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In 1982, Mexico's economy collapsed, and the government's response was to centralize the banks and devalue the peso. (This much, at least, is true...)
In the game world of Banditos, the Mexican people responded poorly to these changes, resulting in a decrease in effective security and an increase in creative accounting at the new Banco de Mexico. Once some of the "alternatively principled" people in the land of opportunity heard about this, they looked south of the border for their ventures.
You will play one of several American characters making runs into Mexico to pull bank heists. You will need to acquire vehicles, weapons, seed money, and maybe even some inside information to make it all happen.
The first player to get his character home with the equivalent of one million US dollars wins.
Players can acquire cards (vehicles etc.) by drawing them each turn, by buying them from other players, or by stealing them from the discard pile.
Doing anything deemed illegal, however, will bring "heat" to your character (if you steal from the discard pile or pull a heist,) or your vehicle (if you steal gas or pull a heist,) or Mexican cities (if you pull a heist.) It's up to you as a player to manage your risk and decide how desperate you are to acquire what you need versus how much heat you currently have.
If you have the guts to try a risky heist, it'll either pay off or you'll land in a Mexican jail and have to play catch-up.