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Friday, January 27, 2017

Tak Training Guide

Here is a roadmap to get you started on your way to Tak fame and fortune:
  • Watch James Ernest's Introduction Video.
  • Read the Rules.
  • Companion Book- buy the ebook if not the physical copy (either one supports Cheap Ass Games).
  • Join r/tak for the community, advice, and inspiration.
  • Join USTA to stay current on tournament goings on as well as discussions of Tak ettiquette, rule balancing, volunteer opportunities, Tak club resources, and much more.
  • Watch my tutorial for using
  • On, start with Beginner Bot to get the idea of the game mechanics.
  • Subscribe to Tak Strategy YouTube channel to watch good matches and hear commentary.
  • Learn PTN.
  • Read blogs to learn more strategy and taktics (in no particular order): mine, Turing's, nqueron's, Tayacan's, NoHatCoder's.
  • On, work through FriendlyBot levels 2-5 and play as many human games as you can, especially with those ranked in the top 50.
  • Learn how to lose with grace and learn something from each game.
  • Try playing ShlktBot. Do NOT learn opening strategies from this bot, but appreciate how well it plays from the mid-game on.
  • Play more humans to learn current conventions on moves and strategies (and for fun, of course!)
  • Build your own Tak set. The Tak Subreddit has many builds you can mimic, or you can create your own design.
  • Continue reading and re-reading blogs.
  • Solve puzzles as they appear on r/tak.
  • Contribute to r/tak if you are not already doing so:  make puzzles, ask questions, come up with something new, and in general enjoy this awesome budding community.
  • Start a Tak club at your local school, pub, workplace, library, etc. -- teach others to play and love Tak.
  • Review each game after you play it. Try using ptn ninja to notate it if you have the time and inclination.
  • Most of your games to this point will have probably been 5x5. So, try playing IntuitionBot to get the basic idea of 6x6. The strategies and feel of the game are appreciably different. Experienced players can also guide you through some 6s strategies.
  • Level up to FriendlyBot 6-9
  • Continue to play human players of all levels. Try teaching some newbies. You can learn a lot just by teaching to others.
  • Participate in tournaments (online and in person) to experience that aspect of Tak. Everyone needs some eustress in their lives.
  • Spread the work of Tak far and wide.
  • On, go up against Takkerus/TakticianBot/FriendlyBot 10-14 -- learn how they make you lose and fold some of those taktics into your own game. Don't feel bad if you lose, because you will lose...a lot. Remember, these bots are looking 5-10(?) moves into the future and they don't miss Tak threats...the only way to beat them is to play your best.
  • Find your niche in the Tak community and begin analyzing your personal Tak style.
  • Begin winning some games against FriendlyBot 10-11
  • Continue losing to Takkerus and TakticianBot, but begin to lose more on flat count and less on Tinue/missed threats.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
I can't give much advice beyond this point, since this is where I currently reside. But, I plan to update this blog as I progress.  One day we will have Grand Masters to interview and advise us as well! 

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