People need to stop saying that the French got nerfed (Hulk notwithstanding – a much needed balance change). The changes to spearmen auto-bracing and increased damage to cavalry are global changes that affect all civilizations. Coupled to the nerfs to horseman, civilizations like the French and Rus that have access to early knights are still stronger than civs that don’t.
Yes, now the French players need to be less mindless with their auto-healing knights but there is no comparable counter play for non-early knight civs (until castle with crossbows) . If Delhi sends horseman, the BUFFED French spearmen are going to do MORE than the Delhi buffed spearmen (on account of the terribly weak horseman). The issue isn’t (just) that spearmen are weak, its that early knight civs are really strong because of the knights. Changing units all civs have does nothing to address that fact.