Card Sleeves

March 17, 2013

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?

2012 Gaming Highlights

January 6, 2013

Although I don’t keep stats on my game plays anymore, I do remember certain plays over the past year. Below are some highlights to my 2012 gaming.

New Year’s Eve Gaming
My last game played of 2012 was Dixit. We hadn’t planned to do anything for New Year’s since we have 3 young kids and a 4th is immiment. But when our neighbor said they were planning on staying home we decided to have them over for some games and snacks. I grabbed Dixit off the shelf since it could handle the bigger group and the large age range (4 years up to 35+). After a brief explanation where the neighbor kids looked confused we started playing and I said, “You’ll get the hang of it.” After a few rounds everyone was enjoying themselves so I wasn’t surprised when after the first game ended they immediately wanted to play again. And then we played a third game. It was a big hit and we had a great time. I love that my kids could play and compete with kids twice their age and adults alike.

Black Friday Game Day
We had a game day on Black Friday this year. It was a great time visiting with friends and playing games. The most memorable experience was a game of TransAmerica. The first game was with my wife, me and two couple that hadn’t played before. I explained the game and we were soon off building our railroads. My wife always does well in this game and this time was no exception. I think the game ended after only three rounds and she lost only 1 point! They wanted to play again now that everyone knew how it worked. After one round in the 2nd game my wife needed excused herself to the bathroom. We quickly conspired against her and dealt her what we thought would be the worst hand. She didn’t do well that round, but even so she managed to take third place. After the game was over we spilled the beans and all had a good laugh. [Editor’s note: Margin of Victory Games does not condone cheating.]

More Cheap Games
Although this one isn’t a gaming session it is one of my highlights: my game collection has increased greatly and I didn’t have to pay much for it. I use my lunch breaks a couple times per week to visit 2nd hand stores like GoodWill and others. I’m amazed at what gets donated to these stores and I’ve had some great luck this past year. I scored a brand new copy of Rune Age – which is an interesting take on the deck-building genre by Fantasy Flight. I also picked up copies of Can’t Stop and Bohnanza and have played each more than a dozen times with family.

I can now say I’ve owned and played a copy of Jati. I found this in a thrift store for a mere $2. Back in the 1960s 3M (yes, the Post-It Note people) used to make games. They made a couple hundred prototype and review copies of a simple abstract game called Jati. However, they decided not to produce the game and scrapped the remaining copies. However, several copies (probably most of the review copies) still exist. There’s a German site that tracks the number of owners and claims a mere 57 copies in existance. So the one I found would have only been the 58th surviving copy. For collectors of the 3M Bookshelf series of games it is their Holy Grail. My wife and I played one game and found it rather uninteresting. But it was cool to be a brief part of gaming history. I sold my copy for much more than $2 and couldn’t be happier.

Spies in the Dark
My top gaming highlight of 2012 is, without a doubt, a few of games of The Resistance on Memorial Day weekend with my family. Earlier in the evening a thunderstorm had rolled in. We were actually in the middle of a game of Bohnanza when the power went out. We were almost finished so we grabbed some candles and flashlights and finished the game. Since it was still early and had wanted to keep playing games I pulled out The Resistance. The dim lighting really added to the atmosphere and helped hide the spies’ identites. We played 3 games in a row and then finally had to call it a night.

I know that 2013 will provide some more good gaming memories. I’m also looking forward to getting some new games to the table as well as several classics. What was your favorite gaming moment of 2012? And what are you looking forward to in 2013?