Games and Scenarios (in which I include boardgames – and possibly electronic games) provide fantastic interpretive resources for wargaming in any period. Most of the work is done for you and it is certainly possible to rely on the work of these dedicated, hard-core designers to provide a life-time of enjoyment in the hobby. Of course most of us (all of us?) like to fiddle with every aspect of the games we play so I tend to think of all this published work as a great starting point.
Since my focus is fairly narrow (Celtic Fringe – British Isles – 17th Century) I have my own categories for the sub-periods, most well-known, some not. Because some of these categories overlap I use the country in which a battle took place to assign a sub-period:
Bishops Wars (1638 – 1640) – Scotland and England
Wars of the Confederation (1641 – 1653) – Ireland
First Civil War (1641 – 1647) – Scotland (yes – I know – it is the ENGLISH civil war – but the my focus is the Celtic Fringe)
Second Civil War (1648 – 1649) – Scotland and England (OK – this time I include England – go figure)
Third Civil War (1649 – 1651) – Scotland and England (Pesky English!)
Wars of the Republic (1649 – 1660) – Pretty much everywhere (Since I also want to explore some areas outside of the British Isles)
Wars of the Restoration (1660 – 1691) – Scotland, Ireland, and – yes – England (since Monmouth’s rebellion is too good to miss!). Obviously this period covers the earlier Jacobite wars and the Williamite wars.