I have to disagree, your statement just isn't correct.
You CANNOT play the game the way you wish anymore. Yes, you can scout (though if you're not yet in the orc chapter you cannot scout as far as you like because you cannot get past the ring 11 requirement of orcs, so you cannot scout ring 12) but you cannot fight the battles if you are beyond what Inno suddenly decided whre you should be.
Nor can you negotiate them because of the orc-requirement.
Strategy is all great, but even with masterfull strategy there just is no way to win battles where you are outnumbered more than 2:1, except perhaps with a very favorable terrain and a lot of luck, but that will be a very rare exception.
As player you are now bound to stay within a certain reach that Inno approved of, only past the orc chapter is one free to negotiate further.