While everyone has been hating on the new nomadic factions, I have actually been enjoying them. Because no matter your complaints they have one huge thing going for them: they are actually challenging on legendary. Let me explain why.
Before the hardest faction was considered to be empirius. I was curious if I was finding new factions hard because of patch changes, so I went and tried a new empirius campaign (legendary of course, why would anyone play anything less).
I've seen people complain about empirius unit roster, but the truth is that any hellenic roster rox because pikes are still unstoppable. Here you can see a few basic pikemen with sling support win despite being outnumbered by loads of roman heavy infantry:
After 30 turns I've wiped knossos, athens, sparta. Rome is crumbling with help from psuedo-allies, carthage and etruscian. I have millitary alliance with ardiaei and macedonia, aswell as loads of trade contracts. Seems unlikely I could lose this game:
Now on to the nomads. Firstly I have to admit I've mostly played messagetae, which have a much stronger unit roster than the others thanks to saki units being amazeballs. But to counter this they do seem to have a much harder starting location than the other nomads.
I actually lost my initial tries at messagetae legendary, there are 4 factions to your south who potentially gang up on you. Lost as in, actually defeated by the AI! Never before in rome 2, legendary felt like it should for once.
Now Nomads get to recruit 5 units per turn from their captial, plus can make the best light cav archers in the game from the start. Great right? well the reality is your nieghbours can do both of those things also.
non-nomad factions start with a bigger army, and can easily expand from the start and build a decent early ecconomy. because your nomad ecco sucks so much, your neighbouring nomads will be able to upkeep FAR more horse archers than you possibly can, thanks to their legendary AI hacks. So making full cav archers isn't that viable.
So your neighbours are stacking huge armies of cav archers, and since you have such limited unit roster, you have no viable counter until you tech to heavier lancers. And its likely by then you might get ganged by all the people who potentially war dec you. Plus if you do go for lancers you face real issues vs non nomad factions which tend to have alot of spears infantry.
Nomad's lack of unit diversity, diplomatic penalties, weak starting point, and neighbouring with factions which spam cav archers make them more difficult than any of the existing factions imo. Does anyone disagree?