HFFL’s 4 Annual LAN Recap!

Whew, apologies for the late recap on this.

As you may know, I hold a yearly LAN. This year’s was on the weekend of August 13, 14. However, for me, things started rolling on the 11th. So this is where I’ll start the recap.

Thursday, August 11, 2016
My first LAN attendee arrived this day. We call him by his nickname, ‘Dij’. I consider him one of my best friends, not just through XBOX/Halo, but in life. He decided to come up a couple days early and arrived in the early evening.  This was not only save on airfare but to get in some other activities. So the first thing we did after I picked him up from the airport was to stop at the Pittsburgh famous Primanti Bros.

There we each got one of their huge sandwiches. Pictured below is one from the LAN weekend a couple years ago. It has your choice of meat, cheese, fries, tomato and coleslaw. Now, for those of you who have never had, believe me, this WORKS! I’m not a fan of most coleslaw, but Primanti’s has the best slaw I’ve ever had. I always encourage anyone who’s never had a Primanti’s to have a bite or two as it normally is, then decide to take off whatever they may not like. Most people find out that it’s really good as delievered.

Friday Primantis

After this we headed over to Toys R Us, where Dij bought the newly released Mega Bloks Kubros Master Chief figure. (I”ll have my toy review of that set soon.)

Then we headed to my place to relax for the rest of the night.

Friday, August 12, 2016
We proceeded to start with some of the set-up for the LAN. Dij was getting the extra XBOX One updated, while I brought up my TV and XBOX set-up from my ‘man-cave’ in the basement.
Much of the stuff I wanted to have out for display had already been set-up before Dij even got into town, so there wasn’t a ton left to do.

After what seemed like quite a bit of time updating the other XB1, we were set-up to start gaming, or so we thought. Turns out the other XBOX, the one I eventually got from MS after 4 months of trying to get back my original after it was lost in the mail, had a defective disc drive… Thankfully, I actually had yet another XB1. This one was the one Dij and friends had pulled together to get me when I was having those issues with MS/XB last year (unbeknownst to me). He got that one up and running and we gamed for several hours.

My wife made a great Chicken Pesto with Pasta dinner, then we gamed the rest of the night.

Saturday, August 13, 2016
Finally the first day of the 4th Annual LAN was here!

We had to cancel p[lans for the tatoo session as the tatoo shop made a switch in personnel and didn’t have staff for us. Meh, no worries…

12:30pm Folks start to arrive! Pens_Halo brought pizza from his dad’s restaurant, always a hit! We had folks form all over the U.S. Texas, Colorado, and New Jersey for example, not to mention of course several from right here in Pittsburgh, PA.

1pm Set-up is finished and we’re ready to start gaming. We played both BTB and a little bit of customs until lunch time. Above shows only a portion of the set-up. There was MORE!

hffl4lan-party-lobbyI have to admit, it was pretty awesome seeing all of us (with one exception) have the same emblem and go into matchmaking like that. We actually had much of one team quit out on us. We guess it was that they were intimidated by the same emblems, knowing we were a team.

Below are pics of what I had on display.

The left third of this table had some of the prizes I was giving away for various contests/events. The right 2/3s are various Halo toys that had come out since last year’s LAN. Not everything, just a smapling. Of course, Mega Bloks dominated that line-up! LOLhffl4lan-display2

On this table were the posters and mini-posters I was giving out. Also pictured are the two block Master Chief /Locke displays that my local GameStop had, plus some of the other prizes to be given out.hffl4lan-display1
This third table had a mix of new and old Halo stuff. A McFarlane Chief/Hunter statue from Forward Unto Dawn, below that in the case, the REACH Noble team statue, a Joyrid Civilian Gold Warthog, posters, messenger bag, and a UNSC Firebase I had made from Mega Bloks. That base shown is actually FOUR of the same set. I customized two of the sets to be added walls, the front door, a sheild station, radar and workstations within the base. I’ll have to get some more pics of that to show more detail…hffl4lan-display4

Below shows the grandprize for the weekend:
Excuse the cable in the way… In this package were a Metal Earth Scorpion, Mattel 6 inch Master Chief, Red vs Blue season 13 Blue Ray, Halo New Blood novel, and a 3ft tall Master Chief (extended past the top of the pic) Master Chief from Jakks Pacific.

Over by where I was sitting was the last part of the display I had set out.
That Mega Bloks Scarab is a BEAST! Great set. (You can read my review of it HERE. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Yep, Margaritas for anyone who wanted one. Both alcoholic and virgin versions. Plenty of chips, slas, dip, and candy. Don’t let what’s shown fool you, we had plenty in backup ready to refill those bowls.hffl4lan-display34pm Now this waa supposed to be the time we took lunch. Funny enough, folks were pretty filled from the pizza and all the snacks we had laid out that we didn’t have an actual lunch. So instead, I started the Halo Mega Bloks Build contest.

If you note in the first pic of the display, there are 3 Halo Mega Bloks Ghosts sets. (The one that came with Jul /Mdama). Those were used for the build contest.

I had three of the attendees participate. What the contest comprised of was this:

You had to build the Ghost the fastest AND correctly. If you were the first one, you got to keep the set, while the other two would keep the Jul /Mdama figure. (I’m using the ghosts for customs so that why I needed them. And yes…LOL, this was a way to get them built.)

hffl4lan-mega-bloks-build-contestAfter about 20 minutes, the folks were struggling with building the Ghost. In part due to the directions being very dark in color that it was hard for them to tell the difference between the dark grey and indigo color. It didn’t help that I had them building on a marble tiled floor… So instead of putting them through any more frustration, I called the contest a tie and gave them each their sets. I wasn’t worried about getting the Ghost for customs. It was just a thought previously. I’d rather have my guests happy.

