Great news. Traits are a great idea: there is a reason i think why almost every RPG system ends up having a feats, perks or traits system (or something similar). I also love the new interface and all the art that is coming into the game generally.
I am however, more used to trait type features for characters rather than units. It’s important that they are exceptions to the rules, rather than the basis for the game. I’d hate them to become the equivalent of gear in WoW, which due to inflation ends up making a more basic system (levels) redundant. Likewise, it would be bad for the game if a player compares the stats of his unit and the enemies and attacks, expecting to win, but looses because the enemy has a trait which gives him 50% more attack on a Tuesday.
As much as possible, i think it’s better to do things within game mechanics. Would it not be simpler, for example, if Tarthans had higher DEX, which improved their defence scores across the board? If default archers are going to be more accurate, would it not make sense to just improve the strength of the bow, and then add a trait for “conscripts” that decreases effectiveness and cost if players want to do that. IMHO traits are better for things like “special ability: form phalanx” or “trackers: no loss of movement through woods.” Ie, things that are not covered by the normal mechanics, rather than things that are.
Ideally, if the stat system was well done it could make the races play differently without the need for special rules and tech trees, which have always seemed like a cop out to me. If each race has one stronger stat and one weaker one, it allows for a lot of variation.
Str for carrying capacity and attack bonus
Dex for archery bonus and defence bonus
Con for HP bonus
Int for initiative and income bonus
Cha for morale, prestige bonus and recruitment decrease
Essence for Magic resistance
Then your spells can work within that framework too.