About a thing that bugs me about sleeving cards

This isn’t massive but I want to scream in to the void regardless. I do live in the modern world after all :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Sleeving cards, fine. Do it if you want. I rarely sleeve cards. I only do it for deck builders which need regularly shuffling. So the thing that annoys me about sleeving is the people who demand that all storage solutions fit sleeved cards. As a result I have quite a few inserts that don’t work for the product as supplied. Sushi Go Party comes to mind. Also this was sparked by the new insert for Spirit Island. It’s massive and the boxes for cards all are half full if the cards aren’t sleeved.

It’s almost like I’m being sold something not fit for purpose unless I buy a s*%t ton of disposable plastic that makes cards feel less nice in the hand.

Again, Sushi Go Party comes up. I own the game because it’s accessible and fun for less gamerly people. I don’t want to sleeve it as I don’t think it helps people to relax if they get the impression I’m precious about the cards which sleeve basically signal. Insert is useless and over sized though unless the cards are sleeved. As a result pointless for the product I have bought as supplied.

Boo! Now I get annoyed when I see people hassling publishers to make their products no good for their games as the supply them. More boo!!!

Ahem. Carry on.


I don’t have a massive issue with the Sushi Go Party box card slots, I didn’t realise it was designed for sleeved cards. But you’re right about oversized boxes/inserts. If I could shrink most of my games down 50% I would do so in a heartbeat. I wish the 12"x12" box wasn’t the standard, so many games don’t justify the footprint of the shelf size, material cost or environmental impact.

Brass Lanc/Birmingham did a good insert that accepts both. One shallow pit for unsleeved, deeper one for sleeved. Whichever isn’t used is for components.

I’m sure I’ve seen inserts doing a similar thing with a single pit - with deeper one at 90 degrees to the shallow one. For most inserts, there are ways of accomodating both with a little ingenuity.

I do agree, sleevers are OBSESSED with thinking they represent the majority. Every hobby has something like them for some reason. It always makes me laugh how there’s always someone in the comments of anything video games presuming that most people game on high end PCs. Such sweet summer children!


One of my very first 3D prints was a card organiser for Flamme Rouge. I didn’t have my cards sleeved so it would have been tricky to estimate the allowances to add. Of course one of the first comments on the design was that it didn’t fit sleeved cards. :laughing:


Yeh, this bugs me continuously. I’ve only used sleeves for game development as it makes it easy to just create cards by slipping some paper into a sleeve with a regular playing card.

Sleeving makes sense for CCGs or similar where you going to be regularly mixing together old and new cards so consistency is difficult, but for every game? Ridiculous.

Especially egregious that one of the complaints which arose when legacy games were introduced was the environmental impact, despite a lot of board game components being easily made of recyclable materials (paper, card, wood, etc). But wrapping everything in useless plastic is fine.


My Sushi Go Party has no insert as I replaced it with 4 deck boxes with instructions for what to select written on.

My theory is sleevers are a vocal minority that the ‘business’ then feels they need to accommodate due to how loud they sound.

I have two conditions for sleeving

  1. Does it get shuffled lots?
  2. Will the sex trophies play it?

If either answer is yes, it gets sleeves

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I’ve made this rant on Reddit before. It was downvoted

I’m with you 100%.

I was really disappointed with Millennium Blades and L99 Games when they caved to sleevers and opted for a really terrible “complete collection storage solution” box right after they showcased a really great one. Problem? Yeah, you couldn’t fit all the other components in the box if you sleeved, so you’d probably need to use one of the earlier expansion boxes. Sleevers were livid! The final solution? It’s a 2 box storage solution.

I… I can’t even. I’m so frustrated just thinking about it agian.


Some cards are printed cheaply enough that if played with a lot (i.e. more than once) they will quickly start to chip round the edges.

I think my record game size reduction was for Splendor, to less than ¼ the original volume (though there wasn’t room for the rulebook). I still haven’t made a new box for Cities of Splendor though.

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So sorry to hear about the Spirit Island box… my current foamcore insert is overflowing because it wasn’t made with the 1st expansion + sleeves in mind. Spirit Island is the game that started me sleeving again because I played it so much the cards needed protection… (Just an aside: my SI pledge still hasn’t arrived. Delayed because I ordered one of the more elusive pieces as part of my “take my money and give me everything” pledge).

For the games I decide to sleeve, I buy those really nice matte sleeves… they look great and really add to the haptics. Those are expensive, but I am noticing they don’t stand up to the continued shuffling necessary for Star Realms and also I regret making that small game kind of huge with sleeves. But now I am too lazy to take the cards out of the sleeves again.

I am guessing the insert makers assume that people who splurge on the inserts are also going to kit out their games in every other way possible?

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I don’t sleeve and that’s definitely a noticeable flaw in complete storage solutions for games where there’s no more coming. (Though, for my Sentinels big box, I could probably sneak in the Earth-Prime decks when that finally hits, and maybe some POD Cauldron stuff.) But for something like Spirit Island where they’re almost certainly going to do more content, I view it as more space before I need another insert. I don’t think it harms the functionality of the insert really.


