Last week we revealed most of the blocked out section of the Master Blacksmith Anvil’s player card, if you missed that article you can find it HERE. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the other side of that coin, Anvil’s Apprentice Sledge. There’s plenty of juicy stuff to talk about with Sledge, especially since there’s already so much going on with him! A [2”] melee zone with Push results and Knockback, a free Character Play each turn from Tutelage, and a semi-ridiculous Momentous  damage result! What else could there possibly be to make this guy even sweeter!? Kick back and let me tell you…
Set ‘Em Up And Knock ‘Em Down
We’ve explained in each of our previous articles on the Blacksmiths that they’re at their best when the Masters set up a target, or take possession of the ball, and the Apprentices annihilate the target, or score a goal. While Sledge has quite good KICK attributes at [3/6”], he specialises in dealing enormous amounts of damage with his brutal melee attacks. We have seen how Anvil can help Sledge to unlock his terrifying potential, through knocking down a target and using the Singled Out Character Play on them. But just how good is Sledge with that hammer of his?
Sledge isn’t bad at using his hammer at all, it turns out. Over the last few weeks we’ve been watching the forum and social media reactions to the Blacksmiths, and a number of you guessed that Sledge’s TAC would be  or even lower. We’re glad to ‘disappoint’ you in this regard! Indeed, when attacking an enemy player that is knocked down and Singled Out, Sledge will be rolling a total of  dice when making an Attack and the enemy player will have [-1] DEF due to being knocked down. Sledge will be rolling  dice if Anvil is still engaging the enemy player thanks to the Ganging Up bonus. Now, this is pretty good but we’re probably still only looking at hitting that Momentous  damage with each attack, assuming average results on the dice roll against an enemy player with reasonable defensive attributes.
Sledge has an INF attribute of [1/3], this means that he is capable of making  Attacks or a Charge and  extra Attack during his activation. In our above example this means that Sledge would inflict around  damage during his activation. However…
Can You Smell What Sledge is Cookin’?
I can hear you all going ‘Aaaaaahhhhhh! NOW it makes sense!’ Indeed, Piledriver is the Character Play that really makes Sledge sing as a damage dealer. When developing Sledge, we wanted the player to really feel like he needs to take time to wind up his swing and properly take aim in order to unleash maximum damage. This imagery is the final piece of the concept we had when making the Blacksmiths; the link between Master and Apprentice. Piledriver allows Sledge to add [+3] net hits to his next attack, remember that net hits are the amount of successes that you have when rolling an Attack AFTER subtracting the enemy player’s ARM. Let’s look at some examples:
Sledge rolls his base TAC of  against a DEF [4+], ARM  player and rolls  successes, after subtracting the enemy player’s ARM this would leave Sledge with  net hits. If Sledge makes the same Attack again but under the effect of Piledriver, Sledge would have  net hits instead, opening a lot of Sledge’s playbook to choose a result from.
This time, against a DEF [4+] and ARM  enemy, but with Anvil engaging the enemy player, and the enemy player is suffering the knocked-down condition (so is DEF [3+] and Singled Out. This time Sledge rolls  TAC dice, getting about  successes, reduced to  because of the enemy player’s ARM. With Piledriver, Sledge has  net hits and achieves his Momentous  damage result!
In combination with Piledriver, Tutelage is now an incredibly important part of Sledge’s activation. Sledge needs to activate within [6”] of Anvil to trigger Tutelage so that he can use Piledriver without spending Influence. Our earlier calculation for Sledge to deal around  damage in a single activation is increased to  once we factor in the impact of Piledriver.
Another really cool part of Piledriver is that in addition to a COST in influence, it also has a Playbook trigger on Sledge’s second column. So, if you happen to engineer a situation where Sledge gets so many net hits that he wraps his playbook, Sledge could choose the Momentous  damage AND the Playbook trigger for Piledriver. In this case, Sledge would be effected by Piledriver again for his next Attack too! Quite literally, the more you set up Sledge‘s target, the more devastating his activation can be! From personal experience, in one of the final Blacksmith playtest games we saw Sledge use this method to take-down the Fishermen Captain Corsair from full health in one activation! Incredible!