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May 04, 2020
Hardcore gamers like to 'bling' out their games - either to protect them, to organise them, or just because it looks cool! During lockdown, we've found the therapeutic value of sorting and sleeving our card games immense - it's just a great way of relaxing.
One of the major hurdles with game accessories has always been availability- the specific sleeve you are using for your game goes out of stock, and then restocking it takes months. Asmodee are trying to address this by having a large-scale unified brand called Gamegenic. The major launch for this was in March this year, but there has been...other stuff...going on, so you may not have noticed. Stock for this is going to be held in EU warehouses, which hopefully will be much easier to restock from than the current US ones. We're not going to be holding *all* items in stock all the time - it's a huge range - but should be able to order in at a couple days notice.We were lucky enough to see the range at the GAMA trade show. (Yes, since you mention it, the one where we became the only UK shop ever to win two global awards :)). Subsequently, we've got some stock in and have experimented with sleeves and boxes.
We love card sleeves. They protect the cards from spillage (Critical in a games cafe) and general wear and make cards easier to shuffle - at least our sort of mushing together shuffle. But buying sleeves are a real pain for gamers - it seems like almost all cards are a different shape, and need different sleeves.FFG (Owned by Asmodee) tried to resolve the latter problem by having colour-coded sleeves which are announced on the back of their boxes - so the Marvel Champions box below shows that you need 7 of the Grey pack, and one of the Yellow.
It's a good idea and system, and Gamegenic have carried the colour system over into their range. But there is one very important thing to note - the Standard Board Game Sleeves - aimed at many games but particularly Magic and FFG games like Champions and Arkham LCG - are not exactly the same size or clarity as the old FFG Greys - they're about 2mm less high.
For most circumstances that won't matter - and if you're sleeving a new game it's irrelevant - but if you have a large collection of FFG Greys you should know the difference. They are now the same size as other Standard sleeves on the market, such as Ultra Pro and Mayday. My Arkham Horror collection is sleeved in Mayday, and the Gamegenic sleeves fit right in.
Gamegenic have the full range of Coloured Standard sleeves - they're called Prime but I don't think that means anything. (They use the word Prime a lot in their product names; sometimes they use it to mean Not-Matte, sometimes they use it in the same product name as they use Matte - I'd just ignore it when making purchasing decisions).
They also have Matte versions which just give the nicest shuffle we've ever done - it felt like they'd been coated in a silky butter.
They also do Inner Sleeves - these are very snug, inexpensive sleeves (100 to a pack) which are designed really only for your most loved cards. These don't have a nice feel to them and would shuffle awfully - we really wouldn't want to use them without the Standard sleeves outside them.In some ways the most exciting element in the sleeve range is the Value Pack. These Standard sleeves have an RRP of £9.99 for 200 - getting 4 packs of the same sleeve separately would be £11.96 (£2.99 each) - so that's a saving of almost 20%!
Finally, they do some game-specific sleeves, for Keyforge . These are lovely, but very much only if you're into that game.
Next up are the range of premium boxes. These are lovely, really some of the nicest boxes we've held, soft but warm to touch, protective inside and solid; but there's a confusing amount of them.
The first thing to know is that they have magnetic lid coverings. That has three implications. Most importantly, frankly, is the immensely satisfying *CLUNK* when you attach the lid. But it also means that you can mix and swap lids of different colours onto boxes of different colours. We're not totally convinced of the utility of this - possibly if you had a Magic Deck with Red and Blue lands you could coordinate them. Finally, you can use the lids in "innovative" ways, say the marketing types - you can attach the lids on the bottom of the case to save table space, or maybe to angle boxes. Again, not totally sure how useful this is, but it's cool.
The Squire can hold 100 double-sleeved cards - theoretically you could probably get 150 non-sleeved cards in, but if you're spending this level of cash (£16.99 RRP) to carry your cards in, you will almost certainly have sleeved them.
The Sidekick also holds 100, but horizontal rather than vertical.
The Watchtower is another 100-card holder, but also has an internal box that can come out and be used as a discard holder.
The Stronghold contains 200 double-sleeved cards. It has two internal boxes so this could easily be 2 separate decks. It also has a drawer for tokens or mini cards.
The Dungeon is vast- it can hold 1100 sleeved cards, but is sized so that you can put other boxes in the range inside it.
Again, there are Keyforge specific variants. The Vault holds three Keyforge decks and tokens, whereas the Deck Book only holds one deck, but does show off your Houses to the world!
The last nice thing are the Card Dividers. A pack of 10 is £1.99 RRP, and these are solid and nice feeling - usable horizontally as well as vertically with a tab that pokes out to show the division - probably not easy to write on the tab, though, as it's very small.
The standard deck boxes are fine - they aren't exciting, but they do the job for inexpensive organisation and transport (I have my Green Goblin and Wrecking crew decks in a single on each, for example). They start at £1.99 RRP, a lot less than the premiums above.
Thankfully, the naming is pretty straightforward and obvious! The larger ones hold 160 or 240 sleeved cards, the smaller ones 80 or 100. These are all available in multiple colours, so using colours to mean things is viable.
The Fourtress is the inexpensive version of the Dungeon. It holds 320 cards, but has removable inner walls so it can be adjusted to allow tokens or big decks. It's RRP is only £8.99, so you get a lot of storage for your pennies.
These generic playmats are lovely, solid pieces of kit; your cards will slide over them, and the mats won't slide over the table. But, they are simply flat colours, and just aren't as exciting as having a super-hero or jedi background, to me. Maybe I'm just not the target market; if you're a pro Magic, Pokemon, or Keyforge player they may be of more interest.
The tubes, on the other hand, are nice. The plastic is pleasanter in reality than in photos, they will fit 'standard' playmats completely, and even with larger playmats they give enough rigidity to make storage of, say, the Scythe mat more straightforward - we combine it with a wine-bottle crate to keep a dozen or so upright.
Yeah, they have binders. Some heavy duty luxury ones, some not. Honestly, I don't use binders, and don't think I'm ever likely to. I can understand if you have thousands of CCG cards to choose from, these would be useful, but it's not something I feel able to comment on.
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