Register Register

Author Topic: Young player introduction  (Read 1141 times)

CrossfirePilot

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2156
Young player introduction
« on: 27 February 2021, 17:36:56 »
So my oldest son (7 yrs old) is having some issues paying attention and following multiple step directions.  His teachers have acknowledged that he is one of the smartest kids in the class but just has problems stayed tuned in. So my plan is to do some activities with him that require multiple steps and concentration.  So I am thinking about introducing him to some Battletech.  We are going to try and play a few little pickup games here and there.  This weekend he is taking a Warhammer and I am taking a Crusader.  So are there any tips for me? or am I sure to end up dodging thrown dice by the end of the night?

DarkISI

  • Praedonum Dominus
  • Freelance Writer
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6978
  • https://hpgstation.de/?p=9429
    • My Author Website
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #1 on: 27 February 2021, 17:40:05 »
Use Introductory rules to start off with a kid that young. Don't throw the full rules set at him to reduce frustration.
German novelist and part time Battletech writer.


HPG Station - German Battletech News

"if they didn't want to be stomped to death by a psychotic gang of battlemechs, they shouldn't have fallen down" - Liam's Ghost

Natasha Kerensky

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2778
  • Queen of Spades, First Lady of Death, Black Widow
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #2 on: 27 February 2021, 18:16:35 »

Simple, open terrain.  Get to the good stuff early for him.

Given him the Whammie-D.   You take the Crudder variant with the thinnest armor and most ammo.  (Not sure which variant that is.)

You might consider playing a Whitworth or even an Urbie to really put the odds in his favor.

Underutilize your movement and heat sinks, as necessary.

Minimize the chances that he will lose.  Maximize the chances that he will win by making your machine go up in a spectacular ball of fire.

I got my boys to eat various vegetables by denying myself a slow-raising spoon of ice cream every time they ate one. They’d eat a lot to watch me “suffer”.

Dominating dad is always fun.
"Ah, yes.  The belle dame sans merci.  The sweet young thing who will blast your nuts off.  The kitten with a whip.  That mystique?"
"Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about."
"Variety is the spice of battle."
"I've fought in... what... a hundred battles, a thousand battles?  It could be a million as far as I know.  I've fought for anybody who offered a decent contract and a couple who didn't.  And the universe is not much different after all that.  I could go on fighting for another hundred years and it would still look the same."
"I'm in mourning for my life."
"Those who break faith with the Unity shall go down into darkness."

FaithBomb

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1081
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #3 on: 27 February 2021, 18:27:01 »
And BattleTech aside, make sure to raise this issue with your child's pediatrician if you haven't already. Attention and focus problems can have a wide variety of causes, and making sure you get the right cause and the right action plan as soon as you can is vital to your child's education, self-esteem, and a host of other things in life.
Some people say I'm a marshmallow...

truetanker

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8478
  • Clan Hells Horses 666th Mech. Assualt Cluster
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #4 on: 01 March 2021, 00:26:00 »
I'd say stay within his medium range and walk for the most part, let him add up what he needs. While he's doing that, you only attack while your in short range of yours.

Urbie is nice, but use a Vulcan instead. Taught my son the Huncback way, gave him the -4P while I took the -4J. He had speed, I just walked... Presented my " back " a few times...

TT
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

Nibs

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1782
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #5 on: 01 March 2021, 01:57:19 »
(Disclaimer: I am a secondary school teacher, but I have taught elementary-age kids in the past. While I know how to teach and have experience with kids that have attention issues, I am not a trained educational assistant nor do I specialize in children with additional needs. Ultimately, your child is your child and you will know better than I do about his temperament and preferences.)

Starting with introductory rules, as mentioned, would be best, but ensure that you are gradually adding aspects as he learns. For example, start with shooting since it is all about rolling dice, getting a sufficient number, and blowing stuff up. Then add more as he begins to master it, rather than read all of the rules at once.

Activities such as rolling dice as key. Active learning will be important for getting him involved and feel like he is accomplishing something. Pencilling in bubbles will be big, but I will say that being involved with the rules may be most important. Having him listen for a while may not be his cup of tea. Have him help you read things out, pick out 'Mechs, etc. If he feels like changing a rule, let him! Kids love their own versions of board game rules, no matter how silly it may seem to adults.

Besides being active, give the game meaning. Focus less on the mathematical part of the game (sneak it in instead!) and more on that it is about big robots shooting at each other. Get silly and make explosion noises to ensure that a success feels awesome! As others have said, kids love competition and getting to beat their dad at a game. And if he gets a little bored, offer a break. Don't force it if need be. Most of all, be encouraging and foster a belief in his abilities.

Good luck. You'll do great!  :)


Former customer of Catalyst Game Labs.

