Yea right now Im using Loren in the front left, her mom in the front right, Myrth, Draco and Apol and Saren/Warrior front middle. I was very careful with the hero to make him both a good tank and fairly good at damage, though he can only really do single target damage. Still the amount of damage is comparable to Lorens, though not as good when she starts using her skills. I use his skills mostly to heal people or recharge their energy. I also have the ability to revive but I havent had to use it even once so far so maybe I shouldnt have maxed it out and left it at one or two. The only downfall with the hero Ive found is no ability to hit more than one target, and no ability to heal more than one target. Thats why I keep Myrth and Apol in the back for their group heals. Still, Im at level 20 now and just about to go into chapter five... mostly because I was grinding Etins for cash so I could get the gear I kept wanting. So now my whole team is outfitted in the best stuff I could get them, even the others Im not using [not counting the monk cuz meh he has his own special stuff.
Speaking of Karen, I did notice her spear was actually weaker in damage than the axe I gave her... I was wondering if spears used skill and axes use strength or something, so that she was stronger with a spear instead of an axe. I havent tested this theory but I plan to soon, to see if she does more damage with her special spear or just any ole weapon I can find that might have better damage.
Do explain though... how exactly is she good in the back row? She doesnt have any ranged skills and cant actually seem to use any "heavy" bows. Only the same ones any warrior can use, despite her being a thief. Maybe they should have just made her a warrior.