This seldom sees much interesting innovation. Most fall into #1 and #2, with some historical games in #3. Probably because there is only so many ways you can skin a cat.*
1. "Everyone moves 6."
This is sometimes explained away by "everyone is moving at combat
speed" or some such thing. I find this a needless simplification, as
(a) it's pretty unusual to forget how far you can move (b) it is usually amended by adding in special rules like "Fast" and "Slow"and "Very Fast"and "Very Slow" which means you then have to remember how far a Very Fast mini moves (c) it makes the assumption everyone's combat speed is the same. As a PE teacher I know there is massive physical variation within the human race, let alone aliens and fantasy critters. I'm sure some creatures are more confident in combat, and some are simply more nimble at skulking from cover to cover... I put this one under the "Needless Abstraction" and "False Economy."
Usually this system involves a free combat action, or you give up the combat action to sprint or charge 9-12." Also known as The Warhammer 40,000 standard.
2. Pre-plotted. There's nothing that breaks immersion for me, more than writing "I will move forward 6", then wheel 60d left" like a naughty schoolboy writing lines. I wanna move my stuff around shouting "Pew! pew!", not retire to my side of the table to for silent writing time. It's bad enough that many games are a book keeping exercise, but to make it a writing exercise too is just cruel. Any realism gained by this method tends to be lost if anyway, if units teleport around without enemies able to react to them any better than IGOUGO. Laying down order cards in sequence such as those used by Wings of War (and Sails of Glory?) are better, but it still is a bit of a guessing game.
3. "Yes, not everyone is equal." This actually allows that some people races might actually be faster than others. It also adds subtle tactics in movement, in a more graduated way. I'd expect this, but I like to see it combined with other things, such as:
4. The unpredictable move. This usually involved dicing for how far you move. I used to hate this - I mean, in real life I can consistently run x distance in a set timeframe, so why would I, who runs say an average of 7", run 4" one minute then 10" the next? Whilst this is a bit fast and loose with timescale, it does slice through the premeasure/don't premeasure Gordian knot. I now quite like it, as long as there isn't extreme swings in distances moved from turn to turn, like "infantry move 1d6", or 1d10").
This is of a kind with the unpredictable activation. This meshes with activation, but basically some troops get to move, and others don't. Like the Action Pool (and to a degree the unpredictable move) this presupposes a somewhat flexible timescale. Sometimes figures fail to move. A bit similar to the Action Pool but with penalties. Both of these types can be good, depending on the genre/type of game.
5. Action Points. This makes movement and ranges a little less predictable as someone can spend all 4APs on move 24"; or say 1AP to move 6" and use the rest for shooting/other stuff. This is good as it is controllable yet unpredictable - it makes it hard for an opponent to set up precisely 1" out of charge range. Good for skirmish games where you can take time to "spend" the AP. More realistic but less dynamic (and with less decisions) than the:
6. Action Pool. Each player has a pool of actions (which may be fixed/variable) for their whole team which they can "spend" - sometimes repeatedly on the same unit/mini. This adds a strong aspect of resource management as well as making it near impossible for the opponent to "game" distances. it's cinematic but sometimes looks a little weird as one guy charges around and the rest just stand about cheerleading.
Example: Lords & Servants get 3D6 actions for their whole force (of which they can conserve half to interrupt their opponents' turn) which can be spent in any manner. Leaders moving groups conserves AP compared to individual movement.
Infinity gets an action every mini in the force - they can spend them in their turn, and get free reactions in the opponents' turn. It's possible for one mini to "rambo" for 10+ turns in a row and move say 80" (to one end of the board and back) - but combined with unlimited enemy reactions, he'd be unlikely to survive.
I'm sure there's some historical games that do different things... ....and I have this nagging feeling I have forgotten a category (or two). I'm sure the blog lurkers will enlighten me though, and I can add them in later.
*I googled this, and it seems there are many, many ways to skin a cat, most of them facetious.
I wonder if we could do a wargamer's guide to skinning a cat.
Napoleonics cat: You've got the wrong colour skin for 1806. (Wait til cat removes skin, then swipe.)
40K cat: Get a giant tank. Then drive the tank over to the cat and skin it with your chainsword.
Bolt Action/Mantic cat: Tell it that the 40K cats are all going skinless this season.
Indie designer cat: Remove the cat's "skin" stats. Neglect to include "skin" as a special rule
Ancients cat: Tell the cat you have a cool new game. Tell the cat it's skin has the wrong basing to play.
American gamer cat: Explain the French really won their War of Independence. Watch as cat's fur spontaneously combusts.