Chapter7.gif (951 bytes) Designing Computer Games

Hundred Years War

As this book was being written, the Hundred Years War game is in alpha test. This game is one aspect of computerized wargames that is just now coming into its own and this is the use of modems for multiplayer games via telephone linked computers. For nearly ten years, computer networks such as Compuserve and GEnie there have offered multiplayer games, but none of these have been history based (or, at best, only vaguely so). To remedy this situation, I signed a contract with GE to design a multiplayer (300 players) game of the Hundred Years War to be played on their GEnie system. Al Nofi (research) and Dan Masterson (programming) will comprise the rest of the team that will recreate 14th and 15th century England and France (plus Italy, Spain, parts of Germany, Scotland, Ireland and sundry other adjacent areas). The game will cover economics, religion and politics in addition to the purely military aspects.

As a player, your objective is to insure the growth, prosperity and survival of your family line (each day of real time equals three months of game time). You may start out the game as anything from an impoverished Gascon noble to a mighty earl of England. Your degree of victory is rated on how much you increase what you started with during the century or so it takes England and France to settle their dynastic, military and economic differences. The game allows players to operate on two levels, either as a free wheeling adventurer, living only for battle, tournaments or the hunt (a rather common attitude in those times), and/or as an ambitious and able administrator of his estates and participant in the affairs of state. The latter course is more rewarding in the long run, but the former can be more fun for the mash and bash set. There's a little of that it all of us.

In this game the computer is used in areas where it does the most good. The medieval economic system is run by the computer. Medieval economies were fairly complex. Although most of the population was farming, about ten percent was not and was instead trading and producing a variety of manufactured goods that could be bought and sold over wide areas. There was money about, a bureaucracy and a heavily armed nobility. At any given time, at least 1-2 percent of the population was in arms. Most of these troops were mercenaries and they were either paid or you suffered their depredations as brigands. Many mercenaries turned to brigandage once large armies were demobilized,

[[vas illos]]

creating a constant state of conflict during several periods. As the game goes on, brigand bands (run by the computer) will become an increasing threat to your fiscal, and physical, well being.

Taxes were raised, somewhat inefficiently and often with such vigor that rebellion resulted. The brigand depredations also get the common folk riled up. It's bad enough when they refuse to pay their taxes, but if you're a real bad actor, they'll come after your head.

If you decide to spend all your time fighting in wars and tournaments, your fiefs will "run themselves," although less efficiently. In other words, without your personal attention, your bailiffs will be less rigorous and honest. Your wife and children may develop excessive spending habits and, in general, your assets will waste away.

You can borrow and lend money, or buy and sell fiefs. Fiefs are the basic economic unit of the game and there are about 800 of them. The "fief file" is itself an interesting historical document, containing data dredged up from numerous sources and containing traditional "fiefs" (agricultural areas) as well as towns and religious facilities (church owned fiefs with monasteries, etc.). There is, for example, a fief in France called Condom, run by a player who will be known as the Sire de Condom. There's also another Welch fief called something worse, but it's in Gaelic. Hey, we just call them as we see them. But you can see where the French got some of their historical traits from.

Play the game and you'll quickly discovered that even the largest cities had fewer than 100,000 citizens within its walls. Less than five percent of the population lived in walled towns and cities, most of the remainder lived in small villages surrounded by farmland and pastures.

About two percent of the population belonged to the nobility or a nobles household. This group included many of the troops. Thus of the thirty million (pre-plague) population in the area covered by the game, only a few hundred thousand men were fighters. The three hundred players occupy one of three ranks. Every player is at least a "lesser noble" controlling one or more fiefs. Three dozen players are "magnates," or overlords of several lesser nobles and themselves the holders of more fiefs than a lesser noble. One player is the king of England and one really unfortunate wretch is the king of France.

To start the game off in the proper spirit, the English players (about one third the total) are allowed a week to discuss things among themselves and elect those of their number deemed most suitable to be magnates and the king. This represents the superior cohesiveness of the English government, even though they did not have elections as such. Those players who chose to be French (or were forced to be French if all the English slots were taken) are randomly assigned as lesser nobles, magnates and king. This maximizes the chances of the wrong person getting into a key position.

