Having seen some of the Arcane stuff come out, I'm wondering just who the target market is? Historical gamers love the accuracy and look of their units - new plastic releases have put some excellent models in their reach at cheap prices (ancients, napoleonics etc). Arcane doesn't do this. Collectable gamers don't tend to like painting their stuff and yet Arcane commons need painting/building.
Don't get me wrong, the mechanism looks very good - WAB is pretty basic with some very similar troop types and a ton of dice that need to be rolled. You can see how Arcane is steeped in ex WK history by using the base as a play aid and doing away with record keeping. A WAB army can look great but can also cost a fortune.
I just hope an innovative mechanism isn't lost by Arcane falling between 2 markets and failing to attract either.
There are plenty of good ancient game systems out there (Command and Colors blocks being an excellent example) but maybe I'll give Arcane a go once the historical sides are expanded a little.
I personally prefer AL to WAB and definitely to WHFB. There is a good mix of units and special character abilities, but without allowing said characters to become overpowered as happens in WHFB. I also like the price point to get a full army as well as the fact that we have regular expansions coming out in the near future to keep the game fresh and a OP system to keep opponents playing. I also really like the stress on victory zones to keep armies clashing in the middle of the board rather than having one army full shooty and one charging across the board (as can happen in many mass battle systems). It keeps the armies more combined arms.
As for C+C, I haven't played the ancient flavor, but memoir and battlelore are both too random and too short for me to enjoy very much. AL (and to a lesser extent WAB/FB) feel more controlled in the way they handle dice and tactics.