Kings and Crown Princes
The king in England and France is actually two players. One plays the king, the other plays his heir, the crown prince. When the current king dies, the king and crown prince switch roles. That is, the player who was king, now becomes the new crown prince (his former crown princes heir). The crown prince moves up to become king. This element insures that each time the king dies, a new player takes over as king and proceeds to do things a little differently.
Any experienced player with a flair for diplomacy and organization can be king in a game. While being a king can take a lot of time, the king can also delegate nearly all the work. Player should always applying for the position of king or crown prince at least once. New games start every few months, so there are always opportunities. You may not want to be king twice, but you miss a lot by not trying it once.
Kings are different from other players in that,
1-They have a lot more property and income.
2-They can tax other players in their kingdom.
3-They can bring to trial (by jury) other players in their kingdom and, if found guilty, execute them.
4-They can declare any of their subjects outlaw .
5-They have the resources to pay other players to help them run the kingdom.
A nation is much more successful if the king takes an active role in running things. Some things a king can do in this direction are;
Find Energetic Players
Use the Bulletin Board carefully
Scouts and Hammers
Dealing with Outlaws
Organize your royal government. This spreads responsibility, and work, around. It also gives you some nifty titles to hand out and provides a way to reward talented players.
Official Government (adds stature to officials)
Being king is a big job. It has moderate online commitments but really no more than an active noble who is not king. It has LOTS of organizational/offline thinking and planning responsibilities.
The king will not have to do everything himself, not even all the planning (he can't, the job is too big). He WILL have to pick other players (a "cabinet") to do the work with and for him.
The king does not have to come up with all the good ideas, but he needs to stimulate debate, and help his side find good ideas and good plans (The English start with a simple objective-attack France and take sufficient French fiefs to control Parlement. The French have a more complicated problem in combining defense with a gaining of the initiative).
The King also has to act as a cheerleader and the one to whom others, particularly new players who may not realize the king has established (hopefully) a cabinet to deal with issues and share the load will turn for advice.
The Privy Council (or any number of terms for the French)
These are nobles appointed to the king to provide a constant stream of advice on specific areas. Players who travel around and observe fill the council and post their advice, observations and suggestions to a specific area (which only the members of one kingdom can enter) of the BBS . It is from Privy Council members that the king selects nobles to fill the major government posts. New players in particular should be appointed to the Privy Council, to enable them to serve the crown while they are still too poor or unknowing in the ways of the game to make a major contribution somewhere else. Experienced players can also be on the Privy Council, but these players probably already have a job in the royal government and have constant access to the king.
In summary King is a large job, a job requiring thought and administrative skills. It is not a job requiring huge online commitment (by which I mean no more than the amount of an active army commander) and it is lots of fun. There is no other wargame where the command position has so much to deal with-so many subordinates and such a difficult meshing of economic, political, social, religious and military policies to achieve a certain goal.
Managing the Royal Finances
Awards and Honors
Keeping a King in Play
For Those Who Would Be King