This is intended to be a tutorial to guide the novice through a first round of the game.
This is not ment to be a perfect start, but will give you the basic skills and knowledge that will make the game more fun!

First, as soon as you sign up familiarice yourself with the different pages, it will make this alot easier. There are lots of mouseover function that will display small explanations for the different icons, units etc. This can be turned off at the preferences page. All references to pages in this text is marked in brackets []

Tick 0
So you should start a Construction and a Research. Go to [Con & Res] on the left menu. A good choice would be
-City Hall (This will allow the city units) and

Great, now go to [Resources] and order 3 farms, and one of the other types. Then 300 farmers, 100 lumberjacks and 100 coalminers. Notice that your free citizens drop by 500.
Farms are important because they give you more food. And more food again gives you more people.

Tick 2
At [Resources] note that your farmers are now done and you have full coverage on farms. 500/500. Also on the top you will now see Population xxxx (+xx). They +xx is the number of people you gain the next tick.
Also Happiness e.g 52% (10.1%) shows you that your peoples happiness is 52% and going towards 10.1%. The happier your people are the more new people will come to your city. The top box is displayed on every page as it contains the most vital information.

Tick 8
Your construction and research are now probably done, which will be shown by the [News] appearing in the upper right corner. Clicking this will bring you to the [News].
Its time to order a new construction and research. Goto [Con & Res], and order
-Palace (this will allow you to research governments) and
-Alchemy (this will allow you to order more polyargain which again can be turned into farms quarrys etc..)

Theres not much to do for now. Just sit back and watch how you population grows and your happiness sink. But make sure you have about 100 Gold for tick 16. Gold will be used to buy polyargain when researching Alchemy is done.
Increasing gold income can be done at [City Hall]. The taxrate is currently at 20%. Try turning it up to 30%. This will give you more gold pr tick, but also watch the potensiall happiness. It will decrease with higher taxrate.
Ordering some new scientists and engineers will make your construction and research go faster. Order about 10 during the next ticks, however try not to spend all you flour. But be careful, a high happiness is alpha-omega!!!

Tick ~16
You have again completed your construction and research. Now start
-Barracks (this will allow the training of military units)
-Passifism (passifism is a government. Passifism mainly gives a bonus to growth which will increase the number of new people that come to your city. In the beginning more people is better.)

The research on Alchemy is done. This enables you to order more polyargain. Now goto [Resources] and order use about 100 gold to get polyargain. This will get you enough polyargain for about 20 fields.

Tick ~20
At [Resources] you will now have got about 2000+ polyargain. This can be turned into 20 fields of any type.
Order 10 farms, and devide the rest on the other fields.
Order as many farmers as you can. This may be limited by the number of free cityzens. If you have any free after your farms are filled order them to any of the other types of work (Stonecutters, lumberjacks etc..)
Remember to order more polyargain

Tick ~32
Now the research on passifism is done. You may now change to this new government. Goto [City Hall] and on the government part select passifism and press Revolution. After 8 ticks passifism starts to work, and you will notice that your growth bonus increases. This will make you gain more people much faster.

Now we are getting somewhere. Just continue ordering polyargain, and putting your free cityzens to work. When ordering fields try to have about 2:1:1:1 (farms, forests, quarrys, coalmines). This is a well balanced solution. You may now also start to order some Entertainers from the [City Hall] screen. You may have noticed that Religionpoints are very important. These are created by priests, so it's smart to get some of these aswell :) Perhaps research a new government (Republick, Monarchy etc.)

I would not recommend to order more polyargain after you have reached 90-100 fields. At that time its start to cost large amounts of gold just to get a single field.

As tick 90 approches try to have strond defenceunits against all types of units. This may be hard, but coorporation between cities will help alot. And of cource build units to attack with. If you have fallen behind with creating military units, a solution may be to get more priests. As they generate religionpoints you will be less of an target even though you dont have any units.