So my oldest daughter and I spent some time this morning and did some bug hunting… and FINALLY figured out why rotating would crash the renderer. It turns out either how I or the renderer is handling flipped sprites. Until I can figure out how to fix it, we'll have to forgo flipping left-handed characters.
Also, I've managed to ALSO squeeze in some combat animations. Currently I'll draw a line ranging from light blue to dark red, depending on if you missed or what tier the successful attack was. I think it works.
Ultimately, combat is looking more chaotic, yet more meaninful. You can tell when someone is knocked down, dead, attacking (and missing!)… well, here, maybe you'll get the 3MB picture: