It takes a bit. One thing I would do is skip the campaign. Play large skirmishes with big maps and lots of players, I thought Kohan did a pretty good job with 4v4. The AI is okay, but multiplayer is definitely better. And you most definitely need scouts in Kohan. Early game, those are you light horse units, later you might update them to have rangers, or move to dragoons with rangers. In the big battles versus players, I loved how battlelines would develop, and then players would try to build raiding forces that would go after weaker towns in their opponents flanks. The positioning of units was key, knowing when to retreat safely was huge. In many ways, it's a much less fiddly version of Total War, or a multiplayer version of Shadow of the Horned Rat.
Kohan also has a lot of cruft. You could make a lot of choices that were just so painfully wrong, and the game would let you do it. Like, Settlers or Engineers in a support slot, or mixing cavalry with infantry -- though dragoons + healers can work in a pinch if you went heavy cav without going heavy foot and found yourself backed in a corner, but new players always seem to stick horses with the footmen, and end up with a slow unit that is good at nothing, getting punished for because the game never really warns you that that is not a good idea. It was also easy to tank your economy.
But once everyone gains an understanding of how to play, it was one damn fined game, we played many an epic 4v4 back in the day.
A remake/reimagining, that was perhaps a bit more obvious with econ choices, and disallowed some of the more utterly stupid and pointless combinations of units would help greatly.