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Guild of Blades service review

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KAndrw
Offline
Joined: 08/20/2008

Last friday I received my order from Guild of Blades:

10 99 card decks, made of 89 different card fronts and two different
card backs.
10 A5(ish) scoreboards, single sided
10 A4(ish) pages of tokens, double sided

Because I couldn't persuade any of my software to output PDFs at
decent quality, I had to supply the images as A4 pngs, and paid Ryan a
small fee to put them together - I'm pleased to say they came out
exactly right.

The turnaround for the order was very quick - only about 14 days
between me sending the files and the product arriving here in Belgium.

The printing came out a little bit darker than I expected, which is
very possibly due to me having my monitor brightness set wrong. I
recommend to other customers that they request both a printed and a
data version of an example card, so they can calibrate their screen
and ensure the end result is exactly what they're after.

The double sided components were generally very well lined up, with no
more than 1mm or so discrepancy between front and back sides.

The cutting was very good. When the front and the backs of cards did
not line up perfectly, the cutting was done so that the back was as
uniform as possible - which is exactly what I would have asked for.

The edges of cards look quite battered because I chose to use black
borders, and with the cardboard being white on the inside, the cutting
process makes the edges have little white spots. It seems that white
borders would come out looking a lot better.

I'm hoping to leverage my 10 prototypes of my game to convince a
publisher to pick it up. If not, I may go the self-publishing route,
in which case I expect to put in another order sometime in the future!

For those who are interested, I sourced plastic bits from
plasticsforgames.co.uk, and found them to be ideal.

Here are some pictures:

A close up of two card fronts and two backs:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/cards_closeup.jpg

A blurry photo of several photos because my phone doesn't like indoor photography - still, it shows how the colours came out:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/DSC00854.jpg

The original files look a little lighter, though not THAT much. Here
are a couple, along with the blurby bit I threw in to try to entice
publishers...

Sektar/Dreadnought - the Sektar are an insect species, previously of a
single hive mind (now of hundreds of competing hives)
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/example1.jpg

Stone Lords/Dreadnought - the Stone Lords were the greatest empire the
galaxy had ever seen, decimated by civil war. They are regal and
stalwart.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/example2.jpg

Drakul/Escort - the Drakul are a collection of bloodthirsty species
that have banded together to enjoy the thrill of hunting.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/example3.jpg

Coalition of Glory/Fighters - the Coalition of Glory is another
collection of species, banded together to resist the Drakul. They are
often branded as pirates and opportunists.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/example4.jpg

Modules - Modules are added to Dreadnought class ships to expand their
arsenal and abilities:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/example5.jpg

Locations - The game is played on a board made of several face-down
Location cards. As they are explored, they are turned face-up, and
often change the way the game works.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ARowse/example6.jpg

Willi B
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Thanks!

I was keen to see how the Guild of Blades POD stuff is coming out. Hopefully as time goes on they continue to get better at the little things. I definitely would have to have some guarantees on alignment if I was to self publish through them.

KAndrw
Offline
Joined: 08/20/2008
To put the alignment issues

To put the alignment issues in context, I've bought Magic and Star Trek cards (y'know, back in the day) that had misaligned cutting FAR worse than the worst of the cards from GoB. While there's certainly room for improvement, I wouldn't be upset if I bought a game with the sort of misalignments I saw in my order.

(Remember that if one card is cut misaligned, there will be at least 8 others with exactly the same misalignment - which helps to mitigate any gameplay side-effects from having identifiable cards)

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