I guess I was surprised of how easy is Holland. You only need to have on eye on Burgundy (and to see how they are doing regarding France), and then you are set.
Why to build lot of troops? Huh, i think just in case. Like if the wipe out your entire stack, you have still some backup stacks. Also if enemy got better tech/units/discipline/morale/generals (choose any/all) having bigger forces is a must.
Overpowered: Castille, Austria, Burgundy, Bavaria, Algiers (Always appear as the greatest threat in any of my Eastern European games)
Underpowered: Bohemia, Hungary, Brandenburg, Teutonic Order, Novgorod, Ryukyu
But i think TO is historicaly underpowered. It was able to field army that was almost same size as poland-lithuanian army. It loosed only because Jagiello military genious.
Timurids-Mostly because of Horde Mechanics, perhaps not too much so, but if they do not collapse they remain very powerful for a while.
BOHEMIA-They should not constantly control the HRE. The Bohemian Emperor at the start of the game is an exception, not the rule.
Byzantines - Constantinople should not be such a powerful city at the start, IRL it was actually underpopulated and almost deserted in 1399.
BOHEMIA-Can't say it enough
Underpowered: Ming - China during this period was not nearly as backwards as the game made it seem, especially at the start.
Timurids-When was the last time anyone saw the Mughal Empire form when not playing it.
Ottomans - Everyone can agree, up until the end of this period they were a major power, and there was a time when it was feared that Rome itself would fall. They should not be as weak as they are; individual European powers were for the most part unable to stop them. They should be at least as strong as a united Spain pre-colonization if not stronger.
North Africa - Either they are underpowered, or castile and portugal are overpowered, but since Spain was very strong during this time period I am going with the first option. North Africa was a huge problem for the Spanish, who were constantly harassed by them. Almost all early attempts by the Spanish to beat them ended in failure.
The Knights - They caused a lot of harm to the Ottomans. It is good to see that in this game they often end up with Malta, but they were able to hold out against a 40,000 man army, they deserve more than a level 1 fort in malta or a level 2 fort in Rhodes
England: They almost won the Hundred Year War. Sure in the end they failed, but that should not be a certainty. The only reason that Joan of Arc was even allowed to help lead the French Armies was because they were loosing so badly that the French were desperate for any assistance they could get. In EU3, I have not once seen England win the initial war with France. Instead of starting in a position of dominance they are barely holding on to their Continental possessions, and almost end up loosing them.
The Timurids can't be both under- and over-powered.:)
I guess that is sort of confusing. What I mean by that is that while at the start of the game they are far stronger than they should be, they never take the historical route of forming the Mughal Empire and as a result fall quickly behind.
If we're talking about when played as humans:
OP: ENG BOH BUR BYZ, and most trading nations (HSA VEN HOL NAV)
UP: ARA is the only European that seemed weaker than I thought it should be (relative to CAS), and most muslims
They were formed by the descendant of Timur, and their name reflects that heritage.
No way that Burgundy is overpowered. Powerful, sure. But historically if the Duke hadnt croaked, it was on its way to utter dominance of western Europe. Basically, they got unlucky IRL, but their power is otherwise quite historical. Neither France nor Austria stood a chance against 'the Bold' until battle brought him to an early death.
Burgundy and England are probably the two most powerful nations in the hands of the player. Both are probably better than France, and can crush them early on and both have a reasonable ablity to form it anyway.
In the hands of the AI Austria always seems to do well, if they can get the emperorership early on. They seem to go after Milan and get it cored right at the start which gives them a nice springboard to start blobbing. I quite like the fact that the BWB is back.
I don't think this makes sense. A notable set of events in countries history is the effect of unexpected changes: revolts, great leaders coming and going, bad harvests. Starting conditions are quite important, and geography and demography probably critical, but by no mean all that there is. Let us live with the randomness of (simulated) human nature.
Imagine the Ottomans without those 5 good rulers? Or the Hapsburg without the love power?