First of all you'll be ambushed by the yellow Minoa enemies. Second you'll have no food, wood, gold and stone. There's no villagers so you'll be on a surviving mission relying heavily on keeping your army alive. If you lose all of your units then it's game over.
Escaping into exile
After you get ambushed by the yellow Minoa's immediately have your cavalry units run away, don't worry about the archers because they'll be killed or converted. Get your cavalry units to escape as fast as you can, one of them many be killed or converted by the enemy priest. Head down southeast down the mountain trail and get them evacuated on the transport ship. Your war galleys will be attacked by enemy war galleys.
Now get your galley sent southeast and have your cavalry units run through the forest. You'll be attacked by the red Doria watch towers, archers and ballistas. Ignore them and run away because you'll need to survive and head south where the transport ships are at.
Get onto a transport ship and go to the south island and you'll be able to assemble and recruit more army units including Heavy Cavalry, Long Swordsmen, Composite Bowmen, Horse Archers, Elephant Archers, Priests, Ballistas, and Catapults.
Invading the Minoa's homeland
Once you have your army units organized, have them get on a transport ship and head northwest.
I highly recommend taking horse archers, elephant archers, cavalry units, priests, archers ballistas as they can fire arrows at a distance.
Also you can convert red ballistas to use to fight with, be careful as this is risky to your priests who can get killed in one hit. If successful it will make your game alot easier. Also make sure to take out the red enemy towers which can smash your catapults, and ballistas, kill priests. Also make sure to take out the enemy archers that are in your way.
When you find the 3 transport ships get your units on board. If there are any more yellow war galley, take them out with ballistas or convert them with your priests. Once the river is clear from yellow war galley ships, get your units back on the transport ships.
Now there are 2 paths to take to get to the Minoa's city, you can either take the long path and invade from the northwest side or you can head northeast to the end of the river.
once you get off, you should have your horse archers, elephant archers, ballistas start firing at the enemies including swordsman, archers, cavalry that tries to attack you, once it's clear, then have your catapults or ballistas take down yellow watch towers as you climb up the mountain trail. More soldiers will come after you, watch out for the enemy priests and kill them when they try to convert your units.
It's not necessary to kill villagers or level their city, so focus on destroying the enemy temple and breaching the wall with ballistas and catapults. Afterwards claim your artifact and you should win the game.