Actually, it kinda-sorta did. Never really progressed much in the campaign and instead just replayed the early few shards over and over since everything after that was a nightmare. Haven't tried Skirmishes to see if they're any different, but Beginner in general just seemed like it was a painful challenge, and everything else was fifty times worse.
It wouldn't change AI thst much (actually, it would make it even harder by fixing some issues like AI hero warrior casting useless spells)
You can help yourself by going into folder Eador - Genesis\var and editing difficulty.var with notepad.
Start gold: 1000 -selfexplanatory
Start gem: 100 -selfexplanatory
Gold income add: 15 -selfexplanatory
Gem income add: 5 -selfexplanatory
Population: 1100 - starting population in capital, affects some rituals and income, the more, the better. there is a cap, so better not touch it.
Exp mod: 80 - multiplier to exp needed for level up, 80% in this case. With expmod 1 you will get 30 pretty fast.
Loot mod: 110 - droprate, 110% from max.
Neutral HP: 55 - multiplier to hp of neutral units, 55% - doesn't affect guards of AI player.
Corruption start: 18 (min % of expenses increase)
Corruption max: 60 (max % of expenses increase) full mechanism explained there http://www.gog.com/forum/eador_series/corruption_bankrupted_me
Hero advice: 1 - hero would estimate his chances for win, not 100% accurate.
Score: 25 - final score multiplier for Leaderboard, 25% from normal.
I would recommend to start hotseat for 3 players, and learn units both in castle and in dens. 3 players - to have diplomacy and possibility to send resources to yourself.