In the beginning you'll need Resources. The lumber station produces wood, the clay pit clay and the iron mine iron. The more you upgrade these buildings, the more they produce. In the first couple of days it is very impotant to focus on resource production.
Besides producing resources you also have to try, to protect your resources from plunderers. Because they could just attack you and steal your resources. You should do something to guard yourself against this possibility. Expanding your hiding place is one possibility. The bigger it is the more resources can be hidden. You should use this possibility especially when strong players are in your neighbourhood.
When you have taken care of your basic resource production, you can start trading and producing troops. In the barracks you can produce spear fighters. They are not too well suited for an attack, but they offer you the possibility to plunder the resources of very weak players.
If you prefer a little trading, you should build a market . Here you can see what resources your neighbouring villages are offering for exchange and you can perhaps trade your own resources for other resources. But don't forget that with a market of level 1 you only have one merchant available.
You should also try to join a tribe or establish your own one. A tribe can protect you from enemy plundering and assure a better exchange of resources. And you might make friends too...
Restart in a late phase of the game
If you are joining a world that is already started for a while, you should adjust your strategy. Of course it is still important to secure a good resource production. And you should protect yourself from plundering by your neighbours. Construct a wall, upgrade your hiding place and produce a couple of defensive units. Sometimes a nice message to you attackers can make a big difference also. Once you have managed to increase the size of your village you can try to get some resources by plundering other players.
There are a few major differences to the usual progress, which you usually do not perform:
Do not make the mistake to concentrate only on the development of your first nobleman. It may seem logical, because after all you want to rule several villages. But this can be a fatal mistake. Much stronger players will try to secure villages in your area of the map, to establish a strong second base here and if you don't protect your village enough you might become there target. If you just produce offenseive troops they can take over your village(s) without even suffering great losses.
The only strategy against this is to produce many spear- and swordsmen. You should not be an attractive and cheap target at the same time for these players. If they lose a lot of troops in an attack, they will usually leave you alone. In this situation morale can be a great help for you. The attacking troops could be weakened by up to 70%!
(read more about this later*)
If you have a good defence consisting of at least 1200 spearmen and 1200 swordmen, you can start creating a nobleman and putting together offensive troops.
Village Headquarters: In the village headquarters you can construct new buildings or upgrade existing ones. The higher the level of your headquarters, the faster the constructions will be finished. As soon as your village headquarters is upgraded to level 15, you will be able to demolish buildings.
In the barracks you can recruit infantry. The higher its level the faster the recruitment of troops will be finished.
Stable: In the stable you can recruit cavalry. The higher its level the faster the recruitment will be finished.
Workshop: In the workshop you can produce rams and catapults. The higher its level the faster the recruitment will be finished.
Academy: In the academy you can educate noblemen. They will help you conquer other villages.
Smithy: In the smithy you can research (and improve) weapons. Upgrading the smithy allows the research of better weapons and decreases the research time.
Rally point: On the rally point your fighters meet. Here you can command your armies.
Statue: At the statue the villagers render homage to your paladin(=knight) . If your paladin dies you can appoint one of your fighters new paladin.
Market: On the market you can trade with other players.
Timber camp: Outside of your village in the dark forests your lumberjacks cut massive trees to produce wood in the timber camp, which is important for new buildings. The higher its level the more wood is produced.
Clay pit: In the clay pit your workers dig clay, which is important for new buildings. The higher its level the more clay is produced.
Iron mine: In the iron mine your workers dig iron, which is important for units. The higher its level the more iron is produced.
Farm: The farm supplies your workers and troops with food. Without expanding your farm your village cannot grow. The higher its level the more villagers can be supplied.
Warehouse: The warehouse stores your resources. The higher its level the more resources can be stored.
Hiding place: Resources in your hiding place cannot be plundered by your enemies. The bigger it is, the more it can hold. Even your enemies' scouts cannot spot your hidden resources. (only important in the beginning)
Wall: The wall defends your village against your enemies' troops. The higher its level the better the basic defense of your village. It also increases the defensive strength of your troops.