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Kohle, Kie$ & Knete
original German edition of I'm the Boss
Your Price: $50.00
(Worth 5,000 Funagain Points!)
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from 5 customer reviews
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Average Rating: 4.2 in 5 reviews
This is one of the most enjoyable and fustrating games I have ever played. This game will make even the most mild-mannered, honorable person to become a back-stabbing, money-hungry, wheeler and dealer. Game plays best with a minimum of 4 players. This game is 'almost' worth spending $150 to purchase, but if money is no concern then buy two!
Win or lose, this game is amazing. The other review is right on. The game is always interesting even when you are not included in a deal. After all, you could wreck the deal after everyone thought it was settled. This game has almost no down time and it keeps you on the edge. The play is actually very strategic and fun at the same time. You can control the leader and mess with anyone you feel is doing too well. If you are lucky enough to play this amazing game, you will be hunting for a copy of your own.
A member of our gaming group had this game on his shelf, and recommended it to us. I don't like to dive head-long into a game without knowing too much about it, and with this being a German import, where the owner was going to have to explain the rules, I was even less enthusiastic.
I was prodded into it, and the rules were explained to me. This game is hard to explain to people, and the rules don't make too much sense until you read (after translations) the example of a complete round. Needless to say, I had to take the rules explained to me at face value until we actually ran through an example few rounds until we actually started the real game.
With all of this working against my initial impression of the game, and until I actually got to playing the game in earnest, I found the most wild and unique game, and I ran out and started searching for my own copy the next day!!
I will try to explain a bit of the game to you, and hope that you can see why I love this game.
We start with the board. The board has a circular track and a single marker that everyone moves in a clockwise motion with a single die. This marker moves space to space, and these spaces represent business deals. Each one of these deals has information displaying the required participants (explained later) and the number of 'shares' gained by closing the deal. In the center of the circular track is a stack of cards that designate the monetary value of each share in the deal. This value starts at 2 million a share, and slowly elevates to 5 million a share.
Each player starts off with an 'Investor'. These guys are the 'required participants' listed above. Each deal has displayed the required combination of investors needed to close the deal, and these players negotiate for their portion of shares for helping to close the deal (and thus gain points).
If this was all there was to the game, you'll never read another review I have to post, but this game has a unique card system to regulate and introduce the chaotic nature of the game, which makes it so worthwhile.
The cards come in six types. The most important would be the permanent six investor cards which are divided among the players, and are the key component of the deal making. Each investor has a goofy name in reference to money, but each investor (and family) are easily recognized by color and first initial (of the last name).
The second type are the 'Clan-Karte' or family card. This card represents another member of the specified Investor's family, and thus can also be used to meet the requirements for closing a deal, and thus gaining shares. This allows one player to get into the action where they would not normally. They are temporary and used for a single round only.
The third card is the 'Auf-Reisen-Karte' or vacation cards. These are used to 'veto' Investors and 'Clan-Karte', removing them from eligibility for participating in the deal for the round.
The fourth type of card is the 'Abwerbungskarte'. These are useless by themselves, but if you can collect three of these cards, you can steal another player's Investor card for yourself, permanently. This would disadvantage your opponent, and give you permanent control over their investor card (or at least until someone else plays three of these cards and steals one investor back).
The fifth card is the 'Boss-Karte'. During your turn, you are the Boss. You choose who is in the deal and who is not, and you shape how the shares are divided up. Another player can jump into this role by stealing control with this card.
The final type of card is the 'Abgelehnt!-Karte' or STOP card. This is the nix/cancellation card that stops the play of 'Auf-Reisen', 'Boss-Karte', and three 'Abwerbungskarte'.
A round often looks like this:
I decide to open the negotiations on a deal that requires 2 family members of the Talerfeld, Liebgeld, or Raffzahn clans, and 1 family member of the Piepenbrok or Heiermann clans. I have control over the Heiermann Investor, so already have that portion of the deal set. There are 4 shares available for closing the deal.
I look across the table at the T, L, and R Investor players, and I need two of them. The Raffzahn player is a little bit ahead of me, so I don't want him involved in the deal, so I focus on the Talerfeld and Liebgeld players. Since I'm the 'Boss' and I have one investor, I want two of the four shares for myself, and the Talerfeld and Liebgeld players can each have 1 share.
The Raffzahn player, not appreciating that I cut him out, decides that he can undermine the present plan and plays a Liebgeld family member, and then says he'll take one share, and I can have three shares (he has R and L).
The Liebgeld player plays a vacation card and nixes the Raffzahn players Liebgeld family card, and reinstates the previous deal.
The Piepenbrok player decides that he should be in the deal, and plays a 'Boss' card to seize control of the deal. Luckily, I have a STOP card and cancel his attempt. The Raffzahn player plays a Boss card afterwards, and successfully seizes control of the deal since I don't have any more STOP cards. He then proceeds to deal with the Piepenbrok player and the Talerfeld player, and Liebgeld and myself are left in the cold.
The Knetowitz player, not even a requirement in the deal, decides he should be involved, and plays a Boss card and takes control of the deal, as well as playing a Heiermann family member AND a Talerfeld family member. He chats with Liebgeld and closes the deal.
Man, all of that work and I ended up getting cut out of the deal. This wild and chaotic negotiation and card play is the core of the game. It reminds me of the frantic pace of [page scan/se=0122/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]PIT, but has a real level of negotiation and talent involved to win.
FUN FUN FUN. I can come in last place in this game, and I still have a BLAST.
This nearly unpronounceable German game is more familiarly known to gamers as KK&K. It has become something of a cult favorite, appealing to gamers and non-gamers alike, but still not attaining mass appeal. The game went out of print, and is now only available in limited quantities, usually at outrageous prices. Is it a good game? Yes. Is it worth the cost? Probably not.
The game is similar in some ways to Cosmic Encounter, in that card play tends toward wildness, and negotiation skills are very important. While these aspects are just part of the fun of CE, they are the heart and soul of KK&K. The game is all about making and breaking deals, making sure you are involved in those deals, and having the clout to get as much money as you can from each one--easier said than done.
My only complaint with the game is that it tends to see periods of inactivity, with players building up their hands to the maximum size, and then a period of furious card-playing activity. The long pauses seem to stall the game unnecessarily.
This is perhaps the best negotiation game ever created, and is certainly one of Sid Sackson's classics. Highly recommended, if you can get it at a reasonable price!
This game has many elements of Intrig, Diplomacy, and Pit, but they just don't fit together well. If you like shouting to your fellow players, telling them just what they 'must' do to seal a deal, then this is for you. But if you enjoy games where *you* get to decide what *you* want to do, then it's not gonna be much fun.
I play with people who really enjoy back-stabbing, forceful negotiation games, but this one (and the afore-mentioned Intrig) are even too much for us. Mine's going to eBay.