CSc 180 -- Spring 2016
Intelligent Systems

2016 Tournament Results - "Trench Run"

       **** RESULTS ****

The 14th Annual AI Strategy Game Contest took place April 5-7, 2016.
The atmosphere was extremely hectic, because we had to finish all the
rounds on time (there was a class scheduled immediately after ours).
There were many spectators in the form of students, faculty, alumni,
and previous champions and contestants.  The Dean of Engineering and
Computer Science, Lorenzo Smith, dropped by as well on the second day
to watch the competition.  Two former champions were in attendance,
as well as a few other previous competitors.

The game this year was "Trench Run", which is a sort of reduced
version of chess with a Star Wars theme.  A particular feature of the
game is that capturing the king (actually, the "death star") requires
moving behind a "trench", and capturing it from behind.  The game
proved to be quite tactical and entertaining, often leading to
clever combinations, exchanges, and sacrifices in order to win.

This year there were 34 entrants.  Most programs used minimax with
alpha-beta pruning, and many also used iterative deepening.  A few
used more advanced features such as history tables or killer move
heuristic to enhance the pruning and increase search depth.  Several
of the students claimed that they couldn't beat their own program.
 A wide variety of different languages were used, including Java, C++,
C, C#, Python, and even Scala.  Owing to the peculiar rules, more than
a half-dozen programs found themselves forfeiting for rules violations.

As always, each match consisted of two games, so programs could
lose individual games along the way and still win by amassing
more victories or by defeating other highly-ranked programs.
The instructor also competed with his program, named "Tarkin".

As the event drew to a close, it became a close final round with
four programs in contention:  "Bane_AI" (Daniel Bergstrom),
"HAL" (Oscar Solorzano), "Mom" (James Womack), and the instructor's
program "Tarkin".  In the end, "Tarkin" was the winner, with a
perfect score of 10-0.  It was the very first time in the 14 years
of this competition that the instructor's program was the winner.

In 2nd place, and the top scoring student entry, was "Mom", by
James Womack.  "Mom" utilized multi-threading, along with a
sophisticated evaluation function, to eek out the runner-up spot.
"Mom" also had the best-looking GUI interface of all the programs,
so it was a popular program for the spectators to watch.  It was
also the first time that a program written in C# won the event!

Many of the programs improved between day 1 and day 2.  Two in
particular, "Maz" by Alysha Straub and "aKi" by Austin Takechi,
benefitted from significant programming improvements by their
authors in the intervening day, and went undefeated on day 2.
They tied each other in the final round, and were co-winners
of the coveted "Golden Hamster" award for most-improved program.

Complete results are shown below, including results from prelims,
rounds 2 and 3, quarters, semis, finals, and all consolation rounds:

 0. Tarkin        (Gordon).....f:4-0  s:6-0                10-0
 1. Mom           (Womack).....f:2-2  s:5-1  q:3-1 p:3-1   13-5
 2. HAL           (Solarzano)..f:2-2  s:4-2  q:1-1 p:3-1   10-6
 3. Bane_AI       (Bergstrom)..f:1-3  s:5-1  q:3-1 p:4-0   13-5
 4. DeathStarDef  (Elison).....c:5-1 r3:3-1  q:1-1 p:1-1   10-4
 5. ZaPrivate     (Vo).........c:2-2 r3:2-4  q:4-0 p:2-0   10-6
 6. Thrawn        (Bryant).....c:6-0 r3:2-2  q:1-3 p:2-0   11-5
 7. StarLord      (Ignatenkov).c:1-3 r3:2-4  q:2-0 p:4-0    9-7
....YT1300        (Jensen).....c:0-2 r3:4-0  q:1-3 p:4-0    9-5
 9. JawaStarDestr (Kondrashov).c:4-2 r3:0-6  q:2-2 p:4-0   10-10
10. IG88          (Sherman)....c:6-0 r3:1-3  q:0-2 p:3-1   10-6
11. Atmas         (Thao).......c:2-4 r3:2-2  q:0-2 p:3-1    7-9
12. FlufyCakes    (Le).........c:0-6 r3:0-6 r2:2-0 p:1-1    3-13
13. KaizoTrap     (Purcell)....c:2-2 r3:4-0 r2:2-0 p:0-2    8-4
14. L             (Faroughi)...c:2-2 r3:2-2 r2:4-0 p:1-3    9-7
15. BB-8          (McFetridge)...... r3:0-4 r2:1-3 p:2-2    3-9
16. Maz           (Straub).......... r3:7-1 r2:2-0 p:1-3   10-4 [GH]
....aKi           (Takechi)......... r3:7-1 r2:1-1 p:0-4    8-6 [GH]
18. VictoryAI     (Zepeda).......... r3:4-2 r2:1-1 p:1-3    6-6
....r2d2          (Morales)......... r3:2-4 r2:2-2 p:0-4    4-10
20. Porkins       (Matyac).......... r3:2-2 r2:1-3 p:2-2    5-7
21. AI Caramba    (Matos)........... r3:2-2 r2:0-2 p:1-3    3-7
22. Ash           (Meyer)........... r3:0-2 r2:1-3 p:0-4    1-9
23. 4-LOM         (Dolve)........... r3:0-4 r2:1-1 p:0-2    1-7
....StarDestroyer (Mateen).....c:0-6 r3:0-4 r2:0-2 p:2-0    2-12
25. Brutalis      (Baptista)........ r3:0-4 r2:2-2 p:0-2    2-8
26. DangerZone    (Willett)................ r2:0-2 .....    0-2
    LittleEngine  (Nugent)........................ p:0-2    0-2
28. StarChess     (Elkins)
... HK-47         (Underhill)
... Aphra         (Irvin)
... Orpheus       (Diel)
... Procrstinator (Collet)

Many thanks to Dewayne Alexander, Chris Diel, and Cameron Collet for
volunteering at the tournament and helping to record scores.  Also
thanks to Ben Botto for proctoring "Tarkin" for the instructor.

"Trench Run" was a great game and it is still far from being solved!


2015 results