1, Stop making all the unique Southern generals vanguard, the south is notorious for being unsuitable for horse rearing and as a result struggles with maintaining a sizeable number of cavalry force, so why is it there are 4 unique vanguards for the Sun faction?
Huang Gai: Changed from Champion to vanguard for some unknown reason in the beta patch, he's far more suitable as a champion than a vanguard.
Gang Ning: Pirate background, led a small night time cavalry raid on the enemy camp
Sun Ren: Never led any troops but whatever
Sun Ce: Probably the only one qualified to be a vanguard
If you are looking for Southern generals with cavalry background there is, Han Dang, he's from the north who's actually known for his skills in horse riding.
TLDR: Please don't make Huang Gai a vanguard.
2, On the second issue: Record mode generals
Record mode feels tacked on, the generals in the record have their abilities removed and bodyguard slapped on to call it a day. Little was done to redefine their role on the battlefield, what we got is 3 monstrously powerful and easy to obtain cavalry unit that made battles way too easy.
1)Bring back believable general abilities, such as inspire, rally and scare.
2)Make General bodyguard smaller and weaker for the early game, through reforms and investment in skill points they get larger and more powerful, some legendary character such as Lubu is powerful from the get-go. And no, I do not mean the laughable +2/+5 melee defense per skill point skill tree that is common in the past total war games. Make investing in general combat skills a worthwhile choice, not a red herring.