Here are some good tips:
--place 4 strongholds around the middle square, so that way you can protect every other square
--if youre just starting out, start with several cities, so you can earn money, then you can sell off some of them later
--attack cities to earn money, attack hq to earn turns, attack armories to get weapons. the higher the enemy building levels are, the higher the reward
--upgrading your hq(or having more than 1)allows you to attack with more units each time, thus allowing you to reap higher rewards when you attack
--Spy on someone before you attack them! the higher level your spy place, the better chance you have to disable their strongholds for the very next attack
--use that 33% revenge bonus to your advantage: dont try to instigate attacks unless you need to
--talk to some of the other players and see if you can find some "farms": basically just places with cities that you can attack for money. if you cant find any, you could always make one yourself as a last resort. just go to one of the other sites, and make a farm for yourself to attack
--you get 9 turns per minute, and cannot increase that number, so use them wisely, as other than attacking enemy hq, thats the only way to get turns
--try to get 100% happiness as soon as possible, by lowering your tax rate from 50 to a lower number(dont just leave it on 50%!). having a higher happiness nets you a higher attack bonus, plus once you get to 100% happiness, you can put your tax bonus back up to 50% and leave it there, and it wont lower the 100% happiness at all. also, beware, if you have low happiness, you will get a negative attack bonus
--it wouldnt be a bad idea to open up a tab with the game on kongregate, just so you can see what the players are talking about, and perhaps be able to defend yourself in advance :)
--dont forget about getting a research center. after all, thats the ultimate point of the game
--it wouldnt be a bad idea to have multiple cities or multiple barracks, but you really only need 1 armory. anything else is up to you
--dont be afraid in asking others for help in attacking someone, it can really help take someone down
--upgrade, upgrade, upgrade!
Hope this helps people!