It's very easy to get started in Crusaders of the Lost Idols (CotLI). When you log in for the first time, the tutorial starts and guides you through your first actions.
As soon as the game starts, you see the Bushwacker. It's not you - you are the Overlord, you control the Bushwacker.An arrow appears and tells you to click on the path in front of the monsters that start coming toward you. The tutorial wizard walks you through upgrading using the gold you get from defeating the monsters. At first you're just buying level-ups, but soon (about Lvl 6) you can start buying upgrades. You'll see that the next Crusader, Jim the Lumberjack, is unlocked.
After you get enough gold to recruit Jim, he automatically appears on the road, helping you defeat the monsters, giving your clicking finger a rest. At this level you'll notice that you can "idle" to grind for gold - between the Bushwacker and Jim, they have enough DPS to gather gold if you have to get up and make a snack or something.
The tutorial takes you through leveling Jim up and buying his upgrade, then it tells you that you can move him next to the Bushwacker. This introduces you to the Formation. After you move him, you're done with the tutorial.