While combat is the final arbiter of events, there are other ways to get things done. After all, battles are only a forceful way of obtaining a treaty. The English king wants to become the French king and to do so he must control enough French territory to make his coronation as French king convincing. There is a legal system built into the game, covering both civil and church matters. You can be declared an outlaw or excommunicated. You can even be tried and executed. There's a Pope (actually, more than one during this period), heresy and the ever popular Black Death (which will ultimately destroy half the population over several outbreaks).

Money plays a large role in the game. Although several currencies were used in this period, we invented a new one, the ducat (which was actually the name of an Italian currency) so that you wouldn't have to deal with all the different exchange rates. By way of example, 600 ducats equals one English Pound and 135 ducats equals one French Livre, and so on. One ducat also equals one US dollar (1992 vintage). Money is important in this period. Troops were the biggest expense. The feudal levy could still be called out, but only for local defense and only for a limited period of time. On average, a mercenary soldier cost about 2,000 ducats per turn (a season of three months). Most armies in this period contained 5-10,000 men, which meant 10-20 million ducats per turn just for the troops. The king of England only had that much income per turn (in the best of times) and there were other expenses (household, maintenance of fortifications, bribes and payments to officials, etc.). The king had several thousand people on his payroll and even a magnate had several hundred servants and soldiers to support (and an income of up to several million ducats per turn). You can borrow money, but basically the English kept the war going for so long because they were better soldiers, their ships controlled the English Channel (most of the time) and they were able to constantly plunder French fiefs. Thus the object of taking your army into the field was not battle, but plunder. Sort of like a game of Monopoly with edged weapons.

Using a remote computer does not waste the capabilities of your PC. For players with IBM compatible machines and Macintoshes there is a program you can download from GEnie. This program, (a Graphic Front End or GFE) will incorporate a datacomm program to connect with GEnie (more specifically, the Hundred Years War game) and have an editor for writing messages to other players and the graphics capability to display game activities in more detail. Players with other PC types can still play just by connecting with GEnie, but will not have access to all the amenities in the GFE. The GFE costs nothing (except the connect time to download it, a few bucks).

When you first connect with this game via GEnie you immediately know you're not in Kansas any more. If it's you first time, you're asked if you want to join the game. If you answer yes you receive a screen full of information on who your character is ("you are William de Clinton, the Baron of Huntington in Cambridgeshire, England, etc.," or "You are the Captal de Buch, lord of the fortifications guarding the port of Buch on the Gascon coast and the owner of three fiefs, etc.") and what your resources are (other fiefs owned, annual income, etc.) as well as personal information (age, state of health, wife, kids, state of your fortifications, troops under your control, claims on other players fiefs, etc.).

You can sign on and do nothing and your character's life will go on. In this case you would be the medieval equivalent of a couch potato. Taxes are collected and spent in your estate, dishonest officials will embezzle most of the surplus and life will go on with you doing little more than observing. Note that you play through the current eldest male of the family your character belongs to. When the eldest male dies, the next eldest male descendent takes over. If none is available, the line dies and you're out of the game. Among other things, you have to look after the wife and kiddies (which involves some interesting and obvious activities not normally found in wargames, but essential to medieval military affairs).

However, there is much to do and this is the virtue of an online computer game. The key here is the multiple players and the ease of communication and interaction. Multiplayer games are usually more enjoyable than two player encounters, yet solitaire play is the most common because of the difficulty in getting the players together. Online games eliminate these problems. Whenever you get on you can send and receive messages. You can also talk with other players who are on at the same time and join together for tournaments (jousting, duels, etc.), hunting or conspiracies or affairs of state (there was often little difference between the two). This form of real time of communication, in a time when it took three weeks to ride from one end of France to another, is justified by the three month length of the game "turns" (one day of real time). Players may allocate their 90 days more productively, performing such drudgery as managing their fiefs or training with arms. But true to the period, they may spend most (or all) of their time out hunting and fighting. Naturally, the more ambitious (and probably the older) players will more readily adapt to building their power through management and diplomacy. The important thing is that up to three hundred individuals in one historically based game will make for an interesting experience. Should some bloody minded sixteen year old find him (or her) self king of France, surrounded by a few equally rapacious nobles and faced with a thirty-five year old tax accountant, management consultant or college professor playing the king of England.