Thanks all. I’m glad it’s not just me who gets annoyed about this. You’re the best community online this nerd could wish for.

Plus we have Mark Bigney on our side too.


Im a recent member of the Church of Sleeves. I dont mind either way on how they design the insert or the box. I usually throw the insert once I see an excuse. Like, what’s wrong with good old baggies and chuck them all in the box shtick?


I play Legendary the Marvel comic deck building game all the time. I never sleeved until the start cards there started showing wear so now I sleeve all of that. It’s a beast as there’s thousands of cards and sleeving doubles the storage needed, but it’s my baby and I really do play it a lot.

Only other stuff I usually sleeve is hidden role type cards where one getting marked in some way could ruin the entire game. Other than that, I just don’t care.

Inserts with too much room so that it causes a problem, like cards are stored standing up and unsleeved cards will start to warp over time, really bother me. Otherwise empty boxes full of air are an annoyance but I’m not sure inserts designed around sleeves are the biggest offenders there.


A good insert cuts setup and teardown time, often offers things you can use during the game that make that more convenient, and least importantly, looks much nicer. Obviously most of the inserts publishers put in boxes are useless wastes of box space, but not always. (Unless we’re talking FFG, sigh.)


I’m an interloper. I like some games sleeved, I don’t sleeve other games. Being a social butterfly, I refuse to commit to either tribe. I’m a goddamn butterfly!


There are sleeves and sleeves. Last week I had a game of Grass with sleeved cards, but the sleeves were so, so bad that on several occasions I had more card in my hands than the allowed quantity because they kept sticking together due to static. Very, very annoying indeed. I can see how a game card like that might need sleeves to protect them from wear out, but:
a) the sleeves were too large for the cards
b) they kept sticking together
c) better off taking them out of sleeves in my opinion. I haven’t seen the game played so much anyway.

But I understand that some games, or games from clubs where they have heavy use, sleeves can have a place. Within reason.

I only have sleeved two games. Lovecraft Letter, because the game came with the sleeves included, so why not. The other is Inis, which just has such pretty artwork that I felt I had to. Good thing, to, as the first time I got it to the table, a friend spilled her drink. Just moistened the top of a couple of the cards thanks to the sleeves. Otherwise, they would have been ruined.

I have used so few inserts that make a game easier to organize that I’m not much bothered either way despite not sleeving things. I just cram things in however fits best and if that creates problems during set up and tear down I adjust as necessary until it doesn’t. In particular I find that most of the really complicated injection molded inserts with a place for everything cause more problems than they solve.

I think the one exception is Battlecon. As a game with no shuffling and minimal hidden information, the individual character boxes in recent releases are still sized for sleeves. They end up taking so much room I don’t use the nice individualized boxes. They’re about twice the size of a standard poker deck box to hold less than 20 cards and a handful of tokens each.

I sleeve my Netrunner cards, I sleeved my MTG cards, and I’ve sleeved a few other games. Smash Up comes to mind as one.

I’ve not sleeved Battle for Rokugan, a game I’ve owned for a while and is probably my favourite, and I’ve not sleeved War of Whispers, a game I’ve recently got and I’m loving.

I don’t actually remember if my Ascension or Star Realms are sleeved.

But to me if I wanted people to feel at ease and like they don’t need to worry about whether or not my cards are damaged, sleeves exist. If we are playing a party game if some description, especially one that leans on hidden information, and you put a stain on the back of one of them, or if a drink falls over on any game, that’s it. It’s over.

If it’s sleeved, you can swap them and it’s sorted. No worries.

As for storage solutions: There are no good storage solutions. Get something custom either made, make it yourself, or one of those specialist company ones, but I’ve not found a single box that contains more than just a few baggies for a few tokens and a board that actually serves its purpose, sleeves or none.


Especially when they didn’t plan for the expansions they wanted to make. I dislike games that make me use more than one box. As you might expect from me, I think making your own insert is the way to go that way everything fits the way you want :slight_smile: (Disclaimer: I have a few wood inserts and I did order SI with one and I like them for the most part but they just get too expensive and also I like creating my own organizational scheme)

@Kir2 I can’t even commit to sleeving a complete game. Take my copy of Gloomhaven: we’ve sleeved the player cards and the equipment. Those get handled a lot. The rest can stay as is.

@Chewy77 There are guides to get the right sleeves for a game (see link below). Many years ago, I had sleeves for Tash Kalar that didn’t fit. It made the game worse. Low quality sleeves make handling the cards an unpleasant experience.

People even sleeve tiles in their tile laying games or so I heard when I followed that particular thread on the Obsession KS. I’m mostly on the protect components that see heavy use side of things. Because games are made out of paper (mostly) and go out of print. So good point about Inis @COMaestro, I need to check BGG which ones I need.

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