Ok, after a few days of playing, here are a few little tips:
1. Make sure you do the items in the task list, as they serve as a mini tutorial for the game and you get good rewards.
2. Don't accept the rewards for completing tasks unless you know you have enough space to hold them in your warehouse. Otherwise, you lose them like I did
3. Don't forget to check your daily gift for some good items. If you link your account to facebook, you supposedly have a chance at better gifts. I just made a dummy facebook account so my real account doesn't get spammed
4. Make sure you scout before occupying areas, as I've wasted many a good soldier by going in blind. This applies to not only real battles, but there are NPC armies protecting certain resources you need to farm apparently.
5. Get into an alliance, so you can chat on a typically more mature level than what occurs in general chat (as with any game really)
Ok, back to building my army, the top alliance on my server just declared war on my alliance
Oh, and you can't be attacked for the first week, or until you hit level 3 (which takes some time), so no need to worry about getting crushed by higher levels.