17. AIR UNITS
17.2 ARMY AIR UNITS
17.3 NAVAL AIR UNITS
17.6 AIR TRANSPORTS
17.7 STRATEGIC BOMBERS
17.9 PARTIAL AIR COUNTERS
17.11 Air forces are represented by seven types of units: army air units, naval air units, kamikazes, jets, air transports, strategic bombers and interceptors.
17.12 Air units are distinguished from one another by where they may base, what operations they may carry out, their construction cost and limitations on their rate of construction, and certain other unique abilities.
17.13 References to air units refer to army and naval air units, kamikazes, jets and air transports, unless otherwise specified. Strategic bombers and interceptors are SW units.
17.14 AIR FACTORS AND SQUADRONS:
17.141 Each air factor represents approximately three times as many planes as an air squadron. This is reflected in the following:
A. COST: Each air factor costs three BRPs; each air squadron costs one BRP. Naval air units are the only type of air unit constructed as squadrons (NAS). All other types of air units, including army air, are constructed as factors, not squadrons.
B. APPLICATION OF 3:1 RATIO: One air factor is equivalent to three air squadrons for basing (18.1), sea transport (21.434), sea escort (21.64) and uninversion (33.7).
C. AIR COMBAT: When air units of any type engage in air combat with naval air units, each air factor is converted into three squadrons, each of which is equivalent in size to an NAS. The number of air squadrons is then used as the basis for determining the row used on the Air Combat Table for the air combat dice roll and the effect of the air combat dice roll (see 19.2).
D. ARMY AIR INTERACTION WITH NAVAL UNITS: When army air units search, provide air cover, or attack enemy naval units at sea, the army air units operate as squadrons (23.13). AAS of the required type and NAS are equivalent for these purposes.
17.142 WHEN AAF AND NAS EQUIVALENT: AAF and NAS are equivalent for the following activities:
A. ATTACKING ENEMY NAVAL UNITS IN PORT: This reflects the special training and equipment which characterized naval air units. In effect, naval air units are considered to be three times as effective as army air units in attacking enemy naval units in port.
B. AIR DEFENSE EFFECTS: Air defense results for naval units attacked in port apply equally to AAF and NAS. For example, a "1/2" air defense result would eliminate one AAF or one NAS, and force two AAF or two NAS to return to base without attacking.
17.143 WHEN AAF AND NAS NOT EQUIVALENT: AAF and NAS are not equivalent for other activities, such as counterair missions, providing ground support, and so on. For example, three NAS are required to provide one factor of ground support. Three NAS are equivalent to one AAF for diplomatic purposes, whether in relation to the limit on forces which may enter a minor country after a diplomatic result of "8" or "-1", or when applying the diplomatic modifier for having forces in a minor country.
17.2 ARMY AIR UNITS:
17.21 BASING: Army air units must base on cities, ports, airbase or artificial port counters. Each city, port, airbase and artificial port may base five AAF (EXCEPTION: Each city, port, airbase and artificial port in a Pacific theater one-hex island or hex containing jungle or jungle/mountain may base only three air factors). A hex containing two cities or a city and an airbase may therefore base ten air factors; a hex containing two cities and an airbase may base 15 air factors (or, in Pacific theater one-hex islands and hexes containing jungle or jungle/mountain, six or nine air factors, respectively). There is no limit to the number of AAF which may base in a mapboard box. AAF may not operate from carriers under any circumstances.
17.22 RANGE: Army air units have a range of four hexes in Europe and three hexes in the Pacific.
17.23 OPERATIONS: Army air units may conduct the following air operations:
B. Air cover.
C. Search during naval combat and modify submarine attacks.
D. Attack enemy naval units at sea and in ports.
E. Bomb enemy economic targets.
F. Ground support.
G. Intercept enemy defensive air support.
H. Provide defensive air support.
I. Oppose enemy bombing.
J. Intercept air transport operations.
K. Counter-intercept defending air which intercept air transports.
17.24 CONSTRUCTION: Each AAF costs three BRPs to build.
17.25 AAF AND SQUADRONS: Whenever AAF engage in air combat with enemy naval air units, participate in naval combat, search, fly air cover or attack enemy naval units at sea, they operate as squadrons, subject to the restrictions set out in 23.11.
17.3 NAVAL AIR UNITS:
17.31 BASING: Naval air units base in the same manner as army air units, with three NAS being equivalent to one AAF. In addition:
17.311 ONE HEX ISLANDS: One NAS may base at a one-hex island (18.13).
17.312 FAST CARRIERS: Each fast carrier may base a number of NAS of its own nationality equal to its size in factors. Other types of air units may not operate from carriers.
17.3121 Each fast carrier and its naval air units move, fight and redeploy as one unit. This does not prevent naval air units on a fast carrier from attacking different targets, other than when raiding (21.5361B).
17.3122 Naval air units may be transferred between a port or mapboard box and fast carriers in that location during the owner’s player turn as follows, subject to carrier and location basing capacity.
