My heroscape set recently hit the table after a break. In the past I played intensively with my brother, but recently I took it out to try it with my boyfriend, who was taken in by the "awesomeness" of the figures on my bookshelf, but knew nothing of the rules. After a few games which he lost by a good amount, he was getting a bit discouraged, and I decided that to prevent him from getting turned off this game (and boardgames in general), I had to tailor the session for a newbie against an experienced player, and plan a teaching and coaching approach. I decided to make up the two armies and tell him what my startegy would be if I played his army as well as what my strategy would be with my army during this session, and coach him more explicitely than before throughout. It turned out to be a very rewarding experience on both sides and I think we will continue to have such coached sessions, becoming looser and looser until he becomes a fierce opponent.
Objectives of the session:
-Introduce him to common types of character abilities (auras, flying, range...)
-Introduce him to useful general strategies (who to bring out first, who plays well against whom)
-Choose a 'handicapped' army for myself to even the field
We played a map with three high-ground 'pillars' in the middle, surrounded by some water. Some ruins in each starting area to protect characters we want to keep for later.
His Army (designed by me. I chose some characters he already had played with and a few new ones):
Charos: he looks cool
Sergeant Drake Alexander: He already knew and liked this character
Thorgrim: To introduce him to auras
Marro Warriors: He already knew this character
Airborne Elite: He already knew this character, and it would allow him to start without too many figures on the board (less overwhelming)
Venoc Vipers: To demonstrate the advantage of gaining the glyphs quickly
Gorrilinators: I restricted myself to one ranged figure so that I don't mow him down before he reaches the strategic spots
Agent Carr: To demonstrate how some characters counter other well (Carr against Sgt. Drake Alexander)
My army total was somewhat less than his. I also made it a bit weaker by intentionally not taking many ranged figures (strategically important against Charos). I placed both armies in the starting areas, with those I would suggest taking out early in the front.
My suggested strategy to him:
-Thorgrim is powerful even when dead. So bring him out early and don't be afraid to lose him. Such characters are useful to put on glyphs.
-Airdrop the airborne elite onto high ground
-Charos is your most powerful character. His major weakness is against ranged attacks. So, try to destroy my ranged characters (gorrilinators) with expendable units before taking him out. He would be a good character on which to use the healing glyph.
My own strategy (announced at the beginning of the game)
-I will take out both sets of vipers to take control of the glyphs very quickly
-My gorilinators will then take the high ground
-I will keep Sudema and Carr for an end confrontation with Drake Alexander and Charos (I didn't want to bring too many characters in play at the same time, to keep it simple)
HOW IT PLAYED OUT
We stuck closely to those strategies. He was hesitant to sacrifice Thorgrim but I made sure it happened - he put Thorgrim's spirit on the Marros, who were kept alive during almost the whole game by cloning, and I think the spirit idea is well ingrained now. I also had to coach him on the importance of taking control of the glyphs away from me, which he understood as soon as he did re-take them. I think the teaching objectives were well met! We will continue in this way with our next sessions, and this approach may make the difference between turning him off gaming and easing him into it.
John Di Ponio
Very good Isabel! A Great way to keep someone interested. I do the same with my kids.....it gets them involved...not overwhelmed and itching to play again after a close (programmed of course) session.
Excellent report... I did the same with my son, but my son (13) already has a great background in gaming/strategy/tactics/etc., so he did very well after a couple of practice type games... I don't hold back any longer and we both seem to be pretty equal as for winning games, which is great because of a new campaign we just started this past weekend.
Re: How to play against a newbie (intrducing my BF to the game)
Thanks for the comments. Actually if anybody else has comments about how to introduce a new player to this game, it would be appreciated.
I think part of the problem is the overwhelming number of characters to choose from, since I have already accumulated a number of expansions. It was an easier learning curve when my brother & I had just the master set, and gradually added expansion characters. Whereas I instantly know which characters to pick to counter his choices, the other way around is intimidating. I think we'll continue in this way, adding a few new guys at a time. I am looking forward to when he gets to draft his own armies, it's half of the game in my opinion, but I'm more than willing to be patient!
I forgot to say, the end game was Sudema & Carr against Sgt Drake Alexander & Charos, the latter prevailed and he won!
- Last edited Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:56 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:51 pm