Sunday, June 19, 2011

Titan, Acquire, and finding the right way to teach them

On Saturday CharityBrow, Son#1, Son#2, and I all sat down to play Titan. Today, I'm going to teach CharityBrow and Son#2 to play Acquire (Son#1 is not interested in buying stocks, but recruiting monsters to kill each other off is more obviously fun). The Titan game presented a sort of dilemma in trying to teach Son#1. Like any other kid, he doesn't want to be told what to do at every step. So, where do you draw the line when he is missing a basic concept?

I was actually kicked out of the game early. I took a small risk in an attack, but then messed up tactically and lost an angel (one of the most powerful initial creatures) and wound up with a weak Titan stack. Son#2 killed me off exactly like a good son should. It was a problem, because I was still helping the other three find good moves and giving them advice.

A couple of hours later, CharityBrow wore down a little, and asked me take over her stacks. shortly after that, I attacked Son#1's titan stack. I had an advantage already, but then he advanced every creature in his stack their full movement. the problem was that half the stack could move four spaces, and the other half two spaces, and in particular his angel was sitting by itself on a flank. Basically, it hung his army out to dry. This was not the first time he had done this, and I had warned him about it in the past. So, how do you best teach him how vulnerable his movement was?

I took him out. I'm still not sure if it was the right thing, but I surrounded his angel with an angel and 3 other creature, and killed it the first turn. His stack did not last long after that. I felt bad about taking him out of the game, but I think he'll remember better next time why you don't leave creatures alone on the board.

One result in particular that pleased me: he was not overly upset. For some 15 years losing a game meant a tantrum, but we never gave up trying to get him to play. He's finally learned to lose gracefully. I'm very proud.

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