Glad you liked it! Thanks for the thoughtful write up. I really like some of your ideas, like villages rebelling being a great thematic element, and in general agree that the game would benefit for more "stuff" overall (especially consumable purchases, great idea!). I think some of your ideas are going against some core goals I had for the game, though.
I like that player's units die a lot, for instance. It plays into this image I have of the mage's dispassion towards his subjects and willingness to throw their subject's body between themselves and danger. I do want players to be able to run builds where you cultivate an army, but it's in general rare and really hard. You'll need to get a good selection of protecting spells, probably play a Battlemage so you can take some of the heat off your allies and aggressively get other allies to spread the damage out. Early in development, I found these strategies so prevalent that I started increasing how common "Counter" was to deal with it. It is mostly there to make sure that build still has risk associated with it.
I have experimented with more fire spells having ambush, but I think it makes that line a little overpowered. There are times when you end up with no good way to deal with the back row and it's a fun scramble. I like that! However, there are times when you end up unable to deal with the back row and it leads to long drawn out battles that you know you'll eventually lose. And those suuuuuuuuuuuck. Not sure on how to keep the good and lose the bad.
One of the original goals I had was to make the archetypes play very differently early in the game but mostly similar towards the end. I tend to like this in roguelikes because I play through the beginning a lot but the end not as much (because, in general, I'm not very good at these games). So I want the variation to be great early on to allow players to jump into something else if it's getting same-y, but similar later so they can carry over experience between plays on the late-game regardless of class choice and go for a win. This has the unfortunate effect of making the other archetypes less interesting if you're really good at the game and can consistently get to the mid point. I tuned the difficulty for myself (who's mediocre at these kind of games generally) and I lose enough that it works for me, but I think there needs to be something like the paragon levels in Slay the Spire for better players to up the challenge on replays.
Thanks again for the detailed feedback!