3. As I have stated previously, you are 100% completely wrong here. Your particular play style may make tactical control truly optional, but others do not play the game the same way you do. Personally, if I'm not playing at 100% capacity I feel like I'm coasting, and that robs a lot of replay value out of a game. Again as I've said previously, if autoresolve is acceptable if it comes within 5% of what I'm capable of doing myself, they need to add difficulty levels until it is no longer acceptable.
Your argument here is basically self-centric. It's the equivalent of me saying the ship builder is optional because I personally don't care what my ships look like.
It's not my playstyle that makes tactical control and autoresolve optional, it's my attitude. You apparently cannot have fun if something is somehow suboptimal, and so you make the claim that you are "forced" to choose whichever option gives you better results. I, on the other hand, can have fun even if something doesn't go as well as it could have, or if doing something one way isn't as good as doing something the other way. Beyond that, you (and the others who make the argument that autoresolve and manual control may as well be mutually exclusive) have falsely equated "autoresolve gives results which are equally good as results from manual control" with "you will therefore only ever use autoresolve". This completely ignores the possibility of the manual control option being fun at least some of the time, and since I play games for fun rather than to win, whichever option is the most fun is the option that I take.
This is a classic issue of "power gamer" vs "plays for fun" - for some reason, there are some fools who play games in an "optimal" manner that they don't enjoy just because it's the "best" way to ensure a victor, and there are other fools who play games in whatever way they find enjoyable. This is an attitude issue rather than a playstyle issue, however.
Also, your suggestion that the statement "The shipbuilder is optional because I don't care what my ships look like" is equivalent to the statement "Autoresolve and manual control are not mutually exclusive because I don't need optimal results" is not a very good argument. The ship designer is entirely optional, and always will be unless they decide to remove the basic ship designs which are in the game. Moreover, if you happen to be the type of person who absolutely has to have "optimal" results, then the ship designer itself is likely to be as mandatory as whichever form of combat resolution gives the best results, because custom designs tend to be superior to the standard designs and can be optimized for the situation you're looking at, while the standard designs are more of a "it's good enough on average" kind of thing. Just like autoresolve/manual control, a ship designer is only mandatory in one of two situations: either you have no other option, or you're the type of person who absolutely must have an "optimal" result. Once again, this is a "power gamer" vs "plays for fun" issue.
1. While tactical combat isn't a defining characteristic, it does affect games substantially. If for no other reason, development assets are spent making it that could have been used on other aspects of the game.
Yes, there is an effect introduced due to asset allocation. However, I cannot say that I feel that any implementation of tactical battle, regardless of how you happen to define tactical battles, will necessarily take away from the strategic aspect. The strategy aspect of most games which have one tends to be base building and army (or fleet) positioning. This side of things, whether you admit it or not, tends to be rather static across most games, and has been more or less set in stone for a long time, with the strategy side coming in more from where and when and how much you build certain things than in whether or not you can build everything everywhere or not. It's certainly possible for me to turn every city in Rome: Total War into a more or less identical site with all buildings built everywhere, and it's entirely possible for me to build my GCII planet improvements in a manner that gives every world a more or less balanced amount of production, income, and research structures rather than the more commonly used several primary factory worlds + a lot of income worlds + some research worlds. On the other hand, it's not particularly efficient or necessary to do all of that in either game - most cities in Rome: Total War don't really need any military structures, so you might as well save the money, and it's a lot more efficient in GCII to specialize worlds than to have a little bit of everything everywhere. Yes, there's a bit of a difference between GCII and Rome: Total War city-building because GCII city-building gives you a certain number of slots to play with and says you can put almost whatever you want in any of those slots whereas Rome: Total War allows you to build each line of building anywhere, but in all honesty, the difference between these two forms of city-building is skin-deep, as far as game strategy goes. There isn't really a significant amount of design work that needs to go into the 'how' of making a strategy game.
6. Tactical combat is defined as the player being able to make choices of any type during the battle which affects the outcome of that battle. All choices have to be made before the battle begins (ideally before the fleets even meet, so player 1 attacking player 2's fleet doesn't have to get any response from player 2 for the battle to be resolved).
That is certainly one possible definition of tactical combat. There are others that I could use, such as a system which allows you to set the engagement orders of ships going into a battle, which are then used by the computer to fight the battle according to your orders, or a system where I can give limited orders during the battle (e.g. "concentrate fire on that ship" or "ignore enemy fighters"), or one in which the battle is automatically resolved but the auto-resolve function is a full-blown combat simulator which takes advantage of things like terrain, maneuverability, and weapon characteristics and makes tactical choices such as how to approach a given target, what to engage it with out of what is available in the battle area, whether to concentrate fire on one target at a time or have a more evenly distributed fire pattern, and what types of targets to prioritize. That a game has tactical combat doesn't necessarily mean that I'm the one giving the orders - that's manually-controlled or player-controlled combat.
5. A shoot-em-up, by common usage, is a game where you directly control what units are shooting at what.
The only "common usage" definition of "shoot-em-up" that I am familiar with is for a game where the entire game revolves around you controlling a player character or a small group which does nothing but shoot things, the "modern" or "high-tech" setting's equivalent of the hack-and-slash style dungeon crawlers or role-playing games.
Also, you call my argument self-centric. Yes, it is. So is yours, and so is the argument of anyone who has ever made any kind of argument whatsoever, because the bottom line is that people only argue for the things in which they believe, or to improve their ability to argue for the things in which they believe, or to impress other people. Your argument for autoresolve and manual control being mutually exclusive is at least as self-centric as my argument that they are not, because your argument is entirely based on that the only way to play is the one in which you get the optimal result in the least amount of time. My argument is that the two options are not mutually exclusive because, you know what, it's not always absolutely necessary to get the absolute best result possible at all times, because games are there to be a fun waste of time rather than something that you must always win in the most efficient way.
By the way, don't bring up the Devil's Advocate as a counterpoint to my statement that people argue only for things they believe in or to impress people or to improve themselves. The point of arguing as a Devil's Advocate is to find potential flaws in an idea, identify potential alternatives, and to in the end convince yourself and the people with whom you argued that the option you end up choosing is the best choice (or at least an acceptable choice) out of those you have available, which is entirely a self-serving process. Yes, it's probably not the ego-trip that arguing your own idea might be, but it's at least as good for you in the long run.