I'm finally getting something that might work for core gameplay, and I've been plowing ahead on some of the other bits as well.
One of the things I've been experimenting with this afternoon is having enemies hold their distance until there are enough of them to have a chance of damaging the hero. This, coupled with some tweaks to their pathing to penalize movement uphill or through forests, gives you a chance to escape. I'll be adding in forest cover, so if you get far enough away from the enemies and are under the forest canopy they'll lose sight of you.
In this animation you can sort of see the monsters holding up until there are two of them in range to rush the player. Unfortunately they don't always both successfully rush; if they are both aiming at the same spot, for instance. That needs fixing up. If an enemy finds himself solo in range of the hero he'll back up. This is all done with a lot of monkey business in the Dijkstra search.
Something that is not obvious is that the player is killing adjacent monsters (one a turn). I need to add some animation of some sort for that. It'll probably be as simple as showing reactions on button presses (and then going on to the final display on button release).
On other fronts, I've organized the code so multiple planets are generated and you can move between them. Eventually (tomorrow?) there will be a space mode for moving between planets, using the Triplanetary board game movement system.
The general theme of the game is shaping up to be some sort of undercover interplanetary freedom fighter. A mix of stealth and action, and maybe opposition will shift from planet to planet as you accomplish your objectives, to make the latter objectives more difficult.