Actually, no. The new AI is not very smart. It can only expand against those that do not care. It might be great on a big map, but on a small map it is useless. It breaks up it forces, and loses every time.
The old AI was dumb, but was a brute force approach. It put all it's men in a space an attacked the weakest link. That made a difference against humans. The new AI doesn't ever make a difference. The new AI goes from 2 to 4 guys. Maybe 2 to 7 with a card. Not enough to be useful in an attack.
To beat the new AI, all you do is add a guy here and there and then take it out country by country. The Old AI would randomly screw you with that approach. Again, a difference.
The Old AI used to affect the outcome. With the new AI, I have never seen it happen.
I totally agree. While the new AI using cards other than reinforcement is nice, the old AI still proved to be more of a challenge. Like you said, to beat the new AI, all you need to do is put small armies on each border and push it back. The old AI would dump its entire income on one space and begin a rampage that could be very unpredictable and sometimes take a long time to kill.