Wednesday, March 27, 2013

HIS - Ottomans - The First Turn

The Ottomans have a very specific action for their first turn: Attack Belgrade.  No other option makes sense.

Why take Belgrade?

At the start of the turn, the Ottomans gain 3 cards (plus Home Card).  To gain a 4th card they only need one key.  From their territory there are only two keys to attack: Belgrade and Buda.

Buda: Not an Option

Deciding to attack Buda first is suicidal for the Ottoman player.  First, Buda requires 4 CP  minimum to initiate the combat:
  • 2 cp to cross the pass to Sezgedin, 
  • 1 cp to convert Sezgedin to Ottoman control,
  • 1 cp to move and siege Buda
Unlike most spaces, there will be a field battle to control Buda before there is an assault.  The Ottomans should have no trouble taking Buda if they bring all their armies (reinforced with their Home Card).  This is, however, an expensive option compared to Belgrade.  Furthermore, Buda cannot be reinforced during the Spring Deployment phase as it is across a Pass.

The other reason is the fall of Buda will cause a war with the Hapsburgs on Turn 1, who will gain all the Hungarian spaces as friendly allies: including Belgrade.

This puts the Ottomans at a war with the militarily strongest power in Europe.  Furthermore, troops left in Buda are isolated with expensive reinforcement costs.  Lastly, with control of Belgrade, the Hapsburgs not only have the Ottomans contained, but are able to begin launching attacks directly into Ottoman territory.

On Turn 1, with the worst cards played against them, the Ottomans have an 80% chance of Success at taking Buda.  Long term, however, attacking Buda before Belgrade is unsound.


Belgrade on the other hand is only 1 cp away.  It will take another card to initiate the siege, but with a full assault of Ottoman troops, Belgrade will almost certainly fall.  Lastly, the fall of Belgrade will not cause the Hungarians to ally with the Hapsburgs.

Optimum First Turn

The optimum first turn for Ottomans is as follows:

  • Spring Deploy all troops from Istanbul to Nezh (or Nicopolis)
  • Round 1- Play Home card to add 4 regulars to troops to Nezh/Nicopolis (bringing total army size to 12 Regular and 1 Cavalry).
  • Round 2 - Play any card to place Belgrade under siege (If 3cp or higher, can build more units)
  • Round 3 - Play a card to Assault Belgrade.

Optimum Attack Path
If the above method is used, the assault will have at least strength 8 during the assault to Belgrade's 2.  Facing only one enemy, this assault will succeed 96% of the time.  If it fails, a second assault needs to be made which, even with maximum casualties, will succeed 91% of the time.  Thus, the odds of success in this methodology is greater than 99%.

With these odds, Belgrade will fall!  The Ottomans now draw an additional card each turn.  The problem now becomes, what to do on the following turns now that the door to Europe is open.


This opening move is so standard no other player should feel threatened by it.  However, there are three possible cards which might disrupt the Ottoman plans:

  • Knights of St John
  • War in Persia
  • Revolt in Egypt

War In Persia and Revolt in Egypt

 War In Persia and Revolt in Egypt both remove armies from Ottoman forces, but the Ottoman player may choose the armies.  In this case, the first three armies can come from Athens, Salonika and Edirne.  If the Ottoman Home Card is not played for armies (like it should be), the Ottomans will find themselves attacking Belgrade with 4 troops.  This still leads to a 80% chance Belgrade ill fall on the first assault if both are present.

Knights of St John

The other card is Knights of St. John, which causes a loss of 1 card from the Ottoman hand.  This simply reduces the number of turns the Ottomans have to capture Belgrade from two to one.  Still, the odds are 96% of taking Belgrade if the Home Card is played for armies.  If not played for armies, the Home Card provides odds of taking Belgrade to 92%.

With the above, Ottomans should always take Belgrade on the first turn.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Through the Ages - Card - Frederic Barbarossa

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Frederic Barbarossa
It is the mid-1100's AD, and Germany is in disarray.  The "country", such as it is, consists of 100's of small fiefdoms.  Some of these are little larger than a town or hillside.  Just 300 years earlier Germany had been a unified nation under Charlemagne.  Now it was sinking in a quagmire of every increasing personal disputes and disunion.

