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Subject: uneven card quality? rss

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Chris Berger
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I did try searching for this, but either no one has brought up the issue before or I am terrible at searching BGG...

I bought the Faction packs for Jungle Elves, Cloaks, Vanguard, and Fallen Kingdom yesterday, along with the reinforcements for each. The card quality is generally good, but when I subbed a few cards from the reinforcements into the Vanguard deck, I noticed that the cards in the reinforcements are approximately 1mm smaller width-wise and 1mm larger length-wise than the base pack (actually, it might be the other way around, but you get what I'm saying). It's enough that it's difficult to shuffle the cards correctly, and certain cards are "marked". In addition, I noticed with the Cloaks cards that the cards from the reinforcements were not as glossy (or was it glossier? anyway, a different amount of gloss) as the base cards. There was also a slight size difference in those, but not as pronounced as the Vanguard/Fallen Kingdom set.

Is this a problem that other people have noticed? It seems to make it impossible to build a deck without using card sleeves. I really would rather not use sleeves for several reasons (added cost, harder to riffle-shuffle, potential to crowd the game board if I don't get the exact right size, plus just a general aversion to sleeves). It wouldn't be the first game that I've sleeved, but I'd rather not if I didn't have to.

Also, what's the consensus on opaque-backed sleeves? Should mercenaries be sleeved with a different color so you don't change gameplay? Also, I doubt I'll be able to get 14 different colors of sleeves, so if I play two factions against each other (I'm assuming that I'm playing against someone who doesn't have their own decks) that have the same color sleeves, that would also change gameplay. For instance if I am playing Cloaks and have some Fallen Kingdom in my magic pile, the Fallen Kingdom player would want to know if the top card is mine or his with respect to playing Mana Drain, and I would want to know what he has on top with respect to using Thieves.
 
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Caleb
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If you read any of the numerous threads on sleeves, you'll find reference to certain sleeves fitting older cards but not newer ones, or vice-versa. So yes, there are variations between decks on card quality - dimensions and finishing.
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Chris Berger
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All I see in the sleeves threads besides long discussions on the minutiae of different types of sleeves is variations on the size of the sleeves and a difference in size for the Master Set. Other than mercenaries, the Master Set cards aren't mixed with the earlier cards, so it doesn't matter quite as much. I'm talking about cards that are specifically intended to mix with other cards from the same faction, and are almost unplayable as intended without using card sleeves.
 
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Fede Miguez
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IIRC part of the discussion was on the SW forums.
I used clear sleeves until... JE/CL Reinforcements I think, no sleeves for Master Set. We have different concept of unplayable, but yeah, there is that as an issue. Similar as PE/TO/GD/CG Reinforcements, the cards are not equal to their base ones.
There was a change of printer somewhere in the middle.
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Caleb
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arkayn wrote:
All I see in the sleeves threads besides long discussions on the minutiae of different types of sleeves is variations on the size of the sleeves and a difference in size for the Master Set. Other than mercenaries, the Master Set cards aren't mixed with the earlier cards, so it doesn't matter quite as much. I'm talking about cards that are specifically intended to mix with other cards from the same faction, and are almost unplayable as intended without using card sleeves.


Well, there were several posts talking about a given brand & size of sleeve fitting with one set, but not with another. Those are LONG threads though so it's probably buried.
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Chris Berger
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PePe QuiCoSE wrote:
IIRC part of the discussion was on the SW forums.
I used clear sleeves until... JE/CL Reinforcements I think, no sleeves for Master Set. We have different concept of unplayable, but yeah, there is that as an issue.


Well, I did say "almost" unplayable. It's because they don't shuffle right. My thumbs always stop on the larger cards. I assume I'll find some way of shuffling them until I break down and buy sleeves for them.

These were the first SW cards I've bought (actually, I got FK and VG and Goodwin's Blade on my lunch break, then on my way home from work, I stopped at a different game store that miraculously had a CG/GD starter and also JE/CL and Hawk's Strike - both stores were out of the Master Set), and it's just a little disheartening that I need sleeves.

I just hate them... SO... MUCH... surprise
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Cory Bullock
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PHG switched printers between the reinforcements for the first decks and the Jungle Elves and Cloaks. The new printer--which has been for everything post JE and CL--has been using a higher quality stock. So that accounts for some of the differences, at least.

As for sleeves, I use clear just out of personal preference, but I know Magic's gone to opaque backs and there was discussion of making Summoner Wars opaque-only. I think it's open to personal preference still at this point.

Edit: Also, since I got slightly ninja'd: pile shuffling will solve pretty much all of your shuffling issues and is nicer to the cards. I haven't bridged shuffle a deck of cards in... a decade. I blame my father for getting me into Pokemon and Star Wars CCGs.

Edit 2!: If you do go the sleeves route, this is the definitive source, since it has pictures:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/716196/sleeve-pictorial
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Todd
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Yeah I was not very happy about that myself since I don't like sleeves but PHG's is just trying to get started, and good old Murphy has been kicking poor Colby around at every turn, don't worry Colby will still like your game, keep training and your kung fu will become strong and soon it will be you kicking Murphy's ass. LOL
 
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Lunar Sol
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The decks that are noticeable are the Fallen Kingdom and Vanguard. They have the biggest difference between the original deck and the reinforcements. If I remember correctly, this change was actually made by the original printer and was the primary reason Plaid Hat found someone else to do their printing.

I definitely know what you're talking about by not shuffling right. When I first added these reinforcements, I could, unquestionably, pull the reinforcement cards out of the deck with a light grip and letting the original cards sift out.

Luckily, I've found that the issue has less to do with card size and more to do with the amount of bend the cards seem to have. I took the decks and set them up so every other card was a reinforcement card. Then I separated them into smaller piles and put a heavy book on each pile over night. By morning, the cards had flattened out pretty consistently, and the issue was greatly reduced.
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Chris Berger
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LunarSol wrote:
Luckily, I've found that the issue has less to do with card size and more to do with the amount of bend the cards seem to have. I took the decks and set them up so every other card was a reinforcement card. Then I separated them into smaller piles and put a heavy book on each pile over night. By morning, the cards had flattened out pretty consistently, and the issue was greatly reduced.


I didn't notice much difference in bend in my cards, but yeah the Vanguard and Fallen Kingdom reinforcements are the most noticeable in different sizes. They also are the two decks that I wanted to use reinforcements in right off the bat (the other factions that I managed to pick up, particularly Jungle Elves and Cave Goblins, some of the reinforcements looked interesting, but I couldn't make up my mind on what to take out and decided I should try them vanilla first). Anyway, I have already sleeved my Fallen Kingdom and Vanguard decks (and Guild Dwarves, which I also used some reinforcements in - the difference wasn't as noticeable there, but it was still an issue with shuffling).

My FLGS has the Master Set back in stock finally, so I'll be getting that today as long as no one gets to before me. Not planning on sleeving those, but that could change.
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