I don't know if this has been adressed before but in my latest game I noticed something odd...
I played a medium random map vs. 2 hard AIs and those pirates really pissed me off.
So right after their last attack I payed them a visit with 5 almost fully upgraded cap-ships to whipe out their base - it was an easy job yet it took them quite a while...
I sent them with focus fire from cannon to cannon and then finally to attack the base itself.
I didn't pay much attention while fighting off the AI with my other fleet I suddenly heard the pirates warning.
then I looked at the pirate world which was completely whiped out with only 10% health left on the asteroid...
but then it happened - "pirate raiders have launched"....
I said - "uhm... wtf? how? where?" - then I saw them coming:
about 20 ships "jumping" in out of nowhere to the pirate base.
there was no phase lane, no other star and nothing
left on the pirate base.
where the heck did those ships came from?
they were no match for my caps but isn't that cheating just to spawn some ships every 15 minutes to attack someone?
why have a pirate base anyway when those ships just "pop up"?
I thought pirates where just another AI with some limitations in expansion and research.