Helper AI that saves from micromanagement completely if you so wish. The game may be shallow, its replayability none existent, its ai retarded but for the few games that i do play i am never working or bored. And its not most of those things. Also lets a new player ease into the game by letting the ai work on the parts he doesn't know yet. Ironically it is the weakness of the ai both helper and opponent that most limits the depth and replayability of this game.
The easiest way to win on hardest level is to automate everything except ship production, research and treaties. Stay at peace with everyone near you at all costs until you command overwhelming forces. Never going to war through a whole game is very possible. Trade tech for money. Spend excess money on tech bursts. Colonize faster than the ai and you will win.