Finally was able to finish a my first Suicidal, too; on DL 1.5 w Yor/ Gigantic/ all uncommon/ tech rate normal, with all AI opponents and 3 smaller races.
As it turned out later there were only 5 unhabited extra planets besides the ones in the homesystems, which caused not a a colony rush at all. Needless to say I didn´t manage to grasp one of these, so it became just like homesytem vs homesystem...
The sheer distance between the starsystems affected that game pretty much, the AI did seldomly manage to go succussfully to war, or conquering planets, he did more concentrate on researching and insanely raising military in excess.
Initially, I thought that it be a nice game for just that econ-bonus the AI had, this would enable me to suck even more money from them (through techtrade) unlike my previous games (where the AI can be virtually deployed of all his money...) I was wrong.
The AI did develop techs and military faster then anything imaginable, and I had to stop multiple times and read through tips'n'tactics of my KzintiComrades just to be able to survive, hiding defensively under the SCC until my diplo was, at least, a bit developed....
However, after I got Esp Level high I could get a look on my opponents homeplanets, and there the whole scenario became unfolded:
All AI had bonus-tiles at their hands (I will skip the ones for food, influence or morale, as the AI didn´t use them at all); nevertheless look at that:
Thalan: Prod +100
Drath: Prod +100
Toria: Prod +200; Res +100
Korx: Prod +100: Res +400
Drengin: Prod +700
Humans: Res +800
Arcean: Res +700; Prod +800
Altarian: Res: +700; Prod +1000
And me got nothing...0.
Hell, there are total of 20-25 habitable planets w 6 Precursor tiles and alot of other stuff, too, how great are the chances for such a setup?
It really became ridiculuous, Arceans Hammer II (a small PQ4) had all tiles w bonuses, it was 150% better on Prod/ Res then their fully developed homeplanet.
Now, this is my guess when people accuse the AI of cheating in the suicidal level - well, he does not, he apparently just has more luck then the player... all of them AI´s lol