Ohhhhhh. Huh. I actually haven't fought a real war yet in several dozen hours of play. There was never any need.
AND THE AI IS GENERALLY NOT SMART ENOUGH TO QUICKLY REPLACE THE SHIPYARDS THAT THEY LOSE.
Umm. Care to explain just how you might know the second, given the first?
Here's my challenge for you sir. Play an immense map, Uncommon for ALL planet and resource choices. No pirates, very slow tech, slow game pace. Have at least 10 AI's and some minors.
Also, just for me, have one of the Custom AI"s you make be: patriotic, synthetic, focused on expansion, tech, military as it's first three; Diplomacy is dead last. Malevolent ideology. Traits shoud be Aggressive, Cruel, Expansionist, and Xenophobic.
Give them a 16 quality homeworld.
For points, please do the following:
-2 to Fertile, Popular, traders, farmers, Agile and Likeable. No one likes them, they don't need food or nookie, and don't move so fast.
You should now have 17 points to spend.
+2: Productive, Clever, Economical, Observant, Fast, Organized, Dense, Tough
And be sure you don't gimp them. Give them the Yor Tech tree.
The only thing they won't have is all my ship plans. Oh, you didn't know that? Yeah, the AI will use Human designed ships if they are a match for it. Silly AI, learning from human designers.
Seriously man, you are shot gunning a ton of thoughts but you can't really say you've played unless you allow yourself to play a game where you actually DO have to think and plan and make strategic decisions. For having never even been in a war, you have a lot to say about how things should work. Is every idea in your head bad? No, I didn't say that. Really though, you might find that some other things could be, should be and are more important than things that you repeatedly try to cry about.
I've come to believe you are just a Troll and I figure this will fall on deaf eyes again. If you are sincere, the I beg you, give this a try. Make your theories meet practice.
You go ahead and try to reach all their starbases from your limited range and small planet base. Re-learn the WWII lessons of island hopping as you slowing drive toward their homeworld, if you can find it. Meanwhile, the AI, while making enough mistakes that will allow you to win, will also make you read and react to what they do. And if Gifted ends up being to easy, then try the same thing and take it up one notch. Try it. You might like it.