À la Carte - Fairplay's Annual Card Game Award - Since 1991
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The German gaming magazine, Fairplay, recognizes the best card games every year, as judged by their jury of game collectors and journalists. This list includes the top ten from each year.

Fairplay cites specific editions, enabling an occasional nod to reprints. These games/titles made the top ten more than once (in varying degrees of re-development):

+ Res Publica
+ Tichu
+ Trumpet, König Artus' Tafelrunde (?)
+ 6 Nimmt!, Hornochsen!
+ Flaschenteufel
+ Twilight, Jekyll & Hyde
+ Anno Domini, -Sport, & -Flops
+ Zum Kuckuck, Land Unter
+ Dominion, -Intrige
+ 7 Wonders
+ Bohnanza

See comments for a list of wins by designer.

The distinction of "Runners up" is my own. Fairplay awards one publication and provides a ranked list of other top scoring titles.

TIP: To peek at the primary names used on BGG (which sometimes change with reprints) instead of the German titles awarded by Fairplay, check your browser's statusbar when hovering over a game link.
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1. Board Game: Res Publica [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:5820]
Board Game: Res Publica
Board Game: Venture
Board Game: Halli Galli


1991
1. Res Publica (Hexagames)
2. Die Bosse
3. Tutti Frutti (Amigo)

Runner up
+ Musketiere
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2. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2022]
Board Game: Loot
Board Game: Buried Treasure
Board Game: Tichu


1992
1. Pirat
2. Das Super-Blatt
3. Tichu

Runners up
+ Koalition
+ Schraumeln
+ Razzia (Dorra/Ravensburger)
+ Trumpet
+ U.F.O.s
+ Asterix: Das Kartenspiel
+ Der wahre Walter

This was Horstettler's year with three of the ten: Tichu, Schraumeln, and Der wahre Walter.
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3. Board Game: Stick 'Em [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1047]
Board Game: Stick 'Em
Board Game: Attacke
Board Game: En Garde


1993
1. Sticheln
2. Attacke
3. En Garde

Runners up
+ Banana Republic
+ Wucherer
+ Stamp
+ König Artus' Tafelrunde
+ Soldateska
+ Hallo Pauker!
+ Marlowe
+ Otto & Bruno

Sticheln dominated the vote. Second- and third-place for Knizia. König Artus' Tafelrunde seems to be the previous year's Trumpet tweaked by another designer.
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4. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:602]
Board Game: 6 nimmt!
Board Game: Was sticht?
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: The Card Game


1994
1. 6 Nimmt
2. Was Sticht?
3. Sherlock Holmes (Schmidt)

Runners up
+ Flinke Pinke
+ Das Hornberger Schiessen
+ Olympia 2000 (v. Chr.)
+ Oskar
+ Freight Train
+ Zwickern (Queen, traditional)
+ Hexenstich

6 Nimmt! & Was Sticht? dominated the vote. If you're looking for obscure games, Weniger ist Mehr just missed the cut.
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5. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:158] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Board Game: Magic: The Gathering
Board Game: Hattrick
Board Game: High Society


1995
1. Magic: The Gathering
2. Hattrick
3. High Society (Ravensburger)

Runners up
+ Set
+ Phantoms of the Ice
+ Tschach
+ Phase 10 (FX Schmid)
+ Paparazzo
+ Volle Lotte
+ Condottiere (Eurogames)

Today MtG has over 11,000 cards.
WTF is Phase 10 doing here?
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6. Board Game: Mü & More [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1265]
Board Game: Mü & More
Board Game: Gloria Picktoria
Board Game: Blink


1996
1. Mü & Mehr
2. Reibach & Co.
3. Speed

Runners up
+ Flaschenteufel (1st edition)
+ Campanile
+ Olé!
+ Kuhhandel (FX Schmid)
+ Mus (King, traditional)
+ Koalition
+ Magic: The Gathering - Ice Age
+ Hol's der Geier
+ Das Grosse und das Kleine A

Mus is the oldest game to make the top ten -- by a long shot.
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7. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:463]
Board Game: Bohnanza
Board Game: Catan Card Game
Board Game: Show Manager


1997
1. Bohnanza
2. Die Siedler von Catan - Das Kartenspiel
3. Showmanager

Runners up
+ Zum Kuckuck
+ Manitou
+ ...und tschüss!
+ Njet!
+ X Pasch
+ Mini Inkognito
+ Daumen Drauf
+ Mythos

Two by Dorra. Tenth place got six points, the lowest of the ten years with published scores. Notably, there was no Knizia nomination.
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8. Board Game: Caesar & Cleopatra [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1930]
Board Game: Caesar & Cleopatra
Board Game: David & Goliath
Board Game: Canyon


1998
1. Caesar & Cleopatra
2. David & Goliath (Berliner)
3. Canyon

Runners up
+ Schnäppchen Jagd
+ Twilight
+ Res Publica (Queen)
+ Finale
+ Stimmt so!
+ Family Business
+ Dumm Gelaufen!

