I'm digging how they act in the latest patch, though. The AI acts much different and is better tactically. I'm seeing strategic alliances, I'm seeing stategic mission offerings, I'm actually seeing counter units brought on to the field, I'm seeing the AI move in a strategic way (not the disorganized spread in all directions way), I'm seeing alot of turrets with overlapping fields of fire.
In other ways, this has made it easier to beat. For example, now that they value alliances and build up political tensions, it is very easy to manipulate them into a war against each other and attack one of them (preferrably the one with the biggest military) in a lightly protected area whilest they are fighting each other. However, I would not trade this back. I have way more fun doing all that and it was an aspect of the game sorely missed before.
I am suprised by the effective use of turrets, as well. they lay so many of them in overlapping arcs that I cant take them out without a significant loss in military. I can usually work my way in and take the planet, but I have to leave their defenses alone. I might have to use the anti-module ship .
All in all, if they keep going in this direction, I'll be happy. If it stays the way it is, I'm okay with that too (I believe it was said AI would not be majorly messed with, but I could be wrong).