Came across this post by wargame designer Charles Vasey, who just designed Unhappy King Charles, on TOS and it really struck a chord. We had just been talking in a thread here about how wargame designers tend to get a little less stuck in ruts than euros because they make mechanics to actually do something, not just to be mechanics. And right out of Charles mouth:
"If I am reading people correctly they view rules like (for example) the subordination rules as chrome. I (on the other hand) view them as part of the historical background without which you would have a simpler game but one which bore little resemblance to the real thing. Without this "chrome" you have players building perfect armies under perfect commanders, something that never happened. This limitation arose from the realities of political power and wealth in England. The earl of Newcastle could raise large armies, I cannot see he would willingly hand them over to anyone else; hence the rule
But I do see that for some folks leading the strange entities that were 17th century armies is going to be less fun than leading an army that does what you tell it. UKC is an attempt to be period-specific which has both good and bad results. I didn't want a bland one-system-fits-all approach."
I think this definitely illustrates the difference nicely. It's not surprising that coming at a problem with this attitude, trying to accomplish something, make the player feel some way, rather than just making a game that works, could make you more creative with your mechanics.