wierd I do 9 civ larges and the current one I have just meet my first ai civ. almost 300 turns into game. Though 1 suicided on a minor city (kraxis), one died to wandering monsters (Tarth), and the other one it notified me had died had a vague wierd description so I dont know what killed Capitar.
Did you load an existing map from that load screen before starting a new game?
I'm starting to get to the feeling that if you a load a map in, the AI is a bit more spread out which helps, however, I've only tried it with one map (Real Big Map map, that's in the mod library), so gotta test it with more maps, but still need to finish this game, as I'm over 250 turns in, and might as well see it through