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Hangover from Hell Convention Authority!

The Eventís Background 

Right letís get this straight from the start, this now yearly convention was never originally going to be called Hangover from Hell. Come on who would actually call a convention Hangover from Hell. Like all good things it received its name from the antics of the main organizers and a few of their mates the first time it was ever run.

It all started in 2001 when a Mr. Neil Gow contacted me (another Neil) about organizing an event for card gaming. Now I was at the University of Warwick at the time and had access to well-sized rooms and a very good playing community. Warwick has a tendency to produce some very good games players, just not me unfortunately. So we set about organizing an event, which included a Raw Deal tournament, the Babylon 5 Nationals and several side events, as well as the first demoís of Lord of the Rings in the UK. So every thing was sorted and it was now time for the event to roll around.
Neil and his traveling companion Andrew arrived at my house on the Friday night quite late. We had some food and a bottle of Vodka (this will become a theme of the weekend) between the three of us. I say the three of us but if any of you have seen Neil around a bottle of Vodka youíll know what Iím talking about. We stayed up late and they taught me how to play Raw Deal and I showed then Lord of the Rings. We finally went to bed, not knowing what the next day would hold.

After finally making to the venue and finding the room not open I was a little disheartened. After all my planning this sodding event couldnít go wrong. Eventually after much hassle the room was opened on time and we began to set up. We had know idea of numbers and just hoped it wouldnít be a wash out. As it happened it wasnít, ten people showed up for the Babylon 5 (remember the game had been dead for a while) and a lot more the wrestling. (Canít quite remember the exact number). During this time the two other protagonists that helped shape the events name turned up, a certain James Farmer and his traveling companion, ex-Warwick supremeo Ian ďPieĒ Taylor. The day progressed smoothly and the Raw Deal events finished on time, with enough time to spare for a few impromptu events. The B5 however did what it always does and dragged on and on. The final lasted some 4 hours cutting into our food time seriously. With the final lasting so long we decided to skip a large dinner and we just grabbed a small bite to eat on the way into town.

The group now consisted of Neil, myself, Andrew, James and Pie. After having several beers on the town, Neil brought up his passion for rock clubs again, so we decide to head to Coventryís local rock night-spot the Coliseum. This club is great, cheap entry, rock music, cheap alcohol (we mean cheap) and young ladies. (Note: some ladies are really young). All the way there James complains that he wonít get in because of what heís wearing, however he manages to get in (without any word from the bouncers). This is where our downfall begins, Vodka £1 a double, with mixer 30p or a £1 for red Bull. Beer £1 and selected other girlie bottles either a £1 or £1.50. Remember that love of Vodka Neil has, well it affects us all and we started buying the stuff by the bucket load. Rounds fly by and as 11 oíclock rolls round we are all absolutely plastered. Well the drinking and dancing continued all night, till we managed to get home, somehow!!! Our trip home, wasnít helped, by me not being able to remember the local area code; so phoning for a taxi was not an option. I decided that waking up one of my housemates at three in the morning was the best way to remember it. This still didnít help us get a taxi so we walked home via a burger van. We finally got back and crashed anywhere we could, Andrew scammed the bed, myself, James and Neil got my floor and Pie choose a combination of the sofa, a chair, gravity and fresh air, this bed had to be seen to be believed. 

The next dayís rolls up and not one of us is fit for the events ahead. Think zombie ĎBí movies and you still arenít anywhere near the state the five of us were in. There was another great turnout for the event, with both a B5 and a Raw deal tournament, having good numbers. 
Neil was running the Raw Deal, (well really he sat in chair complaining about his hangover all day), myself, James, Andrew and Pie all took part in the event. It must be noted at this point that:

a) None of us were in a fit state to do anything. 
b) I had only learnt the game on Friday night and had no idea what I was doing. I borrowed Neilís Tazz deck and did very well, all thing considered.
c) Pie doesnít play Raw Deal either, he only did it for a laugh and was using Tobesís supposedly unbeatable Eddie deck.

Anyway the day progressed and we all got better or worse depending. Pie and Andrew got better, myself, James and Neil got worse. It got so bad that at one point I had to ask my opponent to let me leave a game for five minutes to be sick outside. 

The pattern of this game went like this,

  • I play a maneuver, then leave to be sick. 
  • Come back my opponent had reversed it. 
  • Repeat over and again until a winner is determined. This is the main game that confirmed the events status, as afterward my opponent (sorry canít remember who it was), commented that a few of us were looking like we had Hangovers from Hell. The name stuck!!! 

To round off events though, Pie with Tobesís unbeatable deck had lost every game in the tournament coming into the final round where he was playing me. If I won the game I would be in the Top 8 in my first ever Raw Deal tournament, having only learnt the game two days before and Tobesís deck would have been whitewashed. As things turned out the game was over in about six turns as Eddie pinned me before I knew what had happened, this at least let me have more time outside to recover or as it turned out go to the union. 

That in a nutshell is the history of how the event came into being. The year after was bigger and better, even if the Hangovers were not as severe. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at future events that combine three of the best things in the world:  

Beer, Cards and more Beer!!

Neil Palframan
Hangover from Hell Convention Organizer