Well, this game will be fun just to watch. And you will be able to watch. For example, we can have play by play descriptions.

Battles during the period were infrequent (perhaps one or two a month of real time, or one or two every seven years of game time). However, you could usually see them coming (money and mercenaries had to be collected, negotiations conducted, etc.), so we will announce them and enable any interested GEnie users to view the action in terminal mode. "Hundred Years War: Witness the Battle of Rouen at 9 PM, February 3rd, 1993." The "Heralds" (sysops) will give play by play commentary, battle maps (o's and x's) plus participant interviews, pre and post battle commentary and the like. Everything but tailgate parties. Sort of like a football game with edged weapons, no timeouts and no referees (and very few rules).

"Here we are folks, outside the French city of Rouen in the year of our Lord 1376, where the Duke of Normandy and the Count of Artois have marshalled their forces to settle a dispute over who shall be the Duke of Brittany. The Normans have a contingent of English troops under the Earl of Bedford and are the current favorites. The six thousand Norman troops and eleven thousand French troops are arrayed and combat is expected to commence in about fifteen minutes at 9:40 PM EST. First, however, we have a live interview with his lordship, the Constable of France, the Count of Artois. Tell us, Count, how do you expect to overcome those English longbowmen?" And so on...

More frequently, there will be tournaments. These involve all sorts of individual combat, including jousting. The joust will be handled like the familiar vehicle simulators computer games are famous for. Our version will have dozens of players from all over the country lining up electronically to come thundering down the lists in real time for fame, glory and (game) money. We're also working on a system whereby other players can watch the action, and perhaps even make bets (with ducats only) on the action (another bit of historical realism). Note that jousts were also a popular way to settle sieges. Real (not blunted) weapons were used and the fight was to the death.

Naturally, new technology costs more. Connect time for online games via the GEnie network is $6.00 an hour (as of 1992, billed to the nearest minute). The game is being designed so that, if you use the GFE, you can actively participate using only 2-3 hours a month. If the game goes a full century (400 days), it's going to cost you something like $200 to play the entire game. That's fifty cents a day. Not cheap, but not all that outrageous either. How else could you participate in the Hundred Years War? One of the big problems with on line games is their expense. Many players find themselves spending hundreds of dollars a month on these addictive games and many have to drop out because they can't afford it. The Hundred Years War will be unique in that it will be one of the first on line games to confront this problem. The way the game is designed, there is no real advantage to spending hundreds of dollars a month on the game (unless you want to be really good at jousting, which is actually a relatively minor aspect of the period). Players can have a major impact while only incurring costs of no more than $20-$30 a month. This way, we hope to get a lot more players involved. Online gaming looks to be one of the more interesting new areas for historical simulations in quite some time.

But why just talk about it when we can walk you through a few activities of the actual game (alpha version) in late 1991. I was playing Louis II, Count of Flanders. What follows is what actually appeared on my computer screen as I connected to GEnie and entered the Hundred Years War game. Brief notes explaining what I'm doing will appear interspersed with the game related material.

[[production note: my comments appear in brackets. Computer material should appear in different type face, I suggest sans serif]]

** Thank you for choosing GEnie **

The Consumer Information Service from General Electric
Copyright (C), 1992

GEnie Logon at: 05:46 EST on: 921107
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No letters waiting.

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Enter #, <H>elp, or <CR> to continue?Move 945

[The first thing you see is GEnie ID and promotional material. You are not charged for looking at that. I entered the command "Move 945" and that took me to the Hundred Years War (HYW) game. The GFE would take you there automatically.]

The game and its RT are a GEnie VALUE ($6 an hour) Service


The game is on page 945, the HYW RT is on page 946. Weekly Real Time Conferences on Saturday, 4 PM Eastern Time in the games Interactive Court. Plenty of files on the game in the file library (page 946). Plenty of good advice and companionship in the HYW RT (page 946). Plenty of mayhem and adventure in the game (page 945).

