The lights are on
I suggest a browser-based strategy game built in flash called "Battle Dawn".
I have played most of the common ones that are good in their own right, such as Travian and Bulfleet, as well as some not so good ones (you know, the ones who have to lure you in with images of females flashing body parts, and the slaps you with the reality that the game is completely pointless!! xD). I keep coming back to this one.
Battle Dawn is deep, and can take a little time to get the hang of. There is a community-driven project in their forums that puts you in touch with a forum moderator who is likely a veteran player or another veteran player regardless. That player will actually tutor you to any details you are unsure of, or that aren't clearly explained in the tutorial when you start the game. If you stick with them, they will even help you with deeper strategies in the game!
Gameplay is mostly two dimensional with a top down view of the game. Diplomacy is a HUGE part of the game, as alliances are allowed up to 14 players, and friendships with other players are ongoing even beyond that of alliance limits. Because of this I recommend that, should you play, you start out by being social with other players both in-game, and through the forum community. Who you are allied with makes every bit as much difference to your experience as your ability to forge a large army and honing your attack and defense skills.
The community is sizable, and the staff is helpful. I'll tell ya, it is nice to be able to consistently get an actual response from an administrator! Even to the point of holding entertaining conversation!
It is completely free to play, as are most games in the browser-based genre, but you can get perks for purchasing tokens. It helps to get tokens, but isn't absolutely necessary if you stay active. Getting tokens is considered donating to the game and the administrators though, and gets you perks for life even by donating just once.
Anyway, I'm unintentionally writing a book :) Try the game, and see of you like it! My in game name is usually "Terminator of Skynet". Ill be happy to help if I can!
What other games of this genre do you recommend?