I think there is some serious selective sight going on here. Issues with the intelligence of the GalCiv AI have been mentioned in numerous threads; some examples:
The AI considers a races strengths based on a function that doesn’t take into account technology. An AI with 100 ships completely incapable of harming the 10 ships someone else has will go to war anyhow and watch it’s entire fleet gets annihilated.
The AI sends in lone transports on a regular basis, which are then destroyed at the cost of god knows how many people.
The AI attempts to build bases in strange locations while at war, which are then handily destroyed by the players fleet that is sometimes one or two moves away.
The AI tech values are based on something other then “cost of tech” to such a degree that it will consider trades for a players level 8-9 tech for it’s own level 1-2 tech to be “fair” and anything beneath that to be a ripoff.
GalCiv II looks like it has good AI because the system is near impenetrable. The economic/construction system is complex enough that you can easily be hamstringing yourself and not realize it, as such you will fall behind an AI capable of using it. Once you learn how the game actually works the AI suddenly becomes fairly trivial.
As for my simple win:
Pick whatever galaxy, whatever opponents.
Make your race +50 Military, +50 Research, +10 Economy or something close, I can’t remember how much that costs.
Get your starting techs to have Xeno Labs, Stellar Cartography, and as close to lasers I as possible.
Start the game. On planets build Starport, then Factory, Research, Economy, repeat. You should have an equal division of all three building types on all colonies. Just alternate. Colonize anything you can. Early on, just build colony ships.
Research to Lasers I. Once you have it, build a medium hull ship with one laser on it. Set all your colonies to build these.
Set research to the blue line that leads to technological victory.
Keep ending turns until you win the game.
I never established trade routes, built bases, or really traded with the AI. Because of it’s analysis of fleet strength, my massive fleet of crap was able to keep them at the “friendly” or above level for the duration of the game while I researched to tech victory, which took 6 game years.
I’m not saying MoO II’s AI was better at all; I’m saying it’s impossible to tell, they’re both pretty hamstring in various areas.