A. MOVEMENT PHASE: Immediately before or after staging air units, naval base changes or sea transport.
B. REDEPLOYMENT PHASE: Immediately before or after TRs or NRs.
C. RESTRICTIONS: Inverted naval air units may not transfer onto carriers (EXCEPTIONS: Naval air units constructed in a shipyard or mapboard box may transfer to carriers launched in that shipyard in the same construction phase; naval air units may go back on their carriers after their base is counteraired).
17.3123 At the end of the owning player's turn, it must be clear whether naval air units are on board fast carriers or not. This will determine whether the naval air units are eligible to modify interceptions and searches, or whether fast carriers in the port have their full complement of naval air ready for naval combat. Only naval air units which are on board carriers are concealed by TF markers.
- When based on a carrier, naval air units have the status of the carrier on which they are based. The uninversion of a carrier uninverts any naval air units on the carrier.
- The transfer of uninverted naval air units to an uninverted carrier allows the carrier to operate normally as soon as naval air units are transferred to the carrier.
- Naval air units which transfer from an inverted carrier are inverted, and may be uninverted normally.
17.3124 If the sinking of one of several fast carriers in a naval force causes the number of NAS in that naval force to exceed the capacity of the remaining fast carriers, a corresponding number of NAS are eliminated. When a naval force containing fast carriers is attacked, the NAS are considered to be based first on undamaged fast carriers, then on damaged fast carriers, and only then on fast carriers which are sunk. Naval air units may be freely transferred among undamaged fast carriers in the same naval force. If transferred from an inverted carrier to an uninverted one, the receiving carrier also becomes inverted. Naval air units flying combat air patrol (but not counterair or air strikes) may also transfer to a land base within three hexes of their naval force but are inverted for the remainder of the player turn if they do so (22.463). A damaged carrier at sea may carry, but not land or launch, naval air units. Once a damaged carrier returns to base, any naval air units on the damaged carrier may transfer to land bases. Naval air units may not fly onto a damaged carrier, whether the damaged carrier is in port or at sea.
17.3125 Naval air units based on a fast carrier are stacked on top of their carrier or placed by it on the owning player's Naval Status Board.
17.3126 CARRIER AIR OPERATIONS IN PORT: Naval air units based on a fast carrier in port, including those concealed by a TF marker, are limited to defensive operations over their base. If a base containing fast carriers is attacked by land-based or carrier-based enemy air units, the presence of all carrier-based naval air units concealed by a TF marker is revealed. Such naval air units may be counteraired,
in which case they engage the attacking air units in the same manner as air units based in the attacked hex. Otherwise such naval air units may perform no combat related activities and may not aid naval interception or search.
17.3127 CARRIERS SUNK IN PORT: If a fast carrier is sunk in port, any naval air units based on the fast carrier are displaced to the port and are not eliminated by the loss of the carrier unless sufficient basing in the port hex is unavailable.
17.32 RANGE: Naval air units operating from land or from carriers have a range of three hexes in both Europe and the Pacific.
17.33 OPERATIONS: Naval air units may conduct the following air operations:
B. Air cover (land-based naval air units only).
C. Search during naval combat and modify submarine attacks (land-based naval air units only).
D. Attack enemy naval units at sea and in ports.
E. Combat air patrol (carrier-based naval air units only).
F. Ground support.
G. Intercept enemy defensive air support.
H. Provide defensive air support (land-based naval air units only).
I. Intercept air transport operations (land-based naval air units only).
J. Counter-intercept defending air which intercept air transports (land-based naval air units only).
17.34 CONSTRUCTION: Each NAS costs one BRP to build.
17.35 NAVAL AIR TRAINING:
17.351 Naval aviation, especially operations from carriers, required particularly high levels of training. This is reflected in the following rules.
17.352 ELITE JAPANESE NAVAL AIR UNITS: At the start of the game, all Japanese naval air units are elite units represented by distinctive black on gold counters. Elite Japanese naval air units:
A. Have a +1 Air Nationality DRM, in addition to any increases from Japanese Air Nationality DRM research.
B. Are added to the Japanese force pool as a result of mobilization and production if constructed prior to the outbreak of war between Japan and the Western Allies; once war has broken out, Japanese naval air force pool additions enter the game as regular (yellow on black) NAS. If the Japanese have unbuilt naval air units in their force pool when war breaks out with the Western Allies, these are built as regular, rather than elite, units.
C. Are rebuilt as regular NAS when lost. When elite Japanese NAS are eliminated, the equivalent number of regular Japanese NAS are substituted in the Japanese force pool as allowable builds.
17.353 NAVAL AIR TRAINING RATES:
A. The number of NAS which may be built each turn, including both NAS being rebuilt after having been eliminated and force pool additions, is limited by the naval air training rate for all major powers as follows: the U.S.: 4; Japan: 3; Britain: 2; Germany: 1; Italy: 1.
B. American CVE construction does not count against the American and British naval air training limits, but each turn the U.S. may not begin construction of more American CVEs than the current American naval air training rate (EXCEPTION: European scenarios - 17.355) and may not begin construction of more British CVEs than the current British naval air training rate.
