The water is rising and the only things standing between the sea and your town are a dam and a handful of brave hamsters. Stop the flood by clogging holes with your hamsters. Keep your town the driest and you win.
- 44 Dam Cards
- 56 Hamster Cards
- 36 Special Hamster Cards
- 1 Turn Tracker Card
- 35 Flood Tokens
- 2 6-sided Dice
Object of the Game
Have the least amount of water on and past your dam combined at the end of the game.
Give each player 11 dam cards, numbered 2 through 12. Each player should choose two of their dam cards to pass, then pass one to the left and one to the right. Pass both cards to the other player in a 2-player game. Once you collect the cards your neighbor's pass, arrange your dam cards in a line in front of you, in any order.
Each dam card will have between zero and three dots on it. Collect one hamster per orange dot on your dam cards. Remove one Twinster from the special hamsters, then shuffle the special hamsters and deal two to each person per blue dot on their dam cards.
Keep one special hamster per blue dot on your dam cards and place them with your hamsters. Discard the special hamsters you don't choose.
Set the flood tokens and dice toward the middle of the playing area. Roll to see who goes first. Highest roll takes the round tracker card, places a flood token on the '1' and rolls first each round.
Defending Your Dam
Your hamsters are your defense against the flood. Place hamsters in stacks on your dam cards. You do not need to place a hamster at every position on the dam. Place any special hamsters on top of their stack.
Hamsterdam is played over a series of turns, which make up a round. At the end each round, you will get to redeploy hamsters to your dam.
On your turn:
Each player's turn consists of the following actions:
- Roll the dice.
- All players start and resolve the flood.
- Resolve dam breaches.
- Pass the dice to your left.
Roll the Dice
Roll the dice. This will result in a value between 2 and 12 which will correspond to a position on everybody's dam. Some people may have multiple copies or no copies of the rolled value. Re-roll the dice if nobody has the number rolled.
Start and Resolve the Flood
A flood starts at the location on everybody's dams matching the rolled number for the round. Special hamster effects may have been applied to adjust the roll. Players resolve the flood in the following ways:
Plugging the hole by placing a hamster from that position into your reinforcement pile. You may choose to plug the hole with a special hamster instead of using its special ability; treat the special hamster like a normal hamster in this case.
Using a special hamster ability (see special hamster cards or Meet the Special Hamsters section of the rules to see if this is an option).
If no hamsters are at that position, place a flood token on the corresponding dam card.
If a flood token is already on that dam card, take a flood token to your flood pile.
Resolve Dam Breaches
You must flip a dam card on either end of your dam, moving all hamsters on that card over one position, if you have taken three flood tokens into your flood pile. Sacrifice a hamster if there is a flood token on the card they are moving to.
If a flood token was on the flipped dam card, move it to your flood pile. Flip another dam card after taking on two more flood tokens (total of 5), then for each additional flood token that breaks through after that.
Once each player has had a turn (two turns in a 2- player game), each player may move one hamster left or right one position on the dam. That move can be used to reinforce other parts of the dam or remove a flood token.
Players with special hamster abilities that involve skipping their movement phase will get to use those abilities in turn order after all players have finished their movement phase.
Once everybody has completed their movement phase, the first player starts their next turn unless it's the end of the round.
Removing Flood Tokens
A hamster can remove a flood token on the dam by being moved there during the movement phase or placed there during redeployment. The hamster or special hamster that removes the flood token is removed from the game. The flood token does not count against you once it is removed.
A round ends, triggering redeployment, after each player has had a certain number of turns based on the player count:
- 2 player - 6 turns
- 3 player - 4 turns
- 4 player - 3 turns
Place your remaining Hamsters on your dam in a similar fashion to the starting game setup. If you have water on your dam, you may remove a hamster from the game to clear a flood token from your dam. No hamsters may be played onto a dam card with a flood token on it.
Meet the Special Hamsters
Special hamsters may be used at certain times during the game as indicated below:
During roll the dice phase.
When stopping a flood with a hamster.
During movement phase.
If a special hamster has the symbol on it, flip the special hamster to its normal hamster back side after use.
Place Blobster in your reinforcement pile to stop a flood at its location or an adjacent dam section.
Skip your movement phase to cause a flood at any position on another player's dam.
After your roll, flip the flood dice to their opposite side.
Stop two floods before moving Cheekster to the reinforcement pile. Place a flood token on Cheekster the first time it blocks a flood at its location to denote that it used one stop prior to placing it in the reinforcement pile.
Skip your movement to move one flood token to a dam position adjacent to its current position. This can result in multiple flood tokens on a dam location and still requires one hamster to clear one flood token.
Use the ability of any other special hamster in play. Move to reinforcement pile after use.
Skip your movement phase to move another player's hamster on their dam. The hamster moved must be a standard one, not special.
If Janitster is on your dam during redeployment, you may remove Janitster from the game to remove all water tokens from your dam cards.
After any roll, count flood roll as +1 or -1, if possible, for yourself.
Skip movement phase to add two hamsters from the reinforcement pile to Momster's position.
After all rolls, you may move Napster one position on the dam.
After any roll, move to the reinforcement pile to ignore that roll. The regular hamster side should be face up after using ability. Ninjaster side remains face up if you used Ninjaster as a normal hamster to block a flood.
After your roll, re-roll and choose to keep the original value or use the new value.
During movement, move to any position on the dam. This move is in addition to your normal move.
After your roll, change the value of one die.
Share a location with a flood token without removing Swimster and the flood token during movement and redeployment.
Comes with other Twinster. Twinster goes to reinforcement pile when other Twinster does.
After rolling, roll the dice and place Whack-a Mole on your dam in a position matching the roll. If that number is not on your dam, Whack- a-Mole goes to your reinforcement pile Whack- a-Mole side up.
End of the Game
When a total number of flood tokens as shown below end up in all players' flood token piles combined, the game ends.
- 2 player - 10 tokens
- 3 player - 15 tokens
- 4 player - 20 tokens
The person with the fewest combined flood tokens in their pile and on their dam wins the game. In the event of a tie, the player with more remaining hamsters and special hamsters wins.
To play the original version of Hamsterdam, which is a less complex version that may be better for younger gamers, do not pass dam cards left and right and instead place the dam cards in order from 2 to 12.
Give each player two special hamsters and 14 hamsters. Do not use dam breaches. All other rules remain the same.