I'll preface this by saying that all experiences described by me will be from the perspective of the game being on Very Hard difficulty, as I play exclusively on that in both Game 1 and 2, so remember that when you want to bring up counterpoints of your own experiences if you don't play on Very Hard at least.
I decided I wanted to play Bretonnia again as it was my favorite game 1 race.
After playing 4 games to about 50 turns in ME as Bretonnia, I have noticed some consistent issues that the faction has in game 2 that it did not have in game 1.
It's really one problem with a number of possible contributing issues.
That main issue is that the Bretonnian factions get destroyed very easily and quickly. If you haven't noticed yet, Game 2 makes the AI far more aggressive than it was in game 1.
In all of my games, 1 or more Bretonnian subfaction was destroyed before I ever even was able to research the confederation tech for it. In 3 of those games Carcassonne was destroyed, not only depriving the player of the confederation, but also a powerful LL.
Now many people may not consider this a problem, as the Empire almost always loses a few of it's counties before it can confederate.
The difference here is 2 fold. One, the Empire, and well...All other factions can just confederate whenever, and does not need to research specific 6 turn researches to be able to confederate. Secondly, the Empire loses access to no LLs if they lose any sub-factions. and almost no other faction has a subfaction with an LL that starts in a precarious enough spot that it will get wiped out in under 30 turns.
To add insult to injury, if one of the factions is destroyed before you can confederate with them, you still have to spend 6 turns to research the ability to confederate with them to get down the tree, and the only thing you get out of it is 30 chivalry. This feels really bad considering how often it happens.
In my last game i watched a full stack beastmen army come from Estallia (it was new as it was Kazarak and I had just killed him ~10 truns earlier) and attack Carcassonne castle with the enchantress in it with a full stack army. Kazarak razed the castle in one turn with no siege.
This points a light at a few possible reasons for this. One is that the Bretonnian AI is unable to manage and properly crate effective armies. Two is that they are incapable of being able to properly create an economy to allow for better units, and/or buildings. Three could be that low tier Bretonnian armies are super undervalued by Auto resolve. Four could be that game one was never balanced around the AI being this aggressive.
I never had any of these issues over many Bret playthroughs in game one because the AI was very passive in game one. Even when factions were at war they would usually just sit in their towns and wait for the other faction to move first.
There are a few easy ways to fix this issue imo. One is to give Carcassonne and Bordeleaux at least a tier 1 garrison when they are AI controlled. Alternately adjust their starting units or even make the Bretonnian AI better at upgrading it's armies.
TLDR: If you are going to make us do research chains in order to confederate with the subfactions, that give no other benefit, they need to be able to stay alive until we can actually finish.
Playing Bretonnia feels really bad because of this right now though.