Auto pause would be very nice! I sometimes go afk to refill my coffee while i run from one village to the next. Ofc, this is only necessary because there is some downtime where I got nothing to do but wait for my guys to run up there.
As for direwolves. You say your guys arent even level 3, so how many direwolves are we talking about and more importantly, how many guys do you have?
Direwolves have very weak armor but are nimble. So to counter that, you want to use spears and swords against them mostly. Archers are very effective too but below level 3 they will most likely suck so instead use some polers (even pitchforks should be fine).
The #1 rule against direwolves is to focus them down and break their morale. They are little pussies and run easily. Once they are wavering or fleeing its just a massacre.
I think you do not have enough people. 3 direwolves vs 5 soldiers can pose a threat but once you get between 8 and 10 grunts you should be fine. Always use shields against direwolves too. Direwolves are also quite vulnerable against riposte and spear wall. My main setup against them in an early scenario has swordsmen on the flanks and spear wielders in the core of the formation supported by 2-3 polearms/archers.
Hope this helps! cheers