No, this isn't anything new. You're just in a rough spot that we all go though where luck (not in-game calculated luck) just hates you.
The lowest a noble will hit for, without Vasco's Scepter, is 20 and the highest is 35. So unless you hit 25+ on each noble hit, plus one noble getting at least 26 to get the loyalty below 0, you're going to need to send 5 nobles to conquer the village.
that doesnt really matter it's all on luck, i did it the other day...threw me off since i sent 5 nobles to gaurantee cap. im not sure what the odds are, it doesnt happen often but it does happen. your first noble can take a village down to 65, the next one down to 30, the last one has a possible hit of -5 but you only need -1.