Loaded the new 5.3.3. onto the beta patched version and went with England. Normal difficulty/no Lucky nations. Both my and France's Land Tech is the same and we use the same type of troops.
It's about 1385 and I own around 11 provinces on the continent from an early war to go along with Ireland and Austria(through PU). I'm also in a PU with Norway.
I notice France has gotten itself into a war with Castile, Lorraine, Bohemia, Savoy & several OPMs. I decide to grab a few cores from France and build up my troops to 142 units for the war. Grab several average Generals that I can afford. I have around 55k manpower and enough ships to rule the waves. I declare war and attack. Checking the ledger I see France has around 80k troops to go along with about 40-50k for it's vassals. It has about 55k manpower. Castile has around 80k, Bohemia has about 70k & the rest of the original attackers have about 50k. That's 340k troops against France's 130k.
As normal France's vassals declare and I move into their territories. The other attackers have troops all over and I am able to keep my troops together to go after France's troops and whittle their manpower down for the long siege. A year or so into the war and France has destroyed everyone. Castile is on the run and down to maybe 15k troops. Bohemia loses all of it's troops and proceeds to build more and is a non-factor the rest of the way. Savoy and Lorraine fall easily to sieges. My troops are down to 35k and 2k manpower.
Meanwhile France has 65k troops and 55k manpower. Her vassals are running around with 6-10 unit 'death stacks'.
After 3 hours trying different strategies I load a save game as France and things are not good. Their leader is 8/9/9.(The regency council for him was 9/9/9) The Heir is 9/9/8. France has 7 Generals and an Admiral. All of them are 4-5's.(France has 7% Army Tradition and low Naval. I can't see how they could get so many top Generals.) No matter what I do I cannot beat them. No one can. I've beat them up so much that I have 35 War Score(with no occupied cities) and they won't accept a White Peace. I've even let the game go without joining the war and they destroy all the big boys put together.
Anyone else having problems against France with 5.3.3? I was playing 5.3.2 a few days ago as Castile and I mopped the floor with them several times without trouble. I've played England many many times and have always smacked them around with average trouble. Has something changed between the two versions?
Anything I can do to 'soften' them a little?