Saturday, March 20, 2021

A Glitch in the Matrix


 As my friends are aware, I have perhaps the worst luck of any living person. 

The day after I finished writing the rules for the bot, on my classroom computer at work (I wrote during my spare moments between classes, during lunch, and before school) the entire thing vanished. It was (and remains) simply not on the harddrive.

The only thing that remains is the introduction, which I had finished the day before and sent to myself via email. Had it not been for a long-winded meeting after work, I would have remembered to send the rules to myself, also.

As a result, I've been fairly well gutted since about the 11th. 

The way I approach writing is that I compose the entirety of the piece in my head and then when finished, I write it down in one go. I use notes to refer to for specifics and particulars, but the verbiage is all in my head.

This worked for me very well in college. I'd sit down the morning a paper was due and type the thing out, only to receive top marks when graded. A buddy of mine, who would write-rewrite-rewrite (up to nine times or more on a four-page paper) couldn't believe it, especially as he was usually nearby when I was typing.

However, when I type something out, it is completely out of my head, not to be recalled. And thus, I now find myself trying to re-type the rules from the very beginning. It is much slower going as I'd been doing the mental composing for about two months previous to my typing them out.

And so, my radio silence over the past couple of weeks is mainly due to that...

But not completely, unfortunately.

Fortuna has excreted on my month, to this point, with one disaster after another. Anyone fancy going days without water because the water main in front of your house sprung a leak...a 40 foot tall leak? No worries, I got that little gem in your stead.

How about needing to get your vehicle worked on, nearly 100 miles from home, only to find that the appointment you made was not actually "made" and  then had to wait five hours extra to get the work done?  Yep, I took that one upon myself, too.

There are a number of others, but life has contrived to humble me a bit...not that I was in a particular need of humility, it seems that the Eternal Judge has deemed otherwise.

So, I am re-working the rules, and typing them out as I mentally compose each section. Sadly, now that we've students in the classroom again, my mental free-time is much less than what it was. Alas, now actual work must be done as it was pre-Covid. No, I am not really sad about that, but I had gotten used to the extra time for things I wanted to think about.

I am hoping to have most of the rules re-written at some point this week. 

On a much brighter note, as the weather has been a continuing block for my priming of figures, I purchased an airbrush, just so that I can prime figures indoors. I got one of the less expensive kits (meaning something cheap on Amazon) so that I can learn the how-tos on something that is not terribly expensive to ruin and replace.

I am expecting it, and the cleaning kit for it,  to arrive on Monday. I also did a bit more retail therapy, but the books I purchased were so poorly packed by the Amazon folks that I had to send them back and get replacements sent to me. I am not a fan of hardcover books having their covers separated from the pages. 

Games Workshop's Warcry, Necromunda, 40K, and Age of Sigmar all called to my wallet, which responded far too freely, and some of those models and boxed sets have started to arrive. While I may not play them as others do, lacking a face-to-face opponent (even without COVID), I love painting GW models and I am working on solitaire versions of those rules (borrowing heavily from TwoHourWargame's solo rules) so that I can play against myself...unless friends come for a visit and some games.


So, while I have been very unlucky in a number of areas, I am blessed to have a good job that allows me to make some purchases that would otherwise be difficult to rationalize to myself. 


Now, if I had a local opponent against whom my armies could frequently face, life would be...perfect.



  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, that is all I can do. My campaign map is on its fourth iteration as the harddrives upon which the three previous versions were stored all died, consecutively.

      I'm still working on the map, so there's plenty of time for this drive to die, too.

  2. Why do computers do that? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve finished writing something, only for it to disappear completely, even after I’ve saved it. The only time it happened and I could understand why was when my computer got ‘fried’ by a lightening strike on the conductor rod that ran down the building’s side about two feet from my PC. It completely destroyed my PC and monitor ... but our technician was able to get almost everything on the HD loaded onto my new PC.

    All the best,


    1. Bob, that is a good question. As the computer I was using is owned by the government, we have an IT department that can be a bit...hyper-active...especially when they are looking at someone they have a beef with.

      While I cannot know whether or not the file was intentionally deleted, it is also a possibility that I must accept.

      I saw the file, my settings call for repeated auto-saves, and it was on my screen as I left the classroom.

      The next day, it was simply not there.

      I do know that Microsoft had an update within a day, so maybe that can account for the file disappearing, but I am doubtful.

      However, I AM working at the re-write.

  3. Sorry to hear that. Losing creative work is painful. I tend to be pretty paranoid when it's something I really do not want to lose and yes, emailing the material to myself is one thing I do too - plus I also ultimately tend to back up to flash stick, DVD and BluRay discs! Good luck with working on the new version...



    1. David,

      Yeah, it felt like a punch to the gut, tbh. I was so frazzled due to an unplanned meeting after work that I was in my truck and nearly home before I realized I'd not sent the completed document to myself.

      As they do not give us keys to the building...government paranoia...I had to wait until the next morning...

      Again though, it is only a delay and not fatal to the project.

  4. Hi Justin,

    i hope you're doing well.

    I found you Blog and I'm very excited about your solitaire campaign ideas with Bots. Do you have continued with the rules in the meantime?

    I would be happy to test the rules for the invader Bot and maybe if done for the defender Bot.


    1. Marco, sorry for the delay in my reply. I had to use my phone to approve your comment, but my computers are both doing poorly...and my replacement parts that should have been here three days ago only just left the shipper this morning. luck is...bad.

      I am on pause with the bot rules, mainly because the sheer number of die rolls starts to get out of hand, but I can try to re-assemble my notes again to give you something to work from, if you'd like.

      Right now, I am looking at a slightly different way to determine some of the enemy forces and force strengths, but that is very much a WIP. Once I get my computers repaired, I will be able to devote more time to doing the work of typing it all up into a more coherent form...for the third time.

      And I hope to get back to getting back to posting here regularly once again. I also hope to start posting videos of game reviews, game mechanics I am working on, and my own variation of Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame.

      Lots of things to do, but needing the computers working to do it all from. Reply here if you'd like me to try to get those rules assembled anytime soon. I can try to get them going in my off hour at work.

  5. Hello Justin, thanks for your reply. I have been searching for a very long time for reasonable solitaire rules that allow to represent campaigns especially for the Napoleonic period. Your bot ideas are a new approach for me that I am very interested in.

    From your previous blog entries I have already tried to pick out some contexts of the rules, but I am certainly missing some details.

    What I would find specifically interesting would be the procedure for the operational approach, before the forces get in contact - what you showed with the pictures and the Friedrich map.

    On the other hand, a more detailed description for the Invasion Bot would be good.

    And last but not least, I would be very interested in the possible Defender Bot rules.

    So, if you find the time to assemble those rules, that would be great. But don't rush, I can wait for you to get your computers running again.