Building a basic Polis from Day One through the end of Beginner's Protection.
This guide is intended to help you during the first month of Polis-building. It will help you avoid many of the mistakes that first time players (and long-time TribalWars players) tend to make early in the game.
Step One: Building Troops.
Farming is your primary method of obtaining Resources in Grepolis. Your Mines actually provide very little return on investment. Note that you basically receive only ten more resources/hour per level of your mines, and this never really changes no matter what level your mines happen to be. This differs greatly from TribalWars, where mine production scaled with Level. Increase your mines to level 3 each, then devote all your Resources to obtaining a Barracks and building Swordsmen.
• Senate - Level 4 • Timber Camp - Level 3 • Farm - Level 4 • Quarry - Level 3 • Warehouse - Level 2 • Silver Mine - Level 3 • Barracks - Level 1
Step Two: Farm early, farm often.
From the moment you have Swordsmen, start sending them to the nearest Farming villages. Re-Invest your Loot back in to building more Swordsmen. At this point, you'll notice that you're constantly running out of Wood. Slowly increase your Wood production to 10, and your Silver production to 6. Do NOT increase your Quarry, or you'll be flooded with stone you can't use.
• Senate - Level 4 • Timber Camp - Level 10 • Farm - Level 4 • Quarry - Level 3 • Warehouse - Level 4 • Silver Mine - Level 6 • Barracks - Level 1 • 20 Swordsmen
Step Three: Serious farming.
By this point you'll be nearing the end of your Beginners Protection. You're probably tempted to start building Slingers or constructing Walls. Don't. Here's why: Grepolis heavily favors Defense. Even after your BP is over, nobody is going to attack you, especially if you have a substantial number of Defense troops, i.e. Swordsmen and Archers. Keep in mind that Archers carry more Loot than Swordsmen, and are much faster. You'll want to Research them as quickly as you can. Also note that you'll be using far more Wood than any other Resource, so you'll need to level it much higher than the other two. Even if you don't level your Stone up at all, you'll still have plenty of it lying around, because neither Swordsmen or Archers require it.
• Senate - Level 8 • Timber Camp - Level 20 • Farm - Level 7 • Quarry - Level 8 • Warehouse - Level 6 • Silver Mine - Level 13 • Barracks - Level 5 • Academy - Level 2 • 30 Swordsmen • 40 Archers
Step Four: Beginner's Protection Ends.
Again, if you've been relatively active and have a decent number of Swordsmen/Archers, you won't have to worry about attacks from other players at this point. It's suicide to send Defense troops against an active Polis, and you can easily defend against even a much larger army. As long as you have a decent Farming force, you can now begin to build your Wall, construct a Cave, and all the other buildings you'll need further on in the game.
• Senate - Level 8 • Timber Camp - Level 20 • Farm - Level 7 • Quarry - Level 14 • Warehouse - Level 7 • Silver Mine - Level 18 • Barracks - Level 5 • Academy - Level 7 • 50 Swordsmen • 70 Archers
You'll notice that I haven't said anything about leveling up Barracks or your Senate. I'm assuming that you've at least obtained enough Premium Points to allow you to Half the building times on your Resources, so the Senate isn't necessary at this point. You may find that you need to slightly adjust your building plan to meet your individual needs. Just remember to keep your Warehouse high enough to prevent you from losing Resources overnight, and FARM, FARM, FARM. Your Mines exist mainly to "even out" the amount of Loot you'll get from Farming. THEY ARE NOT YOUR PRIMARY SOURCE OF RESOURCES. Send out Farming raids as often as you can.
• Farm the closest villages first. • Do NOT farm if mood < 60% or Strength < 20%. Instead, Strengthen them. • You get more Loot from villages with higher Strength. • Do NOT farm other players until later in the game.
Good luck, and happy farming!