Axe-a-Word Word Game 

Robert Harris
Version Date: February 7, 2014


Description
In the Axe-a-Word game, players create as many words as they can by combining vowels and consonants in accordance with the rules. Axe-a-Word can be played solitaire, but two players are optimal. Up to four players can enjoy the game.

Rules of Play
1. Each vowel (A, E, I, O, U and occasionally Y) may be used repeatedly during a game, but each vowel can appear in a word only once. Examples: TINDER, MEAT, AXE=ok, TEEM, COMPLETE=not ok (each vowel can be used only once in a word).
2. All players share a list of consonants. Each consonant (the remaining non-vowel letters) can appear only once in a word and once during the entire game. Examples: EXAM, COMPUTER, FIND=ok (assuming those consonants have not yet been used); CONSTRUCT, POP, STRESS, PRETTY, LILLY=not ok because a consonant is used more than once.
3. Each word created is valued at one point per letter, regardless of the number of consonants or vowels.
4. Players alternate with each other. One makes a word, crosses off the consonants used to make it, and records the points scored on the word. Then the next player makes a word, and so on.
5. If a player cannot make a word, he can pass to the next player.
6. The game ends when all the consonants have been used or when no player can make another word.
7. A standard college dictionary serves as the word judge for spelling.
8. Because Y is a squirrely letter, sometimes a vowel and sometimes a consonant, it can be crossed off as a consonant usage even when functioning as a vowel (as in SKY, WHY). At the same time, it can be used repeatedly as a vowel when that is its function in the word.

Play
The first player forms a word and writes it on the score sheet, totaling points for it. Then the player crosses off all the consonants used to form the word. Then the next player forms a word, using the remaining consonants available. Play continues until all the consonants are used.

Handy Score Sheet
scoresheet image
A score sheet is available for use. Make a few copies and with a pen or pencil, you'll have a great, complete game for car trips, waiting rooms, classroom exercises, and break times. The score sheet requires Acrobat Reader or any pdf reading software. Instructions are printed at the bottom, so you have a one-page, all includise game (with two score sheets per page!).

Options
Option A. Roll one die and multiply the result of the die roll by four. The first word formed must begin with the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the number of the multiplied answer. For example, if a 4 was rolled, the first word formed must begin with the 16th letter of the alphabet, which is P. The unmultiplied number of the die roll (4 in our example) is the number of words following the starter word that must begin with the next seqential letter of the alphabet. In our example, where a four was rolled and the first word formed must begin with an P, the next four words must begin with Q, R, S, and T in that order. Another example: Die roll is a 3. The first four opening game words must begin with M (3 times 4 is the 12th letter), N, O, and P.

Option B. Words must be formed in alphabetical order. So whatever the initial letter of the first word formed, subseqent words must begin with the next letter in te alphabet.

Option C. Same as option B but reverse alphabetical order.

Option D. Name a minimum number of letters to form a word (4, 5, 6 etc.).

Option E. Name an exact number of letters that each word must have. For example, only 5-letter words are permitted.

Option F. Each player  has an independent list of consonants and must form words using letters from that list. Consonants used by the other player(s) do not affect the letters available to another player.
 

Examples:
Consonants Available:
B C D F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W X Y Z

Solitaire Play:

Word
Consonants Used
Score
Consonants Remaining
PLACE
P, L, C
5 word, 5 total
B D F G H J K M N Q R S T V W X Y Z
RESENT
R, S, N, T
6 word, 11 total
B D F G H J K M Q V W X Y Z
EVOKE
V, K
5 word, 16 total
B D F G H J M Q W X Y Z
JUDGE
J, D, G
5 word, 21 total
B F H M Q W X Y Z
QUIZ
Q, Z
4 word, 25 total
B F H M W X Y
WAXY
W, X, Y
4 word, 29 total
B F H M
FAME
F, M
4 word, 32 total
B, H
HOBO
B, H
4 word, 36 total
--done--






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w w w . v i r t u a l s a l t . c o m About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com