The hardest part is no doubt the map aspect or conveying where everything is relative to each other. Creating a game with tiles needs to have some kind of graphical setup, if you went full text based, it becomes really hard to explain to the player where resources, military, and the boarders of other nations are since all of these things are dynamic, the Artificial players know all there is to know, but having to update the player every turn of what the AI has done is almost impossible(using some kind of priority updating system would be a good idea, only note the most important changes). Plus, the player would have to get a copy of the map or draw one out for themselves. So if maybe it's easier with web programming to set up some kind of simple map interface, I would invest the time to learn how to do that.
Setting up the map can be challenging, I've tried many times to write code that would create maps as natural as a civilization game can, the oceans/continents/islands, but I haven't be able to make a good map generator yet, and if you try to develop a map without a generator, then your limited by how much time and effort your willing to put in to create the map. So it depends on how big the map is and how much a map tile is worth.
So instead of using map tiles/hexes I decided to go down the Europa universals/hearts of iron/ Victoria 2 game route, where you take a map and divide it up into tiles, and code each one in. But there are only so many tiles you can hand draw, the games I just listed have many many many tiles, thousands even. So without graphics, even if I created a map that huge, it would become to inconvenient to the players.
Then I found the best of all worlds, how to set up a text based strategy game, one that requires no computer graphics(I tried learning openGL and one day I might actually be able to do more then create a floating spinning cube) and yet could simulate many different AI actors competing over many "tiles".
I set it so that each map tile, had many more territory's inside it, meaning that even if my hand drawn map has 300 tiles, it can have many more territory's, allowing for more AI actors(having a small map lead to having only a few AI on the map), so with territory's you would share tiles with other nations, and you would compete with them like the territory existed on a map.(Combat became almost RPG like because armys didn't exist in physical space, but in tiles with territory, so simulating combat meant it had to be abstracted into a turn-by-turn action by action thing instead of maneuvering on a map).
So it can be done without graphics, but it's far easier to use graphics then to not.