Started up a new game of Crusade because, heck, why not? I loved II and barely touched III after release when I didn't favor it much. Played a couple times after some of the bigger expansions, but not nearly like I did 2. This though offered huge promise and I jumped right back in, but now I am really confused.
First game, I set the AI to be gifted, figuring why not since that was how I used to play. Problem was, they swarmed the universe so fast that they had 10+ colonies and I had 4. Not even long into the game, and with me constantly trying to pump out colony ships, just couldn't match their speed (or income apparently as they had 3k+ each). Ended up quitting when a spy was sent to my capitol so I had, literally 0 morale max there. No idea how to increase morale in general as it seems only one building, decently deep in tech tree, offers this, which is a killer. But fine, figure I lost and called quits and started a new game.
Learned and did normal AI. Things are going a bit smoother, though noticing AI still can get out a whole bunch more colony ships than I can (time alone takes a while, and can't afford to rush more than the first star port and colony), but its not AS bad this time. Then I go to trade and I see this....
Turn 25 in and this AI has two techs that would take me 50+ turns to research, EACH. He has 2k in his bank, a bunch of tech (even though I am 2/17 in tech) that I don't and I have none he doesn't, and he has more colonies than I do, with 2 more colony ships ready to drop down. HOW? I could barely pump out the ones I had, maybe one more if I didn't get a second survey ship, but come on, how is he doing this well at this point? 25 turns in isn't exactly a ton to get this far, or is it? Am I really just this bad now? I used to do really well when I played, this looks horrible for me.