HYW Staff, and their GEnie email IDs

Designed by Jim Dunnigan: HYW$
System development by Dan Masterson: HYW$
Research by Al Nofi: HYW$
Player assistance provided by the Heralds:
Herald of England- Darrell L. Killpack: FROTZ
Herald of England- Mark O. Kinkead: M.KINKEAD
Herald of France- Barbara Byro: BYRO
Herald of France- Robert B. Kasten: R.KASTEN1
Herald of the Others- Daniel H. Scheltema: D.SCHELTEMA
Master of the Archives- Charles R. Townsley: C.TOWNSLEY
Master of the Peerage- Richard A. Edwards: R.EDWARDS26
Master of the Scrivners- Dave Zincavage: JDZ3

Help is always available in the HYW RT (page 946)

GEnie Page 945

Hundred Years War (tm) by DENO

1. Personal Affairs
2. Travel
3. Hunting, Combat and Dirty Deeds
4. Official Acts
5. The Herald
6. Scoreboard
7. Instructions
8. Join Hundred Years War
9. HYW RoundTable

Enter #, <P>revious, or <H>elp?1

[This is the main HYW menu. The first thing I want to do is go to the personal affairs menu (1) to see how I'm doing.]

Personal Affairs Menu

1. <Fie>f Management
2. <P>ersonal Characteristics
3. <H>ousehold Affairs
4. <Fa>mily Matters
5. <Fin>ancial Activity
6. <C>ourt
7. <A>larum Menu
8. <G>amble
9. <O>nline Messages
10. Dump Vital Financial Information
11. Dump Vital Family Information
12. <I>nteractive Court

Enter #, or <ENTER> To Exit: 2

[Personal affairs has numerous submenus. But first I'll show you "who I am." by choosing menu option 2.]

Fall Of 1340 90.0 Days Left

Personal Purse 877.00
Current Location is AFC01 Luxeil
Current Health 3 Maximum Health 3

Management 3 Guile 1 Leadership 8 Stature 7
Protection 2 Endurance 8 Attack Value 1  
Tournament 3 Sire ID 0 Org ID 285

You are Heinrich V de Limbourg         Your ID is 285         Your age is 46
You are married to Alais de Limbourg.
Sex m    You Speak F1
Wife is not Pregnant

Court Persona Is 285

Athlete                    4
Command                    7
Insightful of people      8
Insightful of situations  4
Superstitious              5
See Titles (Y or N)? y
   Fief ID Fief Name      Rank

1. HLG01 Limbourg         11 Graf
Press <ENTER> to continue.

[If it looks like something out of out of a Role Playing Game (RPG), it is, as HYW is a RPG, albeit one played on a vast scale and historically accurate. I describe my character as a dirty old man, but more on that later.]

[Back at the Personal Affairs Menu, I go to check out my financial situation. As in real life, money drives this game.]

Financial Activity

1. <S>ummary of all Holdings
2. <I>ndividual Fief Status
3. <F>iefs Owned List
4. <C>urrent Finances
5. <P>ayments to Other Players
6. <B>uy and Sell Fiefs
7. Hire and Fire <N>PCs
8. Hire <T>roops
9. <E>xit

Enter # 3

[Lets check out my fiefs, the source of a feudal lords wealth.]

    Fief ID   Fief Name   Trsry    Kp Lvl   Surp   Llty  Bail  Mngr   AT   Status
1. HLG01     Limbourg    6        5.79     -35     9.0   392   0      N    Calm

Choose Fief 1 to 1, <E> Followed by Fief # to Examine, <P>revious Page,
or <ENTER> TO Quit: 1

Fall Of 1340 90.0 Days Left

Current Fief HLG01 Limbourg
Loyalty 9.00    Surplus -35.00   Treasury Balance 6.23    Status Calm
Bailiff ID 392
Auto Transfer Flag Is Off, Surplus Will Not Be Transfered To Purse

Personal Purse 877.00

[The Graf de Limbourg controls one fief, with a name, and location, that still exist in modern Germany. This was one of the many peripheral areas included in the game. Most of the fiefs are in France and England.]

