To stay with your example: Civ5 was said to be based on chess, but hasn't "en passant", the castling and you can't convert your pawn when reaching the 8th line. On top of that the AI does not understand how to move the knight. So, no, it is not the design of chess which is flawed, but this game's design. It was created by an incompetent copyist, and you see this each and everywhere in the game. Well, that's one way to express it. The other way would be that so many possible decisions have been removed that the remaining ones indeed look "larger". People have even mentioned city placement as one of the "big strategic" options of Civ5.