Board Games 101 – Meeples

Meeples are found throughout a wide variety of games but what are they?

Non Gamers might be kind of confused when hearing this term.  It almost sounds like a snack that could be kept at the table during the game.  In this short installment of Board Games 101, we will be defining the term meeple and also flesh out the different variety of meeples in games.

What is a Meeple?

I could explain what a meeple is but I’ll simply show you.


This is a meeple.  They are usually small wooden figures in the shape of people.  They don’t necessarily have to be made of wood but is common medium for their creation.  The different colors are usually used to differentiate between the player’s meeples.  The actual term meeple was coined during the production of Carcassonne which the first meeple was used.  Alison Hansel, during play testing, merged the words “my” and “people” to describe the little people pieces.  The term was so loved that it was written into the production copy of the instructions and has been used throughout games ever since.  The meeple is often used as a visual representation of the modern board game movement.

Examples of Meeples

The meeple has had lots of variations since its conception in Carcassonne.  They have had a huge impact on the worker placement games which gives them a better thematic element.  There is even a website that specializes in making custom meeples to add to your games.  You can find them at


Lets now look at some of the several variations of the meeple that has been used.




Stone Age

lords of waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep

caverna animeeples

Caverna with it’s Animeeples

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