Well, today I finished my first playthrough (Dalish Elf Warrior). My extremely positive opinion of the game is unchanged despite the difficulty thing. I won't post any spoilers, so you'll just have to finish the game yourselves to find out what happens.
Anyway, tactics, haven't really used it. Didn't need to. I just picked the right party members (at least those I felt were a good combination), gave them good equipment and let them show those darkspawn who's boss. One other thing that I haven't actually done until the very end of the game *prepares for massive eye-rolling* is player character specialization. Even when I did finally choose the Berserker and Templar for my elf (since I failed to unlock Reaver), I didn't use the abilities that come with them - again, didn't need to.
I guess that's enough for now - time to get back to the game and see what other endings my elf can have.