#refugee is a multiplayer, strategy card game in which players assume the role of countries that affect and/or control the destiny of refugees fleeing their respective homelands.

The game includes:

  • 40 refugee cards (black backed)
  • 40 action cards (red backed)
  • 140 vetting cards (white backed)
  • 1 special 6-sided dice
  • 1 rules booklet
  • 4 quick-rules cards

Final packaging design is not 100% finalized, but the above list is going to be pretty darn close to what the end product will contain.


Object of the Game

#refugee is a multiplayer, strategy card game in which players assume the role of countries attempting to vet and/or control the destiny of refugees fleeing their homelands. Players take turns vetting refugees by assigning Vetting Cards, which have point values ranging from -4 to 4 and/or bonuses, to Refugee Cards. Fully vetted refugees are then accepted into the country for which they are being vetted unless some sort of action prevents them from doing so.

There are three ways to win the game.

  1. The primary method for winning is to earn 20 (or more) points by by accepting Refugee Cards that have positive aggregate Vetting Point values.
  2. The secondary method for winning is to cause all other players to lose 20 (or more) points.  If a player reaches -20 (or less), they are out of the game and any cards in their control are discarded.
  3. The final method occurs when there are no refugees left to vet. In this case, the player with the most points is the winner. If there is a tie, the player who accepted the most refugees is the winner. If there is still a tie, the winner is determined by rolling the 6-sided die.


The first step in playing a game of #refugee is to get the Refugee, Action, and Vetting decks ready.  These should be place in the center of the table so that they are easily reachable by all players. Typically, for 4-player games, it's best to designate a dealer.

Refugee Deck

Refugee CardRefugee cards have black backs. Shuffle and place the Refugee Deck (40 black backed cards) in place that is accessible by all players. If you are using a designated dealer, then this deck should be next to the dealer.

Read more about Refugee cards.

Action Deck

Action CardAction cards have red backs. Shuffle and place the Action Deck (40 red backed cards) next to the the Refugee Deck.

Action cards are resolved in first-in, last-out order.

Read more about Action cards.

Vetting Deck

Vetting cards have white backs.  Shuffle and place the Vetting Deck (120 white-backed cards) next to the Refugee Deck.

Read more about Vetting cards.

Starting Player

Roll the 6-sided die to see who goes first. The player following the highest number of marks goes first. Red beats white. If there is a tie, tied players roll again until the tie is broken. Game play is clockwise from the starting player.

Initial Hand & Refugees

The starting player takes the Vetting Deck and deals 5 cards to each player as their starting hand and then deals 1 Refugee Card, face-up, in front of each player. It is important to note here that the context in which the refugees are placed in front of a player represents that they are in-country, but undergoing the vetting process before being allowed formal entry into the country.

Player Turn Sequence

Each player follows three basic phases as as a part of their turn: 1) Roll & Draw; 2) Vetting & Action; and 3) Resolution.

Roll & Draw

  1. Roll the 6-sided die to see how many Vetting (white marks) and/or Action (red marks) Cards to draw.
  2. If you do not have less than 3 Refugee Cards in front of you, draw another refugee from the Refugee Deck and place it, face-up, in front of you. If you already have 3 Refugee Cards in front of you, do you NOT draw another Refugee Card.
  3. For each white mark, draw a Vetting Card and put it into your hand. For each red mark, draw an Action Card, look at it, and place it face down between you any any Refugee Cards you may have.

Vetting & Action

On your turn, you must play the same number of Vetting cards that you drew in the Roll & Draw phase (this corresponds to the number of white marks on the die). To play a Vetting Card, simply declare which refugee you are vetting and place the card on top of the corresponding Refugee Card.


  1. You may play one or more Vetting Cards on one or more refugees on the table (yours or those of your opponents).
  2. A refugee may not have more than 3 Vetting Cards.
  3. If there are no refugees in play with less than 3 Vetting Cards, (there are no refugees in play or they all have 3 Vetting Cards already), you must discard until your hand-size is 5.

All Vetting Cards must be played before any action cards are played. Once all Vetting Cards are played, move on to the Action step of this phase.


  1. You (as current player) may play as many Action Cards as you wish.
  2. Declare each Action Card one at a time, clearly identifying targets as required by the text on each Action Card.
  3. Each subsequent player (clockwise) may respond by playing one or more Action Cards of their own.  Again, clearly identifying targets as required by the text on each Action Card.
  4. The Action Card phase ends when all players have had a chance to respond (clockwise) to Action Cards played by other players.


After all Action Cards have been played, the resolution phase begins.

  1. Resolution begins with the current player and proceeds clockwise.
  2. If the a player has more than one refugee with pending actions, that player chooses which refugee to resolve first.
  3. The first resolved refugee is admitted to the to the player's country and their Vetting Points (including if they are the subject of any Action Cards) and tallied up and added to the player's score.
  4. After each refugee is fully vetted and score tallied, if a player's total score is over 20 points, the game ends and that player is the winner. If the player score is below -20, that player loses and is out of the game. Discard all of that player's cards in hand and vetted refugees, they are out of play for the duration of play.
  5. Continue this process until every refugee is resolved.
  6. The next player (clockwise) begins their turn.


We're working in it... not enough hours in a day.

We will be updating this rule set for the next few weeks.  If you have any comments of questions, please submit them either here or on the Kickstarter page as a comment.