The English Civil War is yet another period I started gaming because I found a Perfect Captain ruleset which is really rather nice (Very Civile Actions). It even has a painless little campaign game to go along with it!
Although William Waller, the devious Parliamentary commander in the south, is probably my favourite personality from the war, my favourite theatre of war is actually the north because there is so much variety here: besides your usual rank and file pike, shot, harquebusiers and dragoons, you also have the fanatical Royalist whitecoat regiments, the Fairfax and Northern cavalry pitted against each other and of course, the Scottish Covenanters!
I am pro-parliamentarian, with a soft spot for the Covenanters, but I don’t think this war is quite as simply “good guys versus bad guys” as it’s sometimes made out to be. The Scottish covenanters, for instance, did not believe in freedom of religion, despite their valiant defence of their religious freedom; they simply believed in the freedom of their religion at the expense of others (like everybody else).
Nor is it simply Parliamentarian democracy versus the Royalist aristocrats- did not Oliver Cromwell set himself up as
Dictator Lord Protector after they executed the king?
The war was also not an English war, per se. It really started in Ireland and Scotland, and there was plenty of fighting there as well as in Wales and even a small skirmish in North America!