Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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The golden days of Summer dwindle down to a precious few. School approaches, and in an effort to get the most possible family time out of these remaining days before my youngest boy begins Kindergarten and the oldest starts third grade, my wife agrees to something she has steadfastly refused to do.

She agreed to play Bang! with us.

At first, it looked like another round of Monopoly: Disney/Pixar or Scrabble Junior, but when I pointed out that we could get in a game of BANG! The Bullet! in less time, and showed the kids the cool badge that comes with the bullet, my spouse relented.

My oldest was elated, as he loves to play Bang! but we rarely have a foursome that will tolerate a second grade player. My youngest, a bright kid and an excellent reader, is still only five, and probably too young. My wife is less than thrilled with the theme.

I am secretly thrilled at the chance to pump my family full of lead, in a game sense.

I explain the game, separating out all but the basic Bang! cards. We agree that the first game will be considered a learning affair, and that we shouldn't take winning or losing seriously. This lasts five seconds.

My wife narrows her eyes at me when I explain how you regenerate health points.

"You mean the kids will go to school and say that they used beer to get extra bullets so they could keep shooting us?"

I remind her that it's only a game, and that perhaps her years of experience as an educator are causing her to amplify any problems that might arise. My boys giggle and make "Glug glug" beer drinking sounds while pretending to shoot each other.

I deal out the role cards, admonishing everyone that unless they get the Sheriff card, the card they receive should remain hidden. The five year old hides his face up under the clear glass table top. I draw the Sheriff, and the boys start chanting "Get dad, get dad" over and over.

My youngest gets Paul Regret, my wife is Willy the Kid, and my oldest boy gets Black Jack. I am Bart Cassidy.

I put a gun in play and shoot at my wife. She responds with a Miss! card. My youngest boy starts losing focus on the game almost immediately. He draws his two cards and starts reading his hand aloud. I help him choose, and he mounts an Appaloosa. My wife shoots me. The oldest boy shoots me and puts me in jail.

I skip my turn, stuck in the slammer. My youngest needs help with his turn, and starts to cry after I help him play a jail card on his brother. I ask him what is wrong.

"That card has a heart and it's so far away from me. I miss my heart!"

I point out that he could keep it closer by playing it on his mother or me. He instantly chooses me, and now beams with happiness.

I manage to stay alive for a few more rounds, spending whatever time I'm not being a bullet sponge explaining the rules ("Yes, you can hurt me with that. No, there is no Ice Cream at the General Store. No, you can't add a bunch of guns together.")

My youngest begins to bawl again for no reason I can fathom. He explains that he is sad because his horsey has taken him far away from everyone, so he is very lonely. I explain that this makes him safe, since he is too far away to shoot at. He shows me a Winchester card and sniffs and asks if this will make him closer to me. I swallow and say, "If you want to look at it that way." He giggles and plays the Gatling card, and shoots us all.

My wife forces me to discard with Cat Ballou, and my oldest boy eyes my single remaining bullet and my measly two card hand. He confers with his mother, who explains that if he can he should shoot me, for if he lets me live to make the game last longer she will be obligated to take him out if she can. He hesitates, as he is having fun watching me get blasted from all sides. I can't stand for him to give me a pity pass.

"Shoot me!" I command, but he still hesitates. "You have to try and win if you are an outlaw, and that means killing the Hombre wearing the Tin Star, namely me."

He pleads his case. "Dad, it's fun beating you. I don't want the game to end too soon." The five year old starts crying because the game might end. I can't take it anymore.

"Shoot me now, young man, or you are grounded forever!" I can see my wife trying to figure out what is so great about a game that can generate that sentence.

He shoots me like a free throw. My wife the Renegade joins me in defeat, and the two Outlaw boys high five each other and do a "Dad Lost" victory dance.

The boys want a rematch, but I am saved by bedtime. My wife admits she had fun.

I try to remember a spaghetti western where the hero has a couple of giggling lunatic kids doing the happy dance every time he gets shot, but I can't. Now I know why.

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Dale Quimpo
Philippines
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hilarious, i love your five year old
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Todd Lang
Canada
Wellesley
Ontario
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I thought the Sheriff couldn't be put in Jail? It's been a while since I've played though.
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Matt Posey
United States
Bakersfield
California
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Quote:
"Shoot me now, young man, or you are grounded forever!" I can see my wife trying to figure out what is so great about a game that can generate that sentence.

Hilarious!

And you cannot put the Sheriff in jail because he has the keys to the cell.
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Lucas Dramowicz
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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That was a great read!
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Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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mst3k4L wrote:


And you cannot put the Sheriff in jail because he has the keys to the cell.


I thought that sounded fishy, but try consulting the minuscule print on the rules while you are surrounded by two bouncing, whining balls of ADD and a wife who is oozing sorely tested patience.
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Kenneth Sheffield
United States
Aberdeen
North Carolina
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Clearly the 5YO is a role player in the making...
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Andy Miller
United States
woodbridge
Virginia
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I can't believe I've been wasting my time playing this game with adults!
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Richard Mullet
United Kingdom
Exeter
Devon
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Hands down the best session report I've read! Almost crying with laughter.
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