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Subject: Is it safe to laminate player aids? rss

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I just received the Scotch laminator that was in the hot deals forum the other day but am nervous to use it. I know not to laminate cards, but surely player aids would be ok? I was going to laminate my Arkham Horror Ancient Ones, the Yggdrasil gods, and anything else I can think of but am reconsidering.

Is this a good idea? Or will they turn yellow and brittle with age? I think I'd cry if I damaged my Arkham Horror collection. Should I just stick to BGG player aids that I've printed out myself?

For those of you that have done this, did you use 3mm or 5mm pouches? Very much appreciate any info
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Ed Bradley
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I laminated my settlers resource cards about 14 years ago (before there were card sleeves that would fit) and they're fine. Storing them in direct sunlight is probably bad.

I tend to laminate most things that see reasonable usage in a game: BSG character sheets for instance.
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Boogalou wrote:
I think I'd cry if I damaged my Arkham Horror collection.

For what it's worth, collectors consider laminating to be severe damage.

On the other hand, when it comes to your game, what you think is a whole lot more important than what anybody else does.

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Ron
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I have PnP 18xx games at home I laminated 20 years ago. Just don't buy cheap-ass sheets - in my experience there is a quality difference measured in $$.
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Boogalou wrote:
...did you use 3mm or 5mm pouches?


Those are big! I think there's a missing decimal somewhere.

I laminate sheets all the time, but usually I make a colour photocopy of the material and laminate the copy. This preserves the original, although that is not a high priority for me. More significantly, lamination pouches work better with copy paper than with cardstock.

As well as preserving the player aids, lamination sheets allow you to use dry-erase markers (or better yet, overhead projector pens).
 
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Cracky McCracken
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monkeyhandz wrote:
I find it's better for drinking.


This and laminated play aids make great cat-smackers.

I laminate all my headless hollow playaids and some from the games themselves because they get so much handling during play. It costs a buck or two in ink to print something up really nice, so i figure why not go all the way and laminate them.

The bad news is you'll want to laminate everything in sight once you start... here kitty kitty kitty...
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Boogalou wrote:
I was going to laminate my Arkham Horror Ancient Ones,


Why on earth would you laminate these? The function of these sheets is to be placed on the table and remain there with the occasional token being placed on them. They are not shuffled heavily (or at all even) nor are they handled a lot.
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I've laminated all movement cards from RoboRally and the playing cards from Lord of the Rings and Magalon (the latter right after a few cards had a cola accident). (ETA: Plus my Catan resource cards.)

No card was damaged in the process, other than the obvious "irreversible change" thing.

I don't regret any of it, but keep a few things in mind:

* Start laminating after your device is really hot, do not start right away when the ready lamp goes on. The first three RR cards I laminated had a very slight reflection difference. YMMV depending on your device.
* Your card deck size will easily double. This will make storage in shaped box inlays pretty much impossible.
* Shuffling is harder than with vanilla cards but easier than with sleeved cards.

I don't see any inconvenient at all in laminating player aids, again aside from the "irreversible change" thing.
 
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dustin boggs
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I laminate many things and I only laminate game stuff that I print off. Player aids off BGG are often better but I have no issues with 'damaging' them and it makes trade value unaffected if not greater as you have more stuff with the package.

I mostly use 5mil pockets but occasionally use 3 mil for printed cards or counters. My favorite trick is to laminate 2 back to back printed label papers with 3 mil then when I cut out the pieces I have a durable laminated sticker and good label paper will not goop up.

Another trick for counters, Print a folded counter on cardstock, cut glue (uhu office pen or similar) liberally and fold, insert in a paper pocket (trash) and the laminator and it will produce a really crisp rigid fold and set the glue to make a sturdy counter.
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DeePee wrote:
Boogalou wrote:
I was going to laminate my Arkham Horror Ancient Ones,


Why on earth would you laminate these? The function of these sheets is to be placed on the table and remain there with the occasional token being placed on them. They are not shuffled heavily (or at all even) nor are they handled a lot.


I laminated mine as well. Sure the table use isnt bad, but they dont exactly store well in the box. and when the box moves they move. If they hit a corner in my box the hard lamination hits and slightly bends, not the boards. Same reason I posted about 7 wonder boards. They hit and get bent, especially when a younger sister bangs them off a table. Now everything is safe. Im happy because these are games that I plan on playing for awhile. All of this is IMHO.
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I agree not to laminate actual game components. Make a copy and laminate that. If you ever want to trade or sell the game, interest will be greatly diminished if components are laminated.
 
