Seti: An Ancient Egyptian Strategy Game

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Table of Contents
  1. Overview
  2. The Rules of the Game
  3. The Moves
  4. Download Seti
  5. Analysis of the Seti Game


Seti is a strategic game played on a board similar to a chessboard. It is an old game invented in ancient Egypt. This program is based on a historical reconstruction, and is provided as a Java applet for two player or single player (against the computer) game.
Launch Setivia Webstart

The ancient board game Seti has nothing in common with an american project SETI of the same name which aims at finding extraterrestrial life by extensive analysis of radio data.

<br>Please enable Java in your browser or<br> <a href="">install Java</a> if Java has not been installed on your system before!<br> <br>
If your browser does not support the Java 2 Platform, and you do not want to install the Java Plug-In, you can still download Seti and run the stand-alone version. This problem persists in some versions of Internet Explorer and Konqueror. Mozillas typically seems to work fine.
Notice that the applet will ask you for permission to access its own AI data. There is no harm in allowing this access. Yet, Seti will provide at least a very limited capability of computer strategies even if you choose to disallow this access.
P.S. Note that I implemented the Seti computer when I was in high school before I knew anything about computer science. Its strategy is learnt from self-play. That is, the Seti AI learned its best moves by playing against itself. Can you find out how to beat it? Can you write a stronger computer player for Seti?

The Rules of the Game

The applet is based on a reconstruction of the board game Seti Beth. In fact, there are two possible variants: Seti ℵ (Aleph) and Seti ℶ (Beth). Both are played by two players (not yet difficult: against the computer).

Who wins? The player whose figure survives one round on the opposite starting line. Or the player who has conquered all figures from his opponent. Who starts? The two players alternate by turns. The blue one does the first move.

In Seti ℵ, a figure caught by another figure is not removed but captured and reused by its conqueror. A figure to which an opponent moves is beaten and declared to be conquered. It is then placed on the conquerors starting line.

The Moves

For making a move, use your mouse to drag pieces to their new position according to the following moves:

Download Seti

If you like this game, you can download it.

Analysis of the Seti Game

Fortunately, Seti has a very small state space for a game. The average branching factor, however, is larger. These characteristics support the relevance of good heuristics, since they effectively rule out approaches that depend upon massive search, only. Additionally, this increases the chance for successful learning.

Seti ℵ

Seti ℶ