Xanadu wrote:How was I to help him without trying too obviously?
Having been in that situation once, did I act in the correct manner by being gracious?
I would appreciate your input on this matter as I have been mulling this matter over for a while now.
Firstly, you've done nothing wrong at all. In such situations where I'm facing a newer player or a child (by child I refer to say, the jr high and high school kids that ACT like children with the behavior I would expect from my 12 year old with ADHD and ODD, as opposed to those high schoolers who are acting like adults) I try to remember what it's like when I was new, or when I was first learning to play chess with my father when I was a child myself (ironic how old sometimes I realize I must be at 30 when I don't "feel" old at all).
First time I played chess with him he pulled Scholar's Check on me, ending the game in 4 turns. I then learned how to counter that, and we played another game right after.
The point being, is to actually teach
someone is hard. They will lose. You should not pull your punches and nerf your list into stupid-dom. I can think of a couple solutions that I would employ in such situations.
First, instead of chosing units that are deliberately ineffective, instead you can use some units that others consider slightly sub-par and you don't get to play with often. Perhaps it's time to dust off the Sky Ray, or Vespid, or Scout Suits. Swap out a unit of Crisis Suits for more Fire Warriors. You can still have effective units while slightly toning down the "I'm going to rip out your throat" of your list.
Second, without adjusting the list at all, you can adjust how you're playing to deliberately ease up the pressure and aggressiveness. What I try to do with my own son with similar games and Warhammer is intentionally make a mistake periodically and see if he catches it. In chess I will occasionally leave a piece open and unprotected. Perhaps I'll "accidently" leave a unit slightly within charge range, or not quite move a vehicle far enough out of potential line of sight from a unit, leaving it where he could move to see it on his next turn. Doing this once or twice a game allows him to feel like he's getting better, and also teaches him to learn to spot mistakes and capitalize on them. It also makes me a better player by learning how to adapt a plan or cope with the loss of a particular unit.
These are some of the "passive" ways to help teach someone. Active methods can't really be used unless they want the help. By all means ask "Would you like a suggestion?" but be prepared for them to decline. Should the newer person say "Yes please!" then by all means give them advice from a neutral standpoint. Point out two or three alternatives, give them pros and cons of each one, then let them make a decision. If you know Johnny over there is looking for some games cause he just started last week, perhaps finding a vet who uses an army similar to Johnny can advise Johnny through a game with you playing on your B-game level as opposed to your A-game level. This way you can get the best of both worlds, someone to give neutral standpoint advice, and yourself to "accidently" forget to quite move out of line of sight with a JSJ move or something periodically as well.
You'll find that over time you don't have to make as many intentional mistakes for the new guy to start seeing things or learning to look a turn or two ahead. Gradually he will surprise you by catching something you honestly didn't intend to do. He'll start getting draws more and more often, sometimes winning a game. You can then slowly start to work your way back up to your A-game, only this time he can follow you. In the end, it's a win for everyone.
Should the other player decide to be a well... lame guy, ranting because he got a sound beating, there's not much you can do. If they're being reasonable and going "Wow, so that game totally stunk" you can offer a "Would you like a few suggestions or a couple things I spotted that didn't work so well for you?" and see if they take you up on it. Ultimately though, the only thing you can plan on doing is not rubbing their face in the dirt, shaking their hand and saying "Thank you for the game" and hoping they'll get better.