About the Robots
Select the robot to play by clicking on select robot next
to the start button. For multiplayer games, if
there are enough human players in the room, you can also select No Robot to start a
game with only human players.
The robots are currently known as Weakbot,Dumbot Smartbot and BestBot. Each
game has its own family of robots, and some are better players than
others, but generally Dumbot
plays well enough to win against beginners, Smartbot in
intended to play well enough to challenge intermediate skilll players,
and Bestbot is
the best available, challenging even for advanced
players. Some games may not have any robot, or may
not have all three. Weakbot is
a special low-end robot, designed to be used on slow CPUs, particularly
mobiles. As it's name implies, faster generally means weaker,
but in most cases it's still an acceptable opponent for beginners.
The robots are written in Java, and run on your machine rather than on
the server. Consequently, if the robot seems too slow, my
first suggestion is to buy a faster machine. I calibrate the
robots' speed and playing ability so they will respond at least as fast
as a typical human player.
Robot games are scored just like regular games, and each robot has a
ranking for each game. In ranked robot games
the player to move first is random, and the games are remembered if you
quit them. Consequenly you can always quit to join a human
player, and come back to your robot game later, and also you can't get
out of eventually finishing a robot game you are
losing. The robots are happy to play unranked games and
let you choose who will move first.
If your opponent quits a game before it is over, you can let the robot
finish the game by clicking on the "actions" menu in the game
room. In these games, the robot's win or loss is credited to
the player who quit.
What is the Robot's Objective?
The robots' goal is to entertain and train the human players, not to be
the best possible opponent. I'm generally only interested in
improving robots that are too dumb to be interesting to play.
In a few cases, I've deliberately made the robots play worse than they
could. That's about all there is to say about 2-player perfect
information games. For games with more than two players, or
with hidden information, or with an element of chance, exactly what the
robots are allowed to know, and what should be trying to do, is not so
obvious. The first rule is, the robot plays to win,
but if it isn't winning, or can't win, it plays to lose by the smallest
margin. This may have the effect of dragging down the leader,
or it may not. The robot definitely doesn't try to play for
What are the Robot's Extra Abilities?
robots are allowed to be superhumanly good at remembering
things. In games like Container,
where the cash total is hidden, the robot is allowed to remember all
your transactions and therefore how much cash you have. In
games like Medina where
the buildings you have available would be humanly impossible to
remember, it remembers.
The robot is definitely NOT allowed to know what the next
roll of the dice, or the top card in the deck is. But it is
allowed to be superhumanly good at remembering what cards are left in
the deck, or what tiles are left in the bag.