Valkerie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2412
  • Gravity always wins.
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #6 on: 01 March 2021, 22:32:49 »
I will second the intro rules idea.  If you have the intro box, use what's there to start with.
I made the mistake with my stepson and his cousin of trying to start with the full Classic rules for their first foray into BattleTech, even though we all played with one light mech each on a single map.  Gave it a second try with the Alpha Strike rules, and the simpler rule set was received far better.  This was six years ago, so I didn't have the intro box at my disposal.
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.   -Machiavelli

Greetings, Mechwarrior!  You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against...Oops, wrong universe.  -unknown SLDF Recruiter

Because overkill is underrated my friend.  -John "Hannibal" Smith

Unit/Scheme of the Month Master Index

LastChanceCav

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2512
  • Repossessing the dispossessed ...
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #7 on: 01 March 2021, 22:59:41 »
I have to second the use of Alpha Strike/Quick strike  simplified rules as a great way to introduce kids to the game. I let the kids pick their mechs by looks and then picked something  for myself they could beat 2 on 1. Once the had the basics diwn we started toward TW rules.

Cheers,
LCC
Last Chance Engineering - Bespoke Battlemechs for the refined gentleman.

Lazarus Sinn

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 208
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #8 on: 02 March 2021, 15:19:03 »
I over the last couple of decades have introduce several younglings to the wonderful universe of BattleTech and here is what I have learned when teaching children.

1. Keep it cool. I found many times that just making a decision that made the outcome "cool" regardless of the rules was the best way to go. Taking time to look up a rule can kill the momentum and take the fun out of it. And kids are going to want to do stuff that is simply not probable, not that it is necessarily impossible. Let them do it, especially when they first start playing. And especially if it is "cool." Go for the "oh hell yeah" moment when they want to do something with a bit of flair. So what if the pirate Mech is 10 hexes away and you just "need" to be able to hit it or all is lost and all your weapons have a range of 9 hexes. Let them shoot. If they roll exceptionally well, they hit. We all know ranges are subjective and the rules are simply there to standardize everything. 

2. Do not neglect the roleplaying aspect. Blowing up big stompy robots is fun. Being someone who owns a big stompy robot is fun and "cool." My oldest grandson just turned 14. We have been playing off and on for over a year now. He likes the Mech battles, but he comes alive when he is in a sneak suite with silenced weapons working his way through the bad guys base to rescue the hostages. He actually abandoned his Mech once to sneak into a raiders camp to sow discord and create mayhem while the other player made a frontal assault. Mix it up.

3. Ignore the dice. Children will become discouraged if they always loose, or if they loose when it really counts to them. Players will see me roll dice behind the scenes periodically even if there is no need to do so. Especially if I an going to introduce a random event into the game. Then I decide the outcome based upon the needs of the scenario and the player(s). They think the dice gods smiled upon them and they get even more excited when the outcome is what they hoped for. Sometimes things are going to fail. That's life. I try to make the failures small and the wins big.

Remember to have fun. After all that is the entire point. If they want to play they will make the effort to learn the game mechanics and never even know they are learning math or critical thinking skills.
Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of little minds.

five_corparty

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1131
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #9 on: 02 March 2021, 18:18:25 »
I have to second the use of Alpha Strike/Quick strike  simplified rules as a great way to introduce kids to the game. I let the kids pick their mechs by looks and then picked something  for myself they could beat 2 on 1. Once the had the basics diwn we started toward TW rules.

Cheers,
LCC

Same: AS (no more than a lance each, i really recommend about 1 or 2 tops for him)

I started my kids on AS and it's fun, it's fast, and they WANNTTTT to learn the full rules by about 10, 11. have fun!!

Lboydmsw

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 174
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #10 on: 03 March 2021, 12:05:48 »
And BattleTech aside, make sure to raise this issue with your child's pediatrician if you haven't already. Attention and focus problems can have a wide variety of causes, and making sure you get the right cause and the right action plan as soon as you can is vital to your child's education, self-esteem, and a host of other things in life.

To add to this.  Particularity intelligent children who find the material presented in school to be too easy often present as "having attention problems" and for whatever reason, any child who can't pour on 7 hours of solid concentration in today's world often gets labels ADHD before any other consideration is given thought. I can't count the number of times I have had to argue other causes then ADHD or a misdiagnosis of ADHD at work in order for any other possible explanation to be considered, tested for, or explored by both other services providers and the schools.

Cubby

  • Space Wizard of Secrets
  • BattleTech Developer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3211
  • BattleTech Assistant Line Developer
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #11 on: 03 March 2021, 12:24:21 »
Definitely don't play with heat. Shooting stuff = fun. Talking yourself out of shooting stuff = not so fun.
Demo Team Agent #639, northeastern Maryland.

BattleTech Assistant Line Developer, writer and editor - Sarna.net Profile

DarkISI

  • Praedonum Dominus
  • Freelance Writer
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6978
  • https://hpgstation.de/?p=9429
    • My Author Website
Re: Young player introduction
« Reply #12 on: 03 March 2021, 12:55:11 »
Definitely don't play with heat. Shooting stuff = fun. Talking yourself out of shooting stuff = not so fun.

Definitely. Heat is one of the last things I would. If not the last thing. Aside from taking yourself out, it is too much to keep track off. Especially for kids.
Ammunition way before heat.
German novelist and part time Battletech writer.


HPG Station - German Battletech News

"if they didn't want to be stomped to death by a psychotic gang of battlemechs, they shouldn't have fallen down" - Liam's Ghost