In 3.1, I am playing Great Britain in a game started in 1399. It is 1626. For some time, I have been struggling to catch up to France & Spain in tech, even though each has much bigger armies and less income. I don't understand why that is.
The relative situations haven't changed significantly for some time. Currently, the facts are as follows: Income: GB-350; F-334; S-187 Inflation: GB-3%; F-3%; S-34% Armies GB-101,000; F-305,000; S-235,000 Prestige GB-95; F-51; S--34; Tech GB-22-23, except Production of 19; F-25-27; S-24-26. In provinces, France, Spain and Great Britain are #1, 2 and 3 respectively in the world and GB is not that far behind. I keep my # of colonies to 6 or less and currently have 3. I keep my army maintenance at about 50% unless there is a reason to raise it temporarily.
I am particularly baffled by my falling behind Spain in tech and my inability to catch up with her.