The biggest challenges -- in addition to finishing the challenge itself for a change -- will probably be map generation and trying to capture at least a fraction of what makes A:I so great. 2D ASCII and no sound will undoubtedly make the latter difficult.
The title screen image I put together yesterday already to not spend any actual challenge time on it. (The in-game version won't look as good in all the 10 pixels it'll have. ;)
I'm using libtcod and C++. Probably some old code too.