Interview with The King of England

King James Balliot
A portrait of King
James Balliot

Interview with James Balliot, the King of England

Guglielmo enters sheepishly in the enormous throne room; King James seats comfortably in his throne, smiling and very confident about himself.

“King James, first of all i want to thank you for your clemency with that episode in Savoy, the one about the brothe… ermh the tavern… But let’s not digress and let’s start our interview. Where you were born and which are your origins?”

“I was born in Normandy, in a small town outside Avranches which at the time was known as Rouen. As a young man, penniless, I started my career in Rouen working odd jobs until I earned enough silver to buy a small farm. Soon I managed to procure a loan in order to buy a Bakery and was then appointed to be Guard Captain of Rouen. I then started the first news-scroll in Europe which was met with much critical acclaim, but did not last due to the large amount of work it entailed. In fact I applaud your efforts to build your own such business. In March of 1311 due to various disagreements with the government of Normandy and the mismanagement I perceived from the regime I decided to leave my native land for new opportunities abroad, namely Savoy.”

“When you decided that you wanted to be a King?”

“It was never my intention initially to become a King, but more so an important part of a strong Kingdom. Normandy did not afford that opportunity for various reasons. After arriving in Savoy I became friends with some of the locals who lived there. We operated as equals until it became time to choose a leader, I was chosen to take that role by our group.”

“Why did you choose to be King of Savoy?”

“Savoy at that time was a plague ridden and desolate place. There were only a few living citizens left in the city of Chambery and the government at that time, such that it was, had been living and operating out of Genoa. It seemed as if the country could use a fresh start because of this. We actually did not expect the current government to return to Savoy once the plague had passed, as they had borne some responsibility, we thought, for the current state of affairs. When they did return and claimed control of the Palace, we worked together towards gaining control of that government, successfully as it turned out.”

“With whom is currently allied the Kingdom Of England?”

“England is currently a member of the Federation of United Kingdoms. This Alliance consists of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Savoy, and Wallachia and covers various military and economic agreements. We are also friendly with most countries in Europe baring just perhaps one in Aquitaine, but that is as a result of their stance against us rather than ours against them.”

“What you think were the greatest campaigns you planned?”

“We are veterans of many campaigns over the years having fought in the Papist and Italic Wars over that time as well as various more localized conflicts as allies to various nations. The Papist war saw our beginning as a military power so would naturally have a place as one of the greatest campaigns we’ve planned, however there were many phases of the Italic war which were quite interesting as well.”

“What was the most challenging one?”

“Certainly the Italic War was the most challenging as we faced a very determined and ferocious enemy in that conflict. The war itself lasted for almost an entire year and saw many see-saw battles with both crushing victories and unexpected defeats. The final campaign of that war which included our alliance’s advance toward Sicily is one which will always remain in my mind the most difficult and also the most exciting. The Italic armies and their military high command will always have our utmost respect and admiration for their hard-fought defense of their homeland in that campaign.”

“When you decided to abdicate as a King of Savoy and rule England, and why?”

“Well this is certainly a long story and not one that is easily explained due to the various nuances of the situation and the parties involved, but I will try to summarize somewhat. It all started for us around January of 1313 when the King of Wales, Andrew Naughton, contacted me about affairs on the Island of Britain, but the story really starts before that.

To go back further, Andrew Naughton had formerly been the Vassal of York under Elizabeth Plantagenet but was somewhat unhappy with the state of things in England. He had helped Elizabeth ascend to the throne after King Tyler left and was a dutiful and valuable member of the government ever since. However he had faced difficulty and red tape coming from London when attempting to grow York and also the country on his own initiative. He decided it was time to leave when the crown of Wales became available. He took the crown with Elizabeth’s blessing, but at some point later found out that Elizabeth considered or expected Wales and King Andrew to be subject to England’s rule as something of a client state. King Andrew was not desirous of such an arrangement and thus their already tenuous relationship began to deteriorate. The bad feelings built up and then culminated with an exchange between Andrew, Elizabeth, and King Scott of Aquitaine one day late in 1312. On that day Elizabeth threatened Andrew with violence for his independent stance, saying that “The next time I see you it will be with my sword run through you”, or something to that effect, the exact phrasing is not now recalled by myself (Andrew knows it of course, he has never forgotten). Elizabeth and Scott got quite a laugh at their threats to Andrew and the admittedly small country of Wales.

