Managed to get some more time to run through a few alternate playthroughs and look at the source material, it’s quite something. However, it is quite ambitious what with so many potential divergent routes. I like the choice system, but perhaps some things like arranging marriage be obligatory past one date (e.g. due to social pressures and ever-wary of your increasing age, society behoves you to marry…). One point to make is that Wales and most, if not all of Ireland, was under English rule at the time.
So, some suggestions and ideas (not that I claim to be well-studied in the era):
So far I haven’t seen any major divergences between being pro-Habsburg and pro-French (perhaps it’s just me being unable to get the results to show), but it would be nice to see the Pope grant the King an annulment outside of the player’s influence if Habsburg power is insufficiently poor together with a random test to represent whether the Sack of Rome goes ahead. I know that if you majorly beat the Habsburgs England expands its influence in the Low Countries, but the war against France is a bit vague in terms of results. Perhaps a cession of Aquitaine back to English control with a major English victory (it’s also squashed between Spain and France, but Charles might approve it because of it drawing English attention away from the Low Countries. The area did also become a hotbed for Huguenot activity too)?
I’m not sure if it’s accounted for, but perhaps having Anne Boleyn as queen earlier should end up with a more protestant England? She was a major pro-protestant force before and after her coronation.
Also, while it would be a lot of work, a “severity of English Reformation/Counter-Reformation” metric might be appropriate to represent the amount of infighting and potential devastation of the era. This metric would affect unrest and conversion chance. If the player aligns successfully against Cromwell, the Dissolution of the Monasteries might be tempered, resulting in a ‘softer’ Reformation; an England closely associated with continental protestant powers may end up more Lutheran in outlook, while an England isolated on the continent ends up developing closer to Anglicanism. Similarly for the Catholic side, it can be pro-reform (through Wolsey’s extended influence) or more hardline (through More?). I know the current options for Lord Chancellor after Wolsey’s death are the Earl of Rutland or Thomas Audley, but for a moderate Catholic route perhaps also Cuthbert Tunstall, the Bishop of Durham (historically he was a quiet Catholic who managed to struggle his way to Elizabeth I’s reign, and was at Worms and was one of Wolsey’s confidants)? I don’t know of a “moderate” Protestant of suitable rank who’d parallel Tunstall, however (Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset shows up a bit late).
This would also be affected by the attitude of the court: whether to burn books and fight a “media war” with pamphlets and sermons of their own (Henry VIII was quite religious and wrote quite a few himself in response to Luther) or an outright militant suppression campaign, or anywhere between.
It would also be nice to get a few more titles; perhaps a male player who is in the King’s favour (or has distinguished himself in some way) should get a lift up to a marquessate or a dukedom? Alternatively some sinecures/semi-important posts, like Lord Deputy of Calais.
While it wouldn’t amount to much and would probably result in more work for little gain, perhaps splitting off the English power/religion stuff to a separate page on England’s national profile, with it changing as developments go. For example:
THE KINGOM OF ENGLAND
In Personal Union with the Kingdom of Ireland
Status: Major Power
England’s power has grown…
Sphere: Scotland (non-aggression treaty)
Major gains: Aquitaine
England is the only colonial power in North America with its
Official Religion: Anglican
England has made a significant break with Rome, but not as
extreme as some of the continental states…
Diplomacy: Marriage alliance with the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, and close ties to the Schmalkaldic League.
I’ve glanced at the earlier discussion on the Rutlands being descended from Edmund, Earl of Rutland, and made a mock-up of how they might have managed to survive the War of the Roses despite their lineage, would you be interested in that?
Keep up the good work.