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An overview of the history, strengths and weakness of the Kingdom of France and later the French Republic.

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Premodern France was both a powerful and yet unstable place. During the 18th century, the population of France exploded, leading her rise in power both militarily and economically. However, premodern France also more closely resembled its medieval roots than any other European great power. Roman Catholicism was deeply rooted into the culture and even the legitimacy of the French monarchy. The land and agricultural reforms that were drastically changing countries like the British Empire didn’t take root in France or her colonies.

After disastrous campaigns in the War of Spanish Succession, and later the Seven Years War, France has become dangerously indebted, and a series of weak monarchs ferments revolutionary thoughts. In 1789 the discontent exploded into the French Revolution, which concluded a few years later with the destruction of the French Monarchy and the establishment of the French First Republic.

Strengths:

  • Early access to elite infantry
  • Access to numerous and well trained line infantry who have above average accuracy and melee skill
  • Late access to many unique regiments as well as superb heavy cavalry
  • Late access to 18lber Horse Guard Artillery
  • Grenadiers have grenades but are smaller in number

Weaknesses:

  • Only militia cavalry in the early period
  • Unique regiments in the late period become very expensive


Tactics:

In the early period the French rely on their solid line infantry and elite infantry, who can outshoot nearly every unit in the early period and are handy in melee combat. However their lack of professional cavalry in the early period is a serious handicap, which a skillful opponent can exploit if their cavalry is not dealt with.

In the late period, the French really come into their element, with numerous elite infantry, heavy horse artillery, as well as numerous options for light and heavy cavalry. Some units, though impressive, are prohibitively expensive and limited in number, and though in some instances they will be very useful, late period France still has a large use for their regular line infantry. France also has access to volunteer revolutionary militia units which contain 350 troops per unit, and with a little experience can be incredibly cost effective, though vulnerable to cavalry.


Conclusion:

Early on, France is powerful and yet limited by its lack of cavalry. However, in the late game France is a force to be reckoned with, boasting an incredibly diverse roster with many elite troops as well as solid infantry cavalry and artillery that will be able to compete with, and usually come out on top of every other nation if used wisely.

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