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Subject: To sleeve or not to sleeve... rss

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Jens W.
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Hi all!

As my games collection gradually (well, sometimes a little too steeply ) expands, of course more and more cards come with it (at least, 90+% of the games I bought in the last 5 years has cards in it).

Up until recently I never sleeved; but for some of the more recent buys I've convinced myself it might be better to sleeve 'em. So now I'm pondering a bit as to whether or not I should start sleeving everything... (well.. everything I bought recently. I'm not going to sleeve worn cards from old games... or should I?)

So my question is, what do you guys do?

Do you sleeve everything you buy?

Or don't you ever sleeve anything?

Or maybe you even sometimes sleeve a game partially? (e.g. shuffled decks yes, reference cards no).

I'm also interested in the why, therefore I didn't make a poll. So please comment on why you do, or don't, sleeve...

What are your thoughts?
 
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BG.EXE
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I don't sleeve anything. My only exception will be Kingdom Death: Monster because at that price I feel like protecting the cards is worth it. I take very good care of my games and haven't had an issue with cards wearing out yet. Mostly I don't use sleeves because I haaaate how they feel.
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Tom
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Yes, sleeve. Ask any hard-core Marvel Legendary player that did not sleeve, and now wishes he could buy just a replacement deck of the core game because the original set is now very worn and many of the cards are marked.
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Trevor Taylor
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JensHW wrote:
Hi all!

As my games collection gradually (well, sometimes a little too steeply ) expands, of course more and more cards come with it (at least, 90+% of the games I bought in the last 5 years has cards in it).

Up until recently I never sleeved; but for some of the more recent buys I've convinced myself it might be better to sleeve 'em. So now I'm pondering a bit as to whether or not I should start sleeving everything... (well.. everything I bought recently. I'm not going to sleeve worn cards from old games... or should I?)

So my question is, what do you guys do?

Do you sleeve everything you buy?

Or don't you ever sleeve anything?

Or maybe you even sometimes sleeve a game partially? (e.g. shuffled decks yes, reference cards no).

I'm also interested in the why, therefore I didn't make a poll. So please comment on why you do, or don't, sleeve...

What are your thoughts?


I'm not a great shuffler, just passable. So I like to use shuffling machines. My hand crank one fits a lot of cards, but not all of them and shuffles with zero risk of damage. However, my electric one can very rarely nick the edge of a single card. With higher quality cards this does not ever happen, but with thinner/cheaper cards it is possible.

So for games where the cards are of lower quality and require either a LOT of shuffling or the shuffling of a lot of cards, I do sleeve those.

So far the only games I've consciously sleeved are

Terraforming Mars - Because the cards aren't that think and you have a BIG deck that needs to be well shuffled each game as at the end of play all the cards used end up sorted into individual type (Red/Blue/Green). Doing this big deck by time would take a long while properly and the cards likely wouldn't survive the electric shuffler (too wide for my hand driven one). Sleeving this protects the cards, but also makes shuffling really simple as you can easily perform the same effect as a riffle shuffle by 'smooshing' 2 halves of the deck together.

Love Letter: Batman - Although this game is very cheap, it's stored in a bag, the cards stay in players hands a long time and it's very important to not be able to know what card a player has. If you already have lots of sleeves, you only need 16 (or 20 if you want to sleeve the player aids) to protect it.

Nightfall - Actually came sleeved and I'm glad it did as just like TfM the cards aren't great quality. Even more important this is out-of-print and so a damaged card is potentially fatal. Being sleeved also makes it far easier for other players to shuffle this without damaging the cards.

Mostly I will specifically NOT sleeve games as I don't really like the feel of the cards in sleeves. But in very few circumstances I feel it's a good decision to do so.
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Chris
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No hard rule for me. The more likely a game is to be played, the more likely i am to sleeve. The more the cards need to be shuffled the more likely i am to sleeve. The flimsier the cards, the more likely i am to sleeve. The more rare the game is the more likely i am to sleeve.

