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Board Games by Stonemaier Games

Stonemaier Games is a tabletop game publisher run by Jamey Stegmaier with the support of co-founder Alan Stone, Director of Communications Joe Aubrey, and a myriad of talented independent contractors, volunteers, and fans.

Scythe board game
Rank: 3
Trending: 37
Wingspan board game
Rank: 4
Trending: 4
Viticulture: Essential Edition board game
Rank: 7
Trending: 61
Tapestry board game
Rank: 120
Trending: 216
Charterstone board game
Rank: 136
Trending: 265
Tuscany: Essential Edition board game
Rank: 144
Trending: 176
Scythe: Invaders from Afar board game
Rank: 197
Trending: 574
Scythe: The Rise of Fenris board game
Rank: 230
Trending: 392
Between Two Cities board game
Rank: 240
Trending: 725
My Little Scythe board game
Rank: 301
Trending: 555
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Wingspan Preview | Board Games | Zatu Games UK | Seek Your Adventure image
A Look at Cartographers, Hints of a Future Game from Stonemaier Games & Other Board Game News image
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I really like what they did with Wingspan but I personally don't see it as one of the more thematic games in the board game industry. Mostly because for me, a thematic game is one where there's a strong connection between the theme and the mechanics. In its best form, it makes the players completely immersed in their roles and much of the gameplay fits like a glove and feel very natural and in theme, and less so about playing for points. And based on that criteria, I think Wingspan has great aesthetical touches around the bird theme (namely the art and interesting flavor text) and has a few mechanics around individual bird properties (e.g. predators preying on birds with smaller wingspan), but it also has mechanics that aren't quite in theme (e.g. how laying eggs works, bird powers that are random benefits, etc). And with how the gameplay works, you never get away from thinking about everything in the perspective of "points".

In comparison, I think that another game from Stonemaier Games, #Viticulture: Essential Edition, is actually more thematic than Wingspan. From managing your workers to care for your vineyard, to growing grapes and producing wine, and fulfilling orders and wishes of your visitors, it has more going for it in terms of thematic consistency (even if it doesn't completely reflect reality).

That was amazing.  In was like reliving the last few years of my board gaming life all over again.  Couple things popped out...Code names was huge for a while, and then along comes Gloomhaven and its lights out.  Not sure there was ever more of a disparity from one game to all others than Gloomhaven.  Even Wingspan at it's height didn't seem to get as big.  Also it's good to be Stonemaier Games...They dominated the top spot several times through the years.  I think the other thing that surprised me a bit was how some very popular and highly ranked games never dominate the rankings, for instance Brass Birmingham, which is ranked 3rd on BGG's all time list pops in and out in 2018 when it's released and then comes back in in 2019 but never seems to get to the top spot.  It sort of hangs around mid tier to maybe 3rd, while root and wingspan and Everdell and others seem to be far more popular.  Wingspan being the only one of those in the top 20.  I found this really fascinating.  I would love to see this same type of video but with board game sales as the data, I know that's not possible but it would be amazing.

Thanks, I'm glad it was an enjoyable experience for you :)

Gloomhaven amazes me because I can't think of another game of the same genre that has been so overwhelmingly popular. Actually, thinking about it, maybe it's that it's very different from all other games in the same genre? Or is it that it's the most fitting of the image of a #1 game (big, pricy, large scope, etc)? Or that it's just the best game designed period? Or is it that the brand has grown so big to a point that everyone looks up to it? I'm sure it's a combination of many different aspects and I agree with you that it's a fascinating trend.

Among the other games mentioned, the interesting thing about #Root is that it's typically been in the top 10 spot consistently, but started dropping steadily as the pandemic kicked in. You can see the trend here:


And yes, Stonemaier Games has been killing it for a while now. And I doubt that trend will stop any time soon haha. We're really looking forward to #Pendulum @jameystegmaier :)

I certainly appreciate the fact that some of my games have a solo mode for the sake of people who enjoy that but I don't really play board games solo. I'd typically rather do a different activity if I were to be solo like watching shows, playing video games, or just working on some project.

I do like the approach that Stonemaier Games takes where I believe they typically design games as multiplayer and then have an outside designer create the single player mode that fits within the theme.

I'm more and more convinced that because board game quality keeps going up, new ones that want to break out can't do it with one axis anymore. It's got to have a great theme, great mechanics, and great production quality to really stand out.

I see a lot of Stonemaier Games doing this and it makes me so happy to play their games.

I see Stonemaier games are a big deal in the BGG top 100...but I never hear anyone talk about Euphoria and/or Between Two Cities. Either of those worth checking out?

