I've just completed a run on the newest beta version (v3). First, I want to note how the difficulty curve felt WAY better. I was adequately equipped for the early stages of the game and while my mistakes were punished harshly, it wasn't frustrating. I experienced large setbacks but they didn't completely end my run at the next fight. When I eventually failed it definitely felt more like my cumulative mistakes had led me to lose as opposed to the "this is impossible" feeling I had from before. Great work responding to player feedback on this!
Second, the promise of a big payoff from expeditions and the risk/reward nature of it is extremely appealing but I'm still only able to get through one expedition with the starting 10 commandos. Unless the player experiences a miracle and 0 commandos die during the first expedition, it is still very difficult to take part in a second expedition without stumbling across more commandos at a shop. I also never saw commandos in the reward tables for regular fights; it seems like 2-4 commandos could be a decent reward and not too far off of the already existing hero rewards.
The turrets added a lot of strategic depth to my fights. They're "optional" obstacles in that you can maneuver around them so they aren't entirely frustrating. It was very rewarding to use them to bottleneck the AI as well. This is excellent design and I hope to see more interesting, interact-able obstacles that add strategic depth during fights.
Overall my gameplay experience has been vastly improved by the balance changes. I still think some work could be done to move away from the "you get one expedition until you find a commando shop" model, even if it's just inching toward "you can sometimes get a second expedition without shopping if you earn a couple more commandos back via fights or events." It's definitely a feel-bad moment when you're consistently sitting on 7-9 commandos for many, many jumps; it feels like wasted resources and there's nothing you can do about it.
Thanks and keep up the good work!