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Despite how much I enjoyed playing Munchkin that night and the fact that I now owned a copy of the game myself, board games pretty much remained on a shelf in a closet. Occasionally they would come down and be set out on our dining room table to play with the family, but even then I was reluctant to play, which is weird because I always enjoyed myself when we played (except Monopoly and Life-I've never liked those two).
Then one day a church acquaintance invited me to his house for a game day. I accepted the invitation gladly! I have long forgotten what I expected to play at this game day, perhaps my expectations coincided with what I had played with friends before- party-type games would be my guess, but when I got to his house I was astonished at the amount of games he had, nestled pristinely in shelves that seemed specifically designed for the box shape of modern board games. And speaking of modern board games, I didn't recognize 95% of the games there. Waves of anxiety began to lap against the shore of my psyche.
My friend took out a small box and said that we'd begin with that one. It was a box much smaller than most others on the shelf- minuscule, even. The cover had what appeared to be a bandit straight out of a western movie adorned on it with the words, Bang! The Dice Game.
As we began playing I was enthralled and the anxiety I had felt subsided as there was something refreshingly familiar with the mechanics- roll the dice, save what you want, and roll the ones you don't want to keep another two times. I had played Yatzee many times, but this was much more entertaining.
I knew who the sheriff was and I knew that I was a deputy. And as such, it was my sworn and secret duty to protect him. No one knew for certain who anyone was, aside from the sheriff and who we were. Before I knew it, natives were attacking, people were shooting at each other, drinking "root" beer to heal, and more. It was such a fun game!
As for the games we played for the rest of the day, I couldn't tell you, but Bang! The Dice Game was a transformational game for me. It cemented my RSVP for any upcoming game days, which proved instrumental in my indoctrination in this wonderful hobby.