We have a tag called , and I'm not sure what it means. There is no tag wiki and it is currently tagged on a question about game design, and question about physical vs computer implementations of board games, and a question about Agricola.

Best explanation I could find for a designer board game is an About.com article, but it is still pretty vague. I get the impression that there is no universal definition.

So does have a clear meaning? And if not, should we delete it?

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    Weird. I have no idea what it'd be referring to. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 5:10

3 Answers 3


I think we should get rid of the tag.

It refers to the distinction between mass-market board games (Monopoly, Clue, etc) and less widely published/sold board games. Think of things that might conceivably have the designer's name on the box. (See corsiKa's answer for a more detailed description.)

As far as the tag goes, I don't think it serves much purpose, and we could easily get rid of it. Most of the games we get questions about are designer board games by this definition, and there's not much point in a tag that would apply to most questions on the site.

We have to cover most higher-level questions, and it's seen plenty of use.

There were three questions actually tagged when I wrote this answer. One was just about Agricola, so I removed it. The other two are:

  • The last question about the cost of designer board games had a meta question where the highest rated answer was that it was off topic and should be closed. I went ahead and added a close vote to it. Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 3:49

A designer board game is one that costs signficantly more than your mass produced board games.

You can usually buy a box of Monopoly in the box for around $20. It might have a special edition that pumps that up a few extra bucks for the licensing fee, but it's normally around there. Most common board games (what people think of when you say board games) are in this price range.

Designer board games usually cost at least $50, and sometimes as much as $100. And just like designer jewelry, the consumers of these games are usually both wealthier and more knowledgeable about the games. In some cases, the extra cost is because the game itself is more complicated, but this is not usually the case. Consider a game like Risk which has hundreds of pieces and is still usually available for pretty cheap. The real cost is because the print runs are much lower, and the design costs are much higher.

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    Is this definition from your own observations or do you have some source for this? Either way, it doesn't seem to match the current usage of the tag (which may mean it's not a good tag). Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 21:00
  • Is this answer implying that there are essentially Gucci board games, where you could look at it and say "That's a Gucci!" For example, you can look at a GMT Games game and pretty much know it's made by GMT Games. And if that's the case, it doesn't seem like a useful tag because it doesn't generally help organize the site, which is generally tagged by the name of the game, not whether I should be jealous of your handbag.
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 21:28
  • @Thunderforge It's directly in line with the original usage of the tag back in 2012.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 21:38
  • @SocioMatt It was originally used to ask about the genre of game. And yes, it is implying that there is a "class system" to games. And yes, most designer game players I know will strongly look down on budget board games with a very snobbish attitude.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 21:42
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    @corsiKa I guess my joke didn't hit right. What I was getting at is that the tag doesn't help organize questions any better than the board game name tags that get attached to every question anyway. Anybody who only plays designer board games would know which game questions to avoid and which ones were up their alley. Hence it seems like a deprecated tag.
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 21:46
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    @SocioMatt So what if someone wanted to discuss the philosophical differences between stock board games and designer board games?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 22:22
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    @corsiKa I would think that question would fit under game-design or something related (assuming it wasn't closed as primarily opinion-based or off-topic). Not to mention that the tag wiki should have the information about what defines a designer board game, so any differences would be defined there, making the usefulness of that question pretty small. That question would also need the tag "stock-board-game," and if we create that, we run the risk of every Ticket to Ride question being marked with an additional tag that doesn't add value to how questions are organized.
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 13:50
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    Agreed: game-design seems to cover high-level questions about categories of games, and for everything else, this smells like a meta tag. If you're asking about a specific game or even a specific group of games, it's not really that important to categorize them as "designer" or "mass-market".
    – Cascabel
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 15:34

The way I see this tag possibly being used is when a game has multiple editions where the difference is the quality of the game materials. A couple of exmples of this is. Hanabi which has a normal card based version and several deluxe versions where tiles replace the cards. Takenoko where there is a normal version and a deluxe version that is made of better material and is larger in size.

Overall I am not sure if this is a needed tag but when I think of it as the same games but made out of better materials then the normal game and with possible extras that you can't otherwise get. Or in other words a collectors edition.

  • If we wanted a tag for that purpose I don't think [designer-board-games] is what we want the tag to be. Something like [collectors-edition] or [deluxe-edition] would probably be better.
    – diego
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 20:38
  • @diego That is why i said possibly used that way. Not sure a tag for this would be valuable anyway.
    – Joe W
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 20:39

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