We had a six-person game together Saturday morning: Ben, Stephanie, Ed, Nora, Ron, and myself. Stephanie selected I'm the Boss (which several of us seemed to be coaxing her toward.) Nora and Stephanie hadn't played before, so we took time to go through the rules first.
The game moved especially slowly among I'm the Boss games, in part because we had two new players, in part because a couple of our group were naturally deliberate.
Early on I thought things looked OK for me, as I was compiling cards, and relatively powerful ones. But Ben got the early lead. He made a couple of early, cheap deals as he often does, which usually doesn't work out well for him. But then he got a couple of nicely lucrative deals in the middle game, and got marked as the leader.
Nora and Stephanie also started out doing OK. I recruited Ron's investor early on, to Ron's protests (but I'd thought Ed and Ben were going too cheap early on, and with Stephanie and Nora both being newbies, I saw Ron as the biggest threat.) Ron compiled a nice group of cards but we all came heavily after him when he tried to make a deal, and drained his hand pretty thoroughly.
Then I similarly took it on the chin at one point. Both Nora and Stephanie seemed to have it in for me. I stopped two efforts to recruit my investors away, but then Stephanie succeeded on the third one. Stephanie in particular did a nice job of wearing a poker face through a lot of furious exchanges, only to swoop down and become the boss at the very end.
Around mid-game, the perception was that Ben was sitting on the most cash, that Ed and I had been badly screwed, that the ever-dangerous Ron was low on cash, and that Nora and Stephanie were doing OK.
I actually felt reasonably good, and got in on some nice deals around move 10 or so, the time the game could end. I actually saw myself as a threat to Ben. But I had shot my wad in terms of cards available, so if the game dragged on, I was in trouble.
And that's what happened. The game went on through 15 turns, with me not in a position to get in on much action in the final turns.
Meanwhile, Nora and Stephanie nicely divvied up some deals down the stretch.
When we tallied up the final scores, I was semi-surprised to learn that Nora had won. I knew she had done well, but hadn't seen her raking in the paydays that Ben had. The finals were:
Definitely our closest, nastiest game of I'm the Boss ever. I was on the receiving end of quite a few nasty plays. Everyone (except possibly Ed) was in the game at some point, and no one finished ridiculously far out of it. The big surprise was Ron's score. I don't know how he did it, as he had no investors, and few cards for much of the game. He's just the best negotiator in the group (though Nora did pretty darn well this game.)
Great game, though I didn't fare too well this time!