I brought this up to some extent in the past and I've revamped the idea, but, I really can't stress enough how much of an Opportunity Stardock has with this game. As Elemental is still in the design phase, I vote that you completely start over with the battle Engine. Yes, even if it takes another Six Months to get the game out. What they have now is impressive, yes, I'm not arguing that. The fact is though that the Heroes of Might and Magic system has been done to death. With Elemental you have the chance to do something groundbreaking in this genre graphically. Here's my thought.
Keep it turned based, that's essential, but change how things are represented. Keep it on a grid but make the unit numbers Massive with the ability to use formations in battle. A unit of archers could have 100 men in it. The player can then arrange these men on the field across multiple squares. Two squares long and one square wide. One square wide and two squares deep. The variables could be many but would be used to present a different angle of attack for enemy units. Changing formations could take up a units turn in combat.
Also the men would be represented graphically proportionate to their actual numbers. If you have 100 archers then it will show 100 archers in the battle. It would look like a turn based Total War with the art style of Elemental. I think that would be amazing. Not real time battles, but turn based. This would also call for a Huge Increase in the size of the field of battle. Buildings could be placed or other things (caves, dungeons, etc etc) could be used as obstacles during battle or taken over and garrisoned and held like watchtowers or forts represented on the battle map.
So much more could be done with not a lot of work to what you already have. You wouldn't even need to change a lot of the coding you already have, you'd just have to revamp how it's visually presented. The art assets and models would all stay the same to what they are now, there would just be a Lot More of them shown on screen during battles. I don't even need to go into the strategic options and depth it would give to every battle, plus having that Epic LotR battle feel.
Please, Please Stardock, consider this idea. For the sake of your own game, the genre, and the players. You can do something Truly epic here with not much more work.
Here's a few Mock Ups to show you how it "could" be with More Troops shown on screen.
A few more troops.
A few More then that.
A LOT More troops. Clearly at this point a Larger battlefield is required.