I don't think waiting the sprites be done is an option. Wesnoth art style is very different from Freeciv. There are lots of people doing sprites for Wesnoth, and perhaps they would gladly do some for freeciv too, but the code mus be done first. By the way, the code is there on BoW source, at least the coders won't need to make it from scratch.
Then when we have animations ready for substantially our entire main lines of units we in turn will maybe have some incentive to spend CPU cycles on animation that might in theory be potentially useful for smartening up our AI routines. Hmm, animation or smarts, hmm, interesting tradeoff?
Is this really a problem? As I've said, I know nothing about this subject, but the animations don't look so consuming. Aren't the today processors able to handle both?
Should I post this on the Wishlist forum?