I think we have the balance in Goliath set up pretty well, but it seriously took forever, and that was only with 4 races:
First you have to make sure that no unit or upgrade is too OP, and that EVERYTHING can be countered.
Then I would set up an 8 player map with 3 CPU players per side with 2 sides. Make sure they’re mirrored and have the same access to resources, put yourself on one of the sides so that side will be yellow and so the game will be easier to watch, leave one slot open so that it’s even, then kill yourself as soon as the game starts and watch them go at it! It’s actually pretty fun.
I seriously don’t even know how many times I’ve done this, 200 maybe? =D
If they’re balanced pretty well, a game like that can go for an hour and a half easy.
You can also catch the ships or AI doing anything weird which can really throw things off. For instance, the Kushan were totally butch because, as the game was originally set up, enemy cap ships would shoot at the drones instead of the drone frigate itself. It doesn’t sound like much, but a couple of shots from a battlecruiser being wasted makes a huge difference.