NEVER Use Autoassign
Do. Not. EVER. Use autoassign for either skills or ability points. They’re completely random. Unless the difficulty is Easy (and even then, you might manage to die as a result), select skills manually and distribute ability points with care. Each point in each ability matters, and skills even moreso due to the sparseness in which Seasons of the Wolf grants them.
Characters need to fulfill specific roles in combat. Tailoring Shea, Althea, and other characters is a must. Don’t let the autoassign spread points around all willy-nilly. From the very beginning, make sure that each character gets their abilities and skills assigned with the intention of making them a frontline warrior, a rearline healer, etc.