Before a new game begins, players are often allowed to select their own characters. There are some restrictions, and these depend on the game. Not all HYW games are alike, as we constantly implement new features and procedures as well as running "what if" games . When a new game is announced, the procedures regarding choosing player positions will be announced. In nearly all new games, there is some ability to select your character. Players like to do this for a number of reasons. Some have played that character before and are comfortable with it. Others have noted a character in past games and would like to try it out. Sometimes players want to play certain characters because that character is an ancestor (this has happened more than once.)
The FIEF INFORMATION Help file (another part of the GFE ) contains an abundance of information on player positions in the standard HYW game as well as some of the "what if?" variants.
Another option each player has in a new game is to be one of the French or English royals. Each of these kingdoms has a king character and a crown prince (heir to the throne) player.
Players who want to be king should not be shy in campaigning for the job.
The Heralds select the candidates they feel will be best able to carry out their duties as royals. The Heralds decision is final and there is no one you can appeal it to.
The king players step into the characters of English king Edward III and French king Philippe VI. The two crown princes are; English Crown Prince, Edward (ID 38) age 7, French Crown Prince, Jean II (ID 172) age 18. While Edward IV has to play as a minor (no combat) until he is 14 years old (28 seasons, or seven to fourteen weeks of play), his stats make him the most formidable army commander in the game. His father, Edward III, is no slouch in the stats department either, but the "Black Prince" (as the young Edward came to be called because of his black suit of armor) is even more impressive. The French crown prince is older and can immediately start playing. Unfortunately, Jean II has been described (with some accuracy) by many historians as brain damaged. For the sake of the Valois line, it is imperative to find Jean II a wife with really excellent stats.
When the king player dies, the crown prince takes over as king and the deceased king player becomes the new crown prince. These two players continue switching positions like this for the rest of the game.
The crown princes have no property of their own. But since the king and crown prince have to work together, the king should give the crown prince some of the royal property to look after. This was what the historical kings did and players should follow that example.
In addition to selecting positions and royals, players can begin getting to know each other before the game begins. A lot of HYW consists of diplomacy, and find out who you can trust, and who you can't.