if the AI starts out with stellar cartography, wouldn't that then make my point valid? From what I'm understanding on what you have written, is that, that tek is a given to all AI, reguardless of race(ie the humans, if they are one of the Civ AI, will have stellar cartography) while I, the human player, will always have to research it.
I think that's what your saying.
Not quite. Its just a tech that the Terrans (not necc. "Humans", as in the actual person sitting at your computer) do not start with. You'll see as you play different races and settings that sometimes you can see the stars and number of planets orbiting the stars on the little minimap to the bottom right. You just dont know what they are until you actually send a ship in the area. Blind exploration toggled off and on can even show you the other AIs spheres of influence. So, with that enabled, you can even figure out where Homeworlds of your opponents are located and avoid scouting those out first, since you know there won't be a planet for you to colonize anyhow.
The AI, to the best of my knowledge, has this "advantage" all the time. It can see the stars and number of orbiting planets, but it has no idea which are habitable or not.
I'm a newb, but i'm gonna have to disagree with you. about the comp not seeing the rescources before we do. It's been my experience that the AI see's all the map. They just have set timelimits b4 they start sending out the constructors. I've noticed this on all the games(not terribly a long game play mind u
What your probably seeing is the delay between the AI scout finding the resource and the AI building and sending a constructor as a result of it. If you dont see the scout find it, which you probably won't since it has moved on when YOU found the resource, all you see is the resulting beeline of a constructor from the AI planet to a resource, and you feel as though its cheating.