"These are the rules, these are the pieces you play with, this is how they work, pick the ones you like and...have fun"
That's a fine description, but the rules need to be modified to a point where the game works well. It can be argued that it doesn't right now.
Other people who play W:EE often do so because they want to enjoy an experience that might be like that of an actual field commander in the period. With the same limitations of force and unit selections and the mission challenges that a field commander of that period might have faced. Those field commanders never had the opportunity to pick what they wanted and do whatever they wanted with what they picked. The limited resources and organizations of the armies involved at that time would never have allowed for that. Those very limitations ARE what begin to move W:EE out of the realm of another RTS game and into the realm of a simulation for those players.
This is what I want too. This is what got me into Total War, RUSE, Wargame etc. I'm just not willing to risk banning strategy because the game has flaws. Work on the flaws instead!
I don't necessarily agree with "Those field commanders never had the opportunity to pick what they wanted". That's only true in part, because the strategy is built around what is possible. I do think that we should have Wargame as close to what it was like in real life at that point, but I don't think it's possible with today's limitations to cross over into a place where the only strategies that work are the ones that would have worked in the real-life counterpart. Therefore, I value gameplay and creating strategy that works with the game at hand more than the ultimate simulation. I absolutely want it as close as possible and like a lot of Hob's suggestions.
W:EE does a great job of offering many of those players, whom have studied that period, it's forces and abilities and limitations, that kind of experience. The graphics, the interaction between units and the game's presentation have specifically been designed to support that. Because W:EE is complex and requires practice and study, it's a challenge for RTS gamers who are not looking for any kind of realism or simulation qualities, but are looking for a good RTS challenge. From what I've read, many of those players don't care for a game that devolves into 1 or 2 overly powerful pieces that all players then use which can make a game predictable and boring for them. IMO, one of the unique things about W:EE is that it has a seemingly equal appeal to players of both mindsets.
I agree with this.
Conversely, the "spamming" strategy seems to have opponents in both camps as well. Those who don't want W:EE to devolve into what many other RTS games have because "everyone does the same thing because it's the easiest way to win" and those who feel "That strategy isn't at all realistic and requires little or no skill to use." are saying the same thing about the same strategy for different reasons. Just as, they are playing and enjoying the game from very different perspectives. Does that help to clarify the difference? Does it help to clarify why members from both sets don't like that strategy?
"Everyone does the same thing because it's the easiest way to win". This is what I don't want. I want the dumb and cheesy strategies to exist, and work when pulled off properly and/or against poor defense. But I don't want there to be any one strategy that so (there always will be something) blatantly screams "Do this if you want ELO!". On the other hand, some of the posts from players reacting to being subjected to aggressive play are excessive, and it's probably because it comes with a lot of stress. I want us to think about what is aggressive play and what is stupid spam. As always, there is both valuable feedback and a lot of "I lost so something must be wrong" around here.