“So any set of rules that does not say encourage 2 lines to be used and have many of the units standing around doing nothing a lot of the time can not be ‘historical’, or at least is less than fully historical”
“…but sadly most games have little to do with history”
may be true, but I’d offer from a GAMING standpoint rather than a HISTORICAL RE-CREATION standpoint, it doesn’t matter. Look at DBX for example. Through all of the army lists, you have the same types of troops who may have functioned with some similarity, but were very different – blades are blades are blades etc. One could argue that the simplifying assumption that allows that broad generalization isn’t historical either.
We as gamers are ahistorical as well when we game. Most of the time we are fighting with a God’s eye view, much more historical background than did the generals, understanding of the terrain and how it played out rather than assessing how it will play out, historical knowledge of the battle and possibilities to exploit that the general did not have, dozens at least of articles, magazines, books and films that analyze, dissect, comment, “what-if” and so on. All of this puts us in a position to do differently / better / mistake free (at least the ones they made!) and even if in two lines of battle employ tactics based on things we know that they did not.
So, you may be concerned about that, or not, and either way it doesn’t matter. If you want to be completely true to history, you need to script the actions of the troops and their performance, and push your lead for a re-enactment, not a game. If you want to game, then it is up to the individual and or group the extent to which they replicate history, approximate it or totally distort it. My .02 is whatever they enjoy (they are GAMING) then that’s fine for them. Maybe not for you, maybe not for me. But I don’t see it as having a “sad” component to it.