I’ve been talked into trying a free* online strategy game. It looks quite fun, and if you fancy giving it a go yourself, then I stand to gain a small amount of in-game credit if you sign up by following this link to Travian. Server 5 started this morning, so you'll be getting in fairly early.
You pick whether you want to be Roman, Gaulish or Teutonic (those are in order of difficulty of playing, apparently) and start off with one little village, which of course you want to develop and expand beyond. There will be other players with villages in the area, so at some point violence is inevitable; but you’re protected from attack for the first three days to give you a chance.
There’s a “Questmaster” who will set you quests to get you started, and may reward you for a task completed.
I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it, as I have a record of giving up on strategy games after a while, either losing interest, or worrying that if I continue playing, I’ll lose the good position I’ve built up already. The second failing can’t apply in this case, as the game continues live all the time, but I may still be prone to the first one.
There's more information on Wikipedia.
* I was a little disappointed, though not surprised, to find that you can convert real money into in-game Gold that can be used to buy some advantages, or a richer user interface. I suppose there has to be a business model there somewhere though!