I'll quote someone from the other thread, whose comment I think makes sense:
Whether you are interested in MP or not, it is simply the best way to really analyze the game rules. Most games actually start with multiplayer before the AI is even considered. That way you can see if your rules are holding up and have the potential for competitive fun. I know alot of you don't appreciate being beta testors, but MP is the way to fix the single player game most quickly and thoroughly.
Having to deal with problems and trying to make them perfectly against the AI before each patch can be a problem, instead, if you implement things with multiplayer in mind, and see how they work there, you can focus on perfecting them first, and then making them work flawlessly with the AI.
Also, many of the current problems are only aggravated in multiplayer, like the horrendous turn system for tactical battles, or pretty much any other exploit in the game.
Besides, MP takes looooong to balance and fix in every game, so it's understandable that they want to start early.
I think multiplayer is to hold over people until the AI is finished : P
but yeah I would never play a TBS game multiplayer.
You're missing out, the Civilization games online with friends are amazing.