The is the first published edition of the Lords of the Sierra Madre game, which was later re-designed and re-published by Decision Games in 1995.
Players are hacendados, rich foreigners who are looking to multiply their fortunes in the rich and newly open for business land in Northern Mexico, under the rule of the pro-business dictator Porfirio Diaz.
The game is divided into strategic and tactical rounds. During strategic rounds (representing one quarter of a year) the hacendados bid on investments, construct enterprises, bribe troops, plot revolutions, and spy on each other. During tactical rounds (each a single day) the players move their troops, indians, bandidos, railguns and policia around the map to harass (tax, kidnap, arrest, burn) one another and to protect their own enterprises.
The hex map covers a large swath of northern mexico and the southwest US... ranging from El Fuerte Sinaloa in the South, to Florence, Arizona to the North, to Yuma, Arizona in the West and El Paso, Texas in the East. Each hex is 10 miles. Players moving units in tactical rounds must contend with all of the hazards the wild west has to offer via an event table.
Semi-cooperative play is often rewarded, as there are no rules regarding transactions and deals that can be made, and many enterprises are highly dangerous and the risk is often best distributed among multiple players. There can, however, only be one winner... and deals are only as good as your ability to enforce them with strength of arms. Welcome to Mexico.
Players can run for office, lead revolutions, or become bandit leaders, but the hacendado with the most gold (ill-gotten or otherwise) at the end of the game wins.