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Tango Papa Delta wrote:
Yes, sleeve. Ask any hard-core Marvel Legendary player that did not sleeve, and now wishes he could buy just a replacement deck of the core game because the original set is now very worn and many of the cards are marked.


Same ditto for Dominion, but I'd only sleeve cards that are shuffled throughout the game (so have more wear than most cards) or have value (KDM and MtG).
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Richard Dickson
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I went through a "sleeve all the things!" phase. And quickly got out of it when I'd constantly have cards slip out of my hands and stacks of cards wouldn't stay straight on the table.
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John Middleton
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Card games need sleeves.

Nothing else does.


If your friends are swine (meant nicely) then maybe you need to....find new ones.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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It depends.

Hidden identity games (i.e. games expected to be played a lot and where it matters) - sleeve (especially if expansions are expected)

Games where the cards are not handled during the game - do not sleeve

A lot of shuffling (deckbuilding-only deckbuilders) - sleeve with Dragon Sleeves.

Games I'm not expecting to play often - do not sleeve

Games that need proxying (for example to playtest) - sleeve

Why do you sleeve your cards?
To sleeve or not to sleeve

(I don't use 'penny sleeves'. They don't hold up when handling, they are only for storage. The Arcane Tinmen Board Game Sleeves are midway between penny sleeves and their heavy-duty Dragon Sleeves.)
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Steven Davies
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If it's a game with lots of shuffling, I will most likely sleeve that bad boy. Pandemic has sleeves, Machi Koro has sleeves and Waterdeep has sleeves. If its not a heavy shuffler, I wont bother.

Except for Jumo Drive which I probably play about 10 times per week. Thats cheap eniugh that when the cards are finally knackered, I'll just buy a new copy.
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Ronald
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One sleeve - one penny. Having your cards explode all over the place when you try to get them out of the box - priceless.
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Trevor Taylor
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Steve Broadfoot wrote:

Except for Jumo Drive which I probably play about 10 times per week. Thats cheap eniugh that when the cards are finally knackered, I'll just buy a new copy.


Same here. The cards are quite nice as well, so it's a waste to put them in sleeves!
 
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Matt Stokes
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As mentioned by others. I only sleeve items that require secret information, Love Letter, the Role Cards in Shadows over Camelot. Dominon and Marvel legendary just get to enjoy a nice patina on some of the cards. We aren't competitive enough for it to matter.
 
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Laura Creighton
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I sleeve every card.
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Gianluca Casu
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I would sleeve everything even the meeples if I could. Period.
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Bryan
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It depends on how replaceable the game is for me. Something like pandemic has a lot of shuffling, but the game is popular, and will likely sell for a cheap price far into the future so I don't bother to sleeve. 30 years from now I'm pretty sure I'll still be able to pick up a new copy of pandemic if my cards are totally trashed by then.

I sleeve my smash up cards because they also get a lot of shuffling, but I have every expansion, so to replace the whole set would cost me a ton of money. I'm also unsure that smash up will stand the test of time, and 30-40 years from now I don't think that the game will still be in print.
 
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Alan Power
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I went and bought a load of sleeves for my Lord of the Rings cards. I spent ages putting the cards in, only to find that I hated:
a) Not being able to see the backs of the cards
b) Not being able to touch the cards (yes, weird I know)
Shuffle damage is not really a problem for me so I took them all of again.
So now I have boxes of sleeves hanging around waiting for something to use them on. Perhaps I'll stitch a nice coat.
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Pasi Ojala
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Tony Lazer wrote:
a) Not being able to see the backs of the cards

This is not a problem with clear sleeves. And the medium-quality sleeves are half the price of the heavy-duty ones.
 
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mortego
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JensHW wrote:
Hi all!

As my games collection gradually (well, sometimes a little too steeply ) expands, of course more and more cards come with it (at least, 90+% of the games I bought in the last 5 years has cards in it).

