no, you phrased the question correctly, we were just theorising
first off, 9 is the answer, it is totally possible to have to face off against 9 AI's at once, if the objective is to do so. if you want to face and win against 9 ai, you have to be careful to be in a position to win. it usually takes a while for empires to die, anyway
you asked what is the most ai faced at once, it really depends on the size of the map, ive played against 5 other AI, at once, but you often hear of other players facing off against 9 AI unfairs on huge maps.
we were simply saying that all sorts of people have played against different numbers of AI, but to answer the question quickly, the most you can vs AT ONCE is 9, no matter if you win, lose or whatever.
if you want stories... maybe you should ask