Yeah, it actually gets back a bit to what I originally wanted to do:
1. Have Risk-like encounters between territories.
2. Have the bubble-wrap-popping-fun of clicking something and watching an attack happen right after I do.
3. Not have to fiddle around with units (that was a key point from early on in).
4. Not have to stare at a bunch of stats trying to figure out how to micro what I'm doing (that was never explicitly stated, but was kind of an implied goal from various things).
And most recently of all, I was kind of realizing that I enjoyed those sort of "Rampart" like volleys of fighting back and forth. But the problem came when just I was allowed to do it, and the AI couldn't hit back. Interceptors were originally added to address this; in Risk, you have the potential to lose anything you attack with, but I never could come up with anything that I felt comfortable with for here that met with that on a building level. So instead there were interceptors, and that dealt with population death and reduced damage in.
Getting excited about a combined-arms approach was something that happened later based on interceptors being a thing. And of course I like for there to be a reason for players to use one type of attacker versus another, and if there's just numerical differences in stats that doesn't work. Anyway.
Territories also solved the original Risk-style combat problem I had of attack ranges and gaps between buildings. This has been solved for a while, but what I didn't realize until recently was that this would also allow Risk-style full encounters (which is what this new battle mode stuff is).
I also hadn't realized until recently just how annoying it was to have to hit end turn a ton in order to keep doing attacks. With this sort of model there's a limit to how much damage the AIs can do to each other and you in a given interturn, but during a battle you can string that out as long as you and the AI have buildings and staff to throw at it. So that makes again for that style of Risk-like engagement where you go "do I press my luck and keep attacking here? What happens next turn?" etc.
People have been bringing up things like plundering for quite a while, and that sort of thing will help to differentiate various attack types quite well right there. As one of several things that will need to be done.