If you've ever played a collectible card game, do you enjoy constructing a deck as much as actually playing the game? If so, then you'll probably enjoy Ironclad Tactics.
It's possible to slog your way through missions with sub-optimal builds/tactics, and granted, it is incredibly frustrating when played in that manner. The core missions are tolerant of bad play, so you can get pretty far into the game before realizing what you're doing wrong. After unwittingly playing badly throughout the main campaign, I eventually hit a wall in the additional content.
The final mission of New Game Plus was particularly brutal, and I barely beat it after a couple hours of reckless attempts. As I moved onto the DLC missions, I found myself frequently devastated by the enemy having 1.5-2 times the resources that I do. Slogging through these missions was becoming increasingly unlikely, and I was questioning whether these missions were fairly balanced. Did I have to rely on the AI screwing up to stand a chance, or was there another way?
At that point, I approached the game from a different angle. First play a mission noncommitally with a simple deck, just to grasp what's being thrown my way. Then go to the drawing board and construct a deck particularly for that mission. With that mindset, I was crushing missions on the first "serious attempt" and feeling accomplished in my decision making.
Playing in this manner is a bit artificial. In what other game do you play a level for the first time solely to analyze it, with no intent of winning? I wonder if Ironclad Tactics could have been more forthcoming with its mission content, rather than have players flail through the motions with an uncatered deck.
I recommend trying Ironclad Tactics with the "study first, succeed later" approach. That's what tipped me into the "recommended" camp. This is certainly a game for analysts/tinkerers.