Sorry, I know... questions that start with the word "best" in boards are just lame, so forgive me but I wanted to hear some opinions from people who have played a few of those games, rather than just spending lots of money for a game I am not sure about whether I'd like it.
'Poor Bloody Infantry' by Peter Pig: great company level skirmish game, very simple 'lots of dice' sort of system. The rule book is a bit all over the place but once you've read it a few times and played a few games you don't really need to look up much.
'Blitzkrieg Commander 2' by Specialist Military Publishing: possibly the best set of micro-armour rules I've read, borrowing a lot of their ideas for my own set of rules that I'll be working on and possibly posting sometime.
'Naval Thunder' by Steel Dreadnought Games: A series of games to cover various periods of naval combat since the turn of the century. I have the WW2 rules and they're awesome.
If you're talking non-WW2 historical stuff:
Pike and Shotte by Warlord games: not one I've played but I've seen it being played a lot, covers all 'musket' weilding eras.
Also should mention Ambush Alley who make some really good modern combat rules.
There's a lot of other rules out there, obviously depends exactly what you're wanting to play. Flames of War is very popular at the moment, can't say I rate it as a rules set though, its almost 40K with Tigers for Leman Russes and Russians for Orks! De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) is probably still the widest used set of rules for most ancient battles.
TLaTD... the forum that reads in my mind! This topic arrives at the right moment...
Yesterday I failed a Saving Throw and I accidentally bought 50 German soldiers by Revell (WWII) and a couple of modern tanks (Panzerhaubitze 2000).
My aim is to have some stuff to play a modern wargame (I think WWII soldiers works pretty fine for both contemporary and WWII background... uuuh... isn't it?), I could have some ideas for some rules too, but first of all I want to see how these kind of games works.
I will looking for the Rob suggestions soon. Thanks!
+ Other planes lie beyond the reach Of normal sense and common roads But they are no less real Than what we see or touch or feel. +
Actually, I did not narrow my interest to a specific period. Though I have to admit that, concerning Robert's suggestion of "Naval Thunder", I was asking myself whether they had rules for battles before the 20th century.
But still, WWI and WWII are just fine as the ancient world, the Middle Ages (western as eastern) or any period in between.
I do have to admit, that my personal main-interests mostly are with Vikings, Samurai and the American Civil War - but I guess I would not be happy with a game that serves one of these while having shitty rules.
Or in short... I'd rather play the (to me) most boring period (whatever that would be... I dunno actually) with good rules, rather than playing ACW with shitty rules.
By the way, thanks Robert for the suggestions so far. I do know only two of them, to be honest. That would be "De Bellis Antiquitatis", which always seemed to be quite interesting to me, and "Flames of War", of which I did not hear that much good about.
I really like British Grenadier! (an AWI ruleset) from reading the rules, but haven't played it yet. Of the rules I have played, I have had the most fun of Song of Drums and Skako. It is a nice skirmish set (I like skirmish level games best) for Napoleonics, but is also completely usable for any black powder era war.