I think they should keep tactical combat.
It was super fun in AOW and it still could be in E:FE.
I'm not in favour of getting rid of tactical combat - but I really don't see how Elemental could change enough of its model to come close to the elegance of tactical combat in AoW. Specifically:
AoW is hex based, E:EoM checker based.
AoW standard movement is around 6 hexes, E:WoM is 2 squares.
In AoW the tactical battle field is much larger, E:WoM feels like a chess board.
In AoW terrain actually plays a role, in E:WoM it practically does nothing.
In AoW objects block missile weapons, in E:WoM trees etc have no real effect with missile combat.
AoW units have a lot of action points that diminish when you fight back, E:WoM has typically only two or three action points.
AoW has flying units, E:WoM doesn't.
AoW has water-based units, E:WoM doesn't.
In AoW each race has fairly unique battle traits, E:WoM doesn't.
AoW requires strategy depending on your situation, E:WoM battles can be pretty much played the same way each time.