Every genre of games shares one internal problem amongst itself. In grand strategy games, this would be boiling down a lot of things to plain numbers. However, Vic 3 developers are keen on making this impossible via other in-game mechanics.
WhenThere will waging war in Victoria 3, it must be mentioned that numbers are not the main driving force of victory. While they certainly help, a lot of other factors come into play. Just because one General might command 100 Battalions while the other side’s General might only command 20 does not mean every battle outcome on this Front is predetermined.
A single Front can cover a large stretch of land and just because a General with 100 Battalions is “on a Front” does not mean they travel with 100,000 individuals in their encampment; those Battalions are considered to be spread out, simultaneously planning their next advance while intercepting enemy advances, and as such the force size each side in the battle can bring to bear may vary.
Furthermore, Battalions under the command of other friendly Generals on the same Front may be temporarily borrowed for a certain battle, and even Battalions without mobilized Generals, considered part of the region’s Garrison, can be used to defend against incursions. However, Battalions not under the direct command of the General in charge of the battle do not gain the benefit of his Traits.
This variable sizing of battles, particularly when combined with mobilization costs, counteracts the otherwise dominant strategy of “doomstacking” and makes wars feel more like a tug-of-war than a race. Each side can choose to either try to gain a marginal advantage over the other on the cheap or spare no expense to increase their chances for an expedient victory, with any position on this spectrum being a valid option in different situations.