Squad Leader is nicely abstract, but the rules concerning the carrying around of machine guns, the huge stacks of units, and monolithical turns are a bummer.
Battle Lore is nice and simple, but simulating hit points using little plastic miniatures is a mess to set up, and the cards introduce a strong element of chance that is sometimes aggravating.
Tide of Iron seems inspired by all the wrong ideas. Not only do we have even smaller and finicky plastic miniatures to simulate unit strength, now attack values depend on unit strength and various miniature types can be combined into units, further complicating things.
Somehow it seems that it should be possible to assemble the best of the various ideas into the “perfect” game.
I think I’d like something that plays like Advance Wars. That would be simple and cool. Does something like that exist?
I also faintly remember there being a turn-based squad fighting game on the C64 that we used to play – each side gives commands to a squad of ten people. People had names such as Garret and Mario. I remember there being a garrote to use, a church to defend or blow up, and so on. I wonder what it was called.