This is my own guide on how to start, if u wanna play MP competitive or just wanna try it out in SP.
Well on the start, u want around basically 10 - 15 villagers, maintain those to age 2, start slowly with military barracks (1 or 2 is enough) then Archery range and 1 -2 stables, you want to keep 3 consistently on building Population house or other important buildings.
now over to age 1 (Basic start with my startup) Meaning what i usually do at the beginning.
Age 1/Stone Age: Start up with a location where u have Cherry bushes, build your TC as close as you can to them, then start producing 5 villagers as a beginning. Then get about 3 straw houses (if that name is correct) use 1 villager for this, right after the first house, start producing roughly 3 - 4 villagers, and get them on food like the last 4 you got remaining after leaving 1 to building.
Moving to Age 2/Tool Age: Age 2 costs you 500 food once u got the 500 food, start aging up to Age 2/Tool Age and thus comes new buildings/unites along more upgrades to your villagers and economy.
Age 2/Tool Age: Produce another 10 villagers (yes 10, i know that is a lot but you’ll need it) Once the 10 villagers is done split them in 2 groups, 5 for wood, 5 3 for gold, 2 for stone. If u feel like u need more wood, produce another 5 villagers, and add those in to woodcutting (10 in WC in that case - WC = Woodcutting) when u have enough for the building called “Market” begin placing it next to your houses.
No it doesn’t give any bonus, but it makes your village look cool While market is being created check your wood supplies and start building military structures, such as Barracks and Archery range as well as Stable.
Now by the time everything is ready, you are able to age up to Bronze Age/Age 3. But before you do this, u need to look over the Cherry bushes, are they empty or not? If they are Empty, start making Farms they will be crucial for your food income later on as the game progresses.
To age up to Bronze Age/Age 3, u will need 800 food, but after you have aged up u will need to increase villager amount once more now onward to age 3/Bronze Age.
Bronze Age/Age 3: Now this is the semi last age to age to, and this is what i’d call the most important age if u have had a rough start.
As soon as u hit Bronze Age start immediately to produce roughly 25 villagers (Yea big number i know) once the villagers are being produced slowly, start spreading them to Stone and Gold, as gold specifically will be your most used resource (This depends on your civilization, as others don’t use as much gold at bronze/Iron age) The way you want to balance it, is 16/9 16 gold and 9 on stone. You might wonder why, well to age up to Age 4/Iron age you will need addition to the food u need gold. After u have done so, select 2 villagers from your farms and start building temple, Academy (Most important building at Tool Age) and Siege Workshop. While you wait for these buildings to go up, get your army up and ready, start with 12 broad swordsman/Short Swordsman. After u start producing the swordsmen u start producing archers from the Archery range, such as Chariot archers - Improves/Composite Bowmen. You will also need some Horsemen to counter his slow moving archers as well as infantry, now in the stable u got multiple choices, well not always. As it varies from civ to civ.
NOTE You have to keep upgrading military unites as you progress on the aging, otherwise u will fall behind and your opponent will have stronger Siege equipment/cavalry/infantry. ALSO i will constantly edit this so make sure u look at it, as i’m gonna get busy here