I actually suspect that you'd still have to play strategically, although I could be wrong.
Even without the points rules added yes there is some strategy still but eventually the game winds down to a run of back to back tank & artillery by both players and I really wanted to eliminate this.
Also the points cost further balances the down side of going first. The same rules of playing 1 card are still used when going first so you will always be 1 card behind but will also be further ahead in points.
The "playing any card in your base is free" is interesting. Right now it's often correct to blow up the enemy base with early plays to stop him from taking the initiative. In this variant that would often be a huge mistake, since you'd be allowing your opponent to play Artillery at a 3-point discount.
Yes it does add a twist to the play style which is always fun. The main reason for the rule was it gave enough points to the player on the defensive to push back a player that used his stored up points for double tank or art tank on the same turn and not just be overwhelmed. At the same time a strategic advance can also offset this defensive advantage.