To win a game of Tak, a player must be the first to create a “road” of stones connecting opposite sides of the board.
Stones can be laid flat or stood on end. When played flat, they are called “flat stones.” In this orientation, other stones can be stacked on them. If they are stood on end, they are called “standing stones” or “walls.” Nothing can be stacked atop a standing stone, but these do not count as part of a player’s road.
Depending on the size of the game, players may also have capstones, which can come in many decorative shapes. Capstones serve as both a flat stone and a wall, and can also flatten standing walls.
Patrick Rothfuss first introduced Tak in the second instalment of the Kingkiller Chronicle, The Wise Man’s Fear. However, the rules were not introduced in the book, because at the time there were none! Ernest and Rothfuss have brought Tak to life in an elegant two-player abstract strategy game reminiscent of classics like Go and mancala.
The classic edition of Tak includes enough pieces for a 6×6 game as well as a beautiful double-sided board, decorated with selas flowers on one side and a rough wooden texture on the other.