Enter # 1

Individual Fief Summary

Limbourg (HLG01 ) Liege HRE:Germany Population 20.3
Language F1 Freedom 1 Status Calm
Your Overlord is Guy Baudet (290) Bailiff ID 392
Fields 5.22 Industry 2.08 Weather 0.99 Trsy Bal 6.23
Knights 28 MAA 10 Lt Cav 0 Yeomen 0 Foot 406 Rabble 8932

   Last Season   Crnt Season   Next Season
Loyalty   8.73   9.00
GDP   3117   3121   3138
1-Tax Rate   14.0%   14.0%   14.0%
Income   436   436   439
2-Officials   80   66   60
3-Garrison   222   182   165
4-Infrastructure   122   100   90
5-Keep (Level)   160 ( 5.64)   131 ( 5.79)   119
Extra Expenses   -24   -7
Total Expenses   560   471
Graft   0   0
Overlord Taxes   0   0
Surplus/Deficit   -124   -35

Enter 1-5 to change, or <ENTER> to Quit:

[I'm currently taxing this fief at a high level, but I'm also investing a lot in Infrastructure (roads, public buildings and the like) and payments to the Garrison (the local knights and men at arms), which will enable me to raise taxes even higher.]

[Back at the main menu, I go to the Alarum menu, to find out that has been happening in the game recently. Each day of real time represents 90 days (one season) of game time.]

Alarum Menu

1. <R>ead Personal History File
2. Read <H>erald
3. <A>ctive Player List
4. <S>cores

999. Move To Main HYW Menu

Enter #, or <ENTER> To Exit: h

Enter Season Of History You Want To Read

1. Last Season (Summer 1340)
2. Two Seasons Ago (Spring 1340)
3. Three Seasons Ago (Winter 1339)

Enter #, or <ENTER> To Exit: 1

[I look at the most recent season (yesterday in real time) and find out who was born, who died, who is at war, what battles were fought, keeps besieged and fiefs pillaged. Never a dull moment in the 14th century.]

History For Summer 1340

The Freville Family (18) has had a baby boy.
The Burys Family (46) has had a baby boy.
The de Bohun Family (101) has had a baby boy.
The de Camus Family (119) has had a baby girl.
778 Catherine Berkeley died in child birth.
The Glyn Dwr Family (195) has had a baby girl.
658 Marie de Preaux died in child birth.
The de Rohan Family (205) has had a baby girl.
The du Barril Family (206) has had a baby boy.
The Holland Family (226) has had a baby girl.
The Douglas Family (282) has had a baby boy.
The de Loraille Family (297) has had a baby girl.
The de Namur Family (305) has had a baby girl.
The Grovesner Family (239) has had a grandson.

[Because you only can stay in the game if you have an heir to replace your current character when it dies, marriage and children are important. Childbirth was, however, more dangerous then than it is today and even the wives of aristocrats were at risk.]

Eudes de Burgundy (53) has died at Dijon.
Isabelle Richemont (103) has died at Limoges.
John de Cobham (163) has died at Maidstone.
Simone Boccanera (287) has died at Genoa.
Andrea Orsini (407) has died at Venice.
Louise de Craon (687) has died at Rochefort.
Jeanne de Laval (705) has died at La Fert.
Margaret ap Gwain (715) has died at Montbard.
Press <ENTER> to continue.
Jeanne de Clare (716) has died at Llandovery.
Annette de Gonzolles (760) has died at Llanbyther.
Thomas de Floques (950) has died at Portsmouth.
Alexandre de Corvino (1235) has died at Evreaux.
Eudes du Barril (6274) has died at Perigord.
Alain de Lyon (6315) has died at Laon.

[Warfare was common, and often the forces were commanded, if only in name, by women. These female warriors were almost always widows who were forced to send out troops to defend their interests. The women would usually hire a noted freelance commander to actually lead the troops in battle. Unlike most wargames, this one actually attracts a large number of female players.]

FPO03 La Roche de Poitiers is being besieged by Anne Aubert (112).
FPO03 La Roche de Poitiers was taken by Anne Aubert (112).
APR01 Barcelonette is being besieged by Jean de Clermont (121).
APR01 Barcelonette was pillaged by Jean de Clermont (121)
APR01 Barcelonette was raided by Jean de Clermont (121)
APR01 Barcelonette was taken by Jean de Clermont (121).
ANC02 Puget is being besieged by Jean de Clermont (121).
Mary Elizabeth Clifford (230) and Robert de Nesles (764) were married.
Anne Glyn Dwr (6303) and Roger Mowbry (1079) were married.
Jean de Clermont (121) Has Been Excommunicated.
Blanche de Ponthieve (632) and Charles de Chabannes (1127) were married.
Guy de Sully (82) Has Issued A Call To Arms.
Bodo Badarieux (1583) was caught attempting to assassinate Gautier le Roy (60).
Herve Gex (3689) was caught attempting to kidnap Jeanne le Roy (799).

[Assassination and kidnapping were considered perfectly reasonable ways to achive your goals in this period. They were a lot cheaper than hiring an army.]

APR01 Barcelonette is being besieged by Clare Paleologo (231).
Press <ENTER> to continue.
Jean de Clermont (121) Has Been Outlawed
By Philippe VI de Valois (200).

[At this point in the game, the player with the Jean de Clermont decided to wage a private war. The French king (Philippe VI de Valois) told him to stop, as did the player playing the Pope. De Clermont ignored both, and in this season he was outlawed by the king and excommunicated by the Pope. The king and his loyal vassals raised armys and marched on de Clermonts lands in the south central French Forez region. Doesn't pay to mess with the king.]

FCE05 Mantes was pillaged by Ame de St-Vollier (10)
FCE05 Mantes is being besieged by Ame de St-Vollier (10).
FCE05 Mantes was raided by Ame de St-Vollier (10)
Eleanor de Grailly (1043) and John d'Urtino (531) were married.
Roger de Clermont (789) was captured during a successful siege.
Elizabeth de Clermont (6228) was captured during a successful siege.
FCE05 Mantes was taken by Ame de St-Vollier (10).
FCE03 Pontoise is being besieged by Ame de St-Vollier (10).
FCE01 Clermont was raided by Thierry III de Grand Pre (252)
FCE01 Clermont is being besieged by Philippe VI de Valois (200).
Jean de Clermont (121)'s Garrison Defeated
Thierry III de Grand Pre (252) During A Pillage/Raid Attempt At Clermont.
FCE01 Clermont surrendered to Philippe VI de Valois (200)
FCE03 Pontoise was pillaged by Philippe VI de Valois (200)
APR01 Barcelonette is being besieged by Louise de Gonzolles (173).
FCE03 Pontoise is being besieged by Philippe VI de Valois (200).
FCE01 Clermont is being besieged by Thierry III de Grand Pre (252).
Thierry III de Grand Pre (252) Defeated
Philippe VI de Valois (200)'s Garrison During A Siege Attempt At Clermont.
FGU12 Graves is being besieged by Jean de Grailly (126).
Press <ENTER> to continue.
Jean de Grailly (126) Defeated
Foucaud de Rouchechourt (3)'s Garrison During A Siege Attempt At Graves.
Jean de Grailly (126) Defeated
Foucaud de Rouchechourt (3)'s Garrison During A Siege Attempt At Graves.
Foucaud de Rouchechourt (3) was captured during a successful siege.
Bodo Digne (3257) was captured during a successful siege.
FGU12 Graves was taken by Jean de Grailly (126).
FCE01 Clermont paid extortion to Thierry III de Grand Pre (252)
Thierry III de Grand Pre (252) Defeated
Philippe VI de Valois (200)'s Garrison During A Siege Attempt At Clermont.
Thierry III de Grand Pre (252) Defeated
Philippe VI de Valois (200)'s Garrison During A Siege Attempt At Clermont.
Anne de Breche (1120) and Nicholas de Breche (186) were married.
APR01 Barcelonette was pillaged by Alfonso XI de Castilla y Leon (8)
APR01 Barcelonette was raided by Alfonso XI de Castilla y Leon (8)
APR01 Barcelonette is being besieged by Alfonso XI de Castilla y Leon (8).
APR01 Barcelonette was taken by Alfonso XI de Castilla y Leon (8).
Elizabeth de Bertrand was caught seducing
Bertrand du Guesclin.
Elizabeth de Bertrand (193) and Bodo de Mauny (794) were married.
Henry Percy was caught seducing
Annette de Stafford.
Press <ENTER> to continue.

[Back at the Alarum menu, I can also see who the other players are. In this game there were over a hundred at this time. Below is one screen full.]

Active Players

ID Name   E-Mail
1. 22 Benedict XII Pontifex Maximus GM
2. 83 Guy Baveux SIMUTRONICS
3. 222 Renard VI de Pons FDITIZIO
4. 109 Guy d'Albon J.JIMENEZ
5. 58 Gaston II de Carcassone CGW
6. 47 Edward III Plantagenet DIPLOMACY-1
7. 60 Gautier le Roy DIPLOMACY-3
8. 176 Louis de Bourbon-LaMarche AUSI-SUPPORT
9. 364 Connor McKinnon A
10. 97 Hugh de Audley FROTZ
11. 288 Personne I Inconnu M.WIELENGA2
12. 46 Edward Burys J.BRANDT7
13. 157 Juana II de Navarra B.HUNTER7
14. 12 Anger de Montault J.CUMMINS
15. 164 John Mowbry W.HART9

Choose Character 1 to 15, <N>ext Page, or <ENTER> TO Quit:

[Back at the main menu, I go to the Travel Menu.]


Fall Of 1340 86.0 Days Left

-------7-Northwest--------                -------9-Northeast--------
- AFC02  Vesoul       1.0-                - AFC01  Luxeil       1.0-
----------4-West----------   Current Fief     ----------6-East------
AFC05    Pesmes       1.0-    AFC04 Besancon  AFC03  Clerval    1.0-
        -------1-Southwest--------        -------3-Southeast--------
        - AFC07   Salins       1.0-       - AFC06    Pontarlie   1.0-

You Are Outside The Keep     No Army Present In Fief

Choose Number Of Direction You Wish To Move, or

2. <Exa>mine Fief                5. <V>isit Court and Enter Keep
8. <Po>rt Movement              10. <A>rmies in Fief
11. <Ent>er Keep                 12. <Exi>t Keep
13. <L>ist Those Outside Keep   14. <C>ombat\Dirty Deeds Menu
15. <F>ief Management            16. <Pe>rsonal Affairs Menu
17. Army <M>anagement            18. <O>nline Messages

Enter #, or <ENTER> To Exit: v

[The travel menu is an easy way to move around Europe. Note the use of the six sided "hexagon" technique to regulate movement. Just like many manual games, and many computer wargames also. The Travel Menu also allows access to nearly all the other features of the game. I decide to visit the court of the fief I am already in.]

[I choose to "attend court" To see who is hanging around the local lords chateau. Most of the characters here are NPCs (Non Player Characters).


Fall Of 1340 86.0 Days Left

Fief AFC04 Besancon
The Owner Is Jeanne II de Bourgogne (156) Who Is Active.
Province Franche-Comte Kingdom HRE:Arles
The Overlord is Jeanne II de Bourgogne (156)

ID Name Org Sex Type Comp
1. 156 Jeanne II de Bourgogne 156 F PLYR*
2. 465 Thomas de Beauchamp 156 M FMLY
3. 475 Alais de Limbourg 285 F FMLY YES
4. 499 Philippe de Bourgogne 156 M FMLY
5. 915 Robert de Savoy 156 M FMLY
6. 939 Clare de Savoy 156 F FMLY
7. 1015 Ame de Savoy 156 F FMLY
8. 1611 Roger Baiona 156 M NPC
9. 2038 Bernard Bourg 156 M NPC
10. 2719 Sean Chateau-Renault 156 M NPC
11. 2753 Bernard Chaumont 156 M NPC

Choose Character 1 to 11, <E> Followed By # To Examine, <N>ext Page,
or <Q>uit: 6

[Well, well, it seems I have come upon the family of the owner. There is Jeanne II de Bourgogne, obviously the widow who now runs the place. The others belonging to "Org(anization)" 156 are her children and Thomas de Beauchamp must be the husband of one of her daughters. I think I'll get to know one of the daughters.]

This is Clare de Savoy (939) who is Married.
She is Not Pregnant
Current Health 5 Maximum Health 5
Age 21 Sex f Language F2 Loyalty 3

Management 8 Guile 4 Leadership 1 Stature 1.0
Protection 1 Endurance 3 Attack Value 2
Tournament 3 Sire ID 177 Org Id 156
  Berserker 1
  Collector 4
  Evil Eye 7
  Insightful of people 9
  Insightful of Self 2
  Keepmaster 1
  Siegecraft 6
  Sorcery 6
Press <ENTER> to continue.

[Hmmm, young Clare is certainly a piece of work, Great manager, lousy leader and a taste for the occult. A married witch, let's see if we can get acquainted....]

Current Character: 939 Clare de Savoy

1. <E>xamine Character
2. <H>ire NPC
3. <S>educe
4. <A>dd To Traveling Companions
5. <R>emove As Traveling Companion
6. <ENTER> To Quit

    Enter # 3

Sire, what type of lady do you take me for!
Press <ENTER> to continue.
Seduction Takes One Day.
Year: 1340 Season: Fall Days Left: 85.0
Press <ENTER> to continue.

[Hmmm, these young wives can be unpredictable. But let's try again.]

    Enter # 3

Let us steal away to a place of peace and quiet...
Press <ENTER> to continue.
Seduction Takes One Day.
Year: 1340 Season: Fall Days Left: 81.0
Press <ENTER> to continue.

[Ahhh, much better. Chivalry lives, in the shadows. Hanky panky was included as a game function because it was quite common in the 14th century. In fact, you can't have a realistic game of the Hundred Years War without adultery. It seems that a major problem the French had was the ruling family, the Valois. At this point in time the Valois were "genetically challenged." As the game simulates the passing of characteristics by both parents to their children, it would have taken several generations of outstanding Valois wives to breed all the bad characteristics out of the line. France could not wait that long. One of the French kings half way through the game was totally loopy and his wife was receptive to the attentions of other nobles. This resulted in a Valois heir that was not a Valois (the queen publically admitted as much.) France noted that the illegitimate Valois was a much smoother article than the genuine Valois and accepted the bastard heir. This did much to turn things around for the French.]

[Back at the Travel Menu, I go to the Army Management Menu, I proceed to hire some troops by Recruiting in the Current Fief. This I can do immediatly by offering local troops money to follow my banner. This cannot gather many troops, but when you need some soldiers in a hurry, this is the way to go. Gathering a large army, the "Call to Arms," takes several months and everyone knows about it.]

Army Management

1. <C>all To Arms
2. <R>ecruit In Current Fief
3. <A>rmy Status
4. <D>isband Army
5. <M>uster Out
6. <S>tanding Order
7. <T>ransfer Troops
8. <P>ick Up Troops Responding To Call To Arms
9. Assemble <F>leet
999. Move To Main HYW Menu

Enter #, or <ENTER> To Exit: r

Purse: 877.00 Kducats

Soldiers cost 1 Kducats Per Soldier Per Season.
You must, also, pay a 1 Kducat recruiting fee.
How many soldiers do you wish to hire: 200
You recruited:
  16 Knights
   7 Men At Arms
   0 Yeomen
177 Foot
Your recruiting took 3 days.

Year: 1340 Season: Fall Days Left: 76.0

Press <ENTER> to continue.

[I've got my troops, who will stay with me as long as I pay them.]

[There's a lot more to the game. But you have to be there to appreciate it all.]

[Back at the main menu, I leave the game, and GEnie.]

Thank you for choosing GEnie.
Have a nice day!

Online: 9 minutes, 50 seconds.

OFF AT 21:56EST 11/07/92


  Notes on Game Components

  Computer Wargame Design Tips for the Military Designer

  Table of Contents

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