During testing my friends and I noticed that it is easy to come maddeningly close to the "point of no return", where your swarm starts to grow faster than the enemy can destroy them. But to actually get there, the only way I found is with a specific expansion strategy and - crucially - careful use of the mine you can make with the starting flower to thin out the numbers of enemy seedlings before the first major attack. If you don't do this, the enemy will gather up to 200 seedlings and you will lose an asteroid and fail to destroy their swarm, which basically means the game is over. It's up to the player to figure out the best way of reducing their numbers in order to survive the initial attack.
Regarding the various AI parameters you can specify in the game, I also found they don't have a particularly dramatic effect. I think if you set extreme values, you do start to see some interesting things. For example if you set minimum number of seeds in the empire, and minimum number per asteroid, battlesavvy and cowardice to zero... you end up with an AI that is less defensive and more likely to throw everything at colonising the galaxy and attacking the player.
At some point I will do some very careful tests to try to observe exact change in behaviour from each parameter. For now I just sort of guess. :>
The supplemental AI in Day & Night has nothing to do with those commands though. The default AI is only really used for colonising at the start, and for generating minor skirmishes to keep the player busy in between sunsets. You're right that it's unique to the level - the calculation of the gather point would not work properly on any other level, for example. However, I think if you can work out a good gather-point algorithim for the map you are making, you could probably transport the AI code over and use it.
Good AI is hard to program, by the way. Especially when you can't check whether a given asteroid or empire owns any laser mines. It's difficult to figure out a good way for the AI to decide whether or not to attack, and where to attack, when there are such unknown factors you have to account for. In Day & Night the AI will attack only if it has more seeds than the player. If the player has slightly more seeds, but not by much, the AI picks a random player asteroid and attacks that instead of the frontline. In those situations, it looks like the AI was bluffing :>
Thanks for the feedback dude. I think the next map I make will not be quite so hard... but since I've committed to this one now I guess I will wait and see if anyone completes it :>