My main complaint isn't that I only get 3-4 battles out of a squad, but that there's not really anything else to do with my heroes. I can use them to breed/research/train others, but then they're locked in until they die, or they can be on standby in case of a fight.
It's quite boring and does little to immerse me into the game.
Review mentions the long timeline, but Crusader Kings 2 has a longer timeline, with characters usually dying off much quicker, and yet I find myself caring much more about these characters. That sense is entirely lacking in Massive Chalice, and Tom's "persistence" mechanic carrying over in the form of relics just isn't quite there, in my opinion.
On a technical level, not much to fault, just personal preferences over the graphics (don't much like them but they get the job done) but the tactical battles are not what they could have been. There's a distinct puzzle element, as opposed to fighting a battle, that starts to grate on me. The enemy sit there until you wander into their arcs of observation, so simply stay out of that and there is no pressure.
Review says that hero death serves to mix up the tactical fights, but ultimately heroes are faceless ciphers for tactical possibilities, which remain the same, so tactical fights don't get mixed up, until the sporadic introduction of new enemies, but the same basic tactics will serve you fine for pretty much the whole game. I used a single Hunter concealed much of the time as a Scout, 2 Alchemists and 2 Caberjacks. I mixed those with Hybrid classes sometimes (Shadowjacks let you sneak up and then hit hings in the face, which is nice) but essentially every fight (other than the end fight) unfolded thus:
Hunter to scout, position the others to isolate enemy, kill isolated enemy, find next bunch, rinse and repeat.
There is no equivalent, thus far, of the Zombie village mission from Xcom (the one where everything is going fine and then you get f*cked).
I think though that people have indeed been overly negative, probably down to lingering concerns over previous DF releases.
I backed this game, and played it in the beta, and it is better than it was, but overall, not worth of 5 stars.
It's a good game, it could have been a great one.