Looking for Protective Card Sleeves for Blood & Plunder cards? We have all the sizing info you need and recommendations for protecting your ship stats cards, activation decks, and unit stat cards in the game! You can help extend the life of your cards and get some special use out of them.
Things To Know When Selecting Card Sleeves
Here are a few attributes to consider when selecting your solutions for the type of protective sleeves.
There are a few options for the style of finish on card sleeves. Here are the most common and the benefits & attributes of each.
- Matte – This style of sleeve is often an “unpolished” surface. They aren’t necessarily “rough” but they typically have a mild amount of texture to their surface. This is good attribute to help keep cards in neat stacks and well organized. This can be beneficial cards like for Activation Decks.
- Gloss or Ultra – These sleeves are clear and offer enhanced readability. They can be a little slick and slide easily. They are good for cards that are being pushed across a gaming table or matte.
- Ultra Clear – These are typically extra thin and super clear so it’s almost like there is no visible barrier on the cards at all.
- Rigid – Because these tend to have a licker layer of PVC material they are aren’t quite as clear as the soft covers, but I don’t feel like it’s enough to interfere with the readability. They also have a matte consistency so they don’t slide around much when stacked.
- Standard – sometimes called penny sleeves, as they used to be available in 100 packs for $1. While inflation has pushed that price point considerably, they are still the cheapest option for card protection.
- Premium – These are slightly thicker than Standard sleeves and offer limited resistance to bending. A thicker card sleeve is often better for decks that are going to be shuffled regularly.
- Semi-Rigid – Semi-rigid sleeves are thick but flexible. They are similar to something like the id card badges that are common for convention name badges. They resist damage, but if you try very hard then you can still bend the cards. They a good for heavy use at conventions or demos. They do not shuffle well and are not recommended for activation decks.
- Rigid or Hard – These are the thickest option. They are typically stiff enough to prevent bending (unless you are being really intentional). If you drop them they won’t cringle or bend. You can’t shuffle them with a bridge.
Blood & Plunder Ship Stat Card Sleeves Recommendations
One of the most important models in the game of Blood & Plunder are the gorgeous ship models. Of all the cards in the game, the Ship Stat Cards are arguably the ones that need protective sleeves the most. During your games your cards can be used to track damage to Rigging and the Hull and your reload markers.
Ship stats for damage can be reprinted on paper every time you play if you use the Blood & Plunder Force Builder, but that wastes ink and paper.
Ship Stat cards fit perfectly in sleeves sized for 4×6″ post cards. There are two primary styles of sleeve protectors that work well for your ship cards. Here are my top two recommendations for the options to buy
Option 1 – Soft Sleeve Card Protectors
If you are used to having your trading cards or sports cards in sleeves you will be familiar with the soft sleeve option. These are super thin, high-gloss sleeves. They offer the best clarity to see your cards as clear as if they were out of the sleeves. They are extremely slick so cards will slide around if you don’t band them together.
- Ultra Clear finish so the card look almost as good as if they didn’t have a sleeve.
- Super Thin, high gloss
- The edges can kind of crinkle if you squeeze them or bundle them with a rubber band that is tight
- Keeps the surface clean, but doesn’t prevent damage from bending
These are slightly cheaper and you get a 100 pk of 4″x6″ Soft Sleeve protectors on Amazon for about $6.
Option 2 – Hard Rigid Card Protectors
This is my personal recommendation and what I use for my ships cards. I run demos and go to cons where other people handle and use my cards regularly so durability is important. They are stiff and solid and keep the cards from getting bent or dog-eared. They are well spaced and keep your cards from sliding around and getting out of alignment. If you slap a rubber band on them they won’t bend or mess up the cards inside. .
- Great durability and resist bending and crinkling
- Cards resist sliding
- Can bundle with a rubber band without fear of damage or warping
- They feel “hefty” so it adds a subtle feeling of durability that your ships should represent.
- If you print your own copies of the stat cards on printer paper this is a quick way to make them stiff and durable without cardstock paper.
- Thick and chunky… but really not that bad
- More expensive
This style is my personal preference for ships and what I use for my own stat cards. You can get a 25pk of 4″x6″ Rigid Card Sleeves on Amazon for $13-14.
Comparing the Thickness of the two options
Here are a couple of side-by-side shots of the card sleeves for comparison. Unless you are an elite collector you probably don’t have more than 25 ships so a single pack of either option should be more than sufficient.
