Crosslet

Overview
Crosslet is a word board game that can be played by 2-4 players.  The game is a close relative of Scrabble but changes in some of the rules make the game play differently.

Board and Tiles

Crosslet is played on a special board with 15x15 cells.  Some cells are colored green, yellow, blue or red.  These are the bonus cells which affect the number of points a player receives when placing a tile on the board:

  • When a letter tile is placed on a green cell its score is multiplied by 2.
  • When a letter tile is placed on a yellow cell its score is multiplied by 3.
  • When a letter tile is placed on a blue cell the total score of a formed word is multiplied by 2.
  • When a letter tile is placed on a red cell the total score of a formed word is multiplied by 3.

A more detailed explanation of the bonuses is given below.

There are 100 letter tiles used in the game.  Below is the list of the tiles, their scores and quantities:

Letter
Score Quantity
A 1 9
B 3 2
C 3 2
D 2 4
E 1 12
F 4 2
G 2 3
H 4 2
I 1 9
J 8 1
K 5 1
L 1 4
M 3 2
N 1 6
O 1 8
P 3 2
Q 10 1
R 1 6
S 1 4
T 1 6
U 1 4
V 4 2
W 4 2
X 8 1
Y 4 2
Z 10 1
Blank Tiles 0 2

The two blank tiles can be used as a substitution for any letter.  The player must choose what letter is substituted when placing a blank tile on the board.  Once the blank tile is placed on the board it is treated as a corresponding letter tile.

Objective

The goal of the game is to have a higher score than your opponent's at the end of the game.

Play

The game begins with an empty board and 100 tiles hidden in a bag.

At the beginning of the game each player fills his rack with 7 tiles randomly taken from the bag.  The content of the racks is visible to all players (in contrast to the original Scrabble game).

Players move alternately, starting with a randomly chosen player.

On each turn, a player has the following options:

  1. Exchange one or more tiles from his rack for the same number of tiles from the bag and pass the turn to the next player.
  2. Form one or more words on the board increasing the player's score.  Acceptable words are found in TWL or SOWPODS dictionaries.

In the latter case a player places his tiles on the board to form words, reading either left-to-right or top-to-bottom.  All formed words have to be connected to the words already formed on the board.

When the board is empty, one of the words formed by the first player has to cover the center cell.

Below are several examples of legal and illegal moves:

Illegal first move: one of the words has to cover the center (black) cell Illegal move: one of the words (RIB) is not connected to the other words. Legal move: the newly formed words (PI, RIBS, SNARE, EYE) are connected to the words already formed on the board.

Each word formed by a player during his turn increases his score in the following way:

  • Any tile played from the player's rack on a previously empty green (letter x 2) or yellow (letter x 3) bonus cell has its score doubled or tripled.
  • Add the normal score of all other letters (excluding blank tiles) in the word (whether newly played or placed on the board during previous turns).
  • For each newly played tile placed on a blue (word x 2) bonus cell, the total score of the formed word is doubled.
  • For each newly played tile placed on a red (word x 3) bonus cell, the total score of the formed word is tripled.
  • Bonus cells can be used just once and are not counted again during subsequent turns.
  • If the formed word contains 6 or more letters then add 1 point for the 6th letter in the word, 2 points for the 7th letter, 3 points for the 8th letter etc.  This is the "long word" bonus.

If a player uses all seven of the tiles in the rack in a single play, a bonus of 15 points is added to the total score of that play.

Below is the example of a single turn:

Before the move After the move

A player formed the following words during his turn: CUT, TOUTER, DIVES and CEL.

The total score acquired by the player is calculated as following:

  • CUT = 3 (C) + 1 (U) + 1(T) * 2 (green bonus cell) = 6 points
  • TOUTER = 1(T) * 2 (green bonus cell) + 1 (O) + 1 (U) + 1 (T) + 1 (E) + 1 (R) + 1 ("long word" bonus for the 6th letter in the word) = 8 points
  • DIVES = [ 2 (D) + 1 (I) + 4 (V) + 1 (E) + 1 (S) ] * 3 (red bonus cell) = 27 points
  • CEL = 3 (C) + 1 (E) + 1 (L) = 5 points

The player used all 7 tiles in his rack, so an additional 15 points are added as a bonus.

The total number of points acquired by the player is 6 (CUT) + 8 (TOUTER) + 27 (DIVES) + 5 (CEL) + 15 (bonus) = 61 points.

After the turn, the player takes tiles from the bag  to fill his rack to 7 tiles (or less if the bag becomes empty).

End of Game

The game ends in the following cases:

  • when one of the players plays every tile in his rack, and there are no tiles remaining in the bag (regardless of the tiles in his opponent's rack)

or

  • when each player exchanges his tiles during two successive turns (i.e. after 4 successive exchanges for two players, 6 successive exchanges for 3 players or 8 exchanges for 4 players).

At the end of the game the scores of the players are reduced by the sum of letters remaining on their racks.

If a player has used all of his or her letters, then the sum of the letters remaining on opponents' racks is added to the player's score.

The player with the highest score wins the game.

  

Variants
  • The game can be played with blank tiles having the same score as the score of the substituted letter.  E.g. if a player uses his blank tile to substitute the letter "X" then this tile gives the player 8 points.  All bonuses apply to this tile exactly the same as for the common letter tiles.  I.e. if the blank tile is placed on a green cell and substitutes the letter "X" then its final score is 8 * 2 = 16.
    Please note that in this variant of the game the blank tiles become very powerful.
  • The game can be played with an option allowing players to recycle the blank tiles from the board.  A blank tile can be recycled (taken) from the board if a player has the corresponding letter.  E.g. if the blank tile was placed on the board as a substitution for the letter "X" and one of the players has the "X" tile on his rack then the player can replace the blank tile previously placed on the board with his "X" tile and take the blank tile during his turn.  The taken blank tile can be used immediately during the same turn or during later turns to substitute any letter .

 


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