Most people would concede 2nd edition was a skirmish game, but my friends and I tended to constantly upscale. This culminated in a massive 6,000 pt battle pitting my Eldar vs a friend's Space Marines.
He had the first turn and for the opening salvo unloaded his entire store of ammunition from his cyclone missile launcher at my Avatar and rolled a hit and misfire. The terminator blew himself up and all the models within 6" of him, leaving a gaping hole in the center of the Space Marine's lines. In that same game my striking scorpions spent most of the game attempting to douse the flames on two squad members that had survived a flamer attack, but apparently got splashed with fuel and panicked as they continued to burn, and when a dreadnought shot up my falcon the turret went flying off the hull and crushed his Librarian. The game took an entire weekend to play, and it was only four turns back then.
Those memories have stuck with me for nearly 20 years and I still make sure my models have helmets thanks to Virus Outbreak. That is why I don't mind the sprawling increase of rules and additional book keeping, as the game is really returning to its roots. It's trying to become the game I really wanted to play: skirmish level rules that feel too detailed and slow to scale to massive proportions, but you do it anyway, and the ridiculous moments are the ones that stick with you. There is great joy in remembering a model can throw a grenade at the right moment.