There is a problem with using abilities in DoW3. As armies grow using them requires impractical amounts of micromanagement because of how they are cast.
I've created some crude diagrams to examplify what I mean: http://imgur.com/a/24Q3S
Let's say 3 squads of Dire Avengers face off against 3 squads of Tactical Marines. The DA's should have the advantage, since they have throwable grenades. However, if you select all 3 and press Q, only one squad throws a grenade (See diagram 1). Now, with 3 squads this is manegable, but when you have 130 pop composed of multiple units, using abilities that control like this becomes impossible.
'But you don't use Smart Cast!' I hear you say. For the DA's grenade Smart Cast only causes you to cast the grenade in the middle of the closest squad. If the squad is moving or there are multiple squads spaced out, this does not help you. And even then only one grenade is thrown per Smart Cast.
Some abilities are triggered as a group when Smart Cast: take the Howling Banshee's Quick Strike. SC does trigger this for multiple squads at once, but only at the closest target to each squad. If your squads are spaced out so they each have an individual target, this is great (See diagram 2a)! If they are all closest to the same squad, however, the aditional casts are wasted, since stacked abilities have vastly diminishing returns (See diagram 2b).
Ideally you would want to be able to cast all 3 instances of the grenade easily at different targets. If, for example, selecting an ability and shift+clicking would keep the ability selected and fire one instance of it, you could easily send one grenade or quick strike to each target, thereby making optimal use of your abilities (see diagram 3).
What do you think? Does this allow for more tactical gameplay, or does this encourage spamming of abilities?