Upgrade suggestions – Dry erase markers
One of the other great benefits to putting your ships in sleeves is they are compatible with dry-erase markers. This lets you update your Damage and Reload markers as soon as it happens. You can also mark your upgrades and write additional notes on the back of the card sleeve. I was able to pick up a 3 or 4-pack of markers at my local Dollar Tree (or other dollar store) for $1.25 + tax.
Rigid Sleeves are Compatible with the Old Style of Ship Stat Cards
One of the other reasons I like the rigid style cards is that they are compatible with the older smaller ship cards. The older cards are 3.5″x5.75″. The stiff sides don’t do the weird “crinkle” you get if you tried to put them in the soft sleeves. They also hold still better and don’t slide around.
Both Sleeve Recommendations are Also Compatible with the Older Starter Box unit Cards
As you can see the starter box unit stat cards are the same size as the new ship stat cards so they also fit the sleeves.
If you run demos this can be an option for stat cards for new players to reference. You can star or circle the unit(s) they are using with a dry erase marker and you don’t have to keep printing out demo sheets for new forces.
Ship Stat Top Recommendation – Cards Rigid Top Loading Card Protectors
I highly recommend the rigid style holders, especially if you run demos/attend cons. If you are interested in getting your own, you can get a 25pk of 4″x6″ Rigid Card Sleeves on Amazon for $13-14.
Activation decks are used every game and over the course of time they will wear out like any deck of cards used regularly. They are standard poker card size 2.5″ x 3.5″. If you have a special faction activation deck from Firelock Games they are expensive to replace. So keeping them in good condition is an investment not have to order a new replacement.
Because activation decks have to be stacked in a draw pile the ultra clear high gloss can be a little too slick as the cards will shift and fall over easily. They can be a pain too, as the cards and slip and slide while you try to fan & bridge when shuffling.
Clear Matte Card Sleeves by Dragon Shield
Dragon Shield makes some of the best card sleeves on the market. They are an industry leader in the TCG and CCG space. They have a variety of options for style and colors. For Activation Decks the Clear Matte Sleeves are the best option. Clear allows you to see the backs of your decks so the faction logo still shows through.
Dragon Shield card sleeves on Amazon are available in single boxes of 100 sleeves, 5pk boxes and 10pk boxes .
Unit & Character Stat Cards
Blood & Plunder offers stat cards for units and leader models in the game. If you play a wide variety of factions and like to try out new things, these units typically don’t get a lot of handling and use to the point that they suffer a lot of wear and tear. As such, there isn’t a strong need to put them in sleeves. That said, a little protection never hurts. The older cards fit in the same card sleeves as the Activation Decks so if you have extras from those you can carry them over.
There is an unfortunate difference in the original from 17th Century stat cards and the new 18th Century Raise the Black stat cards. During the production of the new content, there was a change in the card printing service which resulted in a minor change in the card dimensions. I’m uncertain if it was intentional or accidental, but it does cause an issue.
The cards are the same height of 3.5″ (88.9mm) as you can see below. Sadly they are not the same width. The 17th Century cards are 2.5″ (63.5) wide and the new are 2 5/8″ (66.675mm) wide. This means that if you bought exact fitting card sleeves for the older units, they are incompatible with the new carts. And what’s worse, is there aren’t many options that fit that new size perfectly.
Raise the Black Unit & Character Stat Card Sleeve Recommendation
The best option I’ve found that works for the new card sizes are the 2 5/8″ x 3 5/8″ sized for “sports cards”. Sadly since they don’t fit perfectly there is an overhang at the top which is a bit fiddly.
Here is a picture of a stat card in a Sports Card Sleeve. You can see there is a little overlap at the top. If you really wanted to, you could trim the tops, but that’s more work than it’s worth.
I’ve not been able to find the card sleeves in larger bulk packs, so if you have a lead, let us know. Currently, the best option is a 100 pack of sleeves.
Original – Unit & Character Card Set: 77 cards
Raise the Black – Unit & Character Card Set: 112 total cards
So at minimum if you want to standardize all your unit cards you’ll need 2 pks of sleeves if you want to standardize all of your cards..
Link to order the 100 pk Unit Card Sleeves from Amazon.
PRE-Raise the Black Recommendation
If you want to protect your 17th Century cards and you run a LOT of cons and use the unit cards for new players to reference their stats you may want to put them in semi-rigid or rigid sleeves to protect them. This will keep them from getting bent as easily by careless new players.
Since there are a LOT of units in the game rigid sleeves will take a lot of room and so something in the semi-rigid finish is a better option. This 200pk comes with a great carrying case option for you to keep your units safe.
Pick up a set of semi-rigid sleeves for unit cards on Amazon