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Subject: Explain Sleeving to Me rss

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Evan
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So, I'm relatively new to the hobby. I started getting interested in board gaming about 18 months ago and it's become fairly obvious that while I'll gladly play coop, heavy euro or worker placement games, I generally prefer card-based games, specifically deck builders, more than most other types. I own Dominion, Star Realms, and Legendary: Marvel, the latter two with multiple expansions. I'm also a Kickstarter backer for the future card game, Unfair.

Everyone here seems to advocate sleeving cards for these types of games. While I see the obvious benefit (the cards last longer), to me there are other drawbacks. First, they don't tend to fit in the designated box the game came in, especially if you get multiple expansions. Second, the cards aren't as tactile when sleeved. Third, sleeving is expensive. Finally, I assume they would be much harder to shuffle and would just feel weird in your hand relative to the naked card.

Now, if you played Dominion 15x per month or something like that, I could also see the benefit of sleeving. But for a game like Legendary: Marvel, if someone had four expansions, you are talking a card inventory of well over 1,000 cards. If you played the game twice per month on average, the likelihood of cards coming into play over and over to the point where you would jeopardize the structural integrity of the card seems very remote.

What am I missing? Is this an OCD thing for those who sleeve? I'm not throwing stones with this thread. I'm generally interested in other people's perspectives and wondering if there is something I'm not factoring in with my decision not to sleeve.
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Richard Sampson
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Reasons to sleeve:

Uneven wear: This is the core reason to sleeve something like Dominion or Star Realms. Essentially because you shuffle so much within a given game (especially with black bordered cards) you will start to have noticeable wear on your game relatively quickly, and it will be limited to specific cards. For instance your starting cards in Star Realms will be in your deck every game for most of the game, getting shuffled many times, but some 8 cost base will have effectively 0 wear even after many plays. This means you will eventually be able to tell cards in your deck apart in a way that could effect play.

Secret Roles: This would be something like The Resistance where a marked card breaks the game. The cards may not receive much wear in a given game, but any noticeable mark could ruin the game.

Game Condition: This is more important for rare or expensive games where the cost of getting a new copy would be substantially more than sleeving the game. Some people just sleeve all of their games to help preserve their condition and prevent things like accidental spills from ruining the cards.
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Kyle
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The world will end if your cards show wear, so you shove them into miniature plastic bags so the aliens can still play the game after earth has been razed.

Often done under the false pretense you will actually play a game to death (good luck with that...)
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Justin Baird
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I generally sleeve for two reasons: if the card quality is low enough that it is clear they won't survive multiple plays in reasonable condition (like a very cheap deck of standard playing cards) and if the game is reasonably valuable. It helps to maintain resale and trade value of a game if the cards are sleeved.
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Kyle
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mrbaird wrote:
It helps to maintain resale and trade value of a game if the cards are sleeved.*


*If and only if the buyer is also a chronic sleever.
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Ian Williams
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[q="GoingTopShelf"]Finally, I assume they would be much harder to shuffle and would just feel weird in your hand relative to the naked card.[/quote]

I think it depends on shuffling style, but I find it much easier to shuffle sleeved cards.
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Richard Sampson
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BTW if you are considering sleeving your games, thin, "penny" sleeves are inexpensive and work reasonably well for games like Dominion that has a lot of cards. They are also thin enough that the cards still fit in the insert, at least for Dominion.

As for Star Realms, they sell an official box that allows you to put the game and expansions in, and the box comes with a bunch of official sleeves that have the Star Realms back.
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Alex
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One thing to add, I personally find shuffling easier with sleeved cards. The edges of a sleeve are kind of sharper and the sleeves a little slippy (not too much) so if you cut the deck and press the two halves edges against each other, then tend to slip into each other with a good distribution similar to a riffle-type shuffle.

Others may differ, but for me shuffling is easier.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
What am I missing? Is this an OCD thing for those who sleeve? I'm not throwing stones with this thread. I'm generally interested in other people's perspectives and wondering if there is something I'm not factoring in with my decision not to sleeve.


