To start of a game, make 30 villagers as quickly as possible and then make 5 axmen and 6 bowmen for protection while your villagers collect resources. Then upgrade your town without doing many upgrades and depending on your civilization, build the best warrior that it has.
Produce as many of those warriors as you can with your amount of resources and upgrade only that warrior to get it to optimal efficiency. You can then later, build a bigger army and go for a victory. Hope I Helped!!
When playing a random map, the best defence is to build lots of watch towers to keep the enemy from attacking your base. Then in front of the watch towers, build a wall making the enemy only attack you in one entrance. There you should put all your troops and they wont stand a chance in attacking you. Have Fun!