Quote Originally Posted by MadHatter View Post
I found one of the best ways is to play team games. this gives a new player help and if they lose due to dice rolls it's not so brutal. And after the game, you have someone who was involved in the game who can share in the excitement of the game you all just played. If you are a good friend or just the like the new player you can let them borrow some of your own models to help balance their own forces.
I've tried the team approach in a variety if situations and it left me cold. The problem is that the new player either gets a quiet sector, or they get one that matters. In the former case, they don't do much, and in the latter case they don't want to be the one who loses the game, so have to ask for advice, which reduces them to remote control.

If there's a mega-game, I've found a better approach is having them be an "observer/referee." This lets them see everything that's going on, so they can sit with one side, hear their plans, then cross over to the other.

The nice thing is that while they have no forces, they know more about the game than anyone else, and are free to ask questions about mechanics, troop types and so on. To be clear, it's more than just a fly on the wall, or someone saying "hey guys, what's that?" and being allowed to watch - they are still a part of the experience. It's a good way to get a new player to experience a battle that would otherwise be beyond their grasp.

I freely admit that others may have different experience, but in the time and place where I got into gaming, the environment was very competitive, doubly so in dealing with GW games where the tournament mentality and WAAC philosophy were very prominent. Different areas may have a different vibe.

For that reason, I like the small one-on-one approach best because you can control the tempo or scope better - and also ensure that they win, which is important.

I'm old enough that winning is something of an afterthought. The important part is the social interaction and if I'm with a clearly inferior opponent, I'll experiment with high-risk strategies to keep things interesting or make moves that boost the story line but aren't necessarily wise.

Do I still do an old-fashioned curb-stomp? Sure, but only against people who deserve it.