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I'm The Boss!
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I'm The Boss!

English language edition of Kohle, Kie$ & Knete

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Sid Sackson

Publisher(s): Face 2 Face Games

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Product Description

I'm the Boss is a game of deal making and negotiation, where you are an investor just trying to make a deal. Through intelligent negotiations, temporary alliances, and cutthroat bargaining you will rake in millions. But watch out for the other investors at your bargaining table who meddle in your affairs and try to take over your deals. As the boss, you stand to gain the most, but you can find yourself quickly cut out of a deal. In the end, the winner is the investor with the most money.

Sid Sackson is famous in the gaming world for creating a myriad of brilliant game designs and 'I'm the Boss' is certainly one of his very best. This popular classic was first published in German as 'Kohle, Kies & Knete' back in 1994 and was nominated for game of the year (Spiel des Jahres Nominee 1994). 'I'm the Boss' has been out of print for nearly a decade but is now available for the first time in English. This English reprinting includes all new art, rule translations for German, Spanish and French languages and additional 'house rules' created by loyal Sackson fans over the years. If you enjoy a free wheeling game full of turbulent negotiations and fast-paced deals, this game is for you.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Game Nominee, 2005
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game, 2004
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1994

Product Information


  • 1 game board
  • 6 investor cards
  • 98 influence cards
  • 15 deal tiles
  • 1 dollar marker
  • 1 die
  • 110 cash cards
  • 1 rulebook

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 20 reviews

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A classic negotiation game not to be missed
June 26, 2012

Master designer Sid Sackson has produced his share of gaming gems over the years, but few as successful as his hit negotiation game, I'm the Boss! Not only is I'm The Boss among the best of Sackson's own ludology, but it's widely considered to be one of the all time best free-form negotiation games ever designed. Players try to earn money by making deals that require the collaboration of their opponents, while avoiding the potentially negative impact of action cards or uncooperative players. Are you ready for the fast, furious and incredibly fun negotiation of I'm the Boss!?

First published in a German edition in 1994, the same year it received a Spiel des Jahres Recommendation, I'm The Boss received wider distribution with the help of an English edition from Face2Face Games in 2003. Another new edition is scheduled to appear in 2012 with new graphics on the board and cards.

The basic concept has players working together and against each other to finalize deals that will earn them profits. This process requires intense negotiation, and that's what makes this game a negotiation classic. Be aware that the bargaining can have some cut-throat elements, so players shouldn't take the game too seriously, and this also means that I'm The Boss does require having the right people to be enjoyed. But with the right group - wow - does it ever have the potential to create an incredibly fun experience rarely surpassed! I'm The Boss even works well with non-gamer audiences. Just remember that to be best enjoyed, it is good with 5 players, but best with 6 players. Overall the stellar qualities of I'm The Boss make this a classic Sid Sackson game.

Negotiation games don't get much better than I'm the Boss! If you have five or six players who can handle some free-for-all negotiation without getting hurt feelings and who aren't afraid to raise their voices and get into spirit of some wild wheeling and dealing, this classic from Sid Sackson will create a rollicking and fun experience like few other games can provide.

EndersGame, BGG reviewer
Profile: Reviews:

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by EndersGame
One of the most fun, yet cut-throat games available
November 03, 2010

Designer: Sid Sackson
Publisher: Face2Face Games
Review by: Greg J. Schloesser

NOTE: This review was first published in Knucklebones magazine

There really isn’t another game quite like I’m the Boss. Designed by the legendary Sid Sackson, considered by many to be the greatest game designer ever, I’m the Boss is a fast, frantic game of high-stakes investing. Originally released in Germany as Kohle, Kies & Knete, Face2Face Games has once again made this fabulous game available.

Players assume the role of wealthy investors bent on closing lucrative deals. To do this, however, they will usually need partners – which requires splitting the profits. Determining the details of the split is the difficult part, and generally results in heated negotiations and attempts by other players to muscle-in on the deal. The caption on the box provides an accurate description of the game: “An Exciting Game of Deal Making, Negotiation and Cutthroat Bargaining!”

Each player represents one 'Investor', but can scoop more during the course of the game with proper card play. Each space on the board lists a potential investment, and indicates the ultimate value of that deal, as well as the investors who must be a part of the deal in order to make it fly. Some deals only require two investors, while others can require up to five. Depending upon the space, some investors MUST be part of a deal, but often the player will have a choice of other investors between several options given on the space. This generally causes players to offer bribes, threats, etc. in order to weasel their way into the deal. Deals customarily take the form of a share of the profits to be earned from the transaction.

Players are initially armed with a hand of five cards. Players alternate moving a single pawn around the board via the toss of a die. Before rolling and after rolling the die, the active player has the option of “opening the deal”. If a player opts to not open a deal, he may draw three additional cards into his hand. There is a hand limit of 12 cards, so players cannot spend turn-after-turn simply amassing a war chest of cards.

The fun really begins, however, if a player opts to open a deal. There are 15 tiles stacked on the board, progressively increasing in share value. When opening a deal, the top tile is placed upon the pawn’s space, and the value of the deal is determined by multiplying the number of shares listed on the space with the share value listed upon the tile. The active player becomes the “Boss”, and can make and accept offers as to how the profits will be split. The ensuing negotiations usually result in a flurry of card play.

The game is driven by this wonderful, fast and nasty card play. Players can force other player's investors to go on vacation (thereby being unavailable to be part of the deal), substitute a relative of the investor as an alternative investor, steal an opponent's investor, stop certain actions, usurp control of the 'Boss' position, and much, much more. A typical deal-making effort generally results in a flurry of card activity as players cancel each other's actions, steal investors, play surrogate investors and otherwise try to muscle their opponents out of the deal. Donald Trump would be proud.

If an agreement is forged, and all attempts to stop it have failed, the deal is consummated and profits distributed as agreed. Money is kept secret, so only players with keen memories will be able to track their opponents’ current wealth. Play continues in this fashion, with players alternating moving the pawn and either choosing to draw cards or open a deal. Beginning with the 10th deal, a die is rolled at the conclusion of each deal to determine if the game concludes. Initially, this requires the roll of a “1”, but the odds increase with each subsequent deal. This variable ending is a clever touch, as players can never be quite sure when the game will end. As a result, there is an increasing urgency to muscle-in on deals and grab your share of the profits. When the game does expire, the player with the most cash wins the game and becomes a true financial mogul.

I’m the Boss is not for the faint-of-heart or easily offended. Deals are offered and withdrawn at a rapid pace. At one point a player may be part of an investment team, only to be cut-out when another player makes a better offer, or sends his investor on an unanticipated vacation. At one moment you can be an ally with the “Boss”, but at the next moment being tossed aside and ignored. Folks with thin- skins would be best advised to avoid this game. All others, however, will likely rejoice at the exhilarating pace, and thrill to the excitement of attempting to forge a deal. If you enjoy cutthroat negotiation, bargaining and deal making, then you will find no better game to get your adrenaline flowing. Sid Sackson has truly endowed us with a masterpiece.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by EndersGame
This one is being printed again!
September 14, 2008

This is a great game and should be available shortly at FRED distribution. I put one on pre order.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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