Discovering Tak – Part 3

Rob Kalajian tabletop 0 Comments

Continuing my earlier Tak posts, I figured I’d look into some Tak bots. Sometimes it’s nice to practice against an AI, and i’ve played with 3 pretty good ones.

The first one I tried, and it’s actually a newer AI, is Takkerus by cdbfoster. It needs to be compiled in Rust of OSX and Linux, but there’s also Windows binary available to play. It’s text based, and you need to know Portable Tak Notation to play. I really like it, and it provides an excellent challenge. I have yet to beat the bot on Takkerus’ default setting.

Next is Taktician, a bot written in Go by nelhage. It’s another text-based bot that’s a bit faster than Takkerus, has been around much longer, and is way too good a bot for me to play against with its default settings. I like it, but I like Takkerus better. It may just be because I tried Takkerus first.

The last, and my current overall favorite, is playtak.com. It’s a web-based, graphical implementation of Tak that allows you to play against several bots of varying skill and difficulty. Being graphical, it’s a bit easier to visualize without exporting PTN files and using something like PTN Viewer. Even though I’ve logged more games with Takkerus, I can say with certainty that this will be my default for solo play from now on.

I continue to love Tak. I love playing with my kids. I love playing against bots. I love discovering the layered complexity of play. I look forward to November when the official sets come out, though I’m still working on creating better and better sets on my own before then. I’m currently testing a new set of 3D printed pieces by Ingo Dellwig. Instead of printing piece-by-piece, each players’ set is done all at once. It’s taking about 7 hours, but my first 31 tiles came out great, with the second set currently printing now.

My next step is to create a nicer board on the lid of a wooden box I picked up at the craft store. I’m thinking of stenciling gears and dots on top. Gears for the 5×5 board, and the dots in between for 6×6 play. After that I think I’m going to try some wood and metal filaments for my printer to create better looking/feeling tiles.

Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.

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