Yeah, Tactics need some love. I'm trying to think of high-powered cards for Tactics, and really Warhorse is probably it. They are a good Sphere, particularly in multiplayer, but they have the most needs of any Sphere. They feel like they were designed by balancing Spirit, Lore, and Leadership against the Encounter deck, cutting their attack values to the point where it's problematic (Spirit) to slightly problematic, but then gave those factions some power cards and/or synergies to compensate for that, and then lastly took the difference in attack value added whatever mechanics that were left over and called it "Tactics."
Tactics has been weak form day one, it doesn't just need love.. it needs a complete rethinking in how they design it. There is a strong showing for them in multiplayer and this is the rub, they simply do not have tools to allow solo players to use them. All they need to make tactics viable and open a ton of those player cards to solo players is some songs or attachments or something that can add other icons.
One of the great problems in this game is the factions are not really divided across theme or tribes or w.e.. they are divided by utility. Now this is all well and good when you have a way to splash effectively, but tactics just do not have it. Maybe when they get a tactic Aragorn it will open all those aragorn attachments to make splashing less of a chore.
The idea of split utility is cool, but not when you consider the solo game. Having an entire set of allies and only 2 of them with over 1 will and 6 at 1 and a whopping 12 at 0 and the heroes not much better is just not viable.
Still this split on utility is causing many of the problems in this game. A deck needs to be able to quest and reduce threat... almost beyond all else and I do not think anyone is going to sit there and say spirit is not nearly a must include at some level for solo decks. Lore has some great cards but most importantly it has the Minstrels allowing efficient splashing of songs and all that card draw that makes those clunky decks function very well.
As the game progresses this divide in utility is just going to get bigger and bigger separating the spheres until there are very very very few options for solo. Tactics is the worst so far, leadership not far behind.. in fact the only really immune one is Lore with the card draw and the song search..
This needs to be addressed at some point.
Well, Leadership is quite good (better than Lore as a primary Sphere, in my opinion, Lore is the better support sphere though). In fact, I think all the non-Tactics races are reasonably close. Spirit is ahead, but it's not ahead in such a way that invalidates other Spheres, i.e. there are plenty of meaningful things that Lore and Leadership can do better than Spirit, they are also better solo than Spirit.
While at this point it can only be addressed through card balance, I actually think Tactics problems has more to do with the mechanical set-up of the game and where combat is positioned in it.
Willpower is needed for questing. Questing successfully keeps your threat low. Threat determines when enemies engage you and keeping your threat low reduces enemy engagement. Enemies engaging you less means you can spend more resources questing.
On the other hand, lower willpower means failed quests. Failed quests means you increase your threat. Increasing threat means more enemies engage you. More enemies engaging you means fewer resources spent on questing.
Both are positive feedback loops, but one is for your deck and the other is for the encounter deck.
Now, I think this was a thematic decision. You can't just bully your way to victory, you have to go on some quest. However, mechanically this puts combat at a disadvantage and as more of a support role since it's not progress it's simply damage control.
But to be honest, balance-wise I don't think it's a problem (solo mono-Tactics is just one out of many iterations). My issue is more that Tactics always feels like generic.dec rather than a unique creation. You just block and attack, which every deck does, but you do slightly better.
There Sphere mechanics are so-so, combat tricks are okayish, but many lack punch do to their design. For example, the abilities that allow a single character to attack the staging area are irrelevant because you typically can't solo an enemy and doing multiple attacks is inefficient considering they usually have at least 1 defense. Weapons are generally less useful than similarly costed allies. Also, their traits are either secondary (despite Theoden and Boromir, Rohan and Gondor are more Spirit and Leadership) or bad (Eagles).
They didn't make out too bad in Heirs. Much better than the Dwarf dominated Khaz and their embarrassing Eagle nonsense in Mirkwood. Dunland Trap doesn't seem especially good, but Voices gives them good things. They are mostly on the right track though.