I have played the GTK version of freeciv and you can modify AI difficulty via obvious GUI menus and such.
Unfortunately, freeciv gtk requires more screen space than is available on my dell mini 9 thus forcing me to use the sdl client.
-freeciv does not start the freeciv sdl client (i do not have freeciv gtk installed, it is not a conflict.
-civclient-sdl starts freeciv, but has very limited menu options and the man file does not offer any further options.
-civserver starts the cli to run a freeciv server - this ALSO does not offer the opportunity to modify AI skill level.
-edit: ive tried looking through the config files located in all the directories synaptic tells me freeciv-sdl has files located in... i have found no entries for ai difficulty level.
does anyone have any idea how to set the AI skill level above 'novice' in the sdl version of freeciv?184.108.40.206 22:24, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
--- ANSWER: In the startmenu, click on "Start New Game", unfortunately after that you will have to edit nearly all settings "by hand", except for your own player profile.
So, in order to set the difficulty you will have to type "/easy", "/novice" (standard), "/normal" or "/hard".
Also you can alter the size of the map ("/set size 10"), change the number of AI players ("/set aifill 10") and so on.
"/help" brings up a small help page. Look up the options in the readme