Interesting question. I can certainly see the marketing side of it where buyers could equate "big box = more complicated/good/valuable" game. On the flipside, a big box could also scare off potential buyers who aren't looking for something so involved. This is closer to how I typically react to big box games, because I usually prefer games that play within 2 hours and something that doesn't have so many pieces/require long setups.

When it comes to the efficiency of the inside of the box, I lean closer to wanting something compact and efficient. This is mostly because I have limited storage space. I did start realizing why so many people want a bigger box for expansions though, when I first got #Tuscany: Essential Edition. Granted, Viticulture (and Stonemaier Games in general) does a good job in anticipating storage space for expansions. I feel like it's really tough for a publisher to make the call because so many variables go into it. In the case of something like #Root (my favorite game), I'd actually like having all of the expansions in their own boxes: (1) because I want to keep the boxes and the art and (2) because I wouldn't want one giant box to store all of the expansions. But if an expansion is more of an add-on and less of a standalone game, then I'd definitely prefer have one box to store them all.

I agree with everyone saying Chip Theory games and Stonemaier games. I think of luxury in terms of quality but also that prices will probably never go down lol. Kind of a separate note, but I don't like when games try to pass as luxury by having a lot of miniatures or components in general.

Great video and fun!  I'd love to hear about thoughts on clans still but glad to hear it's among the top games for .  I would say, your top five were a wide array of choices.  I found that interesting. top 5 were similar to my own with two Stonemaier games if I remember correctly.

The unscripted banter was great.  I realize it's hard to capture moments like these but it would be fun to see more :)  

Looks good. I do see however that the way the games are counted is a little wonky. For instance, Stonemaier Games has 57 titles listed, but a bunch of those are just component upgrades, expansions, or the like. It does seem like it would be nice to have a way to separate the titles out a bit. 

I agree on your #Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes Expansion and #Viticulture: Visit from the Rhine Valley.  As for my personal favorite expansions:

#Anachrony: Exosuit Commander Pack - adds one of the most comprehensively upgraded game experiences of any expansion I have.  Very costly expansion though, sadly.

#Scythe Encounters - 32 new promo encounter cards (Stonemaier Games) - is perhaps one of the most overlooked and best expansions for a game.  When someone who has Scythe asks me which expansion to get first I recommend this one first every time.  It's the most cost effect add to the game and the cards are a nice upgrade over those that come with the base game

#Wingspan: European Expansion - the new birds and different type of actions added a nice dynamic to the game.  We liked it a lot a look forward to the #Wingspan: Oceania Expansion.  Now if that box could be made to fit ALL the expansions....

#Scythe: Invaders from Afar Expansion - is a great add to the base game and opens up the 7 player option (excellent fun!).  The factions are different from the base factions and add unique dynamics to the gameplay when used.

Tie: #Firefly: The Game – Kalidasa & #Firefly The Game: Blue Sun Expansion - Firefly is a fantastic game that captures the heart of the show fabulously.  These two expansions open up the 'verse and offer a great number of additional options for flying around completeing quests and dodging reavers.  

#7 Wonders of course! Some other good ones are #Dune and #Evolution: Climate (personal favorites of mine). Most Stonemaier games play well at 5-6 too! #Sushi Go Party! is good for a light game for a bigger group.

It seems like you're into bluffing/hidden traitor/etc. type games, is that a fair assessment?

All super well regarded games right there! Funny how 3 out of 4 are published by Stonemaier Games. How many players did you play #Viticulture: Essential Edition with?

1. Games I bought on impulse - #Disney Villainous & #Agricola (Revised Edition)

2. What typically triggers the impulse - I typically never buy things on impulse. But with the two games I mentioned, they were both at a great price :( Villainous was completely out of the blue but I had been planning to buy Agricola in the near future.

3. The perfect combination of keywords that would make my wallet tremble in fear:

  • "Leder Games" + "Screen-Printed Meeples" + "Area Control Game for 2p" - Ok, this is basically #Root but with more focus on 2p lol. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoy it at 2p but it's too limited if you don't have the expansions. #Cry Havoc appeals to me for the same reasons after reading 's impressions of the game. Maybe I'll just get the expansions instead at some point...
  • "Leder Games" + "Root" + "Campaigns" - If #Root came with various scenarios and storylines and different bosses, that would be an amazing experience with my wife.
  • "Legacy" + "Final Fantasy 7 or 9" + "Stonemaier Games or FFG" - Perfect combination of IP I'd love to see in a board game + a publisher who could bring that IP to life with great attention to detail. This could potentially just make me want to play the video game instead, but this would honestly be a must buy for me.

The list makes sense, but I never could understand what people see in #Scythe, even though I like many other Stonemaier games. It just felt extremely dry and unfocused, even though it is a decent game - a 7/10 for me. Something I could see myself playing if others really wanted, but not with excitement.