In 1147, Frederic Barbarossa rose to the title of King of Germany, confirmed by the Princes Electorate.  Little is known of Barbarossa's early life, except for the fact he came from two of the strongest families of Germany, who were often at each other's throats.  And his flaming red beard.

But shortly after his ascension he began immediate reforms and reunification.  Unable to muster an large military force through his home province, he managed uniting the Germans through diplomacy and reasoning.  His judgments were fair and disputes settled fairly, if not equitably.

Once united, Germany became a force.  Frederic quickly raised armies and began a campaign into Italy.  His goal was the Papal state of Milan, a strongly fortified and virtually impregnable town.  Rather than assault Milan directly, Frederic struck all of its neighboring allies.  The towns fell one by one before his forces.  The final city in this campaign, Tortona, was not only burned to ashes, but he then had the ground leveled so it was as if the city didn't exist.  Milan capitulated, and Frederick was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

Frederick's history is very long and intertwined with deceit and treachery, with Frederick being the victim.  He successfully navigated an unending number of military campaigns to extend its influence.  Despite betrayal after betrayal, with the world seemingly against him, Barbarossa rebuilt the Germanic tribes into a united and strong country.  His impact on European history is evident as the unified German nation he sought to restore would become a force to be reckoned with throughout history.  This stronger Germany would become the focus of religious change during the Protestant Reformation.  His territorial gains would become the focus for the Third Reich's claims to land in Poland, the Ukraine, and portions of France.  Barbarossa's impact on Germanic history, and the World's, would be profound, despite the fact he was not particularly inspired in military tactics.
Game Stats
Popularity wise, Barbarossa is liked just slightly more than Genghis Khan.  He sits near the bottom of the heap.  Unlike Genghis, Barbarossa at least has some statistically relevant effects on the game.  From the statistics, it can be said Barbarossa requires expert play as he either greatly benefits the player, or drags the player down.
I believe Frederick is somewhat underrated.  His ability to quickly build military units can be very useful, particularly if a player attempts to gain territories.  When playing Frederick and seeding the Event deck with Territories, I've found myself controlling the three territories.  Frederick allows me to quickly rebuild lost units.

Frederick Barbarossa: territory
capturing machine
The above strategy has an interesting effect on the game.  If a player can gain a resource territory and a farming territory, I can quickly build a giant military force of inexpensive warriors without unhappiness.  Not only does this place me in a strong military face, there is a pressure on the other players to not allow me to take additional territories.  At this point, it becomes more important to deftly let other player's win territory bids at the cost of reducing their military.  They are then exposed to military attacks from Frederick, and therefore spend resources on military units rather than infrastructure.

Frederick's drawback, in my opinion, is he comes one Age too late.  Like all Age I leaders, it is rarely worth it to replace an Age A leader until he dies.  Furthermore, the Age II leaders are ultimately more useful.  In some way, this resembles the 'time frame' of the Dark Ages which was occurring in Age I, the Age I leaders are individually nice with fairly impressive abilities, but they are overshadowed by their Age I and Age II counterparts.  Despite the fun of going for a "territorial victory", I can't recommend Barbarossa for many games.  If Age A leaders were removed for one reason or another, (an variant I recommend trying), I believe Barbarossa would not only see more game play, but would be much more useful.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Through The Ages - Card - Genghis Khan

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
The Great Khan: a lousy card
Genghis Khan
Temujin was born in Mongolia around 1155 AD.  At the age of 9 his father was murdered and Temujin returned home to claim his place as tribal leader.  The tribe rejected him and his family was relegated to refugees.  During a hunting expedition he regained his leadership after killing his half brother

His marriage to Borte at 16 provided him alliances with other tribes.  Borte was kidnapped by a the Konkirat tribe, but Temujin rescued her.  Around the age of 20 Temujin himself was captured by former allies and enslaved.  He escaped and began raising an army for revenge.

With 20,000 men he began his revenge by defeating the Tartars, the tribe which had killed his father.  Every male over 3 foot tall was slain.  He then fought his former captors, boiling all the chiefs alive after his victory.  The military conquests of Temujin had begun.  His territory spread West and would eventually consist  of almost all of Asia.  His empire would be the second largest the world has yet seen, with only the British Empire being larger.  Temujin would become known as Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan revolutionized warfare.  Besides his military genius, he created signal corps to give commands over large distances.  Like Alexander the Great, he truly understood the importance of Supply and Logistics, creating a oxcarts which kept the army moving.  He identified the motivations of his enemies, and skillfully used spies to gather more information.

