“The Refuge” Board Game Review and How-To-Play

Posted Posted in Board Games, Tabletop
5m – 1h
4 / 5
Play Time
Recommended Age
Geek Rating


The Refuge Review:

B&B Games launched their Kickstarter campaign for The Refuge on the 15th of September in 2016. Really, they had me at zombie.

I enjoy it. It is really that simple. I’ve picked it up to play again and again, which is a good sign to me of a sound game. I gave it an 8 on BGG. It has good mechanics, and I love the premise that we all have to essentially shove each other out of the way to be accepted into the zombie free zone. Very cutthroat, I likey.

The art is nice, the minis are cool, and the cardboard pieces all have a very sturdy feeling to them. Only a couple cons stood out to me with this game. For one, there weren’t any notes or explanations for the special cards, meaning that I had to do a lot of flicking through their comments to find all the rules. Secondly, there is the different graphic styles, fonts and card heights on the ‘base’, ‘expansion’ and ‘exclusive’ cards. You get the feeling that a different person formatted each set. So not the best quality control team.

Card Height Difference

The best thing about B&B Games though, is that they follow through with their promises. A mix-up meant that the BackerClub Exclusive card for the game was not produced. Instead of washing their hands of it, B&B designed, produced and sent it to me within 3 months of my pointing it out to them. That’s customer service.

The Refuge Components:

The Refuge Board

The Refuge Player Miniatures
Player Minis

The Refuge Zombie Miniatures

Base Cards
Base Game Cards

Kickstarter Expansion Cards

Backer Club Exclusive Card

The Refuge How-To-Play:

The Refuge Setup

Be the first to get to the refuge. On your turn, you can either draw a card, play a card or move. You can only get to the refuge if you’re on the last tile before the finish line and have a key card. That’s pretty much it. The rest of the rules involve strategy, deciding whether or not to stay off the board for a few rounds so you can pad out your inventory with cards, deciding where exactly you’d like to start and thinking through card and tile combos. For example, you could create a zombie near your own character on one turn, and on the next, move to a switch tile to exchange spots with an unsuspecting “friend” so they end up at the zombies mercy.  Or you could bluff your friends into using an EMP when you’re near the end and don’t have a key so you can redraw your entire hand and destroy everyone else’s. It’s pretty much open to your imagination.

Treasure Chest:

I compiled the expansion card details into a handy printable pdf for my personal gaming use, so no one else has to troll through the comments section. Click on the treasure chest to get yours free today.

Oh and if you don’t have The Refuge, you can buy it now from Amazon for $39.99 + shipping.

Handy Links:

Sword Care with Everyday Household Products

Posted Posted in Leatherwork, Medieval, Medieval Weaponry, Thrift

When I bought my first sword five years ago, I trolled google for “Sword Care”, looking for ways I could ensure it kept its pretty pretty shine. And then the dollar signs started to wrack up. I’d just laid down $90 odd dollars at the fair for my pretty sword, and the internet wanted me to fork out another $30 plus on a fancy kit that I’d use maybe every 6 months, and would take a couple weeks to arrive.

The thrift shopper in me cringed at this deal, thinking about the even cooler sword I could have gotten with the extra money. And I was impatient to start polishing! Cause… cool sword! So I googled more and now present to you: Sword Care with Everyday Household Products.

  • Cleaning: Windex and a paper towel. That streak free promise? Works just as well on a sword as on the windows. Spray liberally and put some elbow grease into it.
  • Rust removal: Got some red or black dust gathering? Time to break out the steel wool. Just try to go in one direction only so you don’t create any unsightly scratch marks. IF you do end up with scratches, just get an even higher grit piece of wool or sandpaper. Make sure you remove all excess grit/wool with the windex-paper towel combo. Don’t want to leave any on there as it could create more rust. I learnt this the hard way.
  • Oiling: This is the maintenance part that prevents rust. Swords need mineral oil to protect them, because our “skin oil” degrades them. As does any other food or organic oil. So, instead of looking for branded, fancy, traditional sword oils (that come in really fancy pretty boxes), go for homebrand baby oil. There’s probably some in your cupboard already, and if there isn’t, you can get them for $2 at the supermarket most days. Put a couple drops on the steel, grab that paper towel, and spread. I like to do a rubbed in coat first, and then a more generous spread around. But you don’t want it goopy or runny, as oil gathering in your sheath can be ruinous.
  • Conditioning: Leather sheath and handle? Break out some leather shoe conditioner. Or if your sheath won’t touch any of the steel, use a mix of olive oil and vinegar to condition and clean beautifully.


This way you can start cleaning straightaway. Unless you’ve just moved, or you’ve been robbed and they took the olive oil, or you don’t cook or clean or hrm. If that’s the case, head to your nearest supermarket with this simple list:

Sword Care Grocery List:

  1. Windex
  2. Paper Towels
  3. Shoe Conditioner
  4. Steel Wool
  5. Olive Oil
  6. White Vinegar
  7. Baby Oil


I’ve also linked each of them to an online shop if you can’t be bothered to leave the couch. Also, here’s a link to the fancy sword oils if you feel the need to be a traditionalist (it’s so tempting!). But the best part of buying your sword maintenance items from the supermarket, is that all these things are multi-functional. Which makes me happy.