Fast forward to about a month or two later when King Andrew contacted me. He was interested in a defense pact for Wales should England or Aquitaine ever attack his small and indefensible country. Over the course of a few weeks King Andrew and I hammered out the details of that defense pact and a friendship began to evolve between us. In order to be prepared for the defense of Wales, our military high command and I also embarked on an in-depth reconnaissance and analysis of England and it’s government since we had had very little contact or interest with them in the past. It appeared as if the country was stagnating, offering very little to their people in terms of advancement or opportunity, in fact the majority of their citizens were still in rags and living a rather rough life. The vast resources of England were left untouched and unconquered which when combined with the minimal building program of the government seemed to strangle the country. I spoke to Andrew about this and he agreed that England should be a much more powerful and prosperous country; such as it was during its zenith under King Corithius Tyler many years before. Additionally it would seem that England’s government was attempting to propagate a systematic policy of dominance over its neighbors both on the island and within the area. Because of this none of the local Regents held the government in very high regard and many were indeed privately hostile towards it.

As our discussions with King Andrew continued over the Winter of 1313 a change in the defensive pact between our countries began to unfold and the defensive pact became one of offense, in fact invasion. The decision to move the vast majority of the citizens of Savoy north into England for this invasion was based more upon finding a new challenge than anything. We had built Savoy from a minor, plague-ridden province into a very large and prosperous nation over the course of our 2+ years in the Rhone Valley and beyond. That project was a long process and Savoy was in effect our homeland now, we loved the land and it’s resources, it would be a difficult decision to give that all up. But however grand the natural resources of Savoy were, we were indeed lacking in others such as new friends to join us on our journey. You see Savoy’s “birth rate” was never very high, certainly not compared with many of the Italian states and nothing comparable to England’s. We could move our operations north into England and grow the country up from almost scratch, taking advantage of both the untapped natural resources of the island along with the hitherto wasted natural resource of the exceedingly high “birth rate” of the country.

Before making our final decision we spoke with of course King Andrew but also King Bruce of Scotland and King Annan of Ireland about their feelings on England and their stance should there be a new government installed run by my people and me. I even took the precaution of corresponding with Corinthius Tyler on the matter since as father of the country I thought he would have an opinion about such a drastic measure as an invasion. We were answered with not only acceptance but to a man they showed favorable interest in the prospect, such was the political climate on the island at that time.

From that point on, our decision had been made and work progressed in the planning and execution of the Invasion of England. We would start with an attack by Wales into Perfed-Dwald and Powys to bring England down to 5 regions, followed by an assault on London itself in order to put our government in the Palace. That campaign, which we now call “The War for the Crown” did not go quite as quickly as planned as the English did have a few tricks up their sleeve to extend it, but the outcome was never in doubt.

We took the Palace and started work immediately building the country, you can see the evidence and history of that in my posted Addresses to the English People. Over the summer of 1313 we have raised England to new heights, doubling it’s population, over tripling it’s land area, and deeply investing silver into the infrastructure of the country and it’s people. There is no question that England is better off now than it was under the previous regime.”

“What do you think about the England Campaign?”

“As stated, the campaign itself was never actually in doubt, but was somewhat interesting due to the stalling tactics employed by the English. The basic plan as I mentioned above was to knock England down to 5 regions then to make our final assault on London. The combined Plantagenet and Aquitaine Army morale was quite high in that first Battle for Perfed-Dwald as they expected to be facing a small Welsh army on the field. For that reason, we held our arrival on the battlefield up until the last few moments before the battle was to start. While outnumbered somewhat on the field 23-29 and facing a 25% malus from terrain and a deployed Stinking Barrel, our combined force of Savoy, Welsh, and Wallachian warriors were victorious by a considerable margin. No battle from that point on was ever really in doubt. The Plantagenet forces did manage to stall for about a week through attacks on native lands which we did not at that time think was physically possible, in fact they should be commended for this strategy which was successful to some degree. But stalling for time only works if there is a reason to stall, such as an expected arrival of fresh troops from an ally to relieve them and turn the fortunes of battle. This unfortunately was not going to happen due to their government’s isolationist policies toward her neighbors so in actuality all the tactic proved to accomplish was to extend the bloodshed for a few days. In the end we managed to halt their native stall attacks by taking the native regions before they could. This was accomplished on a single day with two successive attacks by a swift cavalry assault lead by Captain Moutarde into Exeter and Dorset just ahead of the enemy columns marching upon those regions. Once their native attack possibilities were exhausted we were able to launch the Assault on the Tower of London itself finally. The first battle upon the walls was hard fought but resistance fell off as the battles progressed and the Plantagenet government soon gave up the fight, emptied the city of all valuables, and retreated into exile in Aquitaine.”

“What are your feelings toward the former regent, Elizabeth Plantagenet”?

“Prior to the attack on London a messenger was sent to the tower with an offer to end the bloodshed. That offer was never answered, but if accepted would have allowed for Elizabeth to remain in England as a noble and possibly in time become a valuable member of the government once again. In the end the terms of that offer were more or less adhered to despite the lack of the response. Amnesty was granted to every English citizen who fought against us in the War, and that included Elizabeth as you can see in the posted Statute 1, Article 2. Despite her departure with her small cadre of followers to live in exile in Aquitaine, I think that one day it may be possible for their return to be a reality. This will require Elizabeth to swallow a fair amount of pride though so that eventuality lays squarely in her hands.”

“Are you afraid of the new Kingdoms in the Middle East? Do you think they can be a threat to Western Europe?”

“I have not really thought too deeply about the discovery of new lands in the Middle-East. Those Kingdoms are quite far away from England to be much of a concern, and the reality of the situation is that there is much growth needed to the area before they would ever be considered a threat to anyone.”

“His Majesty, thank you for your time.”

Guglielmo bows gracefully and steps out from the Throne Room.

Interview with James Balliot player

“In which country do you live?”

“I live in the US, outside of the city of Boston.”

“What are your main interests?”

“I play guitar and like collecting old history books for my Library, but my main main interest is my family. I have a son who at the age of 4 is quite a handful.:)”

“Which videogames did you use to play when you were young?”

“I am quite old so you could say that the game of “Pong” was my first video game lol. From there I progressed to “Intellivision” and then arcades became the norm around the US. I spent time also with the Sega Genesis, the first Playstation and XBoxes as well before graduating to PC based games full time. I played various WWII Flight-sim games for a long period of time before giving that up when I got married (they take a considerable investment of personal time to stay competitive, such is the skill level required). Now I play only the occasional web-game such as ME.:)”

“How did you discover Medieval Europe?”

“Just a simple web-search probably or seeing a banner somewhere, I don’t even really recall now.”

“List three things you like and three things you dislike of ME”

– The persistent nature of the game/map
– The open “sandbox” type gameplay
– The Political posturing

– The limited economic gameplay
– The struggle to feed oneself and stay alive (I find that aspect quite boring)
– The difficulty getting started as a peasant”

“If you were ME Administrator what would you do as first thing?”
“Rework the War engine for more variety and avenues of advance both on the field and as a career.”

“Thank you for your time.”

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Hi, I am the technical leader of game Medieval Europe. I love cats, coding, crypto and Trance Music.

One Response to Interview with The King of England

  • I enjoyed this article very much. I appreciated James being so candid, and didn't learn a lot about his person but was glad to remember some of the things like Chamberry, and Pong.

    Nice work, gentlemen. I'd like to see more of these.

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