Up until recently I never sleeved; but for some of the more recent buys I've convinced myself it might be better to sleeve 'em. So now I'm pondering a bit as to whether or not I should start sleeving everything... (well.. everything I bought recently. I'm not going to sleeve worn cards from old games... or should I?)

So my question is, what do you guys do?

Do you sleeve everything you buy?

Or don't you ever sleeve anything?

Or maybe you even sometimes sleeve a game partially? (e.g. shuffled decks yes, reference cards no).

I'm also interested in the why, therefore I didn't make a poll. So please comment on why you do, or don't, sleeve...

What are your thoughts?


Very few of my cards from board games are sleeved. Brass & the small cards in Elder Sign are the only ones I can think of right now.

In my M:tG days I sleeved every card, during my last few years playing I started to not bother sleeving my cards, I liked the feel of the naked card.

For me, it makes no difference nor do I care if people sleeve their cards or not. If they do, great! If not, also, great! All arguments pro & con are legit.
 
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John Middleton
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I didn't even sleeve Cave Evil....so meh.
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Stephen Cooper
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Any addition to my Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game collection is always sleeved before it gets into a game. I've got five year old cards from the base set still up for a fight after 300+ plays.

I went all in on the Kickstarter for The 7th Continent, except the custom sleeves, I just didn't see the need for them.

I've just ordered another set of sleeves for One Night Ultimate Alien and Werewords (not that I intend to mix the latter into the One Night... games, but in the interests of keeping roles secret).

So, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
 
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HenningK
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As a former Magic player, I am used to sleeving and now sleeve most of my games.
I prefer the feel of sleeved cards. Also, I got used to mash shuffling which only works with sleeved cards. Colored sleeves often also look great. I sleeved the player decks of Imperial Settlers in corresponding colors, and for me, that enhances the aesthetic look and feel of the cards.
 
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Alan Power
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Yeah, I stupidly bought the green Dragon Shield ones. But I later found that I prefer the feel of naked(!) cards anyway, so it all worked out.
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Mitch Lavender
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I sleeve every game I have (roughly 300 games at any given time, rotating new ones in and unloved ones out, regularly) but there are a few exceptions. Zombicide Black Plague, for example, is unsleeved because sleeved cards won't fit into the player boards quite as nicely as unsleeved cards do.

Overall, I have reached the unhealthy stage that I buy sleeves in bulk and I *must* sleeve a game before I play it. I've even sleeved the paper money in my copy of Power Grid and the tiles in my copy of Carcassonne. It's also not uncommon for me to laminate player boards if I can, too.

I have 1800 sleeves set aside to sleeve Gloomhaven when it arrives.

Why? Compulsion. I have no other explanation for it. Maybe I'll join a support group one day.


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secoAce -
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Coming from MtG, I initially sleeved everything I played...until certain card games kept expanding and it got a little too expensive to sleeve low-played cards.

So now I limit what I sleeve to:

* Cards that have edge-to-edge printing or black borders. Some are cut better than others, but on many of such cards, the color printing of the card edges flake off so easily, some even when newly unboxed!

* Cards that will get shuffled and handled a lot. This is more of a neurotic thing but I feel like I have to handle naked cards very gingerly. Sleeving gives cards a extra layer of protection from the oils of your fingers (yes, even clean hands naturally have oil on the skin) and possible scuffling of the cards when they rub against each other and on the table. Plus it's so much easier to shuffle sleeved cards--I mash shuffle; never riffle shuffle which can bend the cards.

* Games that are more expensive and/or harder to replace, so I'd want to protect them better.


As others have noted, I never use penny sleeves. They are oversized and the cards slip and slide inside the sleeve. I use standard (or "Premium" sleeves depending on the brand line), or inner sleeves for games with a lot of cards.

Sleeved cards are only slippery when new. After a few plays, they flatten and aren't as super slippery and handle fine. I love the feel of sleeved cards especially when some cards are super thin. Only thing is certain cards with a latin finish have a nicer feel though.

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