Tactical battle suggestions:
1) Troop deployment: Players/AI places troops within their zones of control (sides of the field) before the start of battle. Neither side can see where the other is placing unless they have a special unit/magic to do so (such as a scout or something). This allows PCs/AI to take advantage of:
2) Map objects/special tiles: Either reinstate tactical map objects' special effects, or implement "special tiles" that can have objects on them, such as pieces of ruins, rocks, and shrubberies (NI!). Objects give not only defense bonuses but also hide units from the enemy, unless opponent has a unit that can see/detect hiding.
This would increase the strategy element.
3) Random tactical map generation based on types of tiles: If the battle takes place in the wasteland, then most tiles (say 80%) are waste, and of those, a small percentage is other stuff, such as ruins and rocks. An algorithm could roll a percentage chance of what kind of tile is adjacent to the base starting tile, and branch out from there. That way each map should have some interesting features that play a role in the battle.Ever played the board game Settlers of Catan? I am imagining a kind of random setup like that game board, but with a more logical layout based on what should be expected where the battle is taking place. I love the changes in elevation--keep expanding on this, too! Hiding behind hills in ambush and having a bonus to attack on the high ground is great.
4) Weather: Add magic and random weather events that affect visibility. This would open up a whole bunch of possibilities for tactical magic, as well. We need fog, blizzards, rain, and spells to counteract those. Certain weather can give bonuses/penalties to certain units (water elemental gets + in rain, etc.).