Genghis Khan was more than a military leader, he was a masterful diplomat.  He formed alliances and new concepts of government.  He formalized laws throughout the Mongol Empire.  He promoted people based on merit instead of lineage, a novel concept at the time.  He promoted religious tolerance, believing faith was a matter of personal conviction not subject to governmental authority.

Genghis Khan is best known for his military conquests, particularly with large cavalry engagements.  However, the Great Khan was a strong statesmen, powerful politician, and promoter of social reforms.
Game Stats
In real life Genghis Khan was a man who demanded respect and fear.  In Through The Ages, he receives very little respect.  He is the least popular leader of them all, and by a fairly wide margin.

Militarily, Genghis is the equivalent
of Light Cavalry
At first, Genghis may seem a great leader.  Increasing the value of every cavalry unit by 1.  However, he ignores the tactics cards.  In short, for every 2 cavalry units, the player's military strength is increased by 2.  This makes him equivalent to the Light Cavalry card.  His ability overrides the Light Cavalry card, so in effect, there is a net military gain of zero!

His secondary ability is to give one culture for each cavalry unit the player has in play.  Unfortunately, cavalry units have a more expensive base military cost than infantry, which makes this ability inferior to a similar leader: Homer.  The statistics for Genghis Khan are skewed since he was only played 11% of the time, with the only significant factor being he is a game losing leader:
With Genghis: +1 strength
Without Genghis: +2 Strength
Why play Genghis?!
Genghis Khan is the weakest leader in the game in my opinion.  First, to use his ability requires the Cavalry technology.  This puts him at the whim of card draws.  Second, he is no better than Light Cavalry tactics, and is inferior to every other tactic!  This makes his only true benefit being the culture gain, which is hardly worth mentioning.

Perhaps a 'fix' to try would be to make Genghis Khan's ability stack with the Tactics cards.  Suddenly, the players could command the "Mongolian Cavalry Horde" which the name of Genghis Khan inspires. This would certainly create a potential surge of age I and Age II military tactics.  As he is now, the Genghis Khan card inspires pity rather than fear.  Avoid this card at all costs.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HIS - The Ottomans - Strength and Weakness

Suleiman - Leader of the Ottomans

The Ottomans

The Ottomans are the Dark Green forces in Here I Stand.  Like all factions in the game, they have particular strengths and weaknesses.  Of the factions, the Ottomans have the most straight forward of goals: Military Domination.  Furthermore, the Ottomans have an "optimal route" in their first turn, something the other factions do not exhibit.  In some ways this makes them rote in their play style for the first turn or two.  After that, the strategy really begins to open up for them.

In my opinion, this makes the Ottomans the easiest faction to play for new players.


Ottoman Home Card
The greatest strength of the Ottomans is their ability to amass a great army and raise troops quickly.  Sulieman, by himself, can move up to 12 armies, and with Ibrahim Pasha this brings the total to 18.  The Hapsburgs could achieve a maximum of 16, while France and England could bring a maximum of 14 armies, Protestants 12, and Papacy 4.

The other powers are less likely to achieve their maximum number than the Ottomans.  The Ottomans Home Card allows them to raise 4 troops per turn (at a cost of 5 cp), and should be used almost exclusively for this purpose every turn.  Adding to their strength is the fact the Ottomans are immune to all the "Mercenary" cards.


The Ottomans have two major shortcomings: Their starting position and their "External Concerns": the War cards.  The War cards are an annoyance.  At the most inopportune times they can result in troops being sent "off board" to fight some battle.  A total of 9 armies can be lost to the War cards in this way. It is up to the player to determine if they need the troops or not.  In some ways, it is better to not resolve the War cards so that they cannot be played again, but if both cards are played it can result in a loss of 9 troops, which can take a full turn to regain.

