The Evolution of the Meeple

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Tune into Game the Game on G&S Live every Friday from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm where Ivan Van Norman and Becca Scott break out some of the best board games the industry has to offer, with new guests each week! This week they’re playing Tiny Epic Quest, which features some awesome meeples.

Possibly one of the most recognizable components of Euro style board games is the meeple. This little 2D person gets its name from Alison Hansel fusing the words “my” and “people.” For the longest time, I thought it was because they were people made of maple, but any material can be used to make them. There are even companies out there that offer hand-painted meeples.

What games use them? There are a lot. Here’s a short list of games that showcase and change the figure of the meeple.


This is the granddaddy of meeple games. They got your meeples, big meeples that count as two, builders, princess, dragon, huts, you name it. All of your little people are placed on the board to score you points throughout the game.

Dos Rios

Meeples with hats because all meeples should wear one to keep the sun out of their eyes. Another worker placement game where you’re gathering components to build your houses. Place dams to change the flow of the river in your favor.


Animal meeples and farmers, need I say more? You play a farmer and his wife who have to chose between collecting resources, building fences, expanding your house, and making more meeples. Yeah, you get to add to your meeple pool, but you need to be careful that your farm can sustain the growing brood.

Stone Age

Bushy-haired meeples? The variety of meeples that game companies come up with astounds me. Your wild-meeples are competing for food in prehistoric times by hunting, gathering, and trading.

Pillars of the Earth

These are some of the most people-like meeples I’ve seen. They almost look like shadows of people. At the beginning of the 13th century, you are competing to contribute the most to the construction of a new cathedral.

Tiny Epic Quest

Meeples with the ability to hold things. I need these in my life. All of the meeples have hex shaped holes and there are weapons and items for them to hold. You’re the leader of a band of elves questing to save the world. Learn spells, acquire quests, and pick up artifacts to close the portals.

Want to see these meeples in action? Tune in this Friday to watch Becca and Ivan play Tiny Epic Quest.

What’s your favorite game with Meeples? Did I miss it?  Let me know in the comments below!

Feature Image Credit: Dawn Dalton

Other Image Credit: Z-Man Games, Mayfair Games, Gamelyn Games

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