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There is a small army with a supposedly fatal battle, lets just say the odds is very much against the army but the hope is still high. They decide to do like

"Corinthians 15:32": Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

But as said the hope is still high. The army is not interested in having hungover drunk people on the battle field. They would like to party like it was the last day on this world but be capable of fighting the day after.

How would the party go on about the celebration? (And no cheating - no magical no-more-hungover spells)

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  • $\begingroup$ Water down the alcoholic drinks, most of the hangover is dehydration. Alternatively, serve only non-alcoholic beer and blame the big bad army. It will not be much of a party, but you'll have an army of berserkers the next day looking to avenge this horror. $\endgroup$
    – Cyrus
    Aug 2 '16 at 10:54
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    $\begingroup$ Very important question: 1549 where? England? China? North America? West Africa? $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Aug 2 '16 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ The exact age is not inportant, what is important is to have a medeival-ish party fashion that makes you combat-able the day after. $\endgroup$ Aug 3 '16 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ Even if you do not include the factor of getting drunk, this party seems like a bad idea. Before the probably worst battle of our lives, let's throw a huge party, get worn out, drunk and distracted. Because that makes sense. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '16 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon it is a balance question. Change the point of view to - what would you do today if you knew your last would be tomorrow? $\endgroup$ Aug 22 '16 at 9:14
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Maybe alternate rounds of alcoholic drinks with rounds of non-alcoholic ones, or water them down with flavorful ingredients (like making a weakly alcoholic punch with juices and stronger wine). If there's plenty to drink, and it tastes good, it might not matter that not all of it is alcoholic, or that most of it is mildly so. Make sure there's plenty of food, and try to make sure it's good food. Include little snacks to have while drinking, which will hopefully keep them happily buzzed rather than full-out drunk.

Keep a heavy focus on games or activities, rather than drink. If people are having fun with games and activities, they will be less likely to overindulge in drink. Historically, I recall days of games were used to distract populations from famine, so they certainly should be able to distract soldiers from watered down drinks. If the games require wits or physical skill, then drinking will lower a person's skill - so encouraging competitions might encourage people to moderate their drinking to show well in the games. Perhaps prizes for the highest skilled will be useful, or perhaps extra prestige will be encouragement enough (depending on your culture).

If people are having fun, with plenty of good food and lots of things to do, they will be less likely to get too drunk. Additionally, since the army is well aware they're fighting the next day, it should be possible to encourage the soldiers to periodically have non-alcoholic drinks, and to switch to them entirely (or at least very watered down versions) after some point so that they will be fit to fight in the morning. A round of water every hour, and switch to juice or tea for the last few hours before curfew, maybe. Being dehydrated contributes to hangovers, so alternating non-alcoholic drinks, or ending the party with them, will both keep them less drunk during the party, and keep them hydrated to minimize hangovers in the morning.

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Make it a two-day party. Do all the drinking and music and fine food on the first day, do a bunch of hangover curing exercise warm-up games on the second day, like a big jousting festival for example with displays of swordsmanship and such. Then everyone retires to bed early for the big fight.

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Why should alcohol be part and parcel of this hedonistic party? Despite what Corinthians says, there are other ways to have fun which do not impair next-day performance.

Namely, sex. Sex trumps alcohol any day. So make sobriety a prerequisite for sex and you're good.

I'm assuming mainly male, generic army. Dudes like to drink, get raucous, rage, chase ladies, and love ladies. If that's what you're working with and you're willing to get dirty, bring in strumpets, invent a system where only sober men may romp with them in specialized tents. Doesn't seem like a great option to me because all but the raunchiest most male readers will find this unsympathetic.

Better yet, bring in non-prostitute women: Either the women join their men to fight in this last-ditch battle, sending the kids off with the old people, or the families join the party from the surroundings. In either case, only sober couples may go off and couple in tents or the woods or what have you.

Another mechanism: Make an economy of alcohol in the party that limits overall consumption. Soldiers, like anybody, have hidden talents besides their ability to kill people. They exchange entertainment (playing an instrument, singing a song, juggling, telling a story, acrobatics, feats of strength, wrestling, swimming, running jumping over the campfire, winning card games) for alcohol. You get most for winning but even losers get a modicum of mead or ale. This slows down and limits the drinking. Even the most talented men (or women) will falter in their ability to impress as they booze up. Start the party early in the day to start outdoor activities and then you can end it earlier.

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Music. Unless you have the privledge of two nights, over the top alcohol consumption should be avoided.

You want two effects...first is to soothe the savage mind. Thoughts of impending death can take over ones mind in pure silence and music limits that effect by distracting and removing the silence. As much as its a party, its also a distraction. Music can inspire thoughts of their loved ones and remind themselves as to why they are taking a part in this coming battle.

Second effect...just as music soothes, it can also inspire. Have the drums going, have the dancing begin, have the army dancing and moving as one (afterall, there is nothing safer than being a part of, and nothing scarier to face, than an army visably moved by one spirit). Allow the war drums to be a part of the music so the next day when the battle begins, they can hear those drums and once again feel a aprt of that one safe whole.

A party like this is an opportunity to inspire and remind your soldiers that even the greatest odds can be overcome with morale and conviction

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