Perhaps the major issue of the Ottomans is their positioning and the terrain surrounding them.  The only effective land route the Ottomans have is through Belgrade.  This creates a natural choke point which limits their movement.  The Ottomans must defeat Belgrade to advance on the Hapsburgs or into Italy.  Furthermore, any offensive they launch can quickly grind to a halt if Belgrade falls, so it must be defended.
Choke Point Belgrade


Once Barbary Pirates comes into play the Ottomans have the option of Piracy.  Although Piracy is effective, it is not a guaranteed Victory point gain.  However, Piracy can, and should, generate a few victory points for the Ottomans.  We will discuss Piracy, and other options, in more depth later.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Through The Ages - Card - Moses

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
According to the book of Exodus, the pharaoh of Egypt ordered all male Hebrew children killed as the Hebrew numbers grew to be a threat to Egypt.  He was hid among the reeds and adopted by the royal family.  After killing an Egyptian Slave Master, he fled across the Red Sea where he encountered God. He returned to lead the Israelite people from Egyptian rule after the Egyptians suffered 10 plagues.  After fleeing from the Egyptians, they settled at the foot of Mt Sinai, where Moses received the 10 Commandments from God.  He died within sight of the promised land after wandering the desert for 40 years.

The true historical facts of Moses are not exactly known.  What is known is Moses is steeped in the bases of most Abrahamic religions.  In Judaism, Moses is an important figure with many stories about him, including teaching the Phoenicians their language.  In Christianity, Moses provides the vessel for the "10 Commandments" from God, and his life story provides the framework upon which the teachings of Jesus build.  Islam considers Moses life to parallel Muhammad, and Moses is referenced more times than any other character in the Quran.

Although his actual life, trial, and tribulations are not known, the impact of Moses upon religious thought is, perhaps even more profound than that of any other figure.  Like Homer, it is possible Moses was not a single individual, but a potential conglomeration of many people.  In any case, Moses remains an important figure in many modern religions.  
Game Stats
Moses game ability is short an simple: Increasing populations costs 1 grain less.  This is surprisingly useful as the player can quickly build new buildings.  This ability is neither good nor bad, as evidenced by the chart below which shows taking Moses has little effect on the end position.
Moses, in the end, is of average effectiveness.  Although very popular as a leader, his impact on the game seems to be marginal.   This makes him neither a good nor bad leader.  Perhaps the largest advantage of Moses is to delay building Food structures and concentrate on other structures.  Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to unhappiness, so it is likely to lead towards building a happiness structure.

In an oddity compared to the real life counterpart, I believe Moses is best among the Age A leaders best situated towards using Drama instead of Temples.  The Drama provides both happiness and culture, and can set up the Library/Drama combo needed for Shakespeare.  This is because Moses permits the player to concentrate on buildings other than Farms.  The savings in building a Farm can be balanced by purchasing a Library and Drama building.  If the cards fall the right way, this can lead to a focused Culture Strategy.

Let me know your thoughts on Moses in the comments.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Through The Ages - Card - Julius Caesar

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Julius Caesar
Of all leaders of Rome, perhaps none is as well known as Julius Caesar.  Born into an elite family in July of 100 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar's immediate family was not particularly political.  Upon his father's death, Julius Caesar became the head of his household.  He was nominated for the position of High Priest of Jupiter, a position where he could not sleep 3 nights outside of Rome, touch a horse, or look upon an army.  This fate was averted, however, when his Uncle Gaius Marius lost a political struggle to Lucius Sulla and Julius was forced into hiding.

The Roman Republic would never be the same.

Caesar joined the military where he won the second highest military decoration possible.  He set to return to Rome in 78 B.C. when news of Sulla's death reached him, where he lived in the Lower Class neighborhood and became a lawyer, the wealth of his family having been confiscated by Sulla.  While sailing across the Aegean, he was captured by pirates, and, at his own urging, was ransomed for twice what the pirates initially thought was a good price.  Upon reaching home safely, he raised a fleet, capture the pirates and had them put to death.

Upon his return, he began an ascent into politics.  He rose steadily through the political ranks, forming alliances as necessary.  Eventually he achieved the rank of governorship, but deeply in debt he decided to money the old fashioned way: military conquest.

