I've started playing some days ago and i'm loving the game and the more strategic approach of ESL, yet keeping some casual and fun quirks. But I have had some slight problems that I will explain (I understand this is a Beta, I write this so developers can profit from feedback):
Leaving aside those things playing this game has been fun and interesting, and I plan to give it support in various forms as it develops. I strongly want this game to succeed.
Welcome to the gang Badger!
To me the animations add a nice rpg nuance that I really enjoy.
As for your observations on the cards I like the idea of some kind of art added that differentiates attributes a little, though I'm a big time text reader it would be a fun add-on when developers have time.
Anyway, welcome again... hope you enjoy.