Crew Overview: Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey is an all-women group of vigilante operatives who’ve gone on covert missions across the globe.
It’s a crew with a lot of personality. Basically, all of its members are famous characters from the universe of Batman. That crew is made up of some of the most powerful women of Gotham City. You will get high mobility, defense and strength above the average, but in general you will have fewer models than the opponent so you will have to take care of your valuable characters so that they are not removed from the game.
This crew has two special rules. The first and the simplest one is that, if you include a character that is also part of the Batman’s crew, you could no longer include any character that is a Rival of this crew, so you will have to choose between good guys and bad guys when you choose the crew members.
“Psychologically speaking, vengeance rarely brings the catharsis we hope for”. Harley Quinn
The second rule is more important. That rule is that all objective cards that have 3 of the same copies of the crew, have a special mechanic. They are more difficult cards to score than other ones, but if a certain situation occurs (it is shown on the card written in a thicker stroke) you can place the card on the table (having no more than one card played in this way) and then a condition will be activated to score it in an easier way than the previous one. To carry out this action you will have to know the rhythm of the game, and take advantage of situations to get the most benefit of your cards.
Tough Girls and In Position are objective cards that you can usually score consecutively. Tough Girls asks you to Reveal an Enemy Suspect, while you have at least 3 more Suspects than the opponent, and In Position requires you to place a Suspect within 4” of an opponent, while you have at least 4 Suspects in play.
As you can see, the second objective can help the first one, because you will need to have Suspects placed to score both. Although both seem a bit complicated to score. If there are more enemy Suspects than friendly Suspects in play, you can score In Position by simply placing a Suspects within 4” of an enemy model, and if an enemy model reveals one of your Suspects, then Tough Girls could be scored when you place a Suspects and there are more friendly Suspects in play than enemy Suspects.
As tips to score both cards, always try to keep the enemy's Suspects under control (depending on the enemy it will be more or less easy, it is not the same to be playing against the League of Assassins than against the Joker's crew).
The In Position resource is especially useful for models that have multiple Special Actions (to be able to perform them all), while Tough Girls has a resource that costs 0 and allows you to pass the concussions, when you exert yourself to the Defender, to another nearby ally model (such as a pretty plant).
The next two objective cards deal damage to enemy models. With No Protection Needed we will simply need to have 3 enemy models suffering KO. Pretty Birds we will have to deal damage to two enemy models with the same attack action with a friendly model that the enemies cannot see when they start their activation. This last card is especially difficult to score, except if the opponent inflicts 5 damage with an attack on a friendly model. Then you will only have to attack an enemy model with a friendly model that the opponent could not see at the beginning of the activation. This can easily be done with the characters with great mobility, or with the plants and their large “action zone”.
“Right in the tit!” Harley Quinn
No Protection Needed can be scored more easily, if the rival removes one of our models as a Casualty or suffers KO, then if there are 2 enemy models suffering KO we will score the card. To carry out this action we need to have some model that we don't mind "losing" so much (such as a plant), although it is always best to try to score this card the hard way.
The No Protection Needed and Tough Girls are identical, but for the attack, it is again very useful because our attacking characters don't have to suffer retaliation later when they're exhausted. Pretty Birds grants us a trait until the end of the round, and Stealth makes it more difficult for rivals to see us. This has two positive points, the first is that it will be more difficult for them to attack or hurt us from a distance, and we will also be able to score the objective more easily.
The Nest is a quite different card from the other ones. To score it we will need to have more friendly models than enemy models in the enemy Deployment Zone during the Recount Phase. We have an advantage in this because normally, the opponent does not want to stay in his Deployment Zone since he will not be able to place Suspect inside, and we will also use our speed to get there quickly and fight in his territory. However, if the opponent has more models than you in your own Deployment Zone, then we only need to have 1 model in his Deployment Zone to score. The resource of this card, although it is expensive, is a very direct way to be able to eliminate an enemy model that is KO from the game, since many of the members of the crew cannot produce damage of the necessary type.
Sister In Arms is an example of a crew card, which doesn't have its own crew rule, but as you'll see, it has a lot of influence in the operation of the crew. To score it we will have to have at least 3 friendly Suspects within 4” of the same enemy model, You need to focus on placing the Suspects as close together as possible. This is the best way to achieve this objective, because later, it will make it easier for you to create the necessary triangle when placing the third Suspect. Its Resource, again more expensive than usual, is one of the most powerful in the game, since, taking the active model as a point of origin, we can choose another of our characters, and perform an attack as if it were doing it. There are many characters in the crew that will be able to take advantage of this, especially the ones that do the most damage.
