While waiting for the new, all issues resolving patch, it is a good opportunity to fill the time with some general considerations.
Do you use any house rules (handicaps) which make the game more challenging or make it feel more "realistic" ?
The only one I came accross by now was to play colonial cards only on areas adjacent to an area where I have a unit or structure, or adjacent to a sea tile where a fleet of mine is positioned.
So if I decide to send Colonial Merchants to let's say the Comoros, I have to send a trade fleet there first, which stays for a round, and then remains in the adjacent Maritime Trade Zone (this Maritime Trade Zone must be occupied anyway in order to profit from the merchants' financial returns, mustn't it ?). This somehow simulates the time which passes between taking a decision and seeing it executed.
In the two short campaigns (Prussia until 1851, Austria until 1855) I played before being upset by bugs and issues, I found that a war against a minor nation (Hanover, Holstein, Serbia, Montenegro and the like) is very easy. Especially if you send in most of your army. The other major nations just sit and watch. And mobilizing (moving) all your troops doesn't seem to have any real impact on the economy. Being at peace and at war doesn't make a difference concerning the costs of maintenance of the army.
Do you have any proposals how to make waging a war more costly concerning finances and contentment of the population ? Or does war weariness appear anyway later in the game, in nations which grant more possibilities of participation to their population ?
And how to simulate the other major nations' interest in a balance of power ?
Below the options I play with. These options are a matter of taste, of course.
Cutting down the number of units or structures I am able to build, is a kind of handicap I dislike. Why not build 20 fields or mines if I have 20 ressources in my territory ? I won't use the extended pool to build a silly army of guard corps. But maybe I will decide to build a lot of fortresses, more than a restricted pool allows. Or maybe not. I will know when the time comes, but I want to decide myself.
"Historical" SOI and Claims also restrict the game too mechanically, in my eyes. It is a game after all, no simulation. I want freedom, with some handicaps which make it difficult, but not impossible, to re-shape the map.