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Meeple Mountain Year in Review – 2021

Meeple Mountain is 6 years old! 2021 was a challenge, but life is a coop game and we’re still in this thing. Join us as we celebrate our accomplishments!

Meeple Mountain is proud to have its focus on the written word. There’s something sublime about a clever turn of phrase that puts a smile on our faces. Join me as I walk through our accomplishments for 2021 and talk about what’s on the horizon for 2022.

191 Written Reviews

While we’re proud to publish more types of content than just reviews, they still provide the bulk of our published pieces. This number went up significantly from 2020: this year had 191 to 2020’s 154. We’re proud to have reviewed some of the most interesting games from 2021 including TEN, What Next?, Juicy Fruits, Red Rising, Mandala Stones, Mosaic: A Story Of Civilization, Vivid Memories, Buru, Long Shot: The Dice Game, Mercado de Lisboa, and Brick & Mortar.

And we’ve also covered a number of hotly anticipated 2022 titles as well – either already reviewed or on the calendar. We’ve already reviewed Blazon, The Palaces of Carrara (Second Edition), That Time You Killed Me, Verdant, Wild Serengeti, Meeples & Monsters, and Divinus. And you can look forward to reviews of Radlands, Bequest, Snowhere, and lots more.

In 2019 we began running board game giveaways, but those fell off in 2021. We’d like to start those up again so if you’re interested in sponsoring a giveaway on Meeple Mountain, let us know!

41 Videos

We published 41 videos to the Meeple Mountain website, but we took a slightly different strategy in 2021. We’re no longer publishing every video to the Meeple Mountain YouTube channel and the website. This gives our video reviewers a little more freedom to publish content to the channel and have that be the only place to watch it. Make sure you check out the YouTube channel to so that you don’t miss anything.

In 2021 our subscriber count increased to nearly 1,900 and our views were up accordingly. 133,000 to only 100,000 in 2020. Our primary video reviewers are Brody Sheard and Tyler Williams who have been releasing a steady stream of great reviews, unboxings, and playthroughs.

Our top videos for 2021 were the Everdell: Newleaf and Mistwood expansions, That Time You Killed Me, Flourish, Canopy, and Excavation Earth.

8 Top 6 Lists

We all love a good list, especially when it’s got an interesting slant. Our readers are no different, with over 26% of last year’s traffic coming from our Top 6 lists. Our biggest hit continues to be Tom’s Top 6 Catan strategies guide with an astonishing 16% of our total traffic for the year; proving the staying power of old-school hobby games.

We also published a few other lists of interest, such as our Top 6 Rules for Rulebook Writing, Six indie films that deserve board game adaptations, Top 6 Risk Games, and our list of Top 6 Up and Coming Board Game YouTubers.

35 Articles and Editorials

This year saw the 20th anniversary of the release of Carcassonne and we celebrated that with a mammoth History and Celebration of Carcassonne detailing the high points of each of the last 20 years for this classic influential board game. Then we followed that up with a Carcassonne Strategy Guide. Your move Klaus-Jurgen Wrede!

We also released our ultimate guide to board game services: an attempt to help board game designers connect with artists, producers, translators, rule book writers, and a number of other essential services for board game design.

We followed that up with articles on how to combine food and fantasy in your RPG settings, offered tips for teaching new board games to friends and strangers, asked questions about tiebreakers, published a celebration of Board Game Arena, and suggested that Villainous and it’s expansions be considered as case studies in board game design.

Our “Most Anticipated Games of…” series continues with Gen Con and Essen Spiel. We attended Gen Con and finally attended Essen Spiel (at least one of us did). and frequent reader Bob Pazehoski, Jr. became a new team member with his inaugural piece on Why I’m Looking for the Next Charterstone

Finally, we partnered with a number of board game publishers to raise money for food security. Thanks to Alderac Entertainment Group, Bezier Games, BoardGameTables.com, Elf Creek Games, Gamewright Games, Lucky Duck Games, and Steeped Games our readers contributed almost $1,500 USD to to Feeding America, Food Banks Canada, or The Trussell Trust – Stop UK Hunger to help put food on the tables of people in the US, Canada, and the UK.

