I have now completed the initial plan for the Agincourt gamebook. I decided to keep things simple by only doing the writing for the initial historical deployment and actions of Henry V’s army – so they will start with the same formation and advance towards the French. I have started planning out alternatives to these situations, but it will take quite a lot more writing, so I have decided to see how things look with a shorter historical version.
I’ve decided that I really need to grind out the content for the Agincourt gamebook as swiftly as possible to keep up the momentum – more sweat and less prevarication and distraction from things like blogging is required!!
I have been thinking again about some what ifs for the Agincourt gamebook. For example What If the English men-at-arms had not repulsed the French attack. Would Henry have ordered the English archers to join the melee? Would he have had a reserve of some sort that he could deploy? It seems unlikely, because of his small number of men-at-arms, about 1000, that he could afford to have a reserve. The archers on the flanks were not engaged in the initial melee, until they attacked the struggling French as the floundered in the face of the English centre. This seems to have been an impromptu act on the part of the archers though once they realised that the French men-at-arms were pretty much helpless, the archers helped their comrades finish off the French. But if the French had been getting the upper hand could the archers have been called upon to help in the melee, perhaps by charging the French in the flanks. I think it’s unlikely for a few reasons:
There it is I’ve named it, my top secret project. Well we’ll see how it goes. After having started work on this I’m not that worried that anyone will actually come and steal the idea of creating a gamebook surrounding the role of Henry V at the battle of Agincourt. I have now pretty much finished my initial research into the battle, and I have a list of the key decision points for Henry. Many of these are actually to do with how he set things up. Once the battle is under way there is very little means for a general in such times to change things. However, I am planning to keep the action going here with the option for Henry to become involved in the fighting, which according to a number of sources, he actively was. For instance there is speculation that his crowned helmet was damaged by the Duke of Alencon, while other sources describe him attempting to protect his younger brother, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, who had been wounded. So there might be an opportunity here to add a certain personal level of fighting role-play for Henry.
Back in my RPG days at school Traveller was always the best sf game out there. The open-ended nature of it was a blessing and a curse as you could do anything, which add-ons such as Trillion Credit Squadron, High Guard and Striker enabled, but also it lacked detailed good quality adventures, which meant that you had to do a lot of the work yourself, and left it rather lacking on the atmosphere front.
Trillion Credit Squadron provided you the tools to create your own fleets of mega starships to fight out space battles on a grand scale. However, in the days of pen and paper it was a real chore to do the creating, and I have often toyed with the idea of doing something with the software available now to make the process easier and effectively automate the process.
So here’s a first step on that road – a spreadsheet that allows me and anyone else to pump in the right numbers and design some really big spaceships – what could be more fun! You’ll need copies of Trillion Credit Squadron and High Guard to do this, but the spreadsheet makes the admin a lot easier.
Future developments might include seeing if formulas can be worked out for actually managing the space battles themselves!
Here’s are the links to the spreadsheets. There’s a template to use for creating ships, plus two worked examples. My apologies for any errors – please let me know if you spot anything wrong!!
My long-term ambition is to learn enough programming to turn these spreadsheets into some sort of game or computer programme to simulate Trillion Credit Squadron fleet designs and battles.