I've redone my Commander level wargame idea..added abit more detail...
My realistic Commander game would be along these lines below. This idea came to me a few days ago after trying to think of away to make a realistic wargame at a certain command level but also make it totally different experience to normal wargames. However with enough tension and immersion as the best of graphic wargames. If done right with enough detail and variations of situations etc it would work.
My rough idea for a uber realistic game. First off you have a map with all your units and possible enemy units that are known about or suspected to be there, here you formulate your plan giving out orders and Objectives to your coys say. Then after that really it's mainly text based command reports coming in from runners, Intel Officers (including any enemy radio interceptions etc), and radio comms from Coy leaders and FO's etc(prettify it up abit making different comms look different i.e teleprinter, typewriter for radio comms and Intel reports or scribbled notes for runner messages etc) and have lots of variations and loads of text files describing the situation to really add the immersion tension and stop the messages repeating even if describing the same situation to keep replayability and immersion...) Each report at the end will give a selection of orders to choose from that you send by radio or runner. Your map (most likely topographic map) would update when new info\intel comes in of both enemy units and friendly unit positions (each unit will have a time sticker next to it saying roughly how long ago the last info came in), click on a unit your worried about and send a runner for sitrep update, or if radios and the lines aren't broke radio through. You'll get emergency requests full of tension describing what happening say if the Coy is being attack and about to be broken through, now the runner could have taken half hour or more to get to you and things could have changed abit by then for better or worse but you may decide to send reinforcements or tell them to pull back etc etc .Runners will get killed aswell so sometimes your runner wont get there or a runner wont get to you. Things like Arty requests will come through and you have to decide do you give it or no, do you have enough ammo whats the reason for it etc as I said loads of different info could come through and requests. The text would be the immersion side of the game.You can also go to see a unit personally (not graphically as such though)..which will give them bonus\modifiers,lets say the coy was being heavily pressed, or stalled in attack your presence and command skill while there would most likely be enough to get the attack going or keep the Coy from retreating\routing, however during the trip you will be out of the command loop until you get back so although you make a huge difference to the unit you visit you will also maybe missing out on possible important events. The actual battle is going on under the hood everything is being taken into account from troop moral\training and quantity and leadership which is the most important aspect of the game. You get a chance pre battle to review your subordinates\Officers and be able to roughly work out who maybe needs watching over or who you know will get the attack done etc etc. Your subordinates will have attributes that you can assess, you will also see the second in command attributes aswell, this is important as a leader can be killed and the second in command could take over (this could be a good thing as it would be possible the second in command had better attributes than the now dead leader). Leaders have a huge impact on the game as they are the ones formulating your orders put a bad leader with poor troops your in trouble..a good leader with poor troops will make the troops much better though, you could have lots of ways the leader atributes help depending on the troops they are leading. Weapons and terrain effects are all taken into account aswell obviously. Your decisions are making a difference in the battle even though you may not hear or see the map updated about what sort of difference they made straight away, sometimes it will be quick when you find out what happened other times it could be a fair while before you hear anything again from a unit after sending the order again depending on whats happening in the battle. Sometimes it will feel like you have lots of control and have a good understanding of whats going on, other times it will be a nerve wracking wait waiting to hear from your units and how the battle is going and you'll feel you have little control at those points. Times you''ll have to speed up the game because no reports come in for the first two hours but then suddenly your inundated with them trying to keep up with whats going on, then a lull etc etc but all you really get is reports and sending out orders from a selection when a report comes in or dealing with requests or rushing off to give a hand somewhere and the map being updated as reports come in..if done right it could make an extremely tense game.
Maybe best at a brigade\regiment or battalion level commander I feel (could even go higher up)..would work for many eras..esp WW1 onwards. It also takes all the issues of graphics and tac ai working as it all goes on under the hood, you wont see or have to model soldiers climbing onto tanks to drop grenades down the hatch, or worry about getting your pixeltruppen to react properly graphic wise in game. The tactical game is happening you just don't see it an it would be abstracted but give realistic results including casualties etc (You will get an AAR end game giving a run down of all your coys performance from their kills and POWS captured to their own casualties and missing (aswell as a rough performance evaluation of the coy and it's leader). As long as you can keep the tension going and make it feel like there is a war going on and enough variety in messages and situations cropping up it would work superb. You could even have issues coming into do with casualties or POWS etc. Your performance is measured at the end obviously if you defend successfully or attack successfully but also measured on the orders you gave at the time and how they effected the battle that was going on under the hood. At a divisional level even things like POW and casualty problems (maybe something happens and if you give the wrong order you could make a mess of things enough to cause many lightly wounded to die or become invalided home as infection kicks in due to not being attended quick enough because you moved a casualty clearing area as you thought it would be over run but it wouldn't have been as you troops held out or you never got the supplies to them or the airport was overrun so no supplies came in and less heavily wounded would be sent home again you'd get marked down for this, or even the casualty clearing station over run as you didn't give the order to pull back soon enough. This would mean you'd get you less replacements from the lightly wounded in the next attack\defense etc Sometimes the orders will seem obvious but other times you'd have to really way up all the info coming in and whether you think the leader is panicking and could hold or he does need help..or is the commander saying he can do something that you feel is to much and he just wants to impress..again you go by all the info that you have.
It's a different approach I feel. The map and unit's are a kind of overall situation thing apart from the beginning where you give the battle orders etc you wont be looking at units fire at each other or give them orders as such afterwards only through reports will you do that, you can ask for sitreps though, when the sitrep comes back there may be a selection of orders to choose from (this could be done through some kind of system you may choose a category lets say MOVE then you get a choice of move orders like ATTACK or DEFEND then you get a choice of different areas\obj's ect that are on the map like MOVE\DEFEND\Hill 145 or OBJ2 or Phase line yellow and hold or whatever is on the map, the order you gave was for the Coy to move to then defend .... it could have been MOVE\ATTACK or MOVE\RETREAT etc all the things like how well the unit does the order and formations chosen and all that will be based on the leaders skills and units moral and training etc.
I've rambled on enough but I think this would work..as long as the battles look to the player to be playing out realistically then you could abstract a fair with regards to the battle that goes on under the hood.
Thanks for reading, hope I haven't bored you.