Date: 26th September 2003
Game played: I'm The Boss ( Face to Face Games ) BGG Id: 115

We were lucky enough to be joined by a fellow gamer from one of our neighbouring clubs tonight. Gordon Robinson is a regular at the Halesowen Boardgames Club, near Birmingham and he'd ventured the hour's drive to the depths of Shropshire to see us. Dean also made a welcome reappearance after a few weeks' absence. Having just got hold of I'm The Boss the week before, I decided that this was the ideal game to introduce Gordon to the ways of the Shrewsbury Boardgames Club.

The game is all negotiations and card play. The aim is to make money by bringing together suitable investors to secure certain deals.Once the deal has been completed, the Boss receives the proceeds from the deal and pays to his fellow investors whatever price they had agreed upon to secure their support. However, players collect cards which enable them, when the cards are played, to become involved in the current deal, stop others being involved or even scrap the current deal and take over as the Boss to attempt secure the deal. Gameplay is simple - either collect cards or attempt to strike a deal. The more cards you have, the more influence you can try to exert when the deal-making takes place, but then you have to pick the right battles, otherwise you can find yourself playing cards and not getting the benefit you had hoped. The game ends after between 10 and 15 deals have been struck and whoever has the most money is declared the Boss.

The game is very chaotic but keeps all the players involved all the time. The way in which deals can change very quickly is fun but sometimes a deal can take what seems forever to conclude. At the start of the game, I felt I was picked on left, right and centre. Luckily, the early deals are the least lucrative so I didn't fall too far behind especially as I used my poverty to try and engineer my way into later deals. Nige managed to keep getting involved small-time in a lot of deals and Mark K took advantage on a couple of deals where he held a key investor, without whom the deal was a non-runner. Gordon played Mr Reasonable throughout, trying to keep everyone on his side (or at least not gunning for him). A couple of his deals he pushed through by paying everyone out whether they had investors to contribute or not, merely so the deal wouldn't be challenged. The final deal (number 12 as it turned out), he used the same tactic but gave himself just a little bit more. Nobody was sure who had what in terms of money at the end. Nige looked to be in a good position but Mr Reasonable had done just enough to creep ahead on that last deal.

We all thought this was terrific fun but one or two of the deals did get a bit bogged down. Probably if the game had played a little bit quicker, we would have rated it really highly. However, it is definitely going to get played again soon and it will be interesting to see how it goes down with fewer players.

Mark K
Mark G

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