Barbarians currently seem at an disadvantage: When you play Greenland, what you need most from the very beginning are tree choppers - and they need axes. Unfortunately young Barbarian soldiers also need those same axes. To make things worse, the axes are produced in an axe factory, an enhanced building, that you cannot readily build but must upgrade from a smithy. Since we have auto-seeding trees now, the demand for lumberjacks (and therefore axes) is permanent, since you must leave some, to prevent the trees from invading your settling ground.
No other tribe has this problem.
I would rather see the axe for soldiers and the axe for lumberjacks be two different things. (i. e. a new ware created) and the lumberjacks's tool produced at the smithy together with all the rest of the tools. As for names, the lumberjack could use a hatchet (German: Beil) while the axe could remain the barbarian's basic soldier's weapon.
I understand that most - maybe all- of this can be configured in the conf files, but I wonder whether the distribution should not be modified accordingly from the start, to make playing widelands a more enjoyable experience for newcomers.