There's a lot of AI out there that can fairly easily be reduced to a balance sheet of + and - items for things like attitude and decision making. Once you learn what goes in what column, gaming the AI becomes reasonably straightforward. Even some of the better games out there, like Pandora:First Contact, which has had some fantastic AI work done on it (shout out to Ail / Alexander Stumpp!) and plays quite well, falls into this category.
GalCiv2 is the only game I've ever played - and I've played many, and a lot of GalCiv2 while I was helping with the community mod - that doesn't feel like the AI is playing off one or two balance sheets. I don't know what kind of algorithms are being evaluated under the covers, but it is a quite satisfying opponent that's hard to "cheese" (as Brad would probably say).
So hearing Brad say (in the Crusade teaser post, I think) that the GalCiv3 AI has now eclipsed GalCiv2 AI, makes me smile.