Mallet is the “old man” of the Masons; if it’s happened in Guild Ball then he’s heard about 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 other players but has one of the best footballing buffs in the game. That alone is often enough to grant him a place in your starting 6.
MOV – At 4”/6” Mallet is on the lower end of the continuum in terms of movement, however his 2” melee range (3” during his activation) increases this. As a result, with 2” less MOV 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 you can bring his might to where it is needed if required.
TAC – 5 is not bad by any means. He’ll usually be trying to charge so 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 but settle for jogging or sprinting, 5 is still slightly above average.
KICK – At first glance, 2/6” isn’t that good. In fact, I lamented the same stat line with Harmony. In my defense, the stat doesn’t tell the whole story, as he benefits from his own Football Legend Aura so he’ll always be at least 3/7”, which is certainly better than a few strikers out there.
DEF – 3+ is once again the standard Mason defensive line. Being quick on his feat was never Mallet’s strong point anyway, that’s why he has his 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. Boars is the most feared warrior out there, but let’s look at the maths. 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. Only 4 hits from the mighty Boar! What’s 3 damage from 16? Boars 2nd attack, that’s 5/6 hits, again, another 2 blocked by the Arm and another 3-ish 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 that effect more than one team member, but 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 buffed Harmony engaged with 2 enemies and also have another intervene on the shot. All of that takes her down to 1 dice. At the same time she was 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. His melee range 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, which means that 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 effectively the best part of another INF-worth of attack, so if you were worried about charging then don’t, you’ll earn it back. In addition, the 2” Push can be 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 must pick a damaging result (Guildball symbol) to trigger this; the Push, Knockdown or Tackle results won’t trigger this bonus.
The most important aspect of Mallet’s Playbook is its length. It’s only 5 long and as we’ve discussed, you’ll want to be charging a lot so 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 Mallet’s Character Plays (described below), and knowing when to use these over other plays is 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, which 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.
Singled Out – For the Cost of a single hit you can apply this play. It debuffs an enemy player so that your players gain +2 TAC against them for the remainder of the turn. Use it on someone you need to secure wraparounds to 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 result in a kill by the end of the turn. The other use is to apply it on 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; chances are you’ll increase their required dice roll needed to score to at least a 5+ if not a 6+. Apply it to an enemy defender and, well, they’ll have next to no chance to score. If your opponent needs to score to win the game in a single turn, apply this early and take comfort in the knowledge that player will only be scoring on a single 6 and only from within spitting distance of the goal.
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) debuffs for enemy players. If you ever needed the mortar in between all those fantastic blocks you have, look no further than this man.
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