If you do a search for "sleeve" threads, you will find more than enough to keep you reading for the rest of the year. For some ridiculous reason, it is a big wedge issue in the hobby, with "camps" forming.

As you intimate, it has become a hammer to throw things like "OCD" (which is a legitimate disorder, by the way) at the practice. It has become a way to insult people that do things differently or don't exactly share one's practices.

There is nothing really to "miss" or understand about sleeving. If you think it will add to your enjoyment of the hobby in some way, then drop $1 on penny sleeves at Wal-Mart and try for yourself.

From there, you can upgrade to better sleeves if they do something for you or chuck them entirely if you find them to be superfluous or ancillary to your enjoyment of your games.

It is simply another way different individuals float their boats through gaming. Nothing OCD about it.

Kevin

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Evan
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ras2124 wrote:
Reasons to sleeve:

For instance your starting cards in Star Realms will be in your deck every game for most of the game, getting shuffled many times, but some 8 cost base will have effectively 0 wear even after many plays. This means you will eventually be able to tell cards in your deck apart in a way that could effect play.


In Star Realms, when you shuffle your deck, you deal yourself the top five cards, not five cards of your choosing. The only way what you say could be true is if you somehow took notice of what was in your discard pile and shuffled it in a way to purposefully leave the more worn (i.e. Vipers and Scouts) at the bottom of your hand, which would mean they would come into play less often. While possible, if you are truly randomizing those cards by not paying close attention to your deck when shuffling, it seems like the effect on the game would be limited at best. Are you suggesting that we subconsciously cheat when shuffling? devil
 
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Brian Winkleblech
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Depending on the game they can start to show wear after repeated plays. One of my friends played his copy of Race for the Galaxy to the point that the cards had a lot of wear. He ended up buying a new copy of the game. To my knowledge Race has not gone out of print. I sleeve some games because I would be annoyed if it got worn out and I had to pay crazy secondary market prices to replace it.

Also, in games that require shuffling, I come from a TCG background and I got used to the feel of shuffling sleeved cards. When some of the cards cost hundreds of dollars, almost everyone tried to protect their investment.
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Evan
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natsean wrote:
Quote:
What am I missing? Is this an OCD thing for those who sleeve? I'm not throwing stones with this thread. I'm generally interested in other people's perspectives and wondering if there is something I'm not factoring in with my decision not to sleeve.


If you do a search for "sleeve" threads, you will find more than enough to keep you reading for the rest of the year. For some ridiculous reason, it is a big wedge issue in the hobby, with "camps" forming.

As you intimate, it has become a hammer to throw things like "OCD" (which is a legitimate disorder, by the way) at the practice. It has become a way to insult people that do things different or don't exactly share one's practices.

There is nothing really to "miss" or understand about sleeving. If you think it will add to your enjoyment of the hobby is some way, then drop $1 on penny sleeves at Wal-Mart and try for yourself.

From there, you can upgrade to better sleeves if they do something for you or chuck them entirely if you find them to be superfluous or ancillary to your enjoyment of your games.

It is simply another way different individuals float their boats through gaming. Nothing OCD about it.

Kevin



I did a search before posting and the only thing I saw was a thread on laminating versus sleeving. I must have searched incorrectly.

I also wasn't trying to offend when I suggested it was an OCD thing and I apologize if I did. I wasn't trying to make light of the disorder.
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Evan
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Parliament wrote:
Depending on the game they can start to show wear after repeated plays. One of my friends played his copy of Race for the Galaxy to the point that the cards had a lot of wear. He ended up buying a new copy of the game. To my knowledge Race has not gone out of print. I sleeve some games because I would be annoyed if it got worn out and I had to pay crazy secondary market prices to replace it.

Also, in games that require shuffling, I come from a TCG background and I got used to the feel of shuffling sleeved cards. When some of the cards cost hundreds of dollars, almost everyone tried to protect their investment.


