So its been a while; and I think I can improve this, with what I've learned in editing elsewhere and programming python; to create a 5 MB (sorry about file size, it's smallest possible for python to exe) command line program which will let you edit WC1/2 to scale the difficulty up or down as you want.
I'm using the GOG version as the baseline which is what most people (and I) have for active use. I can always find a copy of Kilrathi Sagi, used and see how that behaves. GOG should try doing Kilrathi Saga too.
I have all the offsets for shield/armor etc programmed, along with stock base values. So for example, the Hornet has 40 value = 4.0 cm front shields. If you enter a multiplier of 1.5 for difficulty, it becomes 40 * 1.5 = 60 (or 6.0 cm in game).
All TCN ships (that I know of) will have their values adjusted accordingly, so that basically everything becomes either harder or easier.
Place it into your GOG WC1 installation folder and click on it. It'll bring up a console like window.
It currently only edits the GOG version of WC1, i.e. WC.EXE and SM2.EXE
WC2 will come later.
Reason for the huge file size (for what it does) is because it's written in Python v3.x; and if you want to make a distributable executable for python scripts, the packager puts EVERYTHING IN, i.e. an entire python distribution is scrunched into the executable.
Filesize issues are offset by the fact that Python is much more pleasant to program for as a hobbyist doing hobbyist things, and there's more tutorials or answered questions for things I want to do in Python.