Here's what I would want:
The AI homeworld attacks to increase their offense...at the cost of their defense.
Because the mechanics I hear right now do indeed increase offense, but also increase defense. I will say this to the end of time: Increasing defenses on the AI homeworlds will increase the single most infuriating and unfun thing of ai war FOR ALL TIME:
That stalemate of "I can't crack the ai, but I'm not dying. But as the AI keeps increasing their defenses, eventually, eventually, it will spill over to offense, and then I die."
I'm serious, it is this concept for why I don't get those "You have lost" screens. There are no sudden "Wow! That was a great counter blitz! I wasn't expecting that response." It is continuely "They have made a massive shield. I can't pierce it. Now they will make the shield larger, until they bash me with it and despite me having a sword I can't pierce it and the enemy won't stop hiding under it."
One thing that makes for exciting games of any sort is fluidity. That feeling of as time goes on the game gets faster, more high paced, the stakes higher. This can be seen in sports during the last few minutes. Seen in strategy games where resources dry up and the factions fight hard to get the remaining resources.
One thing AI war severely lacks as the game moves on is fluidity. Early on, the game is fluid. Player fleets can move and wreck havoc frequently. But the AI can easily wreck havoc and take worlds and end games as well. It is very high adrenaline. But once mid game comes along the player MUST be cautious. The fleet balls form. The choke worlds occur. The player gives single strikes every once in a while. Once end game comes along. It is grindy. The ai attacks force players to hunker down, and strike out rarely. The AI can't strike and end the game quickly either. It must slog through the player planets in a horde if it breaks the outer shell.
The homeworld attacks already feels like a great gamble: If you fail them, then at best the player flees with most of the fleet, and during the many minutes the homeworld is on alert it is pumping out V's like no tomorrow. Then the player proceeds with at least 30 minutes of rebuilding. At worst, the player loses his fleet, and it takes over an hour, and in the meanwhile the homeworld has rebuilt its fleet or gotten stronger even, while the ai empire has strengthened everywhere else.
So what I want, desperately, is for the AI homeworld to somehow return to the game's start of fluidity.
So for example, if with a massive human attack the AI begins to spawn additional units, ok, that's fine. But what I want is that if the human fleet leaves, the AI fleet, both spawned units and guards, is to counterattack directly. All of the spawned units must be aggressive, or you boost defense (they should be zombies for this reason). To encourage fluidity, I'd encourage half of the current guards to attack as well. This would restore fluidity. You'd enable the "2 minute drill" to become a part of the AI war dynamic.
It doesn't have to be the above suggestion, but what I desperately do want is something to make it so that when the ai homeworld is attacked, that something, something, is done to prevent the greatest weakness, in my opinion, of the game to not occur. That unfun stalemate. I would rather have the ai counter attack with units that would be on defense. Maybe make it so that all the border ai worlds use their forces to attack? Somthing involving a desperate counter attack for a short term defense for a mid term lost for the AI. That way, that fluidity that makes the beginning of the game so fun can return. Having the AI simply throw more units, without them paying in some way, just makes it unfun. As to the AI not playing fair? They already don't, spawning several cap fulls of V's.