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It's much MUCH bigger than the forge of combat so be prepared for a bit of a read as I tend to get a bit rambly. Still it forms a good solid foundation with which to shape tactical discussion.
On that note, feel free to discuss. Or be disgusted as you so choose.
Newbies really need a quick reference guide on tactics to get them started, it's not enough to give them a character sheet to-go, really.
After they learn what move and standard actions and attacks of opportunity and combat maneuvers are, they need to be aware that disarming an opponent can be fantastic, but that the bad guy's next move is likely to spend a move action to pick up the weapon that provokes. New players will rarely think that far ahead, and it's something the rulebook can't go into.
Sorry its taken me so long to circle back on this.
What I've noticed in my home game is that I'm better able to construct heuristics based on party role and trying to guesstimate which actions and feat choices will give me the best returns on investments.
I'm the group's token schemer and rules lawyer and tend to play battlefield controllers to capitalize on my natural tendencies. I have to "sell" others on character and equipment choice as they're usually not as obsessed as I am with reading optimization guides and whatnot, and shortish, well-written guides help with that. In fact, I'm currently trying to wrestle with getting together an equipment checklist of sorts for players, as they're open to optimization efforts but are overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to process.
There are 2 areas that I do feel deserve a nod, and those are the things Dragonchess Player mentioned in response to your first article: advanced recon/info gathering and equipment purchase/crafting supporting your tactical choices and strategy. Your example of the flying mage with his wand chewing up a giant is a perfect example of prior equipment choices, possibly being guided by recon and preplanning, to destroy a dangerous foe with little risk. My own party had a series of similar encounters with large groups of skeletons in our last few sessions - I was the only one who was carrying blunt arrows and spare slings and doled them out, allowing the whole party to chisel away at our foes while remaining out of their reach.