Card Sleeves

I’m on another card sleeving kick. When I’m finished I’ll have gone through about 15 packs of sleeves. Seems like a lot, but Russ will be sleeving a couple of his recent aquisitions and it’ll make my sleeving seem like child’s play. Of course I haven’t sleeved all of my games… but who knows how long that will last.

To sleeve
This latest kick started when I was playing Rune Age. My two year old son wanted to play with – who can resist Fantasy Flight’s great artwork. Of course he’s getting his last two molars so the drool was flowing. Between the risk of water damage and the ton of shuffling occuring during the game, I decided I had better protect the cards. I ran out and picked up 10 packs of sleeves, enough for the base game and the expansion. After playing a few times with the sleeves I remembered how great card sleeves are.

- You don’t have to worry (as much) about greasy, dirty fingers (please wash your hands before playing my games though).
- They are insurance against drool.
- Sleeved cards are so much easier to shuffle. You just slide the cards together without worry of bending cards doing a riffle shuffle or dinging the edges.
- Sleeved cards hide any little card dings/dents that might give away a random card’s identity.
- You can sleeve your entire library now since there are card sleeve sizes for just about every game on the market.

Or not to sleeve
Of course there are a few drawbacks. I picked up Rune Age on the cheap and have now spent more on sleeves than I did the game. But if it saves me from having to replace a deck of cards due to damage it’ll have been worth it. The first couple of times you play the slick plastic cards will be flying all over the place.

Another reason not to sleeve is to just let the cards show their wear. The first time I played TransAmerica was with a very well played copy. The cards had several creases in several directions. It was clear this game had seen tons of plays and was well loved by its owners.

- Expense
- Slippery cards
- Every ding and dent in a card may tell a story or add character to a game.

I like the idea of sleeving all of my games, but I know it just isn’t practicle. How about you: do you sleeve your games? If so, why? If not, why not?

2 Responses to Card Sleeves

  1. John says:

    I sleeve games based on how often I play them and how easy it is to pick up new cards if the originals get ruined. Anything that hits the table 1-2 times a month gets sleeved.

  2. Joe says:

    I won’t sleeve Seven Wonders.

    I don’t care if the cards take a beating, and the drafting system makes card recognition insignificant.

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