Great point on the price point or risk of going out of print. Star Realms is a game you can pick up for $9.99 most places and seems very popular and unlikely to go out of print anytime soon. I always figured that if the cards started to degrade, it would be cheaper to pick up another base set than to buy individual sleeves for each cards.

I don't play Magic, so a CCG would probably lend itself to sleeving far more.
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Kim Williams
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I don't sleeve cards, but Legendary is a prime example of a game that actually could do with sleeving. Some cards get used every game (shield heroes, scheme twists and master strikes, where as some cards barely ever get used (like a particular hero or villain )if you have all the expansions.

As a result with our own decks we can always tell when a shield hero is the next card to be drawn (so much more worn than the other cards in our deck) or when it's a scheme twist/master strike coming up in the villain deck.

It would be lovely if they would sell a fresh deck of those cards which get used every game, so we could replace them, but the only way would be to buy a new base game.
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Richard Sampson
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GoingTopShelf wrote:
ras2124 wrote:
Reasons to sleeve:

For instance your starting cards in Star Realms will be in your deck every game for most of the game, getting shuffled many times, but some 8 cost base will have effectively 0 wear even after many plays. This means you will eventually be able to tell cards in your deck apart in a way that could effect play.


In Star Realms, when you shuffle your deck, you deal yourself the top five cards, not five cards of your choosing. The only way what you say could be true is if you somehow took notice of what was in your discard pile and shuffled it in a way to purposefully leave the more worn (i.e. Vipers and Scouts) at the bottom of your hand, which would mean they would come into play less often. While possible, if you are truly randomizing those cards by not paying close attention to your deck when shuffling, it seems like the effect on the game would be limited at best. Are you suggesting that we subconsciously cheat when shuffling? devil
I think you have misunderstood me. What I am saying is the Scouts and Vipers may have visible wear, but your other cards, especially more expensive ones may not. Therefore when you are at a point in the game where you are deciding how to use your Recycling Station, your decision may be affected by the way the top card of your deck looks.
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Melody Klein
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Deckbuilders are my favorite genre too, and I happen to prefer shuffling sleeved cards than unsleeved ones, as other folks here have said. That's my main reason for sleeving a game.

Games where you slide cards under player boards or other cards is another case that calls for sleeves, in my book.

The third reason is if I don't like the way the cards feel. This only happened in City of Iron: Second Edition so far. Initially I intended to only sleeve the market and land decks, as the rest don't need to be shuffled at all, but something about how those cards felt rubbed me the wrong way, so I sleeved it all.

Durability is generally not a consideration in my mind, as I've yet to encounter any worn cards, and I'm not sure I'd mind wear that much, but I'm happy to know that my favorite games are more durable. It's just a side benefit for me, currently.
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Manuel Gracia
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I encourage food and drinks at the table. People do their best not to be messy, but sometimes a person doesn't wipe their hands as well or sauce gets on a card somehow.

If you take games to a bar or outdoor area sleeves help with keeping the cards clean.

In the 5 years I've been sleeving, I've only ever had 2 bad cases of food on a card (Pandemic and Blood Rage). I cleaned up the sleeved cards with a slightly damp paper towel and life moved on.

I do miss the tactile feel of cards, but I have friends who don't sleeve and I can play their games.
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Dan B.
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I sleeve for hidden role games only, like previously mentioned. One stupid bend or crease breaks the game, thus spending 50 cents on sleeving them is well worth it in my opinion.

Sleeving deck builders is something I would never do. I never liked the way sleeved cards feel compared to holding the actual card, regardless of price point. Penny sleeves for this games is the worst since they fall out often, are rarely the right size, slide off each other when stacked (the worst part of it), and just feel slippery as opposed a nice finish on most games.

