I better understand the underlying point of your query now. Here are a few observations.
I have been a board-gamer far longer than a miniatures-gamer, having cut my teeth on Avalon Hill and SPI offerings from the late 1960s into the 1970s. Over the intervening years I have managed to accumulate somewhere north of a thousand board “wargames”. I am well familiar with Squad Leader in its original form (Avalon Hill, 1977) but have had no exposure to Conflict of Heroes. I played SL endlessly for a number of years, both against live opponents and solitaire. I lost interest in it before Advanced Squad Leader came along, together with its many imitators.
Playing at this on a table, whether using a board format or miniature figures, is all heavily abstracted. It has to be. There’s no way to precisely replicate the act of picking up your rifle and running into the woods to find and neutralize your opponent. There are too many intangibles that can and will intervene, things that can’t easily be numerically represented. That said, there are more similarities than differences in the rules-based mechanics of miniature and board games. Both provide substantial rule-sets aimed to allow, while regulating, various forms of action (movement, fire, entrenching, etc.) while attempting to present some of the intangibles (melee, disruption, panic, rally, etc.), all within a framework meant to simulate a chain-of-command.
The big difference for me, and ultimately the turn-off, was that tactical board games attempt to simulate/regulate the action in two dimensions. That works well at the strategic and operational levels, much less so, in my opinion, at the tactical. I grew to dislike the precision/control that came with the hex-grid. I hated determining LOS dot-to-dot, laying a straightedge over the map to determine intervening/blocking terrain. Those types of things, together with a penchant for model-building, brought me round to miniature gaming. I was willing to give up the precision of the gridded map for a three-dimensional view.
Gone were the hexes, replaced by a tape-measure, a laser-pointer, and a bunch of shell-burst templates. Buildings, streams, tree-lines, hills, etc., were presented in three dimensions. At eye-level, things began to come to life. One gets a much better sense visually of what’s involved in making the decision to move across 100 yards of open ground here. There are, I admit, sacrifices in precise game-mechanics. Many things become more subjective, especially in terms of movement and, to some extent, fire combat, but I came to realize that, in the big scheme of things, it didn’t really matter. Rolling-to-hit seemed a far better fit than summing attack/defense factors. Most importantly, it was fun.
So, back to the topic at hand. Infantry combat is really the bread-and-butter of war. Sure, you can dump a hundred tanks on the table and go at it, and I suspect that’s what most folks want to do. Big swirling armor battles are fun, but how many have there been? Not many. Ground is taken and held by the infantry, so if you want to learn something, this is where you go. Infantry action moves slowly in a set-piece fashion. My recommendation is that when you build your scenario, make the OB as robust as possible. Include a good sampling of supporting arms (mortars, MGs of various weights, AT guns, etc.). Off-table artillery, somewhat randomized in availability, adds a huge dimension. A few assault guns can be fun, but can seriously tip balance if unopposed. Battalion-level is probably doable with two players and a substantial availability of time, but more than that and you better think about bringing in additional players. If possible, have an umpire or game-master to (1) arbitrate some of the generalities that will come up, and (2) keep the game moving.
Hope this has been somewhat helpful, not just a commiseration on my part.
I've been reading Featherstone lately, refreshing my memory of his simulation of airborne operations. He used a yard-stick and slips of paper held horizontally at set heights above the game table to simulate “sticks” of paratroops…tip the yardstick and the slips of paper fluttering down simulate their descent and landing position. Vary the height of the yardstick to simulate altitude. The higher the altitude the better to escape ground fire, but then the scatter increases. How cool is that?