Weekend LAN: Report

Winter LAN 2009

Attendees: John, Ian, Jason,

James, Kaz, Charlotte

Not as many people at this LAN as we usually have; work commitments, colds and just the fact it was a bloody cold weekend put a few people off I expect. Either way we made the most of it and I take my hat off to the hardcore amongst the LANners who stayed up till the early hours playing some of our favourite games. This LAN is particular focused on Counter Strike: Source, Battle for Middle Earth II, Call of Duty 4 and Supreme Commander. See below for a quick report on these games.

Counter Strike: Source is a great first person shooter first released in October 2004 and developed by Valve. Available on Steam the game is still widely played and very popular. If you’ve ever played this game online you’ll know there are some serious players out there. I’m not brilliant at CS: Source and I find playing against people you don’t really know online is a different experience all together. From being played all the time at the LAN back in 2004 CS: Source is now a game we tend to play ‘in-between decisions’. Whilst we are deciding what game to play next someone will have no doubt started a server and we all jump in at some point until someone shouts out what to play next. CS:S is a brilliant game and still just as fun to play.

Battle for Middle Earth II is a staple real-time strategy at the LAN. First released in March 2006 and developed by EA it has lasted in terms of playability at the LANs over the years since its release. Where we have seen other RTS games come and go, and only get played occasionally if it at all (Command and Conquer 3, Dawn of War, Empire at War) there always seems to be a space ready to play this game again. The game we played (with just the 4 of us) ended up as a pretty awesome battle at Helms Deep in a 3 on 1 situation. Ian played as Elves, protecting Helms Deep, and had a great tactical advantage with Archers along the walls and Silverthorne Arrows. However, the rest of us decided Dwarves would make short work of those walls and in the end it became a long battle to reach the fortress and take it down. We also played with a one hero restriction.

We also played Call of Duty 4, a FPS I’m actually not too bad at (head grows slightly larger) and actually managed to up my experience level quite a bit with the amount we played. Good fun and a great game in single or multi-player. Someone actually showed me how to Create a Class this time so adding in all the extra custom options was pretty awesome, with some fancy desert print on the gun too (I’m easily pleased).  

Other games played at the LAN included Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, a more complex and different type of RTS in my opinion. One where tank rushing might not always be the best option, whereas a game of Command and Conquer 3 can be over in 20 minutes Supreme Commander can last a few hours. We also had a go at Track Mania United (boo hiss, I don’t like it) a nuts racing, jumping, spinning, flipping car game, and the main reason I don’t like it is because I am so utterly useless at it and to cap it all off a few levels of Left 4 Dead.

It was a great (if not chilly) LAN and hopefully next year’s Spring LAN will have a few more attendees and maybe even some new games to go with it, and it will also be a bit warmer. I think I should write tips for a winter LAN. Fingerless gloves, scarves, extra pair of socks and a huge mug of hot tea. Staple food included KFC, Curry and um, After Eights. Tea and Beer the beverages of choice!

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