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A Battle of Function v. Form

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#1 Artemus Maximus

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 01:35 PM

A Battle within a Battle! Deep...

While I LOVE the aesthetic of this & WH:I with their borderless design giving them a modern, updated feel compared to CCGs of yesteryear, I have to give in to functionality (to preserve aesthetics :D). 

After playing several (maybe 10-15) games of WH:I after i got the core set and before my sleeves arrived, some of my cards were noticeably chipped already (small flakes of printing along the edges had came off). Not wanting them to get worse I decided to play with protection.

Got 3 brands of clear sleeves because i hadn't played card games in a while. All got cloudy real quick. Colors on cards looked dull. Unacceptable. Got the Ultra Pro deck protectors w/ clear front & slightly textured black back.

These made the fronts of the cards look amazing :D Although they essentially gave them a border, they still looked great. The backs were totally obscured, which is a shame because they have a cool design, but acceptable.

Now this game pops up. I don't think I'd ever play it as much as WH:I, and just keep it casual, but I can't do the UP black-backed sleeves - there are two different back designs for this game....


What would be perfect are sleeves with the same designs as the back of the cards printed on black (so you still get that black background viewing card from its front) on one half with a clear plastic that doesn't obscure quickly on the other half...but doubt it would be soon coming from FFG.

Any other solutions? Are there any sleeves out there with an under-printed black border on the (clear) back part of the sleeve - making both sides viewable but still have a black background viewed from the front?


#2 Darksbane



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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:17 PM

Why not just get UltraPro clear sleeves, if you get the name brands they shouldn't scratch/cloud any more than ones with pictures on the back.

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#3 Toqtamish



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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:44 PM

I personally never use clear sleeves, I like the ones with different backs, easy way to keep track of decks. I have some sweet Balrog ones I plan to use with this game now.

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#4 Keggy



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Posted 03 August 2010 - 03:34 PM

Have you tried the FFG clear sleeves?  I understand they're pretty good.

And it'd be a bit of a shame if they negatively affected their own products.

#5 Drakson



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Posted 03 August 2010 - 03:39 PM

     I went to a fabric place (you could also go to Walmart) and got felt in red 3 foot by 3 foot to play my card games. I got green 3 foot by 6 foot for my board games. You could get wider but I do not have a wide table I play on. Besides protecting the cards it makes it much easier to pick them up or slide them around. I didn't think I would like sleeves but then started playing in a league with Warhammer Invasion. The table were rough and quite frankly not real clean so I got the Ultra Pro clear and it saved the cards quite a bit. They did get sticky and I wiped them off a few times but quite frankly at a buck for 100 sleaves I will replace most of them anyway when I start playing at home again. Depending on the light source however they can be a bit of a glare that I don't like but if the sleaves were a satin then the colors wouldn't show though. Anyway the felt was the best idea for the cards and for the board games.

#6 Farin



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Posted 04 August 2010 - 02:17 AM

Darksbane said:

Why not just get UltraPro clear sleeves, if you get the name brands they shouldn't scratch/cloud any more than ones with pictures on the back.

I agree.  Im a HUGE magic player and i know card sleeves.  Ultra-Pro, FFG and dragonshield are the best outthere....period. You can get the Ultra-Pro sleeves at wal-mart for like 1-3 bucks.  FFG's sleeves are freaking tough....like....idk if they could ever get ruined. 

#7 f7eleven



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Posted 04 August 2010 - 05:08 AM

 I'm a sleeve junkie too.  And I know what you mean about the the black back adding a border to the cards viewed from the front.  It really does look nice.  I think the white-backed UP sleeves add a nice looking border to the fronts too.  So maybe you could just use two different colors.  WH:I Empire cards also look really slick in blue-backed sleeves.  Chaos in red, Orcs in green....

Though harder to find (from my experience) UP also has a "non-glare" sleeve with the same black, textured back.  WH:I cards look bad ass in these.

Dragon Shields are huge.  you'll have a quarter inch of over hang at the top and your deck will literally sit a half inch (or more) higher when stacked.  They shuffle nice, and seem to last, but I like UP way better.

I only ever bought FFG sleeves (clear) once - a 50 pack.  Five or so sleeves came creased and were unusable... making the entire pack unusable for a game with 50 card decks. :-/

#8 Artemus Maximus

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:08 PM

Thank you everyone! I have tried the UP clear - the ones i had clouded quickly for me. Didn't try the Dragonshields since i read they were slightly larger and make it harder to shuffle, but may try since it sounds like the thickness of the plastic counteracts that? Also the Japanese ones on coolstuff seem interesting - super clear or pearl white & super black for this game? would be sharp looking to say the least ;) At least the Gold ones for my WH:I Dwarf Deck ;)

#9 Hellfury



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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:21 AM

Card sleeves will always cloud after being scratched from the course of playing. No way to avoid it.

The scratching however can be mitigated with good sleeves. Sadly, the best sleeves I have ever used are no longer produced anymore and they came in the M:tG card boxes during the Torment and Oddessy era of M:tG. Produced by Ultra pro, they were so good they stopped making them and could only be found in those art themed card boxes of that time. (Nice slightly textured back that made the cards glide off of each other)

Second best I have found are dragon shields, which are quite thick.

A clean play area will also help, which is why those playmats that are made by various companies are good, or a sheet of felt.

I hope FFG continues with the trend of full bleed cards. They look so much better than regular cards that utilize borders. They require the use of sleeves in order to maintain their pristine look, but then again most cards do anyways so no big deal. If you're a card player then the idea of sleeves should not be disdained but rather embraced as a added cost of playing. Lots of options out there and if you are frugal, then 'penny sleeves' (100 sleeves for a buck which are lower quality but for the price its hard to complain) are always an option.

#10 Karazax



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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:38 AM

 I really like the KMC japanese sleeves.  There is a good selection of clear, opaque and clear colored back cards to choose from and they tend to shuffle well and be of a high quality while also coming in at a decent price.

#11 qwertyuiop



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Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:40 AM

I haven't had any problems with the Players Choice sleeves other than the obnoxious anime character on the wrapper.  My W:I cards fit just fine. I like Dragon Shields ok, though the thickness puts me off a bit. I don't like my deck to be 150% its original thickness. I had a buddy who used them for his Decipher LOTR dwarf deck of a 100 cards. The only thing imposing about the deck was that it stood around 4 inches tall

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