i honestly don't understand how you get that when he says that the game isn't meant to be about telling your ships who to fire at. It seems more likely there might be something that lets you influence a battle aka Endless Spade, rather than Total War style combat.
The problem with your statements is that you're really only giving examples of the extremes ends of the spectrum: mostly hands-off (like Endless Space) versus micromanaging every single ship (ala Master of Orion). Believe it or not, there are varying degrees of control one can have in tactical combat between those two extremes.
To again mention my earlier examples, combat in both Birth of the Federation and Armada 2526 works by having you give orders to ships of the same type (cruisers, destroyers, dreadnoughts, etc.); in addition, Armada lets you select from a short list of formation types for your fleet.
Now it's certainly true that both games' battle systems aren't without their flaws. However, they're good examples of how a space 4x game can allow the player to "control" combat, but without forcing them to give individual orders to every single frickin' ship (which I agree would be a major pain in the butt).
If GalCiv3's tactical combat system is anything like what I've just described (and Stardock has indicated the game will include some form of tactical combat), that should strike a decent balance between macro- and micro-managing battles.