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There are a few people who swear by GameBoy Wars. It did feature some unique things, like the hex grid and several unique units, which I guess makes it nice to check out. SFW is probably only fun to see the history behind this game, but I don't think it aged quite as well. Battles are very sluggish and maps are quite often of relatively poor design. I wouldn't even bother with the NES game, to be honest.
For all the history behind the Wars series, it's mainly the GBA and DS games that have that timeless quality about them which makes them the classics that they are today.
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Super Famicom Wars is the only pre-AW Wars game that has a base damage chart similar to AW. But with simultaneous fire and 4+ bases on every map, combined with weak air units, it devolved to infantry+artillery spam.