Slight feedback delay due to 1.8 issues freezing my game....200 turns in so far.
Huge-antic galaxy (which I stole from you), me +11 ai. Genius difficulty.
I'm no modder, so all these are just gameplay observations. Forgive me if my comments have an easy answer related to modding that I'm unaware of
1) The engine tweak definitely works. But perhaps too well. While 3 engines on a ship is good, it's a bit of overkill on a lot of ships that could do fine with 2 engines and more other stuff. Putting them on scouts and colony and survey ships is great. But a medium ship with 3 engines and an attack value of 4 isn't so useful... The ai definitely uses them more, but it loads up almost too much now at the expense of other things. As a human I can redesign my ships around that issue, but the Ai can't.
2) There seems to be a reluctance on the part of the Ai to research larger hull sizes. I'm on turn 200, and I have encountered 7 Ai. None of which has researched ship hulls above small. A couple of these had 2-3 planets due to bad start position, but the rest have 5-8. They should have at least medium by turn 200. Curiously in the trade window, they seem to have a lot of high level tech in general (normal for genius) so I'm not sure why they are averse to hull sizes.
3) The Ai seems reluctant to use range modules now. I realize engine space has to come from somewhere, but still....as a human, I can build starbase bridges to extend range. The Ai isn't so smart in that regard, so their ships not having range is a handicap really. Also, having more aggressive colonization is fine, but if the ships don't have the range to colonize in the first place, it's an issue.
4) The ideology points was a great idea. But it gets OP really fast, especially mid game when you get a lot of planets in combo with ideology buildings. You should cut the production to .5 or .3.
5) Starbases are definitely getting maxed out, which is good. But the Ai is wasting a lot of resources putting 8-10 defense modules on each economic and mining starbase. Seems a more balanced approach might be called for.
I have yet to see an Ai invasion fleet so I can't say about transports. The 3 empires I've taken over so far have all been small and the war ended fast.
Yep, I just took Sleeping Eudrao T37 as a test and since I need more planets to have a chance at Godlike. All 17 improvements were destroyed! This is quite the nuisance! Is anyone else having this problem with 1.8.
I've taken many planets now, and the improvements are destroyed on all of them when using conventional warfare. I have noticed that info warfare now costs 400 (not sure if that was the mod or 1.8's doing), but I haven't used it yet to see if it keeps buildings.