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Gamehelpbandido

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Bandido is trying to escape! You need to place your cards so that all tunnels are blocked and Bandido cannot break out of jail.

After choosing the level of difficulty (middle card with 5 or 6 exits), each player takes three cards. At your turn, place one of your cards to connect it to one or more cards already on the table. After you have placed your card, take a new card from the draw pile. If you can’t play, you can place your cards under the draw pile and take three new cards. Take care not to place a card that makes it impossible to block off a tunnel (in this case, the game ends and you lose).

The game ends when you manage to block off all tunnels and you have won the game together. If one tunnel remains open after all cards have been placed, Bandido escapes and you all lose.


Tile distribution

  • 1 starting tile with 5 exits
  • 1 starting tile with 6 exits
  • 69 tunnel tiles:
    • 2 each basic tunnel tiles in 24 configurations
    • 3 each end tunnel tiles in 7 configurations (straight, cross, T, left facing corner, right facing corner, left turn, right turn)

COVID-19 Edition

  • 1 starting tile with 5 exits
  • 1 starting tile with 6 exits
  • 32 tunnel tiles:
    • 1 each basic tunnel tiles in 22 configurations
    • 2 each end tunnel tiles in 4 configurations (straight, cross, left facing corner, right facing corner)
    • 1 each end tunnel tiles in 2 configurations (right turn, left turn)

Strategy Tips

Familiarize yourself with all the tiles as quickly as possible so you know the possibilities.

In general, try to join or extend tunnels rather than splitting them. One exception is if you create a branching situation that you or a teammate can quickly resolve with a complementary piece. Another exception is if you must either split the tunnel or waste a valuable piece without confidence that the tunnel will soon be closed.

Early in the game, use U pieces and straight or curved ends to quickly win. It will be evident within one or two rounds if this will work.

If the tunnels start to branch too much to contain, switch to using ends sparingly and strategically. An example of strategic use would be to close a tunnel that is far from all others. An example of a wasteful use would be to use a corner end or T end to simply extend a line - only do this if you are confident that someone can close the tunnel within the round.

Remember, there are only two of each tunnel type and three of each end type in the standard game. Keep track of what has been used and what is still available. If you need to, search the table to make sure a piece is available before you create a situation that requires a specific piece. The "wood grain" design always follows the length of the tile; this will help distinguish each tile from its neighbor.

Pay special attention to the valuable pieces that can close loops easily: U, L, and J. And the pieces that can extend parallel lines: H and I. Knowing which of these are still available will help you decide whether to arrange parallel ends or perpendicular ends. Use these pieces strategically and do not waste them!

Try to direct tunnels toward each other and keep the exits close to each other so that they may be joined if possible. There are only two I, S, and Z tiles, so joining distant exits is not likely to work.

Try to intuit what your teammates are attempting to accomplish. A very basic example: If you see a teammate laying parallel lines, try to maintain the parallel lines until a U can close them. The more familiar you are with the deck, the more easily you can see your teammate(s) building an arrangement that can be resolved nicely by a few specific pieces. If the perfect piece to resolve a situation is still out there somewhere but you don't have it, try to play somewhere else and be patient. The right piece will come, or maybe your teammate already has it!

An advanced and enjoyable technique is to create a "trap"; i.e. a completely enclosed space which can only be filled by a specific tile. Before you make such a trap, make sure the required tile is still available! If the space is not completely enclosed and there are few other places to play, you run the risk of being forced to play a tile half in and half out of the trap, creating an unfillable hole of one square. Even if you have the perfect tile in hand, a teammate may be forced to block the trap before your turn gets back to you, so use caution!

Play Style and Collaborating

There is nothing stated in the rules either for or against collaborating with your team, nor whether cards are to be held in hand (closed) or laid on the table (open). How openly you want to work together is entirely up to the group at your table in any game. Some players enjoy a fully open-hand game in which they describe their cards, discuss their options, and decide on the best course of action together. Other players enjoy a more challenging game in which cards are secret and there is no communication at all. And there are many gradations in between, such as telling your team when you have the card needed to resolve a specific situation, or when you have an end. You will quickly find which players' styles suit you and which don't. Just keep in mind that this is a matter of preference; all are valid ways to play.