University of Bristol Computer Gaming Society

LAN Guide

June 17, 2009 | Posted in , Tagged

If you’ve not been to a COGS LAN before, or indeed to any kind of LAN party, have a read of the following in order to know what to do to ensure you have a good time.

What to expect

COGS LANs are generally all-day events that take place in the Student’s Union. There is usually some attempt to have a plan of what games to play, but if your favourite game isn’t on the list that shouldn’t stop you from starting up your own! Games will be played throughout the day, with a lull in the evening for eating. As gamers we’re often shy, but COGS is generally a pretty friendly bunch, so if you don’t know what’s being played, how to connect to a game and so forth, give someone nearby a prod and they should be willing to help, or be able to point you towards someone more in-the-know.

What to bring

You’ll need to bring your own computer or laptop and everything you need to play games on it. In addition to this, we ask you to bring the following:

  • 4-way power strip (Otherwise you will only have one socket)
  • Ethernet cable (we have some available but it’s easier if you bring your own)
  • Headphones (no speakers permitted!)


Make sure you have any and all games you wish to play installed and patched. While there is (usually) internet it’s rarely up to taking 50 people downloading games and patches at the same time, so try to come prepared, especially with big games pre-installed.
A list of games we are likely to play is usually posted in advance on the website and in emails – you’d be wise, especially for the first few LANs, to peruse this list and make sure you have installed and bought anything you like the look of. That said, you should also have a look at our favourite games and grab any you like the look of, especially the free ones – not only can you get some practice in, but if we do play them you won’t have to wait to download them at the LAN.


What some people view as the main event of the day is the gigantic pizza order in the early evening. You can check out the Red Pizza company website to have a look at their selection before you get here (or you will likely have received a menu due to being a student, and therefore a pizza-gobbling money-spinner!)
Throughout the day you can also get snacks, drinks, sandwiches and so on from a few places. Most convenient is the shop in the ground floor of the union itself, which has your standard fare, as well as offering to toast your sandwiches for you. If you turn left out of the Union and go up the road for a minute you’ll find the 10 o’ clock shop which has a wider range, and the big Sainsbury’s on Whiteladies Road is easily walkable if you find you’ve run out of something more specialised. Naturally all of these involve effort and expense, so bring your own nommables if that suits you best.

Getting there

For PC gamers who live more than a few minutes from the union, getting to a LAN usually involves a taxi ride, which we will allocate for you with a few others to share the cost. Those with cars who give lifts for COGS get pizza for their trouble, as well as the life-long adoration of COGS – just sign yourself up as able to give a lift on the signup form and we’ll allocate you some people in need of wheels, usually the Thursday before the LAN.
For liftees, you need to sign up as needing a lift, as well as giving your contact details so you can be found. Depending on how many people are in need, you will either get a lift along with your kit, or the driver will be taking loads of stuff so you’ll have to make your own way to the union. In the evening the system operates in reverse but, if the cars are relatively full, you’ll have to arrange your gear into a neat pile and notify your driver of its location. Then you can leave in advance and be at home in time to receive it.
If you’re getting a lift there are a few guidelines to follow to make sure not to overload and/or annoy your driver!

  • Be polite – drivers give lifts primarily as a favour – it’s always nice to be thanked
  • Be efficient – don’t take what you don’t need and take bags not boxes – boxes take up more space and aren’t as easily packable
  • Have a plan – your driver may well arrive early. If you’re in doubt, ask them when they want to arrive and be ready for them! There’s nothing like ringing your lift up as you arrive only to find they aren’t dressed and they can’t find their motherboard…

Well, that concludes your guide to LANing COGS style! If you’ve still got questions, send us an email or hop on the IRC and ask us. In fact, get yourself on the IRC anyway – the COGS number one spot for procrastination and giggles! It’s also where just about anything is organised.

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