8 Board Game Award Nominations

We’re bringing the Diamond Climber board game awards back for a 4th year, but we made big changes. We slashed the number of categories to 8, making it easier to decide the winners. Fewer categories means more impact.

The big winners from the 2021 Diamond Climber Awards were On Mars and Calico, both taking home 2 awards each.

What titles do you think are sure winners in the 2021 awards? Join us for the 2021 Diamond Climber Awards fan voting and make your voice heard! We’ll start announcing the winners in February.

Website Traffic & Social Media

In 2021 we hit some really great milestones on social media. We’re approaching 1,900 subs on YouTube (so close to that 2,000 mark), we hit 4,200 followers on Twitter, 2,200 followers on Facebook, and over 2,000 followers on Instagram.

Thanks in part to some adjustments to the Google search algorithm we mentioned last year, our website traffic numbers were down significantly over the previous year: 812,523 to 2020’s 1,433,587. That’s a bit of a gut punch, but traffic seems to be trending back up over the past 2 months so I’m optimistic for 2022.

We’re going to continue to look for interesting article possibilities and write about it…because that’s who we are! Have a suggestion for a topic? Let us know!

Board Gaming in Nashville

2020 started off as a wasteland for in person gaming, at least in Nashville. But beginning in the fall I’m thrilled to say that Nashville Game Night started back up again. Numbers are still small as people test the waters, but they’re increasing month over month as more and more people begin to feel comfortable with attending in person events.

We still didn’t have a Nashville Tabletop Day, but we are making plans for a resumption of festivities in April, 2022. Stay tuned for more details as we decide on them.

What Does 2022 Have in Store for Meeple Mountain?

We hit a few of last year’s goals, but also missed on some big ones. Because 2020 and 2021 were hard for so many people, several of our contributors had to step away. That’s sad for many reasons, but we’ll keep them in our hearts and on the pages of this website. But that also means we’ll be actively looking for new writers in 2022.

Social media is important, but is also a challenge to manage, so our follower goals were left unfulfilled. But that just gives us room for new, more realistic, goals.

So what does 2022 have in store for us? Wargaming as a segment of tabletop gaming is becoming more and more popular and I’d love to see us continue publishing great content in that arena.

I’d also love to bring on more team members in general. More people on the team means we can cover more games for you to read about! With an all-volunteer team, you always have some ebb and flow, and since we only did one call for contributors in 2021 we didn’t bring on more new team members like we usually do in a year. That said. the team members who did join us have proven to be talented, passionate, and prolific (welcome Andrew, Justin, and Bob)! If you want to write about board games, and you think you’d be a good fit for Meeple Mountain, then drop us a line.

So how about some concrete goals?

  • Add five new team members:
    • 1 new team member to cover wargame content
    • 1 new team member to do videos
    • 3 new team members to do reviews and articles
  • Run 12 giveaways
  • Add one new t-shirts to our store
  • Reach 4,300 Twitter followers
  • Reach 2,000 YouTube subscribers
  • Reach 2,400 Facebook followers
  • Reach 2,200 Instagram followers

Only the next 12 months will tell us if we made it or not. Will you join us on a journey through time?

Peace!
Andy Matthews
Founder of Meeple Mountain
Editor of MeepleMountain.com

About the author

Andy Matthews

Founder of Meeple Mountain, editor in chief of MeepleMountain.com, and software engineer. Father of 4, husband to 1, lover of games, books, and movies, and all around nice guy. I run Nashville Game Night, and Nashville Tabletop Day.

2 Comments

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  • Congrats to Andy and all the others who make MM an inviting place for the community. I’m amazed that you were able to accomplish so much with the potpourri of challenges that 2021 threw our collective way.

    Looking forward to more MM goodness in 2022! 🖖

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