I would like to start by noting that historically I am one of the biggest critics of CA's decisions. That should hopefully set the tone for what I am about to say:
You on the development and community team have done a great job.
You guys really have done some great work. These past updates have seen many things the player base has been requesting for quite some time, and its wonderful to see them added to the game as a base feature instead of having to be a select mod community thing. Unit caps in MP? Fantastic. Updated Empire? That fulfills about half the requests on this forum. Fleshed out rosters and updates to old world factions? Again, excellent and probably addresses another 1/3 of the forum requests. Its great to see support for the parts of the game that arent just DLC, and consistent FLC updates to factions to let us know that what we paid for will be made to run optimally and balanced.
Now, this doesnt make my past concerns and criticisms revoked. However I do recognize that the developers arent the ones making waves with their statements. If only you could get your PR team to stop making embarrassing decisions and publishers(Sega) to forgo EA level payment plans and you guys would really be set. But, I know you're not in control of everything. So, keep doing what you do, and doing it well.
P.S. horse drawn artillery? If only I could know who the incredibly intelligent and handsome forum poster is who brought that idea to your attention...