a white rabbit
From: ..under deconstruction..6N124E..
It seems to me that there is a fundamental design matter that informs the discussion of "strategic game with or without tactical battles" that has slipped under the radar like a greased eel.
Back in Paleolithic times, wargames were almost always hex-based. The occasional area-movement (or point-to-point movement) design popped up, but there was no consideration of digging into each hex or area and pulling out a "tactical" representation of what was going on in there (an early design that did something of this kind was "Remember the Maine," an S&T magazine game).
Well, time passed, and designers tried to become more varied and diversified. Somewhere in there, computers for the home came into existence, and the Lord said, "Lo, let there be wargames on the computer." And it was good (but I still don't know why the, "Lo!" was necessary, but maybe it's a Charlton Heston thing).
Before long, there were a lot of area-movement games. Remember "Storm Across Europe"? How about "Feudal Lords"?
The problem was that these games were very superficial and offered little player immersion, because you couldn't see what the heck was going on, and your success - or failure - was determined through interface with a few detached displays and tables where you punched in your settings, gave a few "go there" orders, and hoped for the best.
Kinda disappointing, wasn't it?
Well, things tried to get better. You had "Imperialism," for example, that tried to give you some detail within areas and - ta da! - included the option of tactical battles within specific places where opposing ground forces happened to wind up facing each other.
It sucked. I don't care what you say, it sucked.
Now, to the point (and, jeez, isn't it about time this Condescending Wanker got around to making some kind of a point?). I don't think I have yet seen a game that tries to depict tactical battles separately in an overarching strategic game system that works.
The biggest problem, for me, is the "leap of faith" involved. "Okay, here we are in Timbuctoo, and you got this, and I got that, so let's line 'em up and shoot it out, then get back to the level where the outcome really matters." To my mind, making these "real-time" battles (I refuse to admit that there is any such thing as "RTS," but I'll hold that water for another flood) is a failed approach, and I don't think that turns help much. You have to disconnect yourself from the flow of the strategic simulation you were playing, put on a battlefield commander's hat, fiddle around for awhile, then try to resume command of what really interested you about playing the game in the first place. You wanna fight Gettysburg, go fight Gettysburg. You wanna be Lincoln or Davis, do that. One ain't the other. They're distractions, and they make any game where this is built in less of a game and more of one of those naval shoot-'em-ups where you start out on the bridge, then you start aiming a deck gun and going, "bang, bang, pow, pow," and maybe even get to shoot off your big torpedo spread ...
but enough of that.
Remember Avalon Hill's old "War at Sea," where you picked up your ships from the sea zone where you happen to have wound up at the same time as your opponent, plunked 'em down on the card table among the beer and chips, lined 'em up one-by-one against teach other, and started rolling the dice ("Dang, ain't there any sixes on these things?").
I don't think we've come very far. I'll take the very eloquent and satisfying BoA and AACW, thank you.
Oh. There's trouble inherent in WeGo, too, but some other time...
..maybe this is the wrong point to mention t3 buttttttt.........
..toodA, irmAb moAs'lyB 'exper'mentin'..,..beàn'tus all..?,