Let's Make it Solo: The Refuge

The Refuge is a multiplayer strategy game taking place during the zombie apocalypse. You control a character and attempt to get to the Refuge for safety before any of the others. You move steadily from zone to zone (some are safe, some not so much) on an 9x8 checkerboard like area. You use cards to battle the zombies opponents send your way and make special movements to get to the Refuge as quickly as you can. But make sure you have a key to unlock the door!

The game is for 2-6 players. The rules are simple, and The Refuge, once you start playing more and more games, has deeper strategy than you think. But as mainly a solo player, I wanted to create a single-player experience because I don’t get to play this game with others very often. So if you have this game, you’ll find a solo variant below with automated zombie movement and choices to play with one character or more than one. If you play this variant comment on your gameplay!

 References to the board: the first row is the line right above the start signs, and the eighth row is the row right before the locks. Columns are one through eight, left to right. Also, this solo variant does not use the Kickstarter Exclusive cards.


Get your survivor (or all the survivors) to the refuge!

Initial setup, view 1


1. Place your survivor on any of the START signs. Use more than one survivor if you want.
2. Place one zombie each in the 8th row on the skulls in columns 1 and 5.
3. Place one zombie each in the 5th row on the skulls in columns 3 and 8.

Initial setup, view 2


You may choose one of the following on your turn:

1. Move one space (standard movement rules apply).
2. Draw a supply card. You can hold a maximum of 5 in your hand. Discard one if you decide to draw a sixth.
3. Discard from your hand (any number of cards).
4. Use a supply card.

Special Rules for Supply Cards

1. The steal card lets you draw another one immediately. Discard the steal card.
2. The Pocketwatch card allows you to halt a zombie spawn. Use anytime.


Landing on a Safe square activates the zombie movement. That's because they are mad they can't get to you!

If you land on a Switch, you can use a Weapon card if you have one in your hand. This allows you to kill a zombie that’s within 3 spaces of your location.

When you land on a Skull space, you spawn a zombie. Place the new zombie in the first row on an empty Skull square, going left to right. If none are open, move to the next row of Skulls, left to right. Then, any zombies within 3 spaces of your location move.


Zombies always move towards you. If there are an equal number of squares between the zombie and you, it’s your choice which way they go. If you are playing more than one survivor, the zombies move towards the survivor who turn it just was.

If a zombie lands on a Switch, it is added to the zombie closest to the first row, going left to right. Yes, 2 zombies can occupy a square!

A zombie can’t land on a Safe square. They must move left or right or backwards.


At any point if your survivor dies (or any of them if you’re playing more than one), spawn them back at the beginning and add 2 zombies per the zombie spawn rule above if you land on a Skull space.


You win the game if you get your survivor to the refuge. You must have a key in your hand to push through the lock. If you are playing more than one survivor, you win if you get all of them through. But only 3 if you’re playing with 4 survivors.

If you'd like to download a PDF copy of the Solo Variant, CLICK HERE (from Dropbox).
Gregory Gregory Author