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Mister P
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My first copy of Love Letter developed very distint wear on the Princess card and I could recognise it from the back at a glance - game ruined. I bought sleeves for my second copy of Love Letter (black edition) then sleeved the original with Air Asia playing cards shoved in to 'replace' the backs.
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My sleeving is inconsistent. I'm not a sleever for the most part, but I do use good quality sleeves on things like secret identity cards (eg. Citadel characters) and valuable OOP games (eg. The Speicherstadt, After Pablo). For the rest, I sometimes use cheaper sleeves not based on cost projection but just on emotion: will these get easily damaged, and if so, will it really annoy me?
Usually it's a no, but if the answer is yes, it's just a few bucks to not have to get uptight about cards, and that's worth it to me.


darthain wrote:
mrbaird wrote:
It helps to maintain resale and trade value of a game if the cards are sleeved.*


*If and only if the buyer is also a chronic sleever.

You don't have to be a chronic sleever to care whether the cards in a game you've just bought/traded for are in good condition.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
I did a search before posting and the only thing I saw was a thread on laminating versus sleeving. I must have searched incorrectly.

I also wasn't trying to offend when I suggested it was an OCD thing and I apologize if I did. I wasn't trying to make light of the disorder.


No worries. I think the last "Card Condoms are the Bane of Gaming" thread was about a week ago, so I am a bit sensitive.

If you search for "sleeves" as a subject in General Gaming, you will get 20+ pages. Some have to do with specific companies and their sleeves, but a lot are just a back and forth between factions trying to prove right and wrong somehow.

All the reasons for and against don't really matter compared to how you personally feel about your games. Is shuffling really harder? Do sleeves really protect against spills? How badly do they stick together?

All the answers won't really matter in the face of what you like for your games.

For example, I have 550+ games. I use penny sleeves because they fit my budget and do the trick. Many will say penny sleeves suck and you should avoid them like the plague. Doesn't matter a whit to me because it is my collection and I do what is right for me.

If someone doesn't want to play my games because of sleeves, we can play theirs and if they don't have a copy of what they really want to play and I do, they will just have to deal with it. (For the record, this has happened to me ONCE in decades of gaming at a Dominion tournament in which no sleeves were permitted.)

You could argue all year about the effect of sleeves on shuffling, for example. I pile shuffle and I don't care if the a big stack of cards falls down now and again. I just pick it up. Someone else would say they refuse to pile shuffle, they don't want to deal with piles falling over, and riffling can split sleeves. That's fine for them, but their view has no impact on what I do.

As I said, the easiest way to answer all your questions is grab a pack of cheap sleeves and see if they do something for you.

The only reason to sleeve is because you like sleeves. The only reason not to sleeve is because you don't like them. These are your games and you should do what you feel will give you enjoyment.

A laundry list of "pro" and "con" from others will fail to a few dollars invested in a pack to satisfy your curiosity.

Having said all this, I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it. It really isn't that important and I'm surprised it garners as much discussion as it does.

Kevin
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Drew
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ras2124 wrote:
Reasons to sleeve:

Uneven wear: This is the core reason to sleeve something like Dominion or Star Realms. Essentially because you shuffle so much within a given game (especially with black bordered cards) you will start to have noticeable wear on your game relatively quickly, and it will be limited to specific cards. For instance your starting cards in Star Realms will be in your deck every game for most of the game, getting shuffled many times, but some 8 cost base will have effectively 0 wear even after many plays. This means you will eventually be able to tell cards in your deck apart in a way that could effect play.


The only game I have sleeved is Onirim and it is for this exact reason. The base cards started to wear out and you could tell them apart from the expansion cards. It became very clear to me when I picked up the two promo expansions and I quickly sleeved the whole game.
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C Bazler
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Shuffling. I can't stand shuffling cards without sleeves anymore, so much so that I often wait to play a game until I get the sleeves for it first.
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Vander Dlonk
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natsean wrote:
Quote:
What am I missing? Is this an OCD thing for those who sleeve? I'm not throwing stones with this thread. I'm generally interested in other people's perspectives and wondering if there is something I'm not factoring in with my decision not to sleeve.

If you do a search for "sleeve" threads, you will find more than enough to keep you reading for the rest of the year. For some ridiculous reason, it is a big wedge issue in the hobby, with "camps"

I thought this older thread would render unnecessary any further sleeving threads. Silly me.


 
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Matt Brown
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Easy to resleeve than get a new card.
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