If you haven't done so already, you may want to read this article about the Art of Freeciv:http://freeciv.wikia.com/wiki/The_Art_of_Freeciv_2.1
Please do not scoff and think that you won't learn anything from it. Even seasoned players occasionally go back to re-reading it because they easily forget about certain aspects (especially when focusing on perfecting other aspects
Anyhow, Davide makes a good point about practicing. You will undoubtedly develop a winning strategy against Bots while playing offline. Most people do before venturing into the world of playing against humans. That being said, people are far more cunning and deadlier than the AI. Sometimes you will learn more playing against experienced players in a 2-3 hour long match online, than you would on any GT/LT server over a 2 month period playing 1 turn per day. In fact, the best lessons I ever learned were by simply observing other humans play their civs in regular online matches.
You may be apprehensive about the time constraints. I understand that. Coming from the Civ 1 and 2 world myself, I also prefer true turn based versus real time based games. But GT / LT games are populated by some very experienced players. Not a good place to learn, really. Force yourself to play games where the turn is roughly as follows (this is just a guide, but quite common when playing online in pickup games)
Turns 1-30 = 30-45 seconds each
Turns 31-60 = 45-75 seconds each
Turns 61-100 = 75-120 seconds each
And so on... generally speaking, once you're into turns 60-75 things are getting pretty heavy. Many players will have destroyers or frigates and musketeers by then, and managing your cities will be complicated. But everyone else will in the same boat, so to speak. There's a mechanism that allows you to automatically ramp up the time per turn (possibly a default setting, Davide?) but most players simply have votes at key moments asking to ramp up the time per turn. Simply majority decides the outcome.
Anyhow, keep at it and you'll figure out that there are ways to mesh Largepox and Smallpox together at the same time