once mid game comes around , its usually been peace for me. I keep a low military. this invites attack, people attack. I build my death squad of 50 ships, with the above mentioned characteristics. A frigate with 2500 shields and 450 firepower, compared to the AI frigates of 300 shields and 120 firepower. And I send the fleet and maraud through all his systems as fast as fuel will allow. I also put on about 1000 fuel, so that I can maraud for a while, a good 3-4 systems completely dead.
Not much challenge, with everything at its most difficult, I get rich soon enough, following my stategies. Suffer no real setbacks (yes I suffered alot in the first week of playing, but tby the second week I had learned from all my mistakes etc) and now there isn't much challenge.
I am going to try modifying the game files, so that you hab/life modules cost a lot or you can't put more than a certain amount on a ship depending on the hull type. Then play a game from there. Where my ships are equal to the AI in shields/weapons. THe only difference being what weapons I choose, speed, etc what strategies i employ for those weapons, and not the amount of weapons I load on.
So we'll be on even keel in terms of firepower and shields and stuff, or Ill have to sacrifice one for the other, lots of shields = less firepower, or lots of firepower = poor shields, instead of having impenetrable shields and firepower of a dreadnought on my frigates.
I can only imagine this will make it a challenge since now I won't be able to destroy an entire empire with a 50 man fleet.
Like I said, I think the AI attacks, plans etc, is sound having read all the changes to the AI in legends and seeing it in action, it keeps you on your toes if you aren't fully prepared or can't see the future. But it just can't kill your ships.
I did a game recently where I didn't build a fleet. Only had 10 ships, AI declared on me and proceeded to kill all my gas stations. Surgically denied me fuel. But by the time my 100 man fleet comes along, because my space sports have 30 construction yards each, so I cam build such a fleet within 5 minutes, his invasion is reversed, and his empire wasted.
The whole design thing seems to be the flaw. Being able to build a starport with that amount too, so you can build a fleet so quickly.