7 Best Dystopian Novel Series

Posted Posted in Books, Dystopian Books

I realised that I had become a dystopian novel addict after The Hunger Games. I’d read His Dark Materials a few years back, and was waiting on my sister to pass me Extras from the Uglies series when I decided to pick it up. Afterwards, my google searches consisted of “you’ve finished the hunger games, now what?” That hunger has yet to wane. So here’s my list of the 7 best Dystopian novel series out there right now. (in my opinion of course)

7 Best Dystopian Novel Series:

7. Partials by Dan Wells

Image result for partials dan wells

Partials is dark, a frighteningly compelling version of our future. But Kira is a heroine that believes, so much so that you’d happily follow her all the way to book three. Plus she’s a medic. Well, in training. With only tens of thousands of humans left, extinction is the next step unless the connection with the Partials (engineered humans) can be figured out.

” The average lifespan of a human child, in the time since the Break, was fifty-six hours. They didn’t even name them anymore. Ariel McAdams, barely eighteen years old. The mother of a corpse.

Kindle Download   Amazon Shop   iBook Download

6. Legend by Marie Lu

Image result for legend prodigy champion

June is one of the most kick-ass heroines out there, basically able to take on the bad guys because she was trained as a politician/assassin from birth. I want to be trained as a politician/assassin from birth! Her brother gets murdered, so she goes after the only lead she has, a slum boy named Day who is all sorts of cool and seems to be dying. Then we get to take on The Republic. Now who doesn’t love it when the enemy sounds so official.

” Then Mom will put on her usual brave face, only to sit up through the night, quietly wiping tears away. In the morning, they’ll start receiving small rations of food and water and simply wait to recover. Or die.

Kindle Download   Amazon Shop   iBook Download

5. New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Image result for New World Rising ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Pheonix lives on the outside. Which may sound simple enough. But when her world is ruled by tribes, and their rule is ‘join or die’, it becomes less simple. So she learnt to be a ghost when she was 11 years old, after watching her parents murdered right in front of her. So she’s kind of like batman but not really.

” ‘My name is Maribel. Everybody says I talk too much, but Mouse doesn’t seem to mind. And since she doesn’t talk at all, I figure I speak enough for the both of us. Veyron says there’s cake. Want to go find out what kind?’ ”

Kindle Download   Amazon Shop

4. Wool by Hugh Howey

Image result for wool hugh howey

Wool is a bit of a slow burner to begin with, as it starts with the characters climbing stairs up and down their underground silo – a lot. But then it just hits you in the feels. An entire civilisation packed into a cylinder, with wars, secrets and baby lotteries.  Juliette is real, flawed and strong, and the book wouldn’t have hit its stride without her.

” The boy disappeared behind the counter. He came bac with a thick piece of meat. ‘Is it rat?’ Elise asked. The boy laughed. ‘It’s pig.’ Elise scrunched up her face, remembering the animal that grunted at her earlier. ‘Does it taste like rat?’ she asked, full of hope. 

Kindle Download   Amazon Shop   iBook Download

3. Arena One by Morgan Rice


Okay, go to Morgan Rice’s website and just listen, that is one amazing voice for the audiobook. Brooke is the daughter of a marine. She’s tough, and loves her sister. So when that sister is taken by slaverunners, there is nothing Brooke won’t do. Including fighting in an arena like the gladiators of old.

” Once the first soldier fell, there was no turning back. The final line had been crossed. An American had killed an American. This became known as the First Wave. 

Kindle Download   iBook Download

2. The Atlantis Grail by Vera Nazarian


I think I have a thing for books about training. Where people are learning. Like in Harry Potter, they go to school. Maybe I subconsciously feel that I’m learning alongside them. If only that actually worked. Though there are studies that show that if you imagine doing something over and over, you can do it better than you otherwise would. I’m holding on to that. The Atlantis Grail series started with Qualify, and starts with a bunch of kids sitting for a test. A test to see if they can go with the aliens-ish (survivors of Atlantis that went to space and control things by singing) to their home planet before Earth is wiped out in few months by a meteor. It is captivating, and it’s not over.

” But once the Atlantean shuttles landed, and we saw them to be human and not little green men or big green lizards, it was okay.

Kindle Download   Amazon Shop   iBook Download

1. Time Zero by Carolyn Cohagan

Image result for time zero carolyn

It is everything a book should be. It details the powerlessness that pervades our society now, and the self-sacrifice it takes to be. To just be. Mina doesn’t want more than to simply choose her own path. And Time Zero is a beautiful commentary on how this is what the world looks like now. Not in a dystopian future, but today. It is sad, uplifting and twists you up inside. Oh and I can’t wait for you find out what the Primer is. I also cannot wait for book two. But I will, cause you can’t rush genius.

” She closed the Primer, looking me straight in the eye. “God never said women shouldn’t read. He never said that one of his creatures was built for education while another was not. That’s a rule that a man created

Kindle Download   Amazon Shop

The Story So Far…

Posted Posted in Updates

I started this company as a collection of all my obsessions, new and old. One day I decided to just sit down, start, and see where it all goes. So here I am.

The Motley Geek is dedicated to all things geeky, or at least the geeky things I’m obsessed with at any given time. Which changes. Fairly frequently. My new love for tabletop games comes from watching Wil Wheaton lose so much, which turned into a lot of empathy when I started teaching my friends to play. I don’t know if I can truly pinpoint a first obsession. It may be stamps, but is more likely to have been Pokemon Cards. I remember scrimping and saving to buy them behind my mom’s back.

Sometimes I’ll be writing reviews. Other times I’ll be writing my top 7 things in a particular genre. I like the number 7. That may change too. And I could just pop in to talk about the things I’m currently obsessing about. There won’t be any hard and fast rules.

I’d like this to be something sustainable. So to do that, I will occasionally be using affiliate links, which means I get monies if people buy things from my links. Like this Pokemon link. But this log, my words, those will always be free. So feel free to come on board, and I promise there will be something here for you.