My concept of "The Bandit Run" comes by way of the film 'Smokey and the Bandit' in which the central character Bandit, a decoy for a truckdriver, is contracted to drive from Atlanta to Texarkana to bring back a truckload of contraband beer. The basic plot of the film explains the phrase.
My usage of it derives from this central theme. Over the last 2 years I've read a large number of Conan stories. They tend to fall into a certain number of types. One of the least interesting and most pernicious is The Bandit Run. Pioneered, I feel by the Posthumous collaboration, 'The Hall of the Dead', where Conan begins and ends the story in Shadizar, but the story itself takes place in a city some distance from Shadizar, and part of the story involves him traveling to this place and back. Hence, Bandit Run.
This theme is repeated frequently, beginning with all three of Andrew J. Offutt's books.. which despite all taking place south of the cities of Arenjun and Shadizar, all begin in one of those places. Two of them end in those places. Offutt's books completed the concept of the Bandit Run by adding the essential time limit to the trip. Conan has a long way to go and short time to get there. This new form, is used by Robert Jordan in 4 of the 6 of his novels that I've read so far. The only book I've read from Sean A. Moore also makes use of this, beginning and ending his story in the same town in Brythunia, despite a large portion of it taking place elsewhere.
It mainly operates in the obverse of the point a-b progression stories. for which I'm still looking for a good nickname for. If you can suggest one, drop me a line and let me know.