Yes, this is a tricky one. Generally the depth of gameplay has been in decline (with some notable exceptions of course) for over a decade by now. At least for me it has. But I completely understand the reasons and logic behind this. It ultimately comes down to reaching the widest audience and the highest revenue possible. And while I have no intention to start a non-profit CCG (collectible card game) myself, I'd like to see Adevia evolve into a competitive and deep card battler, where the smarter person wins most of the time. Not all the time, but most of the time. The randomness factor will certainly create situations, where even the smarter person won't have a chance against a lucky not-as-smart person. But that's OK. If I play with my kids, I'd want them to win occasionally. Letting them win outright is something I don't encourage though. I remember playing chess with my father when I was little. I'd lose most of the time, but there were those rare matches, when I actually thought I'd beat him fair and square. That pride was later followed up by saddness and disappointment after having realised he'd simply let me win. Teaching me how to overcome losses and motivating me to pick myself up and try again would've been much more valuable lessons. I understand he meant no harm by letting me win, and I'm grateful he cared for my sense of pride and confidence, but it just wasn't real. So- back to the topic. A really good way of implementing depth in a game is HOMM III WOG mod.
If you haven't tried it, I strongly suggest you give it a shot. When I play a random map with WOG, there is this unusual sense of excitement and a motivation to explore the unknown. There's always something unexpected to be discovered on any new random map, despite me having played through a dozen of them already. Here's an example. In vanilla HOMM III the end-game is quite boring, especially on a huge map. I usually know if I have won long before I actually hunt down all the enemy heroes and capture all their cities. But in WOG random monster stacks grow stronger to match your strength. In one instance I came across a mighty neutral monster stack, that totally destroyed my main army (escaped with my hero), which led me to be unable to defend my cities for the following turns. I ended up losing 5 of my 13 cities to enemy AI factions, but still managed to barely win the game. Nevertheless, I admire and respect this extra challenge, especially in the end-game phase.