A CEO asking and listening to his customers, who wouda thunk it possible, God i wish i could have come and worked for you.
Dispite your great lead in, not sure.. is this the kind of thing you want a report/comment on?
* Ai is typically aggressive declaring war early, probably a little too soon or not accounting for my production/research ability. Seemed to judge me mostly on mil power. Once war started, was "relatively" easy to totally shift to a military footing and win through attrition by out producing the AI.
* AI fleet management
= Too often AI mixes tiny/small (slow) in with med and large ships resulting in a huge speed hit. The fleet without the smalls was powerful enough without the addition of a tiny/small. > e.g. saw a fleet of 4 M4 frigates add a single tiny, really did nothing for fire power and slowed the fleet form 6 to 2.
= Slow to react in countering my weapon specialization. e.g. if i had beams, and it was doing missile, first encounters the AI typically had zero to little shields. As the war dragged on it would increase shields (or counter to what i was using) BUT did so slowly and would continue to beef up his first choice (matched his weapon). Don't know if this is possible but when i trade with the AI i take not of his weapon techs, could the AI who is planning on going to war with me not do something similar?
= This one was a really bad AI move: Several times we were nose to nose with a high power AI fleet. I was out matched and the AI could have easily killed me (but would have taken losses). Instead of attacking, he move off and disbanded his fleet allowing me to move in and kill the ships one at a time in a single hex.