From: Santa Rosa, CA
In the Michael T vs Pelton AAR game there were several bugs that came up during the past 5-6 turns. They were:
1) Some Soviet HQs unexplainably moved 5-10 hexes to the rear. This was the first oddity that happened in the game, and it also happened again on the last turn played when we were closely following each save made, but it could not be repeated.
2) Soviet sapper units attached to combat units en masse moved to be attached to HQs. This happened at least twice, once either with the first HQ move, or a turn later, and once a couple of turns after this.
3) The Soviet Southwestern Front and several air command HQs disbanded. This happened once, sometime after the first Soviet HQ move, IIRC.
4) Many Soviet air groups moved back to the national reserve. IIRC this happened twice, once while we were watching the saves, but it could not be repeated.
All four of these strange bugs could not be explained by any normal code, whether for the human or AI players. Because this was a server game, it was very difficult to collect saves at every step. For the final two turns Michael and Pelton were contacting me at each step so I could download the latest saves. Unfortunately on the two occasions where we thought we might be able to recreate the bug from saves (items 1 and 4), we didn’t have the right saves to pin it down to either a logistics phase or during player movement and the bugs did not recreate when we just ended the turn.
In the last case which was our attempt to repeat item number 1, we had the save at the end of the Soviet turn but did not have a save at the start of the German turn because Pelton had loaded in the game and made a couple of moves before saving. Had we had a save right at the beginning of the turn we could have said for sure if it was happening without German player input. Unfortunately, the process of downloading, saving, and contacting us before going on is very tedious. It’s a lot to expect that it will go off flawlessly. The interesting item was that in the few moves Pelton made during his last turn, he had attacked a partisan unit, and the combat report listed the 1st Rifle Division as the attacker. This unit existed on the Soviet side. Normally due to a display glitch you don’t get an attacker listed when attacking partisan units. The fact that it listed the 1st Rifle Division as the attacker (when by the moves it was clearly an attack by a security division) is indicative of some other kind of corruption. Compounding the difficulty of repeating this particular bug, Pelton had build some Fortified units on top of and next to where the partisan unit had been before it was attacked. He couldn’t say exactly what he did during this move, and I tried many combinations but could not get the problem to reappear (the problem of the Soviet HQ’s moving to the rear).
So in two cases we had pre-saves but were not able to recreate any of the bad bugs. Given the kinds of problems, without a way to recreate the bug, there’s no way to fix it. Since these bugs have not been reported in any other game, it’s very possible this is due to some kind of data corruption that has happened, which we cannot explain. In theory it could be game or server related, although Matrix has said that it’s unlikely to be caused by the server. The problems did start happening during the few weeks when Matrix was having server issues in January, but it’s hard to see how this could have led to the bugs we saw in the game.
If you see one of these bugs in one of your games, please stop immediately and notify us. If your game is not on the server, if you have saves going back several turns then we can look at these saves to try to find a cause. If it is on the server we can only go back one player-turn so best not to save your game, just contact us and stop your move.
I don’t really expect these things to show up again, but there’s no way to know. I appreciate Michael T and Pelton’s help at trying to get to the bottom of these problems, and I’m sorry we weren’t able to resolve the issue and save their game. I had been looking forward to seeing how it came out.
All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard