Um, you all seem to forget that an AI has to be able to play the game too.
One of the criticisms I have about GC2 is that the AI (no offence intended Brad) mostly putzed about, never really taking advantage of a good start.
They basically eat up the galactic real estate and resources while you're trying to pull off a balancing act with economy, research and expansion. The rest of the game you're trying to wrest it from their control.
And well, holy mentats, Batman, they came up with some crazy approaches to competing with the humans.
AI 8? Build ships. Build moooore ships. Never mind that they only have 8HP base, just build lots of X302s and watch them explode gloriously. Like, honestly, I would start this AI out with battlecruiser hulls and nothing else just to shut it up.
I tried to rein AI 8 in a bit with my mod because of the ship spam. Which is what it is, spam. It's a hopeless tactic which gives the AI a false sense of superiority, because when I do get into a war with AI 8, those X302s are going to be dusted so fast you won't even have a chance to say 'Indeed.'
Ships cost maintenance. If you're not using them, they're slowing your economy down, and don't even get me started on how the AI ran its economy into the ground in GC2. Repeatedly.
If the AI needs ages so that it can do the appropriate stuff at the appropriate time, then maybe they're not such a bad idea.
Remember, this is an alpha. Figuring out if something works is more important than figuring out if strategy X is going to work when the game is released. Like, it's still an alpha, so nothing is set in stone. Maybe a better way to rein in the AI's self-destructive tendencies will emerge. Don't get hung up on details like not being able to beeline.
Besides, one of the drawbacks of being able to beeline is that it produces predictable games where either the player makes it to that tech, or they don't.