We don't play Ataxx with a long-term strategy, as it may be used in Chess, Reversi or Go. We more apply some process when trying to keep or win some positions. Many beginners are thrown in front of this lack of marks. About it, you may read some of their reactions and hints at the bottom of the page Microscope - 7th Guest.
To control the sudden revivals...
By the rule which consists in appropriating the opponent pieces around the destination square, each game is the object of sudden, multiple and spectacular revivals, which elsewhere make the game interesting.
One situation is never acquired, neither definitive, and, in the end of the game, it is rare that a square has not been conquered and conquered again several times by each opponent. The player is constantly confronted to a strategic choice between splitting and jumping, which may have great consequences, and it is difficult to evaluate situation 2 or 3 times in advance.
Understand how plays a good opponent to do alike, then better
Calculation and freezing
The computer technique consists, of course, in exploring and evaluating the different abilities, until a depth depending of the chosen level. So, there is no uncertainties, only a coldly calculation. Elsewhere, you may try to do play identically, but you need a good visual memory... (about computer strategies, see Minimax and Alpha-Beta strategies in the links of our documentation page).
Hole of one, yes, hole of two, no !
The blocks presence may help to freeze some areas. The computer has sometimes some weakness in this management (it also may be very strong...). You must learn to take advantage of it.
Conversely, take care not to let yourself locked up : either you have to jump and let free a very vulnerable sqare, either you cannot play, if all the free squares around are more than two squares around your pieces.
Take care, when you jump, to not let an isolated hole of one case, in the middle of your pieces. If the opponent jump here, he keeps many of your pieces, and you cannot riposte.
To play the last
At the end of a game, if you have some advance that may be lost by jumping on a free square (and letting a one square hole...)an astuteness may consists in managing a folded over square and to jump here many times, until the opponent goes in the dangerous square.
On the opposite, a two squares hole is less dangerous : if the opponent plays on one of the twice, you may possibly occupy the twice...
Watch for configurations in L and chiefly U : they often done grave reversals !
In left-high, Blue has an U configuration.
By going in the hole of the U (with a piece of the left edge,
whose square is impregnable) Red becomes sure to win.
At the end of a game, these process are to be applied with care, and you have to conciliate the following elements :
As you see, you must often play the last, if possible by leaving few pieces and winning many others. The difference may be important and many games are won on this last move.
- refuse to play by splitting in the last hole, when it has 2 squares. It is better to make a jump, so that the hole is displaced.
- conversely, force the opponent to play by splitting in the last hole of 2 squares, whether you can access to the last free case by splitting (if you must jump, you may strip yourself elsewhere),
- force the opponent to jump in the last hole of one square a little surrounded (because of blocks) and let him liberate a square very surrounded, where you can go by splitting.
If you have Windows 95, you may exercise to Ataxx by solving 100 ends of games. Go to the end of our page about the Rondão Attax.
Page written by Alain Beyrand by using the
Gerard Chauvin documentation in Cellules.
High page illustration : Leland Ataxx
Bottom page illustration : Oberon