@Make_It_Round:

I think it is possible, however tedious, to count the number of meaningful choices that players have in any given game, and to guess at one’s enjoyment threshold in terms of these.

It is utterly impossible to count the number of meaningful choices that players have in any given game because each “meaningful choice” is a product of the other “meaningful choices” that were made previously. Furthermore, each “meaningful choice” is then subject to all of the possible dice outcomes, and thus multiplied by all of those possibilities and then multiplied by all of the “meaningful choices” offered by the various non-combat possibilities as they are determined by the dice outcomes. As you can see we get into these massive factorial situations where we are multiplying massive exponentials by even more massive exponentials until what is essentially infinity.

To make a comparison: In chess there are only 20 possible moves to make on the first turn. (16 pawn moves and 4 knight moves) The opponent is faced with the same. So the possible combinations for the opening 2 moves (1 each) in chess is 400. None of which are absolutely stupid. there are 8,902 possible moves by 2 each and by move 7 there are almost eleven MILLION possible positions. That’s without dice, with only 2 players, with a much much much more limited scope for unit movement, no scope for adding units and far far fewer spaces.

Now you asked about the “meaningful choices”. Some work has been done in this regard in chess and it seems that in the average game of about 30 moves (moving a single piece at at time. There are over 4.5 MILLION games outcomes in smart competitive situations. Now, multiply that by the factor of dice, multiple movement of units, game spaces, purchases and the fact that most AA games will see over 100 times that 60 units move factor and you have an utterly infinite combination of outcomes.

Which is part of the reason it is so much more entertaining than chess.

…or maybe just because we get to play with little tanks and planes.