@SniperSquad I think you would be able to find Axis and Allies type games on iPad. But if you prefer a physical game, by all means. I prefer physical boards myself even if computers are convenient.
I love when I play a game and I have to think for my next move, my next combat, should I go here or there? Should I build an industry, searching some ressources, create some vehicles, develop this technology or this one instead.
I have a little bit more experience with strategic games but I am also interested in trying operational and tactical games too. I also like a game that I can play several times and it’s not always the same things happening (replay value).
I also like games in which you have to build your economy, cities, industries, armies. That can be ww2 related or science-fiction.
I think Axis and Allies could temporarily suit your purposes, but perhaps not for long. The core of the system is - there’s stacks of units, income, production, and logistics. Gameplay is about effective application with regards to those, and it’s pretty limited, especially for a single player.
Let’s say, for example, that you think you have to balance control of the Atlantic against maintaining forces in Europe. You might be wrong about that being important, but as a solo player you wouldn’t know. Further, you’d come to certain ideas about what “optimal” action would be, and after you decided on “optimal” action, your play would return to the same lines again and again.
You could put in house rules to change industrial complex location and to randomize starting units, or add entirely new custom rules. But the core gameplay of Axis and Allies returns to that simple evaluation, and added bells and whistles make the gameplay unwieldy. (At least, that’s my expectation. You could have a very elegant solution I’ve never considered.)
So what should you look for? I think you don’t want a multiplayer game with inter-player resource swapping, diplomacy, or hidden information. Every time you took the role of another player you’d know information you ought not to know, and though you could try to play cleanly there would always be undertones.
I think the game you’re looking for will have multiple resources (like wheat, sheep, bricks, ore like in Settlers of Catan), have randomized setup (also like Catan), and have multiple paths to victory (Catan again). Though I think Catan may be not be suitable in the end either as it also has inter-player diplomacy and resource swapping, it does have some things I think you might like.
A lot of games have multiple resources, but the way it works in Catan is - say you start with wood and brick. Well, you’re not going to be making cities, but you can build roads to hem and block other players, and your roads can get you to nodes that you can build towns on to collect resources - and those new towns could get you those other non-wood, non-brick resources you lacked. Or in any event you could trade a surplus of wood and brick with the game’s “bank” to get other resources.
Or say you had wheat, sheep, and ore. You could upgrade your town to a city to get more resources to trade with the “bank” (or whatever it’s called) or you could get resource cards.
Then there’s things like the board layout being different each time combined with the distribution of the numbers that determine when resources are collected. That, together with the diplomacy and trade elements, makes the game.
Or there’s Carcassone. Then there’s other games. Like there was a game I forget the name of that progressed through history, and with each era change there were serious changes to the game, so empires would fall and rise. There’s a lot of board games I’m unfamiliar with, and your preferences will be different to mine.
If it’s “miniature wargames” again, there’s a lot I don’t know. But I expect most decent miniatures wargames will feature different scenarios. So if you build a force, you’ll have to consider more than its brute strength - you’ll ideally also have to consider things like mobility, ability to infiltrate, ability to operate under different conditions (like in forests or snow) etc.
I think you might find miniature wargaming interesting, but you’d have to research the systems carefully. A lot of systems have hidden costs or poorly written rules that veterans really don’t talk about. Perhaps look for a system that has a limited range of pieces (otherwise you’ll be collecting forever) and a limited ruleset, perhaps even discontinued. “Mordheim” by Warhammer (formerly the company was known as “Games Workshop” is such a game, though you control only a single warband rather than develop an entire nation, perhaps it would be to your taste.)
I can’t recommend Warhammer’s main line games “Warhammer Age of Sigmar” or “Warhammer 40,000”. They tend to be plagued by constantly new rulesets that rotate out viable miniatures (they want you to buy new miniatures), power creep, and a full ruleset costs you 1000 USD last I checked plus you’d have to keep buying new rules releases (or re-releases) unless you pirated - and I don’t care to pirate.
“Warmachine” is another game that isn’t as popular, and I like the miniatures the company puts out less. But as far as I know you can get the entire ruleset free, so there’s that.
Well, luck. Hope you find something entertaining!