I feel like the game is missing something vital. Historical strength of nations. What I mean by this is that power is purely calculated by income and income by how many provinces a civ owns. By adding these starting buffs and debuffs. Here's how they would work:
Starting buffs and debuffs can be removed by decisions in events or just by time passing. Eexample: Napoleon's France could get a starting buff to soldier attack and defence so they can realistically take on a few countries in Europe easier. They start with the buff in the Napoleonic wars start date and lose it when it's 1821.