Call me lazy, but the main reason I joined my first game night with the Cebu Board Gaming Society was because they started meeting up at Bubble Bee Teahouse in Escario Central, which is only walking distance from the hotel where I work. I don’t like driving around the city at night, so the venue transfer was welcome news. I had been thinking about joining their game nights since I first found out about them seven months ago.
Meet the Cebu Board Gaming Society
Cebu’s board gaming community meets on Monday and Friday nights, from 8:00 p.m. to 12 midnight. “Everyone is welcome,” reads their Facebook page introduction, but I didn’t feel confident just walking in and saying “Hey, wanna play some games?” Introvert problems. That’s why I bought a copy of Love Letter and a set of 7 polyhedral dice from Ballista Games, a Cebu-based online store that sells tabletop games and merchandise.
Ballista’s pick-up location is at Bubble Bee Escario, conveniently at the same time the Cebu Board Gaming Society meets. That’s how I joined my first game night on February 12. There were plenty of people hanging out at the tea house’s first floor, but no one seemed to be playing any card games or board games. I inquired with the barista, and she told me they were at the second floor.
I climb the spiral staircase and see two guys building a deck of Magic cards. Maybe I was early? It was only 8:10 p.m. I approached the guys and asked them if they knew owner of Ballista Games. They told me he was running late. “Can I join your game night?” I asked. They said “Sure.” They asked me what tabletop games I was familiar with. I knew enough not to mention Monopoly, Cluedo,Cranium, and the like. Unfortunately, the only other game I knew how to play was DiXit.
“I have a copy of Pandemic, and want to learn how to play.” I said. “I also have the starter set and a few expansion packs for Android Netrunner. I was learning how to play at The Appraisery, but then I moved to Cebu and forgot most of what I learned.”
They told me that Android Netrunner was not a popular game in Cebu, and Pandemic was quite complicated to play. They did invite me to bring all my Netrunner cards on Monday. They would have probably taught me how to play Pandemic after their Magic game too, but other people started to arrive. The new group wanted to play games immediately and invited me to join them.
One Night: Four Tabletop Games Learned
That’s how I learned how to play Splendor, Sushi Go, One Night Revolution, and Bang! The Dice Game that night. These games challenged me to use a certain skill I’m weak at. Splendor required quick counting and memorization skills. I found myself missing many opportunities to cash in on big-scoring cards, especially that one card I needed a black gem to buy. I only played one round of this game, but I’m confident I can do better next time.
Sushi Go is a really fast game that required me to think quick on my feet. I often overthink things and get lost in my own world. I usually come up with the best ideas when I have time to think, so playing this card game was difficult for me at first. But after a few rounds, I got the hang of things and actually began playing well. I need to learn how to trust my intuition more and just let things go.
One Night Revolution involved a lot of bluffing. I’m a really quiet person: one of those guys who is so silent he must be the bad guy, if you know what I mean. I’m also a very anxious person, so it always looks like I’m lying. But I wasn’t able to put that asset to use that night. I just went on full on wallflower mode. That kept me alive for a while.
Until they remembered I was there.
I had the most fun playing Bang! The Dice Game that night, probably because the group I was playing with absolutely loved the game. Unfortunately, I ended up being the sheriff both rounds. I’m also really bad with dice.
I kept on rolling arrows—I even rolled an all-arrow roll—which would have been instant death for me, if my deputies hadn’t revealed themselves by giving me mugs of beer. I lost the first round, and won the second. But I think the experts were taking it easy on me.
I had so much fun during my first game night at Bubble Bee Escario, and I look forward to joining many more of them in the months to come.