Some of the points from https://forums.elementalgame.com/389642 warrant further discussion in a more constructive manner.
[And no, I'm not the same poster.]
I'm sure that many of these are already
1. More techs sounds like a known issue that will no doubt be changed before release. Moving from 3 to 4 there is already some good improvement here.
2. I strongly agree with the general point about magic types being too similar.
Chain lightning, fire storm, ice storm are just the same thing with different graphics.
The elementals and the various summons are the same; we should have tanky earth elementals, fast but low heath air elementals, ice elementals with an ability to disrupt the enemy (reduce its speed, chance of losing its move, etc.) high damage low defense fire elementals that explode when they die.
But more importantly than these, there needs to be variation in "theme" across the elements.
Fire has good damaging spells, moderate summons, weak buffs and curses.
Air has good buffs, moderate damage, weak curses and summons
Earth has good summon spells, moderate summons, weak damage spells and curse.
Ice has good curses, moderate buffs, weak summons and damage.
Each spell can also have a probability of showing up in your spellbook; for fire, the damage spells have a high probability, while the summons have a low probability.
Adding specific elemental damage types and resistances also seems obvious (fire elementals immune to fire, but vulnerable to ice, etc.).
While on this point, I would also add; a really obvious thing from MoM missing here (and present in most fantasy games) is a Resistance stat, rather than just a catchall "defense" stat.
It doesn't really make sense that armor (leather, metal) and dexterity protect you from lightning bolts and such.
And it would be neat to have some units that are resistant to physical weapons but vulnerable to magical attacks, and vice versa. And hero/champion units that are more resistant to magic attacks than regular grunts. Maybe the Wisdom stat could boost magical defenses?
I would also suggest to try to cut down on the number of spells, but make them different and useful.
Increase the costs of researching each spell, so each spell really counts. I don't want to have to flick through a spellbook of 40 spells to pick one out to cast.
Maybe limit the number of spells you can ever learn (or be offered) at each spell level; so you can only ever know say 3 level 2 spells, 3 level 3 spells, etc.
3. I agree that the first-move advantage is too strong.
A Homm-type system of iniative (which could be different from combat speed) or just alternating move; you move a unit, I move a unit, you move a unit, I move a unit, until every unit has moved, then next turn.
Sovereigns have initiative 3, champions 2, regular troops 1, horses add +1, magic items can add some too.
Removing the ability late-game to instakill Sovs and Champions with magic/ranged attack would be useful; let them get a bodyguard of meatshields to help them survive. Or implement Line of Sight, where you can only attack the front row.
Some kind of tactics ability to place your units within a starting area box (a la Total War games) would be good too.
Another thing: the combat stength of parties/squads etc. should degrade as they take damage, a la MoM1.
Its a bit lame that a Squad with 2 health left (where most of the guys are dead) can still deal out a massive melee strike.
In general, damage rates are too high relative to hit points. Damage is easy to get, hit points aren't; units shouldn't be able to deal out more damage than they can take in a single blow.
I'm sure you've thought of most of these already, but thought I'd throw them out there anyway.