While those folks were building, some of the other peoploe were gaming, while others chatted and/or ate.

hffl4lan-1st-room-gaming5pm FFA Tournament Day 1
We had 8 people enter the FFA tournament which I set-up as a double elimination tourney.
The first round was 2 sets of 4 players. The top two in each game would advance, while the bottom two would go to the losers bracket.
The 4 winners played and again top 2 move up, bottom 2 to losers.
The losers bracket played, same rules. This time though, the bottom two would be out of the tourney.
By the end of day 1’s FFA tourney, we had 2 people left in the winners bracket and two left in the losers bracket.

Ugh, sorry for the horrible color in this photo.

The only bad point in the day, well actually two, were that the power went out. Circuit breaker had tripped… We hadn’t had it put to the test like that before with so many consoles and TVs being used at once. The other issue was heat. The amount of heat being put off by the TVs, consoles and yes, people too, made it a little uncomfortable. But noone complained about it (excpet for me as I wanted everything to run smoothly and was disappointed that my guests might be in any discomfort).

The after event. Primanti’s!
As is tradition now, we always go out to eat at Primanti’s after the LAN. This year was no different and some of us went out for the big sandwiches!  Sorry for the blurry pic. We were having a bit of fun and weren’t so focused on pic taking at the time.

After Primanti’s we went on a Pokemon Go run at the Southside of Pittsburgh. This is the bar crawl area, so LOTS of people were out. Lures were around and we all caught some Pokemon. I was lucky to get a Blastoise. Dij was just getting it too when his phone battery died… Poor Dij. Oh, BTW, he’s the one leaning in by the red ketchup bottle in the Primatni’s pic above.

So ends day one of the LAN.

Sunday, August 14, 2016
I had decided early on that the first half of gaming for the day would be in Warzone. We played a mix of Warzone, Firefight and WZ Assault. I don’t think we lost a game during those couple of hours.

2pm Halo Trivia Contest
This consisted of everyone getting a 3×5 card to put their answers down on. I read off questions and allowed for a minute for them to write their answers down between questions. After the 20 questions, I took the cards, shuffled them up and gave them back out. This was so they could check the answers of someone else.

I asked if anyone had them all right. Nope. 19 right? Nope. 18? Nope. 17? Nope….um…I was beginning to wonder at this point if these were Halo fans or not, LOL. But finally, at 16 we had TWO people at that number correct.

So I gave them a tie-breaker question. Funny enough, neither could get it right…so, I gave them an EASY one. What is Chief’s Spartan number. One guy answeed quickly and for his efforts won a Halo Mega Bloks Phaeton! (You can see that in the pic way above)

hffl4lan-joe-selfie3pm BTB matchmaking
Time for some more team gaming. Again, we didn’t drop any games. I was pretty proud of  them. Oh, I should mention too that everyone in attendance was a member of HFFL’s Spartan Company, so that made it even more special.

4pm Hamburgers and Hot Dogs!
My wife was kind enough to grill up the burgers and dogs while we gamed and then took food orders for how many of which people wanted, including any extras like lettuce, tomato, ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc. I don’t know about you folks, but I love home grilled burgers better than any you can get at a restaraunt.

5pm Day 2 FFA Tounrament
Above shows two of the fellows in the display room gaming. This was the overflow as we didn’t have any space left in the living room for set-ups. Note the big fan! Yes, we got better airflow on day 2, so it wasn’t as bad.

Oh, consequently, those two guys (Nac Diesel and BMoodyyy) were the two who were tied for the trivia contest with Nac (on left) being the enventual winner.

So began the FFA Tourney. The battle for the win got pretty intense. Close game all. In the end, Ferrari (picutured middle in pic below) took the win, with BMoodyyy (at right) the second spot and TBEideas (at left) taking the third spot. Ferrari got to pic 2 of the four figures you see them holding. He went for the 12 inch Chief and Locke figures, new from Mattel this year. BMoody got to pick then from between a McFarlane Jul ‘Mdama and a Kelly (from Blue Team) figure. He chose Jul, so Kelly went to TBEideas.


Joe (DTown Ninja) won the Grandprize that was done by raffle. He was stoked to win. Only issue? How to get the big Chief back to Colorado? Heh, he made it work!hffl4lan-big-winner

Below are all the winners (with me in the center 2nd row and my dog in front) from the weekend. Yes…we had ladies here too. hffl4lan-ffa-participants

And so the LAN was coming to a close. Before I forget, Ferrari had brought his Gaemz set-up. First time I had seen one in person. Pretty cool. I was kind of jelly at this. LOL.hffl4lan-unsc-gamz-case

Mario/Poppin Cheevies had this cool Halo backpack with a stiched in Chief helmet. I didn’t even know about this. VERY cool!hffl4lan-cool-backpack

So after everyone packed away their set-ups, we said our goodbyes and the LAN had come to a close. It was a FUN, if a little hot, weekend!

On Monday, I took Dij to the airport and then the LAN was officially over.

I was a little bit exhausted, but had a great time and was already missing the peeps. Plans for next year’s LAN are already in progress. I hope to make this bigger, as in MUCH BIGGER. I want to be able to rent a hall and have other Halo fan groups come to it and sent up tables to show what their groups/websties have to offer. The hopes and dreams of this are to make it become a full on Halo convention. That’s going to take some work. It might be small next year, but hopefully in a couple years after that, it will be HUGE!


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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site, Halowaypoint.com, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/halofanforlife11. Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal