The pre-gesticular stage of The Reticular Cycle is upon us once more. A time of puffing and strutting and the gratuitous public display of our inner workings. Eligible mates – I implore you – position yourself downwind and ready yourself to receive a warm dollop of DuBBle, for I have another game idea. This is how the menu screen shall display itself – note the wonderful plumage:
I’d like to see a game set in a feudal society where you’re responsible for justifying, planning, declaring and orchestrating a war, played from the standpoint of a foolhardy, “I’ll lead the boys from the frontlines”, sort of King. Game Set In A Feudal Society Where You’re Responsible For Justifying, Planning, Declaring And Orchestrating A War, Played From The Standpoint Of a Foolhardy, “I’ll lead the boys from the frontlines“, Sort Of King – let’s just call it Game until we think of an appropriate subtitle – could best be described as a Japanese dating-sim combined with Shogun: Total War.
The meat of the game, poached in the royal forest, will be served in court. As the King, you’ll have unquestioned authority over every matter, yet you’d best pay heed to your advisors – bishops/diplomats, barons and knights – if you’re to best assess the state of the realm. Bishops may be tasked with spiriting a sealed message of your choosing to foreign courts or to the Pope, barons will offer an assessment of the number of both taxable and militarily-able peasants labouring on their land, and knights will lead minor incursions into enemy territory, scouting out possible routes to march and ambush, and (after war is declared) they will help you enlist men into your service and enforce the collection of war-taxes. The player will control the flow of time. Events will happen every turn (let’s say, every month)- such as landlords sneaking an unjust stipend, bishops squandering international credence by becoming embroiled in scandal, and knights finding talent in a young squire.
Other Kings will be up to the same tricks as you and eventually one of them will breach an alliance or kill one of your bishops or reject a marriage proposal or if the courts of Christendom are conducting themselves in a most difficult and well behaved manner, your majesty can simply invent an insult and thus a premise to declare war. It’s at this point that you leave the court and travel your land either rousing or bullying the men into joining the rank and file, the blacksmiths to part with their weapons and armour, and the stablemasters to donate their war-horses to the King’s Cavalry. You can either declare formal war or, sooner or later, word of your preparations will reach the rival royalty and they too will begin to scour the land for humans and their produce.
Once you’re ready, assign your knights to positions of responsibility and lead your army out into open country. Your court will now be mobile, based from a royal carriage, yet you’ll have everything at your disposal necessary to win a war. At the most basic level, your map will be marked with the location of the enemy capital. Scouts may report back with positions of enemy royals and their armies, and messengers may tell you of your allies’ movements (if you have any). At some point, you may wish to divide your forces, delegating responsibility for a battalion to one of your Knight-Generals. Your caravan will follow the trails marked out by your scouts (if they’ve done their job) or discover the trails as they go (if they failed in their God-given duty).
Eventually they’ll be a fight and the dialogue trees will be replaced with … just, trees and other things you’d expect to find in a field. This is when things go very Total War and my job describing this game is rendered about as obsolete as a Hastati after Gaius Marius’ reform of the Roman military – hoho! The difference here is that you’ll not have direct control of the troops, but rather a loud voice, a man with a bugle, and some people on horses willing to relay your words in exchange for not having their heads chopped off. The battle will be turn-based, with a the action playing out between turns in real-time so you can watch your orders take effect.
That’s about it. When the battle is won, you return back to Vanu Sanctuary and throw a party. The enemy King sings karaoke of your choosing. This would be best in multiplayer, obv.