I've been gaming now for over 30 years from the early days of board wargames (well at least from the early 1970's). My staple diet in those days was SPI and Strategy & Tactics mag.
At the time I couldn't get enough, only lack of funds to spend on games held me back. Every game I played was brilliant no matter the subject or the scale. Stacks of counters and markers, and voluminous rules had no effect on my enthusiasm for the hobby. As a student lectures meant nothing, I played all sorts of stuff (and wargames) and still got a degree (OK not a good one).
Then gradually real life kicked in and time to play games slowly but surely became less and less until it.... stopped.
Over a number of years (and three kids) I've gradually got back into the hobby and believe me I'm still a geek at heart. But now I look for games where I don't need to take a week re-reading the rules or that have huge stacks of counters and markers. I want games that are easy to play, difficult to master, that have loads of options and decisions but I can finish in an evening.
I have the C&C series of games to thank for getting me back into the mainstream. I bought both Battle Cry and Memoir 44 because I knew my (at the time) 6 yr old could play them.
However it just brought back memories of wargaming days past and a yearning for something a bit more meaty, but still without the time to play the monster games.
Step forawrd CC:E. It's perfect for my requirements and does give you that step up to a feeling you're playing a 'real' wargame (apologies to M44 aficionados, no insult intended).
Since I've started with CC:E I've had my interest in all games rekindled often dusting the box lid of an old wargame to rediscover its delights. Discovery of Vassal has been a Godsend allowing me to play more games in four weeks than I would normally have played ftf in four years!
I'm back where I belong!
Addition - Fantastic BGG has now been responsible for getting me in touch with other gamers in my area that I never knew existed.