@Brackhar sounds like you are going to get combat on the right track
I would like to take the time to add my thoughts to this, sorry this turned into a wall of text…
More skills will be great giving our hearthlings more ways to engage the enemy, skills could even be used in combination with each other for added effectiveness.
The more skills the hearthlings and enemies have at there disposal the more interesting combat will become to watch and the higher potential to get good stories out of it.
Damage types and resistances are an interesting topic, as instead of saying this sword does 6 melee damage and 3 fire damage, because it’s a fire sword. Having the fire sword sets flammable armour on fire and does additional damage to enemies wearing cloth or chain mail rather than leather or plate armour (or something to that effect) feels a lot more natural than just having extra damage stats that just have a name to them.
Poison damage could be turned into damage over time after the attack, ice could slow the enemy.
The only thing that worries me with this is, for every skill added to the hearthlings or enemies the combat and for each damage type AI has a vast amount more to consider. It has to consider which armour and weapons everyone has and what skills they have whether the other skills in the group can be combined, if the skills do the same damage type as the users weapons, when the use of a skill is most effective and probably a lot more.
The more complex combat becomes the more chance there is for a human to look at a situation and be like what the hell is the AI doing, this is rubbish, I want control. And this causes frustration in the player.
This already happens because archers don’t understand that they can sit on a high ledge and pick enemies off when they come near, and the footmen don’t realise that they can just wait until the archers have picked most of the enemies off before running head first into the enemy.
There is a simple solution to this that will remove the players frustration, give the player direct control.
APM is a non issue when the game is pause able, every player no matter who they are technically has infinite APM.
The player already has direct control over crafters, we can specify where they sleep, eat, where all there resources are stored, where there goods are stored and even exactly what they make. Giving a crafter an order to make a chair is exactly the same as giving a knight an order to kill a goblin. Giving the order to stop killing the goblin and retreat because there is an army of goblins is analogous to telling the crafter to stop making the chair because actually that crafter has already made 60 chairs.
Currently we can micro-manage crafters. So why not combatants?
Yes have it so we can micro-manage them easily, but make it so they are also autonomous. One could argue that being able to tell the crafter what to make is too much micro and that they too should be autonomous, have some clever bit of AI that just controls the crafter when there is a surplus of raw materials. (That would actually be pretty cool, say the crafter has a thing for flower pots and crafts fancy flower pots as decorative items in there free time.)
It would definitely add to the story telling side of the game, there would be a potential to tie in the conversation system to the crafting system, the conversations a crafter had about there trade could effect what they crafted.
Some good things about the direction of the story telling side of the game where said in this topic a while ago.
Which brings me full circle back to combat. The word simulation is thrown around a lot with Stonehearth yet when it comes to the combat, there is very little simulation, it is about as simulated as Starcraft 2 i.e not at all.
If an enemy retreats before a footman has finished swinging his sword, the attack still “lands” even though the enemy is like 10 metres away. Arrows follow there targets and always hit, they don’t behave like projectiles, more like magical entities that defy gravity. Look up Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, that has the best model of any simulation/ strategy game for ranged combat.
I think I’ll leave it there for now, as you can tell I quite like talking about game design