First he defeated the Gauls, where he learned to conquer each tribe one at a time rather than all at once. Caesar's conquests were not without defeats, but his military career was more successful than those of other governors of the time.  The actual number of enemy killed by Caesar is unknown as his own propaganda inflated the numbers, but it is known he defeated many Germanic tribes and eventually landed in Briton.

Meanwhile, Civil war erupted in Rome, with an eventual victor being Pompey.  Pompey ordered Caesar to return to Rome.  Caesar, fearing being jailed by Pompey (an old political compatriot and now rival), brought a legion of troops with him.  Again, Rome fell into civil revolt.  Caesar took control of the city and began using his army to defeat his opposition.  Ruthless in his reign, Caesar tracked Pompey to Egypt, hired assassins to kill Pompey, then the assassins killed after they had succeeded.

Upon his return the Roman Senate bestowed Caesar the honor of "Emperor for Life".  In Caesar's case, this "life" was to last only one year.  However, his political reforms were tremendous to the Romans.  Debt was reduced through pardons, foreignors made citizens, and pardons issued.  He was immensely popular, and when he was assassinated, Rome again fell into disarray.  His great-grandnephew would use Caesar's popularity to raise an army of commoners against the professional soldiers of the "corrupt" senate.  This relative of Caesar was successful, and the people crowned him "Emperor Augustus Caesar", the first emperor of the Roman Empire.
Game Stats
Julius Caesar is a popular leader, and it is easy to see why.  The game statistics below show, while Julius does not guarantee a victory, he does provide a huge boost.  His boost in odds is the single largest boost of any leader in the game.  This confirms the importance of military options early in the game which may be exploited later.  His power seems somewhat lame at first, but if used properly, his abilities pay for themself.

ulius Caesar is usually the first, or second, leader chosen.  The ability to draw an additional military card is huge, but not overwhelming.  If a bad card draw or poorly timed military failure disrupts the plan, Julius will not recover.  Those who fail with Julius usually use their military superiority too early, failing to give their economic engine a proper boost.  Therefore, although Julius boosts your military strength, do not neglect the economics.  Despite the statistics, I still prefer Aristotle over Julius Caesar, but that is more a personal taste and is debatable.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Through The Ages - Card - Alexander the Great

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Alexander The Great
A country on the brink of collapse, a people in turmoil, and the threat of invasion by any of its neighbors.  The king and military of 4000 men were dead after a disastrous battle, and the vacant throne was attracting many claimants   This was the state of affairs of Macedonia around 359 BC when one of the king's sons rose to power.  One year later the internal threats were eliminated, its borders secured, and the military reorganized.  Through diplomacy, marriage, and military conquest, the country of Macedonia grew from a collapsing nation to a military might.  That leader's name was: Phillip II.

Under Phillip's leadership, Macedonia grew to a great power which threatened the might of its strongest neighbors: Persia.  In 336 BC Phillip invaded Persia.  His army was now a well oiled machine.  Professionally trained and experienced, the force seemed unstoppable with Phillip's will guiding them.  At a wedding celebration, Phillip was assassinated.  Whether by a man driven to madness, or a plot by his son, the man who turned Macedonia around was dead.  The Persians waited to see if Macedonia would collapse, or at least fall back into less militaristic ways.

But Phillip's son, Alexander III, inherited his father's throne, the military that went with it, and the teachings of Aristotle (another leader in Through The Ages).  If the hope was Phillip's death would halt the expansion of Macedonian rule, the world was mistaken.  Alexander ruthlessly executed all his internal opposition.  Seeing a moment of potential weakness, the Thracians, Illyrians, and Greeks rose up to rebel.

With incredible martial awareness, Alexander defeated the Thracians in a series of battles and a week later, after marching across Macedonia, defeated the Illyrians.  Rumors of Alexander's death raised the spirits of the Greeks, who were severely disappointed when Alexander appeared with his army outside the gates of Thebes.  The rest of Greece held its breath and awaited the outcome as Alexander's army laid siege to Thebes.  Thebes fell.  The city was razed to the ground, it's citizens killed or sold into slavery. The will of the Greeks crumbled and accepted the rule of their new ruler.

Under his rule the Macedonian nation became an empire.  Alexander and his armies conquered Asia Minor, the Persians, and all armies in his way until the empire stretched to the Indus River in modern day Pakistan.  Eventually it was Alexander's men who demanded he return to Macedonia rather than march further east.

