Sometimes when i start a game, the AI will attack me and defeat me on the first turn. I am unsure if this is ment to be the case but so much ouch has been had :D.
Noted! Does it attack you immediately, or when you send out your fleet?
Sometimes immidiately. Most of the time its after i send a fleet out, but then the AI will begin to attack me in overhelming numbers preventing me from doing anything :P
The AI is indeed very vicious. It usually sends out huge ships immediately, and I just had a game on a small map where the AI went crazy. There were four factions/cities including mine. The faction at the top, a decent way into the game, just conquered all of the other cities (except my own) in rapid succession. Upon reaching the one it conquered last, I discovered it had a HUGE flagship with very good armor. I did eventually win the game, though.