Worst offender in that category: Exceptional Strength. That was a bonus to fighters in 1e or earlier when the score range was 3-18.
I think the idea behind exceptional strength (You're talking about STR ratings like 18/45 and 18/00, right?) was to give the fighters something "special" because every other core class had something "special". The mages and clerics could cast spells. That's their "special". Thieves had thieving skills (Find Traps, Open Locks, etc).
And, remember, exceptional STR was, by the rules, very, very hard to get. You had to roll an 18 STR, which ain't easy by default rules, then you roll the percentile dice to find the exceptional part.
If I had a dime for every time I ran into a D&Der with a fighter that had exceptional-max STR 18/00 and said, "I rolled it!" Yeah. Right. Do it in front of me.
I never had a huge problem with the combat system.
With 1E? Or, are you talking about 2E?
1E's combat system, RAW, is a mess. It's extremely hard to follow and use. Almost all D&Ders I knew just made up their own procedure and went with it.
I'd like to go back, one day, and play a game by the RAW 1E system, though, just to see how it really works through my adult and rpg-experienced eyes.