C & C won by one point.
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9. Board Game: Verräter [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1896]
Board Game: Verräter
Board Game: Mamma Mia!
Board Game: Anno Domini: Erfindungen


1999
1. Verräter
2. Mamma Mia!
3. Anno Domini (edition?)

Runners up
+ Lost Cities
+ Mit List und Tücke
+ Kahuna
+ Tichu
+ Klunker (HiG)
+ Hornochsen!
+ Money! (Goldsieber)

Nicht die Bohne! took eleventh with nineteen points -- a score that would put it in the top ten most years.
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10. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:415]
Board Game: Citadels
Board Game: Frank's Zoo
Board Game: Devil Take the Hindmost


2000
1. Ohne Furcht und Adel
2. Zoff im Zoo
3. Formel Fun

Runners up
+ Volltreffer
+ Space Beans
+ Port Royal
+ Alles fur die Katz
+ König der Elfen
+ Schweinsgalopp
+ Sabuca

The first two dominated the vote. This is only the second year without a Knizia nomination.
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11. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1185]
Board Game: Meuterer
Board Game: Babel
Board Game: Turn the Tide


2001
1. Meuterer
2. Babel
3. Land Unter (Berliner)

Runners up
+ Wyatt Earp
+ Drachengold
+ Knatsch
+ Don
+ Anno Domini: Sport
+ Au Backe!
+ Ebbe & Flut
+ Bali
+ Limits
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12. Board Game: Vom Kap bis Kairo [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3967]
Board Game: Vom Kap bis Kairo
Board Game: Frachtexpress
Board Game: The Bucket King


2002
1. Vom Kap bis Kairo
2. Frachtexpress
3. Alles im Eimer

Runners up
+ Der König der Diebe
+ Anno Domini: Flopps
+ Gargon
+ Kupferkessel Co.
+ Der Herr der Ringe: Die Gefährten
+ Ogallala (Amigo)
+ How-Ruck!
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13. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:559]
Board Game: Coloretto
Board Game: Edel, Stein & Reich
Board Game: 10 Days in Europe


2003
1. Coloretto
2. Edel, Stein & Reich
3. Europa Tour

Runners up
+ Canal Grande
+ Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
+ Guillotine
+ Balloon Cup
+ Mogul
+ Fette Autos
+ Der Herr der Ringe: Das Duell
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14. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:299]
Board Game: San Juan
Board Game: Saint Petersburg
Board Game: Cockroach Poker


2004
1. San Juan
2. Sankt Petersburg
3. Kakerlaken Poker

Runners up
+ Die Sieben Siegel
+ Blue Moon
+ Zauberschwert & Drachenei
+ Coyote
+ Flaschenteufel (2nd edition)
+ Kai Piranja
+ Mausen
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15. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:671] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Board Game: Jambo
Board Game: No Thanks!
Board Game: Wie ich die Welt sehe...


2005
1. Jambo
2. Geschenkt
3. Wie ich die Welt sehe...

Runners up
+ Diamant
+ Razzia! (Knizia/Amigo)
+ Boomtown
+ Schotten-Totten (PS)
+ Gelb gewinnt!
+ Team Work
+ Typo
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16. Board Game: Ausgerechnet Buxtehude [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:6465]
Board Game: Ausgerechnet Buxtehude
Board Game: Marquis
Board Game: Nottingham


2006
1. Ausgerechnet Buxtehude
2. Marquis
3. Nottingham

Runners up
+ Pecunia non olet
+ Euphrat & Tigris: Wettstreit der Könige
+ Arche Opti Mix
+ Wir sind schwanger
+ Fettnapf
+ Havoc: The Hundred Years War
+ Jericho
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17. Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:943]
Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta
Board Game: Age of Discovery
Board Game: Before the Wind


2007
1. Caylus Magna Carta
2. Zeitalter der Entdeckungen
3. Vor dem Wind

Runners up
+ Kabale und Hiebe
+ Sitting Ducks
+ Millionen von Schwalben
+ Fangfrisch
+ Anno 1701: Das Kartenspiel
+ Gloria Picktoria
+ Medici vs Strozzi

Millionen von Schwalben also includes cards for Anno Domini, making it the fourth time that series has appeared in the top ten.
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18. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:65]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Board Game: Witch's Brew
Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack


2008
1. Race for the Galaxy
2. Wie verhext!
3. Filou: Die Katze im Sack

Runners up
+ Kakerlakensalat
+ Zug um Zug: Das Kartenspiel
+ Palastgeflüster
+ Handelsfürsten: Herren der Meere
+ Pinguïn Party
+ Ziegen Kriegen
+ Kalter Krieg: CIA vs. KGB
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19. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:101] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion
Board Game: Byzanz
Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue


2009
1. Dominion
2. Byzanz
3. Dominion: Die Intrige

Runners up
+ Mow
+ Poison (Amigo)
+ Monopoly Deal
+ Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper (Pegasus)
+ Uruk: Wiege der Zivilisation
+ Schätzen Sie mal! (edition?)
+ Circus Maximus
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20. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:139]
Board Game: Jaipur
Board Game: R-Eco
Board Game: 11 nimmt!


