Hey Drifty, thank you for the detailed review! I've never played Tactics Ogre or FFIV, super interesting to hear about the similarities.
The combat certainly is a sticking point. For a long time I debated whether it would be useful or not, and in the end didn't have time to make it polished or unique. The time I did spend on it was also time not used for improving the events, which I slightly regret.
Glad to hear that not all of it was bad, and happy that the feedback is quite concrete. This certainly will help tightening things up for future iterations of the game. Thank you for playing!