I'm a Lanun fan - LOVE them. They are, I feel, good for newer players because with their pirate ports and extra food on water, give a bit of an early game advantage. Which is not to say they are OP, frankly some units/world spells/buildings may give that claim to others. The magic system in a few instances can really ruin balance, and for that reason we disallow a handful of spells in our LAN games, but otherwise it's a very robust and challenging game.
Other than highly recommending the game, not much to add. We did discuss this on the old forum so I know there are more players here. I've been playing about 7(?) years or so, so if you have an questions I may be able to help.