We can start creating the crew with Poison Ivy, as she is a leader that allows us to include as many Plants as possible and improve her efficiency. She is a model that deceives in terms of durability, since, although she has a Defense 3 and an Endurance 7, but she has Adaptable so we can raise her Defense and she also has Protect Me! which we will use it to redirect hits to other targets.
These actions will make the miniature resist much longer than expected. The placement of the Plants (which we will talk about them below) will be crucial for her, because Poison Ivy has 3 very powerful traits related to them.
“Nature always wins” Poison Ivy
Chlorokinesis will make it possible for us to move very quickly to prepare for The Nest score. Green Web will make us make an attack with another friendly model that is a Plant (these attacks will be able to score the aggression cards of the crew), and with Pollination we can place a Suspect in the area of action of any plant.
All these traits mean that the range of our Suspect will be almost infinite as long as we have plants in play. Apart of this, Poison Ivy has a star trait called Control Pheromones, which inflicts the Hypnotize effect on enemy models, with them controlled, we can place Suspect or attack other allies of our target, move it to a position where we can place Suspect wherever we want, etc. We have too many options to choose from.
“I am nature’s arm. Her spirit. Hell, I am mother nature” Poison Ivy
The version of Harley Quinn from Back to Gotham, is the perfect aggressive addition to the crew. She is very fast, she has traits to lower the stats of our rivals and, in addition, she has a mallet that is pretty dangerous. Use it to score No Protection Needed and Pretty Birds.
“You really put the ‘fun’ in funeral” Harley Quinn
The offensive part of the crew is already resolved, so we are going to assign the Suspect control section to this version of Catwoman, another very fast character, great endurance (despite she only has a 6 Endurance value) and who plays with the Suspects like no one.
She and her Backpack will allow you to remove at least 1 Suspect per turn, and with her Cat markers (special Suspect markers that she places by her Meow trait) you can have advantage of markers, and gain the different benefits of having these special markers in play.
As long as there is at least one Suspect marker and if Catwoman would be KO'd or removed as Casualty, instead of allowing that to happen, place her in contact with a Cat marker and remove the marker.
You can also use them to get in contact with any of them and then remove them, and finally you can reveal enemy markers if they are within 8” of a Cat marker, and then remove this last marker as well. As you can see, playing with the markers will be the most important thing that Catwoman does, because of this, scoring cards like Tough Girls and In Position is really easy. Scoring The Nest with her help could also be an option.
“Don’t worry, honey. I got nine of ‘em”. Catwoman
How could we play with these three women together, if two of them are Free Agents?
Including Kite-Man in the crew, we will have a henchman who gives us an invaluable Charismatic.
Apart from that, he is a henchman with quite good stats (even his Movement 6 can be quite useful at times), difficult to hit by other henchman due to his Charm trait, his strong points are that he carries his Kite, with which he moves freely, and as long as you choose well at which point to measure while it is moving, all the Suspects at that point will give it an extra 2” of movement, with this reaching distant points is relatively simple, and being able to place Suspects while it is Inspired too.
Taking advantage of the fact that we have included Poison Ivy, we also have at our disposal Frank the Plant and the Mutated Plant 1, 2 and 3. All of them have, as their name indicates, the Plant trait. Without going into too much detail (and boring you with the extensive explanation) what it means is that the plants do their actions within 4” of them instead of when they are in contact, they see within that entire radius, they can only Manipulate to reveal suspects and they cannot be moved, they are not deployed at the beginning of the game, what they do is to leave during friendly activations in exchange for removing an friendly Suspect that they are in contact with, and whenever they remove them from the game, you can place them again in later rounds, so we could say that they are "eternal".
Taking this into account, you have to take advantage of their strengths. How can we recover them, even if they are removed as Casualty (in fact, when suffering KO, they are also removed as Casualty). Use them to place them in the middle of the enemy crew and try to create as much damage as possible. Scoring Tough Girls, Pretty Birds and The Nest with them will be the best option.
Frank deserves a special mention, it is the plant with the best statistics, and it has a couple of very useful traits such as Biting, with which all the models that want to do actions near it will suffer Enervating, and Slow Digestion, which after attacking with its Devour attack, you will remove the target model that will be locked inside it, and until it passes an Endurance test, it will continue to be out of the game and take damage.
Now it's your turn to play with these wonderful girls to gain control of Gotham in a fun way! In future articles we will show other Birds of Prey crew options and how to play them. Don’t miss them!