To sleeve or not to sleeve

I finally decided to really crack open my copy of Battlestar Galactica. I recently purchased this game so that I can hold up my own copy for my epic BSG photo at Phoenix Comicon. Yes, I’m that nerdy. Anyway, I was up until 3 a.m. earlier this week getting my copy ready for game day. (I was having trouble sleeping and thought this was better use of my time rather than getting frustrated tossing and turning.)  I had to add the resource dials to the game and punch out the cardboard bits, but what took the most time was sleeving 238 cards.

For the base game, there are 110 large cards and 128 small cards. I ended up purchasing 2 packs of Mayday Chimera sleeves and 2 packs of Mayday Mini USA sleeves for the game. Why would somebody spend extra money to sleeve their cards? Because, my friend, in hidden role games, it’s crucial to keep cards in pristine condition so that nobody can figure out what you have.

Sleeving my copy of Battlestar Galactica. Did you know that the base game does not come with plastic Basestars or Centurions? Bummer!!
Sleeving my copy of Battlestar Galactica. Did you know that the base game does not come with plastic Basestars or Centurions? Total bummer!!

One of the most fun parts of Battlestar Galactica is not knowing who is on your side. Each player gets dealt 2 or 3 loyalty cards through the course of the game, and it’s important to keep those roles a secret. There’s so much secrecy in the game in terms of cards for the skill check and what crisis is coming up that I opted to sleeve my cards. A big mechanic of the game is spiking skill checks if you’re a cylon, and if people can differentiate your skill cards, you’re at a disadvantage as the humans will immediately work toward brigging you. My favorite part of the game is throwing accusations around and making people squirm to see if they’re a cylon. Plus, cards are also protected by the constant amount of shuffling in the game.

Another game I decided to buy sleeves for is Twilight Struggle. This is another game where have to keep your action sequences a secret. If your opponent knows which card you’re going to play, he can successfully block your actions and plan accordingly to take you down. Plus, there is quite a fair amount of shuffling in the game, and the sleeves of course protect your cards. Another game I purchased sleeves for is Mysterium. There isn’t really a lot of shuffling in this game; I mostly purchased the sleeves to protect the beautiful artwork in this game.

I also purchased sleeves for Twilight Struggle. With the amount of shuffling, plus avoiding giving clues to your opponent on what you're doing next, I thought they were a good investment for the game.
I also purchased sleeves for Twilight Struggle. With the amount of shuffling, plus trying to avoid giving clues to your opponent on what you’re doing next, I thought they were a good buy.

I am by no means a game collector. When I purchase games, I intend to get the maximum amount of plays with them. I don’t consider myself OCD about the game board and its pieces. Games will get played, and wear-and-tear signs, in my opinion, are hours and hours of enjoyment among friends and fellow gamers. I don’t obviously purchase sleeves for all my games, because that would be a little ridiculous and expensive, but when hidden roles and secrecy are a big component of the game, I think it’s a wise investment to do so. You can breathe a little easier knowing cards are protected, and that certain people won’t be able to spot what’s on the other side of the card based on the weird beer stain in the top right corner of the card.

If you’re looking for card sleeves for your games, boardgamegeek.com is a great resource. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list for games showing card sleeves from multiple brands. For my BSG game, I purchased sleeves from my Friendly Local Game Store — Game Depot — in Tempe, but you can purchase sleeves online anywhere from the company itself, to amazon.com or coolstuffinc.com, which is another great board-game website. Watch out though, free shipping at coolstuffinc.com is $100, and you can easily find yourself adding more and more to your shopping cart!

Who out there sleeves your games and for which games?

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One thought on “To sleeve or not to sleeve”

  1. Hello Buying Manager,

    I am Andy from Brightwell Packaging, which is a professional gaming card sleeves factory in China.
    We have designed a machine which can manufacturer perfect card sleeve, the quality is the best one in the market
    Our card sleeve clarity is very high and sealing is very strong, we supply to many famous brands in the world
    nice to know you are in need of all kinds of quality gaming card inner sleeve and Solid Color/Custom Printing
    Card protectors, which we are best doing, I would like to update some of our best seller for your reference.

    Solid/Regular & Custom Printing Card Protectors
    color:Red/Blue/Yellow/White/Black/ Brown/ Lime/ Teal/Purple,etc
    size: 66 x 91mm
    packing: 50pieces per pack ( 60pieces or 80pieces or 100pieces per pack also available)
    unit price : FOB shenzhen US$0.5/PACK ( 50piecs per pack)

    US$1.1/PACK ( 50pieces per pack) (customer logo printing)

    STRONG SEALING

    50 MICRON Board game card sleeve
    Description MOQ.(packs) Packing Unit price per pack in USD
    (FOB shenzhen)
    zip-lock bag with custom printing
    paper insert OPP header Bag
    50micron Board Game Sleeve for Mini European Cards 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.23 US$0.25
    (46x71mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Sleeve for 7 Wonders Cards 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.31 US$0.32
    (67x103mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Sleeve for Standard Card 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.28 US$0.30
    (59×91.5mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Sleeve for Mini Amercian Card 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.22 US$0.24
    (44x67mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Car Sleeve for Standard Eurpoean 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.29 US$0.31
    Cards(62x94mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Sleeve Square Card 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.29 US$0.31
    (73x73mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Sleeve for Dixit Card 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.38 US$0.41
    (81x122mm) 100pcks/ctn
    50micron Board Game Sleeve for Big Square Card 3000 100pcs/pack; US$0.30 US$0.32
    (82x82mm) 100pcks/ctn
    Custom Packaging for your reference

    Best regards,
    Andy Bao
    Sales Manager
    Brightwell Packaging Enterprise Limited
    Tel:+86-769-85333058
    Mobile:+86-18665125587
    http://www.brightwellpkg.com
    Address:The 3rd Industry Zone of Xiaobian ChangAn Dongguan Guangdong China

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