd better be playing in a well lit room if you want to be able to read them!

But here's the really strange thing I noticed: the cards arrive in three shrink-wrapped bundles. Take one of those bundles, unwrap it, rest it face-up on the table and square the cards off well.

Now lift a portion off the top of the deck by the top and bottom edges, not by the sides, as though you were going to cut the deck. When I tried this, my cut fell between two varieties of card almost every time, never within one variety.

I happened to spot this because I was taking the cards a few at a time to put in the organizer tray, but now I'm worried it could have gameplay implications. Fortunately, the people I play with are honest, but stuff could happen subliminally.

Has anybody else spotted this? Any idea exactly what causes it? (Re-stacking a few supply piles lets me reproduce the effect, but if I shuffle a supply pile the consistent dividing point moves. This suggests it's an issue with either the first or the last card of every supply pile.)
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Sandy Wilson
United Kingdom
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It's an interesting observation, and one that I am not able to fully answer. The science behind playing cards is pretty advanced, ask any magician and they will tell you what their favourite brand of playing cards is and why. Chances are, their favourite behaves in a way that is comfortable and familiar to them. Companies spend a lot of money developing new finishes for playing cards, all of which effect the airflow between the cards in different ways.

Cards come from different sheets before being sorted and shrink wrapped. Playing cards are printed the same way that a poster is, on a very large sheet of card. The cards are then cut (I assume in the same way as board game punch boards are, just all the way through). I would also assume that the cards are printed on standard size card sheets, same as those used for poker or bridge playing cards. A standard card sheet will therefore hold a standard pack of cards + a couple of jokers and maybe an advertising card or two. Dominion cards come in sets of 10 or 11 if you include the randomiser, which won't divide evenly on the printed sheets. The cards will be divided up in some logical pattern for the printer, and there will be very slight differences between the surface of different sheets, and likely hence why you often receive some blank cards with Dominion, in the same way that you sometimes receive a blank tile on a punch board, the punchboard may hold 'x' number of tokens, but the number of tokens the game requires might not divide exactly between the number of punchboards the game comes on, so there's maybe two or three blank tiles at the end.

The cards are more likely to separate into piles at points where they come from different sheets. Why they stick together, I don't know, but I'll bet that your cards were separating at a place when Kingdom Card set A was printed on sheet 1, and Kingdom Card set C was printed on sheet 2. Like I say, I'm not sure exactly the physics behind why the cards would stick or separate at particular points, but I know of a magic trick using a mini plunger that I imagine uses this principle in some way to accomplish the trick.
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