Say you have the opportunity to nail a piece of trim in from the back with an 16-18ga finish nail on a barn door (so all wood construction). You were smart about it and made sure it wouldn't bust through the face. Is this less strong than face nailing?
Honestly, I would not do this. There are many techniques for blind-nailing trim if you really want it to look nice and want to minimize finishing steps to hide nail heads.
Also, as suggested in the comments, there already is a technique for angling nails so you maximize the strength of the fastener interface. When I was in the trades I saw that there were two ways to install wood trim:
- Bang it on with enough nails straight in, countersink, call it a day because the rest of the job is for the painters.
- Take the extra few minutes to match up mitres nicely, and angle your fasteners cleverly so joints are tightened and the nail heads need minimal prep for finishing.
(1) was cheap and cheerful and was fine, mostly. Paint covers many sins. (2) took about 1/2 day longer but the results were astonishing. Some of the joints were hard to even see, and often nail heads were tucked under a little slice of glued-down wood.
(It occurs to me that toward the end of my tenure, a third option showed up. Trim installers tore a page from the roofers' book and started using nail guns and headless staples. Ka-chunk psst ka-chunk psst glrgglrglgrlgrl all day long...)