The Old Man of the Masons, if it’s happened in Guild Ball then he’s heard or it, seen it or most likely been involved in it. Mallet is a different proposition from the other members of the team, he’s slower than most of the rest of the players but has one of the best footballing buffs in the game and that along is often enough to grant him a place in your starting 6.
Mov – At 4”/6” Mallet is well down the scales in terms of movement, however his 2” Melee (3” during his activation) range does increase this. As a result with 2” movement less than Harmony or Honour his actual threat range on the charge is the same. You’ll need to keep him where you need him because he won’t get from A to B as quickly as other members of the team but can bring his might to where it is needed if required.
Tac – 5 is not bad by any means. As he’ll usually be trying to charge it’ll be 9+ most of the time you’re attacking, especially as you usually don’t have to suffer the Crowding Out penalties only the ganging up ones. Even if you don’t get to charge and are in melee following only a Jog or Sprint 5 is still plenty, slightly above average.
Kick – At first glance 2/6” isn’t that good, in fact I lamented against it with Harmony. However that isn’t a true reflection as he benefits from his own Football Legend Aura meaning he’ll always be at least 3/7”, better than a few strikers out there for sure.
Def – 3+ is once again the standard Masons Defensive Line. Being quick on his feat was never his strong point anyway, that’s why he has that Mallet. Defensive Stance will take him up to 4+ meaning half of all attacks miss at which point the next Statistic is really useful.
Arm – 2 Arm is far and beyond what most teams can dream of and yet we have another player clad in finely crafted steel. Boar is the most feared warrior out there but lets look at maths of this. He gets 12 Dice on the charge, if you defensive stance that’s only 6 hits, a third of those are disregarded leaving only 4 Hits, 4 hits from the mighty Boar! What’s 3 Damage from 16? Boars 2nd attack, that’s 5/6 hits, again, another 2 blocked the Arm and another 3ish damage. You’ll pull most of that back in Momentum beating on Boar in return. How many characters can easily stand up to Boar 1-on-1 and come out ahead?
Inf – The very standard 2/4 for Masons is present again. Mallet can be somewhat greedy due to either needing to sprint to keep up with the Sisters/Flint or Charge to get the most from his Tools. I tend to find myself usually pumping 2 into him most turns but don’t be shy from fully loading him when you need to. He’ll get the job done.
Football Legend [4” Aura] – There aren’t many buffs which effect more than one team member, this is one of the very few. The extra 1” on kicks is nice but isn’t a massive boost, the extra dice though, that’s good. I’ve had a Harmony [Family] Buffed engaged with 2 enemy and also have another intervene on the shot. All of that takes her down to 1 dice. At the same time she’s been within this aura and used “Bonus Time” to get back to 3 Dice, not bad for a near impossible shot!
Extended Reach – I know it seems like I keep talking about Unique abilities but this one really is. 3” Melee Range during his activation. Bonkers! This means that someone who has 2” less move than Honour has the same threat range. This does fall back to 2” outside of his activation though so don’t forget about that when it comes to ganging up or crowding out.
Forceful Blow – Mallet only gets this if he charges, this means if he’s already engaging his target or wants to just advance into it then he won’t be able to use this trait. However it’s a massive boost being able to do an additional 2 damage. This is in effect the best part of another Inf’s worth of attack so if you were worried about charging then don’t, you’ll earn it back. In addition the 2” Push can used to free up other characters, push enemies into more melee ranges for ganging up or even push them off the table itself. Be aware that you much pick a damaging result to trigger this so the Guildball Symbol, the Push, Knock down or Tackle won’t trigger this bonus.
The most important aspect of Mallets Playbook is its length. Its only 5 long and as we’ve discussed you’ll want to be charging lots, this means that you’ll be able to wrap around a fair amount. You have 5 useful Momentous results within the first 3 columns, this gives you a very reliable way to get the job done. The single hit results gives you access to both of Mallets Character Plays (described below) and knowing when you use these over other plays are the key to getting the most out of him, especially when you’re trying to use them in tandem with Forceful Blow. As with Honour the high damaging results aren’t Momentous. On a Charge against one of the 2+ Def enemies you’ll get 9 Dice, this should grant you around 7/8 hits. That’s a rather tasty 4 Damage from the 5th Column, 2 Momentous Damage from the 2nd Column and a bonus 2 Damage from the Forceful Blow. 8 Damage, 10 if he’s been Tooled up. Plus a 2” Push. Not bad at all is it?
Singled Out – For the Cost of a single hit you can apply this play. It de buffs the enemy player so your players gain +2Tac against him for the remainder of the turn. Use it on someone you need to secure wrap around’s to hurt and take out in a turn or against a high Def enemy where the extra 2 dice might grant you an additional hit to secure a KD result which will by the end of the turn result in a kill. The other use is to apply it easy on to a player you expect your opponent will send into your lines, with an additional 2 TAC on all attacks made against that player your opponent should think twice. Even the average striker will go up to 10 Dice on the charge with this.
Smashed Skins – This play again can be triggered for a single hit. Applying this to an enemy striker will make them far less likely to score. Apply it to an enemy midfielder and they’ll find it really hard to score, due to such a large negative. Now getting the best out of this will be hard as a lot of the good goal threats are faster than Mallet can be normally so some tweaks will be needed to get the old fella going.
Mallet is the pivotal backbone to most Masons line ups. He gives you a good footballer, a brilliant melee threat and not only the best team footballing buff in the game but someone with two fantastic (if situational) de buffs for the enemy players. If you ever needed the Mortar in between all those fantastic blocks you have to hold them all together, look no further than this man.
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