Alexander was a master of all aspects of martial warfare.  He understood logistics, supply, and morale.  His army moved fast and maintained discipline.  They were adept at fighting in defense, in attack and in laying siege.  During his Eastern march, Alexander was never defeated in a battle.  Today, many cities bear some version of Alexander's name: Alexandria, Egypt; Alexandira Asiana, Iran; Iskandaria, Iran; and more.  Through Alexander, Greek influence spread well beyond Greece and into Asia.  Alexander set the stage for the coming of the Roman Empire, although it was his father, Phillip II, who gave the Western World its greatest (arguable) contribution to military might: Heavy Infantry.
Game Stats
Alexander the Great is not as effective in the game as he was in real life. He is overshadowed by many other Leaders: Julius Caesar, Aristotle, and Moses.  Every unit dedicated to Military grants an additional strength.  True to the real life namesake, Alexander could stand evenly with any other military leader in the game with this ability.
Alexander's statistics, perhaps more than any other leader, stresses the importance of concentrating on Economy over Military in the early game.  Nearly 70% of the games he appears in result in the player achieving 3rd or 4th place.  Less than 7% of his appearances result in a first place win.

I believe Alexander should best be taken as a counter to Julius Caesar.  Despite having an obvious military advantage, the player should concentrate on economy first and military second.  The temptation with Alexander is to force an early military arms race.  Although the player may win the short term race for Age I, once Alexander leaves play the player will discover they are at a military disadvantage.  Furthermore, the other players will be filled with vengeance.

Overall, I recommend passing on Alexander.  It is my opinion there are more effective Age I leaders available than Alexander at Age A.   If considering Alexander, try passing on him and choosing an Age I leader instead just to see if they perform better.  In short, Alexander is an enticing Mousetrap, luring the player in with great promise only to crush the player's hopes of victory.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HIS - Card Driven Game

Sample Basic Card

Anatomy of a Card

Cards in Here I Stand have a few important features: primarily the card text and the command points.  The command points are located in a shield icon in the upper left corner.    Command Points (CP) are the "currency" in the game, used to perform any action: from building troops, to moving armies, to sending explorers to the New World.  When a player plays a card for CP, any points not spent are lost.

Sample Mandatory Card
with Turn Availability
The second major use of a card is for the text effect.  The text outlines specific events or modifies outcomes.  Normally, a card can only be used for one or the other, either CP or text.   But there are some cards which are "Mandatory", as shown to the left.  These cards have three  effects.  First, when played, the card text must take effect.  Second, the card provides its CP to the player who played the card.  Mandatory cards, as the names implies, must be played during the players turn.

Lastly, some cards have a "Turn X" written in their upper right.  These cards are shuffled into the draw deck starting on the given turn.  If a card is played for its effect, the card may leave play.  These cards have the words "Remove from play" at their bottom.

Home Cards

Hapsburg Home Card
Every player has a 'Home' Card.  These cards, unlike the others which are drawn randomly, are available every turn to their player.  Every player holds a single Home Card, with the exception of the Papacy which has two Home Cards.  These cards are Mandatory cards, they must be played every turn.


During the game players may "pass" their turn.  This allows the player to hold on to key cards until their next turn.  However, players may not pass until three conditions are met:
  1. All the player's cards saying "Mandatory Event" the player has in hand are played,
  2. The player's Home Card has been played,
  3. The player has no more cards in hand than their leader's "Admin Rating".

Effects on the Game

This system has several effects on the game and game style.  First, the more cards the player has, the more likely they are to have more CP to spend on performing actions.  Second, more cards leads to more options, particularly with text effects.  Lastly, the more cards a player has the longer the player may "delay" events or actions till other players have no or few cards.  This lets the player perform actions with a reduced probability of them being interfered with by the other players.

Running out of cards before the other players can be a risky proposition.  It leaves the player effectively defenseless against the player's other options.  A player must balance when it is a good decision to run their hand out of cards in order to achieve their goals, letting the other player's carry on with no danger.  Similarly, it is sometimes beneficial to hold on to a card as a "bluff", forcing the other player(s) to decide if preceding with their course of action may result in their action being interrupted, or plans foiled.