Has the AI forgotton how to expand an empire now?
Every game I've started so far, I end up with 4-5 cities within the first 100-200 turns (which is VERY good game design, imo). However, I would expect something similar from AI players...at least a few of them....but nothing. They've all got 1-2 cities. I'm playing on challenging with challenging AI so I just expect them to be...you know...a little more challenging.
That said, I do sacrifice my military production in the early game, building only enough to defend my extreme borders. Perhaps the AI is packing on the military buildup as an alternative, BUT if that's the case, it sure doesn't show in the faction power UI. I'm doubling any other two AI.
To conclude, I think SD is really going the right way with this. The AI just has to pull up their socks a little so that they have comparibly sized empires being built.