BogdanRC - there will likely never be tactical combat because the point of the combat screen isn't to control your ships. It is there to visually show you how the combat system works step by step.
Combat in GalCiv is not nearly as simple as people think it is and GalCiv II has a much more sophisticated model.
First off, in ship vs. ship you have 3 different types of attack and 3 different types of defense. So being able to watch your ships battle it out will enable players to visually see how one type of weapon is being countered by a particular type a defense so that players can build better ships.
Secondly, the fleets work in a very VERY specific way. By being able to watch how ships fight it out, it takes the voodoo out of fleet battles.
If you threw in user-controlled battles, however, then it would basically change the nature of the game. The player who found some loophole or incredible tactical strategy could win the game based almost purely on tactics rather than how robust of a civilization they created.