2010
1. Jaipur
2. R-Öko
3. 11 Nimmt!

Runners up
+ Wampum
+ Drachenherz
+ Himmel, A... und Zwirn!
+ Mystery Rummy #2: Rue Morgue
+ Der Heidelbär
+ Fzzzt!
+ Cardcassonne
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21. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:70]
Board Game: 7 Wonders
Board Game: Stich-Meister
Board Game: 1655: Habemus Papam


2011
1. 7 Wonders
2. Stich-Meister
3. 1655 - Habemus Papam

Runners up
+ Thunderstone
+ Die Säulen der Erde: das Kartenspiel
+ Haggis
+ Biblios
+ Sobek
+ Gold!
+ Die Siedler von Catan: Das schnelle Kartenspiel

Not to diminish its win, but 7 Wonders is no surprise. Schacht makes his 6th appearance with Gold.

It's pleasing to see new names in the list, like Bauer (1655), Ross (Haggis), and Finn (Biblios). Ross, especially, since I think it's fair to say that he developed Haggis openly and found play-testers (maybe even a publisher?) on BGG.
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22. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:125]
Board Game: Targi
Board Game: Glory to Rome
Board Game: Rapa Nui


2012
1. Targi Steiger/Kosmos
2. Ruhm für Rom Chudyk/Lookout
3. Rapa Nui Wrede/Kosmos

Runners up
+ The City Lehmann/Amigo
+ Freitag Friese/2F-Spiele
+ Die Tore der Welt: Das Kartenspiel Schranz/Kosmos
+ Drecksau Bebenroth/Kosmos
+ Mogel Motte Brand/Drei Magier
+ Kleine Fotosafari Triminek/Abacusspiele
+ Bullenparty Kramer/Amigo

Targi, by a landslide.
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23. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:410]
Board Game: Hanabi
Board Game: Rise of Augustus
Board Game: Love Letter


2013
1. Hanabi Bauza/Abacus
2. Augustus Mori/Hurrican
3. Love Letter Kanai/AEG

Runners up
+ Divinare Gilbert/Asmodee
+ Dicht dran Staupe/NSV
+ Guildhall Hwang/Pegasus
+ Kniffel: Das Kartenspiel Alspach/Schmidt
+ Asante Dorn/Kosmos
+ Eminent Domain Jaffee/Pegasus
+ Android: Netrunner Garfield & Litzsinger /Heidelberger

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24. Board Game: Linko! [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:907]
Board Game: Linko!
Board Game: Love Letter
Board Game: UGO!


2014
1. Abluxxen Kramer-Kiesling/Ravensburger
2. Love Letter Kanai/Pegasus
3. Ugo! Hoekstra-Jansen-Zuidhof/PlayThisOne

Runners Up
+ Port Royal Pfister/Pegasus
+ Kashgar: Händler der Seidenstraße Hecht/Kosmos
+ Skull King Beck/Schmidt
+ Parade Homma/Schmidt
+ SOS Titanic Cathala-Maublanc/Ludonaute
+ Fungi Povis/Pegasus
+ Koryŏ Kim/Asmodee

Kramer shows up a few times on this list for the 6-nimmt family, but Abluxxen is entirely different.

Somehow, Love Letter returns to the top three for a second year in a row!
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25. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:995]
Board Game: Machi Koro
Board Game: The Game
Board Game: Beasty Bar


2015

1. Machi Koro Suganuma/Kosmos
2. The Game Benndorf/NSV
3. Beasty Bar Kloß/Zoch

Runners Up
+ Auf Nach Indien Hayashi/Pegasus
+ Evolution Crapuchettes et al. / Schmidt
+ UGO! Jansen et al. / Kosmos
+ Bad Bunnies Zeimet/Schmidt
+ Greed Vaccarino/Queen
+ Jäger und Späher Hecht/Kosmos
+ Stichling Linde/Ravensburger

It took some work to find the BGG entry for The Game. What were you thinking, NSV?

UGO! also won was also recognized last year. Is it here because of a new printing?

I gave up in frustration trying to post this update back in October, because I've been travelling for months without a keyboard and tapping in BGG IDs and formatting codes proved to be a big hassle. Recently, I got a nice note from Mark Johnson encouraging me to update this list. His podcast, Boardgames to Go, is what introduced me to the Fairplay awards in the first place, so this entry is in his honor.

Unlike many of you, I don't typically get to a lot of these games until a year or more after their release. (Cult of the old? I'm the same with books, music, and movies.) This year, I have no comments to add, because I've played none of these yet! Your thoughts?
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