Organized crime has overrun America. Alcapo (The big boss of Chicago) rules his city with an iron fist, but is known for generously sharing a portion of his profit with his loyal supporters.
- 27 City Cards
- 8 boss cards
- 5 police cards
- 40 gangster cubes
- 4 banished tokens
- 1 dealer button
- 1 score board
Object of the Game
You are looking to take your cut of the action by sending your crew of gangsters out to assist the local bosses in the great cities of New York, Boston, Detroit, Kansas city, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Philadelphia.
But be wary, you will need to size up each job thoroughly before committing your crew, or they might end up injured, arrested, or even killed on the job.
The game of The Boss is played over a series of rounds, the number of which is determined by the order in which the police cards are drawn.
At the end of each round, points and penalties are rewarded to players with the most gangsters in each city. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Give each player a set of 10 gangster cubes (7 big and 3 small).
Big cubes represent your regulars, who return for more work at the end of each round. Small cubes represent your irregulars, who will help you for one job and then disappear for the rest of the game.
Place the score board in the center of the table, and place one big cube from each player on the START square (to keep track of that player's points).
Shuffle the 5 police cards together and place them in a facedown deck next to the score board.
Give the dealer button to the oldest player. This player will begin the game as the dealer, and the responsibility will pass clockwise after each round.
Choosing Boss Cards:
The game is played with one of many different possible combinations of boss cards (depending on the number of players). Which boss cards you choose, will decide which city cards you play with during the game.
Consult the following aid to find the possible combinations for your player count. The numbers listed correspond to the numbers printed on each boss card.
(New York is 1. Boston is 2. Detroit is 3. Kansas city is 4. Cincinnati is 5. Memphis is 6. Philadelphia is 7).
Examples of Setup
2 player game
3 player game
4 player game
The dealer takes the boss cards you are playing with and arranges them in numerical order with the smallest number on the left and the largest number on the right.
After all the local bosses have been arranged, Chicago is then added to the second position in line.
Note: While Chicago begins the game in second position, it will advance forward one position to the right at the end of each round.
The dealer then takes all the city cards corresponding to the boss cards in play and shuffles them together to form a face down deck next to the dealer button.
If you are playing with Cincinati, you must also give each player a banished token.
Any unused cards are placed back in the box and will not be used this game.
Setup For 4 Players
The game is played over a series of rounds, with each player taking their turn in order, beginning with the dealer and passing in a clockwise direction.
Beginning a Round
To begin each round, the dealer shuffles together all the city cards, and then removes one card of each color, placing it facedown, immediately below its corresponding boss card.
These facedown cards are the rewards for controlling that city at the end of the round.
Important: Do not look at the facedown rewards. It is your job to deduce their values over the course of the round, based on which cards you and your opponents play.
After placing one reward below each boss card, the dealer then shuffles the deck again and deals out the remaining cards evenly to all players.
Note: The colors of the cards in your hand are public knowledge and must be visible to all players.
Playing A Round
On your turn, you will choose to take either one or both of the following two actions (the order doesn't matter):
- Take Control of a City (Optional)
- Reveal Information (Mandatory)
1. Take Control of a City (optional)
Commit one or more of your gangsters to a city in order to win the reward for controlling it at the end of the round.
You can add any combination of gangster cubes (big and/or small) onto ONE of the boss cards in play.
Note: You can only add cubes to one boss card each turn, but you can change which boss you choose from turn to turn.
Whenever you add gangsters to a boss card, it must raise your total number of cubes on that card to a number greater than any other player's total for that city.
Example: Player A has 1 cube on New York City and player B has 2 cubes there. if player A wants to retake control of the city, he will need to add at least 2 more cubes there to do so.
Big cubes and small cubes have the same value when determining control of a city. HOWEVER, small cubes can never be placed by themselves. (You must play them along with at least one of your big cubes).
Note: Gangsters cannot be moved or removed from a city until the end of the round.
You can add gangsters to Chicago in the same way as in other cities, except that you can ONLY add them to Chicago if you have already placed cubes in a different city earlier this round.
2. Reveal Information (mandatory)
Play one of the city cards from your hand and place it faceup immediately below its boss card (and any other cards already played in that city). Players must be able to see the values of all cards played this round.
Note: The city card you reveal does not need to be the same city in which you commit your gangsters this turn.
Play continues, with players taking their turns until each player has only 1 card left in hand, which begins the final turn of each round.
Placing a "city" card face up
Last Turn of a Round
When each player has only one card left in their hand, the game temporarily pauses, and two things happen:
The turn order changes
The next police card is flipped faceup.
1. Turn Order Changes
On the last turn of the round, players now play in descending order based on the number of unused gangster cubes they have remaining in their reserve.
The player with the most cubes remaining plays first, and the player with the fewest cubes plays last. If more than one player have the same number of cubes left in their reserve, then those players play in clockwise order starting with the person closest to the dealer button.
These examples illustrate turn order for the final turns of the round. The numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 indicate the order of play.
2. Police Card is Flipped
The next card of the police deck is flipped faceup. If this card reveals the 3rd badge of the same color (i.e.: the double card + 2 matching ones), then it signifies that the current round is the last round of the game.
Ending A Round
After each player has taken their final turn of the round, the majority controller of each city claims that city's reward. Whoever has the most gangster cubes in a particular city, takes that city's facedown card as their reward and applies its effect.
There are two types of rewards: Points and Penalties.
You score the number of points printed on these cards. (Advance your score token the appropriate number of spaces around the score board).
Note: If your score token completes a lap around the board, it simply continues around for another lap.
You score no points for these cards, and incur a penalty instead.
One of your big cubes is killed and immediately removed from play for the rest of the game.
One of your big cubes is arrested and temporarily removed from play for two rounds. Place it on the first prison square on the score card. After the next round of play, move it to the second prison square to show that it is one round away from being able to be used again.
One of your big cubes is injured and temporarily removed from play for one round. Place it on the hospital square on the score card. After the next round of play, it is able to be used again.
You are permanently banished from Cincinnati. Place your banished token on Cincinnati's boss card to show that you can no longer place gangster cubes there for the rest of the game.
Whoever controls Chicago at the end of the round does not claim a card for that city, and instead scores half the total value of each of the last cards played at all of the cities to the left of Chicago's current position.
Note: Penalty cards (prison, hospital, banished, and revolver) are worth zero points for Chicago, and their penalty is not applied.
Preparing the Next Round
After resolving all points and penalties for the round, any remaining big gangster cubes are returned to players for use on future rounds. Any small cubes used this round, however, are removed from the game and can no longer be used.
Chicago moves one position to the right at the end of every round.
Note: When Chicago is in the farthest most right boss card, its characteristics remain the same, but its position will no longer change after each round.
The dealer button is passed in a clockwise direction, and a new round begins (as long as the third matching police card has yet to be drawn).
End of the Game
After the third matching police card has been revealed, and the players finish the final round (applying points and penalties for controlling cities), then a winner is determined.
The player with the most points wins the game.
If there is a tie, then the winner is the player who scored the most points on the last round of the game.
If there is still a tie, the winner is the one who has the most gangster cubes remaining in their reserve (after the final round's penalties have been applied). If there is STILL a tie, then another overtime round is played to determine a winner.