Geez, that's a retardedly high advantage, lol. Personally I hate cheating AI's, I'd rather AI's just get smarter.
What I don't understand is why at Hard difficulty or above... the AI does not use:
1) Ultimate Ship/Starbase Abilities - I have never seen the AI use Missile Barrage on a lev 10 Marza or detonate a TEC Starbase right before it died to wipe out my fleet... this is HUGE! Frankly this crap should be enabled on Hard+. This would help SO much... I have literally fought a Hard AI fleet that had three level 10 Marzas... at the time I encountered them I didn't have a single Kortul/Marauder... I should have been 100% screwed if they had just activated Missile Barrage all at once. Instead my carriers just wiped the floor with them.
2) Super Weapons. Personally? I'd like to see this, although it'd be hard to make the AI use the P.S. aspects of the Kostura Cannon effectively... infact, it'd be hard for the AI to use that one effectively at all - it takes more finesse than just randomly firing it off like the other two... but it'd be better than nothing.
These two adjustments would be huge in making the game more difficult, honestly. I mean for the AI to not utilize any of the most powerful abilities they can obtain? That's just retarded. Fairly often in this game when I'm fighting several opponents on hard and they finally gang up on me - the only reason I win is because the AI doesn't use a single ultimate. And if I ever tech up a super weapon? It's game over... which sucks... imo the AI should tech up their SW and we should get to have a cataclysmic show down that leaves half the galaxy in ruin, damnit! It'd be nice to actually lose this game once and have it not involve an opponent that just gets 3x the speed/resources that I do (save you speech Sanchez, I'm aware of multiplayer ).
Instead we get AI's that are better at cheating and Super-Pirates that have been chasing the Vasari for 10,000 years. I really feel like IC dropped the ball on this expansion.