Around the middle of the game, I do see the player often skyrocketing past the player in capability.
I think the AI needs stronger bonuses, and they should react dynamically.
By dynamically, I mean, let's say the power score between the player and the top AI:
- Start of game, AI has X bonus (based on difficulty level)
- Let's say then if by turn A (turn A should be adjusted for map size) AND player >= top AI points, then AI should get 2X bonus. This should be an "if" statement that is checked every turn after A
- Now if turn by turn B (again adjusted for map size), and player is say, 2x score of top AI, then all AI should get 3x bonus
- This should scale progressively so that the player is challenged more and more as the game goes by
- Perhaps at the top difficulty, you could even have a point where the AI gets a super bonus
The problem I see right now is that the game is challenging most at the start. Higher difficulty levels make the early to mid game harder and push back the point where you overtake the AI, but don't make the end game harder.
The AI needs bigger bonuses as the game goes on to compensate.