I’ve been collecting expansions for Marvel Legendary since I started playing, and Upper Deck have been releasing them at an ever increasing rate. They have ramped up to 4 expansions a year, so the number of dividers included with the base sets were eventually going to be insufficient to keep the cards organised in any meaningful way. You can buy the plain dividers from Upper deck at a very reasonable price, but that’s not very exciting. There are also a plethora of fan made versions, like this series from Richie625. They are exciting, but require time and resources to complete. So, like any rational person deciding to save themselves the time of making a Print ‘n’ Play, I decided to design my own from scratch.
I liked the dividers that The Game Crafter produced as part of my Keyforge boxes. And if I’m going to all the trouble of making these things, I should make them available to others. This requires creating all the elements from scratch, which will add a bit of time to the procedure.
You pay for a full sheet of card stock in production, and up to 15 dividers can be cut from that sheet. The cost of using a sheet for 1 divider is the same as the cost for 15, which in this case is (USD) $1.99. Maximising the use of a sheet is paramount in production. Each set also comes with a $0.89 handling fee. So,
A 15 divider set (which I think should be fine for all the small boxes), would cost $2.88 for manufacture. Sold for $3.99 it makes a profit of $1.11. The Game Crafter takes 30% of that, or $0.33 and I would make $0.78.
A 30 divider set, which I’m hoping will be enough for the big box sets, would cost $3.98 for the materials plus a $0.89 for handling for a total of $4.87. Selling for $5.99 would be a profit of $1.12. The Game Crafter would take $0.33 and I would make $0.79.
And a 45 divider set, which is probably only needed for the Core Set and Villains, would cost $5.97 in materials, $0.89 for handling and total $6.86. Selling at $7.99 would be a profit of $1.13. The Game Crafter would take $0.34 and I would make $0.79.
So … just under 80 cents profit on each set. I won’t try and calculate how many I would need to cover my time …
Draft 1 – January 2020
I started with the Hero dividers, because they are obviously the star of the show. Some basic graphic design necessitated the card name start far left, the team be on far right, and the counts of the class cards be between them. I put the classes in the same order they appear in the rules book, and figure to keep them each in the exact same spot for each card. When Hero names are too long, as in this case, they will go over 2 lines.
The class make-up of each Hero is fundamental to choosing which Heroes will make up the Hero deck. Each Hero has 14 cards, so most of the time the totals of the classes will be 14. This Captain America Hero has multi-class cards, and so the count is higher.
First thought on all the Villain dividers is to set a Title on the left, and then list the group names on the right. The Scheme names can be long, so I first put them in a small font, on both sides of the divider.
It takes about 3 weeks from when I place an order at The Game Crafter till it arrives here and I can see it. While I was waiting, I started working on improving them.
Draft 2 – February 2020
Another obvious piece of information is what teams or classes are required to activate the bonuses on the Hero cards. Bishop in the Dark City set has a common card with the text “Covert: You may KO a card from your hand or discard pile.” and his uncommon card has the text “Range Range: You get +3 Attack.” The addition of coloured Icons after the Hero name is a good way to indicate that Bishop gets a bonus from previously played Covert and Range cards. You will notice that I messed up the order here, by putting the blue Range icon first. Keeping them in a consistent order is obviously important.
It also seemed like a good idea to watermark the dividers, so you could see which set they came from. I kept it very washed out on this draft.
If we’re going to add bonus icons to the Heroes, it seemed just as important to add the icons for the penalties to the Villains and the Schemes. The Sinister Six Villain group has 3 cards with the text “Each player reveals an Instinct Hero or gains a Wound.” and 2 cards with the text “Each player reveals an Instinct Hero or discards a card.” As I was working on the Villains dividers it seemed a good idea to add a capital letter for each class, as they are all different.
The “Weave a Web of Lives” Scheme has the instruction “Whenever you defeat a Villain, you may pay 1 Recruit. If you do, rescue a Bystander.” It also has the instruction “You can’t fight the Mastermind unless you have a Bystander in your Victory Pile for each Twist next to the Mastermind.” Adding an Icon to indicate when Bystanders are manipulated seemed like a useful addition. That way you can choose Heroes that are good at rescuing Bystanders when playing against Schemes and Masterminds that require players to have them. In retrospect I added an Icon for Wounds as well.
Draft 3 – March 2020
Time to step my game up.
First up, the dividers were too red, and so I blued them up to closer match the colour of the official dividers.
I added a texture to each of the class backgrounds and graded them up to be more evocative of the coloured borders you find on the Hero cards. The same was done to the Icons. And the final piece of information that has been lacking is the use of Keywords. I toyed with putting them in the body of the divider, but the point is to have the information visible above the cards in the box. This meant they had to be on the far left, under the team and classes. Peter Parker, Homecoming has Wall-Crawl, Danger Sense and Coordinate.
We also moved all the information up, a little outside the safe text area, to keep them as close to the top of the cards as possible. This way, they will be easier to read in the box.
Scheme and Villain cards in the game have a coloured template to make them instantly recognisable. I borrowed the same system to mark their dividers, because that’s infinitely better than labeling the dividers with words. The Villain dividers have keywords, so now all the information is available.
The watermark was printed at a few different levels on the dividers. I eventually ended on the one you can see above, which is at 80% opacity.
Draft 4 – May 2021
Final adjustments. All the Icons on Heroes with a 2 line name, are now on the top line, so you can see them easier in the box. The watermark is in upper and lower case characters, instead of all caps.
I horizontally flipped the design on the Henchmen dividers, so they are easily differentiated in the box. For consistency, all icons and keywords were moved to the left hand side of masterminds, villains & schemes. And font sizes for 1, 2, 3 & 4 lines of text were set, for consistency across all dividers.
And that is that. With the design elements locked in, it is just a matter of producing the sets, and ordering a copy to check before they go live. 8 sets are currently up for sale, and more are on the way to me for final approval. The sets will be added to the Shop page as they get finalised.
Sets Currently Available
- Legendary Core Set
- Fantastic Four
- Paint the Town Red
- Captain America, 75th Anniversary
- Phase 1
- Spider-man Homecoming
Next to be Released
- Civil War
- Dark City
- Secret Wars Vol. 1