I'm playing Age of Wonders III again (with the two DLC expansions), but I'm finding myself still unsure about the balance of tactical-v-strategic gameplay. I guess, more generally, I'm skeptical of tactical battles in the 4x context, but only CIvilization has really avoided it. In fact, Civ 5 arguably snuck it in through the backdoor in Civ 5, with the OUPT mechanics.
Why do so many 4x titles focus so much on tactical battles? Do you think that the genre's preoccupation with tactical battles is a strength or a weakness? Is it just inertia because of Master of Orion/Master of Magic?