If the goal is to make the tactical battles so basic that they don't affect the outcome vs. automatically resolving, don't include them. I would much rather deal with Civ style auto resolve as the only option, than knowing there is this 'tactical' system tacked on for no other reason than to include it in the feature list.
That's a pretty unfair assertion. Tactical battles are pretty fun. They're designed such that a player has the ability to affect a close outcome. They're not intended to allow someone who is clearly strategically defeated to pull out a victory.
First off, thanks very much for this "Fallen Enchantress - BETA FAQ" post!! As one of the early responders noted, it is very gratifying to see this much continuing information and feedback, being provided on a regular basis, by the design team and company president. I am very much enjoying this Beta-testing experience. I am now up to about 30 hours of game-play; since I was first eligible to download the Beta on February 23. I have a very good feeling about this product, thus far; and I am very much looking forward to its continuing evolution!
As to the question of the importance (or relative un-importance) of tactical battles, I would like to register my views/vote. (And incidentally, I know we are not really "voting" here. In fact I strongly support your position that the game -- in its final iteration -- should reflect a singular view, of a single individual (Kael), or at least a small, disciplned, design team.)
But, getting to the point, I really think you are headed down the best road, with your current approach. I like having BOTH auto-resolve; and the ability to sometimes get messy with Tactics. I am probably using auto-resolve about 60% of the time; and personal direction about 40%. Which route I take depends on a myriad of things, including: complexity, number of units involved, relative importance of the battle, perceived odds, relative balance of magic versus arms, time-of-the-day-or-night I am playing, how tired I am, etc.
Given that I might go either route, I would like the outcomes to be roughly comparable, a majority of the times, either way. I have no problem with a Superior Tactician being able to do slightly better than the auto-resolve; but I would rather not be FORCED to be enmeshed in every last tactical detail, in every single battle. I would rather not see this game become 70% tactical battles, versus 30% strategy and overall game content.
It sounds to me like you have adopted a good approach; and I trust you will work to strike a proper balance in that regard. I don't mean to be a Fanboy here, but I really think that you have chosen (and enunciated) an optimal direction. I understand that many months of development, and refinement, remain. FE is genuinely good, getting better, and I think it will end up great!