In single player, the other players are controlled by AI's.
There are 5 levels of difficulty for the AI. Knight is the baseline - lower AI's, just squire, get penalties to their strategy, while higher AI's, Lord, King and Emperor, gain a bonus.
|Base Happiness Boost||No||No||100||200||300|
|// Income flat bonus||No||No||+10||+20||+30|
|/ Income bonus for cities||No||No||+33%||+67%||+100%|
|/ Income bonus for cities||No||No||No||+25%||+50%|
|Combat Boost vs Independents||No||No||No||+3 / +2||+3 / +2|
|Machine / Undead Cheat Heal (In fog of war only)||0||0||2 /||4 /||8 /|
The handicap that the AI Squire gets revolves around a limit to the strategic points it may contest at one time. It can never attack more than one point simultaneously.