So for grins, I created a “perfect hex” map using these coordinates:
[ [0,0],[-11.99,0],[11.99,0],[-5.995,10.39],[5.995,10.39],[-5.995,-10.39],[5.995,-10.39] ]
I selected the middle position with 6 twin-ring AI empires circling me. Used default params for turn-based game, and then force-started to get the game going.
I tried the “Donald Trump” strategy (!) - attack anyone and anytime, plus focused on Banking & Terra for research, with periodic switches to other techs depending on what the Experimentation gods brought me. I did not trade with the AI (who rapidly outpaced me in tech because they could trade among each other) and rapidly went to “Enemy -8” in my relations with them.
I hit a peak of 54 stars … and I stayed up there for a surprisingly long time, as the AI was pretty passive even when it had overwhelming ships/weapons. There seemed to be a point where it decided even the HULK could be SMASHED (!) … so several of 'em came after me at the same time - the final map is below and I perished at turn 552.
I know improving the AI is on Jay’s todo list, which I realize is a non-trivial problem … but at least in this extreme case, they should have been more aggressive and kicked my big fat green a** a lot sooner!