Mature gamers will find that Illyriad supports a deep game that tests many of the rationalist virtues.
It is possible to start the game with an advantage if you are recommended by an existing player through the buddy program. This earns the recommending player 100 prestige upon getting to the population required for a second town, which will indebt that player to you. It is reasonable to ask for a prestige scrap or 20 million in gold in exchange. Alternatively that player can help you grow and owe you a favour. If you would like to take me up on this offer, sign up using the link http://illyriad.com/?347401 - other players might advertise their conditions at the Attracting new players via the buddy program thread I created at the Illyriad forum: possibly their terms are better than mine.
The best choices for races at the start are probably elf (which has the edge for war, see Warmongering In Illyriad: The Best Race for N00bs) or orc (which is probably the best choice for trader/gatherer); gender doesn't matter.