To what extent does Crusade's AI cheat?

Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm curious to know how much does the AI cheat on the highest difficulty of the Crusade expansion.

I know, for comparison, that Civ VI's AI on deity starts with a ridiculous advantage (3 settlers and 5 warriors) and gets multiple bonuses to its cities. I remember reading years ago about GalCiv II and how adding extra levels of difficulty unlocked more complex algorithms that the AI could use to calculate its actions. I understand that there must be some bonuses to the AI in order to stay competitive against the player on higher difficulty levels, but it doesn't feel fair.

My question is, where does Crusade stand? It feels closer to GalCiv II than ever but probably cheats too right?