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frumpish wrote:
If you ever want to trade or sell the game, interest will be greatly diminished if components are laminated.


Sell a game??? Never. My games will become pieces of grave furniture. I'll be buried beneath a heap of ASL counters and meeples meeple
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PzVIE wrote:
frumpish wrote:
If you ever want to trade or sell the game, interest will be greatly diminished if components are laminated.


Sell a game??? Never. My games will become pieces of grave furniture. I'll be buried beneath a heap of ASL counters and meeples meeple


I hope so too, but I have been around this site long enough to see more than one auction for games people never thought they would part with to raise money for an unexpected catastrophe, emergency or medical expense.
 
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I have laminated some components that seem flimsy for the type of wear they will recieve (like player mats that are only made from paper).

A laminator will damage some papers (photo-sensitive papers, like what tickets are printed on). However, you probably will never run into that type of paper in your games.

As for selling games, I think it is nonsense that someone would think it damages a game. Yes hard core collectors may only want pristine versions, but I actually play my games. As long as you list that X piece has been laminated, in trades or auctions, you should have no problems. I would never worry about a player aid being laminated - I would just figure that the previous owner took very good care of their games and would't give it a second thought.
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I've laminated tens of thousands of cards for games. It works fine, the biggest problem is fitting the decks back into the box not playing with them. I've also laminated player aids, again fine and the same caveat although to a reduced extent.

Doing this probably kills the resale value of the game but for games I'm never going to sell who really cares. On the other hand, lamination really brings out the colour and totally protects against food and drink spills -- when you have small children around, these happen all too often.


- Pauli
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DeePee wrote:
Boogalou wrote:
I was going to laminate my Arkham Horror Ancient Ones,


Why on earth would you laminate these?]


I see that you my friend have never experienced the horror of a spilled pint of Guinness across your gaming table.

Thanks everyone for the great info, really REALLY appreciate it
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If you are worried about re-selling, just get colour-copies of the stuff you want to laminate and laminate the copies instead (i'm thinking of doing this for the player cards in High Frontier).
 
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paulidale wrote:
I've laminated tens of thousands of cards for games. It works fine, the biggest problem is fitting the decks back into the box not playing with them. I've also laminated player aids, again fine and the same caveat although to a reduced extent.

Doing this probably kills the resale value of the game but for games I'm never going to sell who really cares. On the other hand, lamination really brings out the colour and totally protects against food and drink spills -- when you have small children around, these happen all too often.


- Pauli


Would you mind describing your process? I'm a little curious about it, especially the type of lamination used (hot vs. cold), what type of cutting tool you use, and how you handle the corners. Been considering doing it myself for Dominion, but it's a rather intimidating project.
 
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I always hot laminate, at least when possible.

For cards, I use small sleeves. There are a number of sleeve sizes available and I choose one that fits the card with a small edge on all sides to help seal. No cutting is required here, the sleeve is close enough already and has rounded corners. If you are going to do this for more than a few cards, buy an industrial laminator not a cheap business card model.

For game aids, I use a cheap A4/A3 hot laminator and sleeves. Often I have to cut around the aids afterwards. Either using a rotary cutter or scissors -- the latter is quicker and easier if exact size matches aren't required. You can even round the corners off with scissors if you are careful, otherwise there are punches available.

I've also tried using a Xyron to laminate game stuff. It doesn't come out as nicely as hot laminate and I don't find it as forgiving. For things like laminate + glue or laminate + magnet, then the Xyron comes into is own. You can do a laminate and glue with hot laminate pouches -- laminate two pages back to back, trim the excess and separate the sheets and glue.


In the case mentioned, Dominion, I didn't laminate my copy. I just sleeved in those flimsy plastic bags. However, if I were to laminate, it would definitely be hot with pouches. The reason I didn't hot laminate this game is mostly cost. Laminate sleeves aren't cheap, Dominion isn't that expensive and a couple of lost/damaged cards is probably livable. Then again, we don't play dozens of games of this a week.


- Pauli
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cold laminate is 2 rolls of plastic film that apply with adhesive? to the item. From the units I have seen hand rolled and affordable.

hot laminate often uses pockets which the paper is inserted and a machine with heated rollers apply well heat shake and pressure. The result is a very professional applied plastic film with no bubbles. If you were to cut out the paper and try to seperate it from the film often the paper would tear in half through the sheet itself
 
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