I had the chance to see my son (who will be turning 11 soon) this weekend and I took the opportunity to show him what I do as a hobby when I game with Pat. Over the last few months, with Pat's help, I generated a few top down armies and use them with great fun playing HotT, DBMM and the occasional DBA games.
I offered my son 3 options of troops to start with; Elves, Orcs or Barbarians. He went for Elves and I took the Barbarians. He was defending in that first game so placed his bases first then I placed mine. His placement was actually pretty good for someone who never played and he moved his Elves with great enthusiasm. He had 3 magicians, 3 shooters and 3 Knights. I had an all blades army except for my 6 shooters.
Right off the bat, I noticed one thing; Magic should not be used in an introductory game. It really slowed things down to the point that my son was quickly losing interest in the game and lost pretty quickly. He barely was able to fend off my army from the start and a few good rolls in my favor turned the tide quickly. My son did not want to play the game anymore and wanted to jump on my PS2. Since it was now lunchtime, I told him he'd get the chance to play after eating and off we went to a local Italian restaurant that has an all you can eat breakfast buffet on Sundays. My son stuffed himself as only an active young man can and we went back home to indulge him in the joys of PC/PS2 games.
During the lunch Feast, I devised a plan to see if my son would really like to play HotT or not. An hour before he had to leave, I offered him to play another HotT game, with a change of army this time to reflect his level of play. This time I played the Elves and he played my regular Orcs army, the one that has multitude of Hordes.
You should have seen his face when he realised he could bring back his hordes I had just killed every turn! BTW, that was a very "like father, like son" moment. *GRIN* we just kept recoiling off each other and when I managed to kill his hordes, he simply brought them back. By the time he had to leave, he had reduced my army by 2 Knights and 2 Shooters, making him the clear winner of that second game.
The great thing that happened during that second game is that he made moves I had not expected him to make; keeping his commander out of the fray as a reserve, then going after my camp, as I was defending that time, with a pair of wolves (Beasts)! He would have won without a doubt and that left him and me both on happier terms about playing again the next time...