Prince of Eckmühl
I agree, the problems with the platoon commands are not that frequent, but due to the relative inflexibility of the system, several "special" cases have to be handled with more or less fake/gamey methods, such as running in place. It's not a game breaker but it's an inconvenience, a more open/flexible system would handle it better.
And while that's rare to have widely separated inf squads, what about tanks and transports ? Platoon default move orders to move everyone 200m right ahead (or to the left), make not much sense when the units are 200m apart and always have to be cancelled and redone. I'd still prefer to do it only once per unit properly (and even in CM you could give a PzC like platoon move order by double clicking on the HQ, set the order and target, so it's not even an unique time saving feature).
I don't see the platoon orders the same way that you do. Rather than a framework for manipulating individual units, it's a stance that's issued to the platoon leader, one that he's committed to managing each turn. So, if the leader is given a RUSH order, he manages the movement. Even if he's already in place, and had the opportunity, for instance, to fire on hostiles, he doesn't because that's not what he's focused on.
I realize that what I describe above can SEVERELY limit the ability of individual squads/crews/vehicles to respond to events that they may encounter. But, I consider that a reasonable sacrifice to rid the game of one of the sillier aspects of some other games, those being the ones that allow players to plot the precise actions, in great detail, of dozens (or more) individual squads, vehicles and crews.
The platoon orders routine incorporated into PCK appears to be a compromise of sorts that allows for some reasonable handling of larger unit actions. On the other hand, in an infantry, platoon vs platoon action, some of the limitations in play with the PC-engine could appear to a reasonable person to be genuinely onerous. Of course, if I were looking for a contest at that scale, I'd likely turn to the Close Combat series, as I consider it superior for those purposes.
Were the maps to be made larger, however, ones that could accommodate division-sized actions, I don't think that anyone would grouse about the platoon orders. They'd work great. You'd still have a limited contingent of folks that would insist on CM-style micro-order-management, but it'd be a lot harder to defend, IMO. Of course, too, you'd have another little scrum of folks who would be looking for COMPANY ORDERS!
In the meantime...you've got this game that is gonna leave some folks feeling a little flat as the scenario OOB diminishes in size. Conversely, as the level of units deployed increases, the game can soar, particularly for mobile actions, so long as you're willing to entertain the concepts embodied in PCK as relates to the role of platoon leaders in tactical (or grand-tactical) combat. PCK isn't a squad/vehicle/crew-level game with platoon orders, it's a platoon-level game with orders for individual squads, vehicles and crews.
PoE (aka ivanmoe)
Government is the opiate of the masses.