How to Play as France
France is good for different strats.
Rebelion absolute monarchy, into constitutional monarchy, by turn seven. Keeps gb and dutch off my back. However. Gb will at some point start a war with france. I prefer constitutional over absolute or republic. Start trade with the dutch (united provinces)ю
I trade off Newfoundland for Iceland (Denmark) turn one. Will get it back later when they are taken out in the EU (Sweden usually), will respawn as rebel faction. Saves me having to deal with inuit harassment. Places me with a second launch off point for gb invasion if needed. Easier to launch idiamans to trade theaters from iceland as well.
Keep a stack in Paris to move on gb when they war me in the Americas. Move my starting spy to gb, and park next to england to see unit str. Take them out completely, when opportunity arises. Get Quebec back later, once it emerges as a minor, stall united states (emerges from gb defeat in eu), take all native outer regions. Take out us when india is under control.
Send a combined navy to india and lock down all trade ports and navy production with maratha. Trade with mughal, until they are wiped out. Locking down any new ports that maratha spawns or takes over. No army needed yet. Just initial navy to take out marathas starting navy.. And indiamans to park in the ports once maratha navy threat is destroyed. Once locked down. There is no naval threat from anyone in the indian theater.
Sloop lock pirate ports if they start getting out of hand. No pirate land units will push you out from the starting pirate islands harbors. Sometimes pirates are good for controlling gb and us harassment. Have to juggle this however.
Once gb is defeated.. Start sending armies (two full, one small, is usually good enough) to India. Unless the dutch (up) start advancing me (Sometimes happens when they get flanders) always keep a presence at Paris for this.
Once India controlled.. Send armies to Americas.
Once Americas controlled.. Focus down Europe.
This is doing a complete world domination.. All regions play through. All this is not necessary if you follow the campaign objectives though.
Early alliances with Wuttemburg and Westphalia can be very helpful, but can also lead to wars you may not want to be in. Much of which depends on what the dutch or austria do. And going full eu war, can get pretty scary without having other theaters making money for you. Especially early game. Easier if you stay absolute monarchy and focus Europe though.
France is very fun to play around with. You’ll have a good time. Even if it takes a couple tries. France is best played when flexible.
All the best.