Here's a bit of a non-intuitive fit, but bear with me. Have you considered FATE?
- Miniature biased combat, with combat being the presumed focus of the game.
- Combat is not largely determined by luck.
Dodging and parrying are an interesting part of the system.
- Less abstract damage. Every damaging blow should have a specific injury associated with it.
- System is not just skill rolls and comparisons.
Now, I'll admit right off that you've got me on that last one. FATE is built on nothing but comparing two skill rolls. But I think you'll find everything else fits just fine.
Miniature biased combat
FATE uses zones, which by default are broad, mostly cinematic ideas of space. A bathroom is probably one zone per stall, plus one main zone. A house is probably divided into a zone per room, maybe two for a large living room. Athletics (and sometimes other skills) may be rolled to move quickly from one zone to another. Other barriers may be present, like a brick wall, which would be traversed with Weapons or Might, by breaking it down. But, these zones are usually drawn on a piece of paper, or whiteboard, and players are marked with miniatures. If you really want something more traditional, there's an easy conversion. Take a typical D&D square grid. Draw darker lines in a grid that divides the normal grid into a bunch of 3x3 boxes. Treat each 3x3 box as a zone, with a barrier value of 1 or 2 biased on traversing distance. (Add special barriers as needed.) This looks and feels similar to D&D at least, with melee combat occurring in around 15 square feet, ranged combat happening at 30-45 feet, and normal movement being about 15-30 feet. Now, maybe you want some different feel from D&D, but you should be able to tweak the barrier values and distances to suit your liking.
Combat is not about luck
FATE rolls are almost always [Skill]+4dF. A dF is a six sided die with two sides blank, two saying -1, and two saying +1, resulting in a range between -4 and +4, with a strong weight towards 0. (If you don't want to get special dice, just use d6s and relabel the sides.) Given that skill values are usually between 1 and 5, you can usually get a sense of how likely a large deviation from your skill is. If there's too much luck going on for you there, I'd suggest dropping a couple of dF from the usual roll, and maybe rolling 2dF. Enough for some surprises, but not too much. That said, I've never seen the normal system really screw someone over via the random number god. Certainly there is no chance of most attacks being at all fatal- You can see a fatal blow at least three or four turns in advance, assuming you're really getting your butt kicked. It takes about 30 shifts to kill a player. Even a +6 skill getting +4 every time won't kill you in less than three, and that's assuming you don't defend at all.
Dodging and parrying
Defense and damage mitigation in FATE is all about dodging and parrying. I don't think I've ever heard a player say "yeah, I'll just take the hit and soak it." When you're getting shot at (Opponent rolling 4dF + Guns, rolls +2 and has Guns +3) you roll to defend yourself. There is no static "Armor Class" but something that looks more like White Wolf's Dodge score. Lets say I roll Athletics to dive out of the way. I roll, get -1. I have a +3 to athletics, totaling a +2. I take 3 'stress' as a result, the difference between our rolls. (note: I probably also take extra 'stress' due to weapon bonuses, but I'm trying to keep things simple) Another player might defend with Guns, attempting to keep his attacker pinned down behind cover. He rolls a +3, has +4 Guns for a +7. He takes no damage- He did better than his opponent.
If you're playing a fantasy game, just change the skill names, Guns to Bows for example. Some uses of skills might make less sense (I can't imagine suppressing fire with a longbow) but this should be fairly intuitive.
Less Abstract Damage
I said above that most characters have around 30 stress worth of damage they can take. Thing is, most of that isn't raw stress- most characters have between 2 and 4 stress boxes. If you take a hit that goes off your stress boxes, you're out. This looks brutal, but it's not as bad as you'd think due to something called Consequences.
A character has a Mild [-2] consequence, a Moderate [-4] consequence, a Severe [-6] consequence, and an Extreme [-8] consequence. Any time when you would take stress, you can instead take a consequence to mitigate some of the stress. So, in the example above where I was getting shot for 3 stress, I could instead take a mild consequence and take 1 stress. Consequences have a short description attached to them- "Winged me" could be one, or perhaps "Twisted Ankle" caused when I stumbled dodging. The consequence can be something not directly a cause of the attack (like stumbling and hurting my ankle instead of getting shot- which makes more sense to me. You really can't get shot more than once or twice and do anything useful afterwards) but does have to express damage of some kind. Instead of a big table with possible consequences, their rank, and the results and penalties, all consequences can give a -2 penalty to you at your opponent’s convenience. This may or may not count as abstract, depending on your view- I tend to think that since most of your damage has a specific injury attached to it, it's less abstract. If you wanted however, making a table of possible consequences and the specific -2 it provides would be pretty easy. (Wounded foot, -2 to athletics. Wounded hand, - 2 to weapons. Head wound, -2 to alertness.)
System is not just skill rolls
Okay, you got me. System is nothing but skill rolls. The inclusion of FATE Points (a pretty cool part of the system for those who like narrative style play, and a very easily homebrewed away part if you want something more concrete) makes things a little more unpredictable. That said, you seldom roll against a static value- most rolls are opposed by someone. And besides, I'm kind of curious how a system with no skill rolls works. (Okay, I've played Amber. Is that what you were looking for?)