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Beginner Advice - 2D, Turn Based, Combat

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I’m looking for some advice on getting started in game development. I have a small amount of programming knowledge (Java) and am working my way through a book on games development in XNA through C#. I have made a few very simple games to date: a word matching game, a tetris style game, and am currently fiddling with a simple version of battleships.

What I’d like to look at next is making a simple turn based, 2D, combat game (just the combat section for now). I have a basic story, and some notes on game logic. I’d like to develop the game with rudimentary graphics which I’ll make myself, and then involve a proper visual artist later if the project looks like it’s worthwhile.

Any general advice, or pitfalls I should be aware of?

More specific questions:[list=1]
[*]Any rules of thumb for deciding on the tile size?
[*]If I make a prototype and then get a graphics person who believes the tile size should be changed, how much work will be involved in making the changes?
[*]How simple (or difficult) is it to move from 2D to isometric?
[*]To what extent do engines like Torque simplify and speed up the development process?
[*]Does Torque (or any similarly cheap engines) come with a graphics library I can use?
Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

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