What level are you playing on, and how is the aggression set? I play on Lieutenant
with average aggression. No matter what, an AI is limited, and you should be able to
figure out exploits against her fairly soon. Norfolk is one, where she never moves in
as the CSA right away and I can usually send enough troops to hold it.
PBEM is pretty easy, all you do is share .hst files with whoever is playing as the host
for the game. Some take turns being the host though. The .hst files are found in your
saved game folder
Athena is one of the best AI's I've come across in computer gaming, so my hat is
still off to the devs. I had to tweak the settings to get where I have a challenging game
and still enjoy playing against the computer. Never have the same game twice.
"Ludus non nisi sanguineus"