don't forget to go to the ATG site for mods, alot of excellent mods to be had. I'd start on a medium map, i started on small maps and the AI jumped all over me[especially if you start between to AI's]it became just a battle for survival with the way the ai can churn out units.Medium maps give you a little more time and room, try to not to start in the middle at first,as mention above read the excellent strategy guide by vic and the supply thread above. Good luck and enjoy.
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde
*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.