I could probably create an entire RTFM series because of my terrible track record of ‘getting it’ the first time around. I could have sworn I’d read this Unity article about version control, especially considering I’d changed the settings so that the .meta files showed up in my project. Strangely though, I somehow didn’t come to actually commit those .meta files to version control despite the article explicitly stating to do so. Perhaps I’d read some misinformed post somewhere else that said not to.
The realisation came when I decided to clone my repository just to make sure I’d been committing all the files I was supposed to have. I’ve had some misadventures with getting Unity command line builds to work and had given up on my continuous integration aspirations; the consequence being that I never got to the part where I could make the project build from the files submitted to the repo…
…It turns out the repo build was pretty broken.
The primary culprit was all the missing meta files, but there were a few other little tweaks that were required. All fixed now. Unfortunately no one wants to answer my post as to whether or not command line builds are possible using the free version of Unity. At this rate I will have to apply for a 30 day Pro trial to see if I can get it working and thus answer my own forum question.