In our gaming group, we have a very hard time picking out the Big Meeple from the other Meeples on the board. While the Big Meeple certainly is bigger than the others, it's not by a significant factor, and most of our group (epsecially me) just can't tell it apart from other Meeples on the board.

It has gotten to the point where we have implemented a house rule that when you play the Big Meeple, you must state you are playing it, and if someone asks where your Big Meeple is, you need to point it out. Still, it's easy to loose track of, in my opinion.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you implemented a similar house rule? Have you altered your Big Meeple (painting on it, drawing a smiley face on it, etc.) to help identify it? Or are we all just seriously visually impaired?

  • Interesting. Can't say I've ever had this problem. Nov 3, 2010 at 15:28
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    Just wait until you play with Abbey & Mayor and you have to tell the difference between the big meeple and the meeple with flare pants.
    – Kristo
    Nov 3, 2010 at 15:50
  • Yep, same problem, same approach: We also announce our big meeple when playing it, but that hasn't been an issue ever.
    – mthomas
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:00

6 Answers 6


I've mentally lost track of big meeples before, so I don't see a problem with visually altering it to make it stand out. Perhaps you could borrow a hat from a set of Legos? Honestly, I'm more surprised that your gaming group is cutthroat enough to need a rule to force people to announce when using big meeples. Carcassonne is a game of perfect information (other than tile draws). You should always be able to ask where something is.

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    I wouldn't say our group is cutthroat... it stemmed more from an "Aw crap, that was your Big Meeple? I didn't realize that" when people went to contest cities, etc. You're right, though, we should be able to ask where something is. Nov 3, 2010 at 16:05
  • @LittleBobbyTables, I see what you meant now. It's really a rule to promote honorable and friendly play then. My wife and I usually talk a little trash when someone plays the big meeple, so we wouldn't need such a rule.
    – Kristo
    Nov 3, 2010 at 16:12
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    Unrelated but fun: In our latest game we had a 33 tile city with cathedral (99 points), when it was finished, only 3 tiles were left on the pile. But at least 2 big meeple were stuck in that city for almost the entire game. Nov 4, 2010 at 11:50

You are not visually impaired. Telling at a glance whether one thing is bigger than another, when they are not immediately next to each other, can be fairly difficult. I have never played Carcassonne with the big meeple, but I've noticed this problem in other games, such as distinguishing medium and large Icehouse pieces in certain circumstances.

My solution would be to alter the big meeple in some way. Paint its head, glue a helmet or coronet onto it, or something of the sort. That will make it stand out a lot more than size alone, and be a lot more convenient than a house rule requiring it to be announced.


SpeilMaterial has a lot of options if painting the head in silver or something isn't enough

Cowboys (might have to paint yourself) & dwarfs for example.



I never thought of this as a problem, but always as a deliberate feature - sometimes it's possible to slip a Big Meeple into a city without drawing attention to it.

"Okay, so I finish the city and I get the points, because I have two workers to your one."

"Actually... you might want to look at my guy again..."

I'm aware that some groups' sense of fairness will result in a lynching if anyone tries to pull off something as "underhand" as this, but still, I'm pretty sure the Big Meeple is close in size to his smaller brethren as by a deliberate design choice.


I would suggest that if you wanted to do something simple to make the big meeple stand out, that doesn't cost a thing, juts make a house rule to play it on it's head or some other similarly different position.

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    Or glue a penny to the meeple's head so it's clearly intended to do a headstand.
    – idbrii
    Feb 18, 2011 at 7:36

I have this problem too. Placing the meeple on its back (rather than standing up) doesn't work for us because we use that for farmers (to resolve ambiguity with adjacent placements like roads).

If you don't mind permanent alterations, several suggestions have already been made. If you want your changes to be more temporary, consider a bit of tape of a contrasting color on the front and back. Duct tape comes in small rolls in all sorts of colors these days, and even though duct tape is sticky, it can be scrubbed off of a polished wooden surface like the meeples.

Alternatively, you could replace the big meeples with similarly-colored pieces from a different game, like the pawns from Pandemic.

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