C. Naval air training rates may be increased by the investment of RPs in production (42.23D).
D. France, Russia and China may never build naval air units.
17.354 ATTACKING NAVAL UNITS AT SEA: Naval air units attacking ships at sea, whether based on land or carriers, receive a +1 modifier on their attack dice rolls (23.441C).
17.355 AMERICAN NAVAL AIR ASSIGNMENTS: Before war breaks out between the U.S. and Japan, newly constructed American naval air units must be assigned to fast carriers as soon as possible in order to make the fast carriers operational.
17.356 EUROPEAN SCENARIOS: The American naval air training rate at the start of a European scenario is 0. This may be increased by the investment of RPs in production. In a European scenario, the U.S. may build up to four American CVEs per turn, regardless of the American naval air training rate.
17.41 INVOKING THE KAMIKAZE RULE: The Japanese player may invoke the kamikaze rule during any Japanese unit construction phase by announcing this to his opponent.
17.42 UNITS: Kamikazes are represented by using Japanese elite naval air counters. Any surviving elite Japanese naval air units are converted to regular Japanese naval air units when the kamikaze rule is invoked.
17.43 KAMIKAZE FORCE POOL:
A. Japan's initial kamikaze force pool is twice the Japanese naval air training rate. This is the maximum number of air squadrons which may be converted to kamikazes during the Japanese unit construction phase.
B. During the Japanese unit construction phase following the first use of all existing kamikazes to attack Allied naval units, the maximum permitted size of the Japanese kamikaze force pool increases by twice the Japanese naval air training rate. If the Japanese naval air training rate is increased, the expansion of the Japanese kamikaze force pool increases accordingly.
C. If Japanese subsequently use all their kamikazes to attack Allied naval units, the Japanese kamikaze force pool again expands by twice the Japanese naval air training rate. This continues each turn Japan uses all its kamikazes.
17.44 BUILDING KAMIKAZES:
A. During its unit construction phase Japan may expand its kamikaze force pool as permitted by 17.43B by converting NAS (one NAS = one kamikaze) and/or AAF (one AAF = three kamikazes) to kamikazes, up to the new limit of the Japanese kamikaze force pool. NAS and AAF which are already built are converted to built kamikazes; kamikazes created from unbuilt NAS and AAF are added to the Japanese force pool and must be constructed before being used. NAS and AAF converted to kamikazes are permanently removed from the Japanese force pool.
B. Japan may build newly-created and previously eliminated kamikazes during its unit construction phase, up to the limit of its kamikaze force pool, subject only to the normal limits on construction. The Japanese naval air training rate does not affect the construction of kamikazes.
C. Each kamikaze costs one BRP to build.
17.45 UNINVERSION: Newly-constructed kamikazes may be uninverted without counting against the Japanese uninversion limit.
17.46 SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES: Kamikazes are distinguished by the following special attributes:
17.461 BASING: Kamikazes do not base on the mapboard and may therefore be placed in any convenient location visible to both players. Kamikazes may not be counteraired.
17.462 RANGE: Kamikazes have an operational range of four hexes from any air base in Japan, without regard for basing limits.
17.463 LIMITED TO NAVAL ATTACKS: Kamikazes may only attack enemy naval activities and naval units, either at sea or in port.
17.464 AIR NATIONALITY DRM: Kamikazes have the same Air Nationality DRM as non-elite Japanese naval air units in air combat, but are treated as elite Japanese naval air units when attacking naval units (17.47H).
17.47 TARGET SELECTION:
A. AGAINST SINGLE ENEMY COMBAT GROUPS: Whenever kamikazes attack a naval force, that force deploys into combat groups, following the procedure set out in 22.42 (EXCEPTION: A naval force attacked by kamikazes outside of naval combat may contain more than six combat groups). Kamikaze attacks are made against individual enemy combat groups, whether the enemy naval units are engaged in naval combat or not. Kamikazes never attack a multi-TF naval force as a whole.
B. ONLY FOUND COMBAT GROUPS MAY BE ATTACKED: Kamikazes attacking during naval combat may only attack found enemy combat groups.
C. KAMIKAZES ATTACK ALONE: Kamikazes may not attack in conjunction with non-kamikaze land-based air units. Other types of air units may not accompany kamikazes in their attack. Both kamikazes and non-kamikaze land-based air units may attack the same naval force in the same hex; the attacker then decides which units attack first.
D. MECHANICS: Kamikaze attacks are made out as follows:
E. ALLIED DEFENSES: Attacking kamikazes are engaged by defending air units flying air cover and combat air patrol over the attacked combat group (23.2, 23.3), then by the defender’s ships (23.42). Kamikazes:
- All kamikaze attacks simultaneous: When the Japanese player announces kamikaze attacks, all kamikazes used to attack during that turn must attack at that time. Kamikazes may not be used to attack during a subsequent phase or combat round during that turn.
- No more than 15 kamikazes in each attack: No more than 15 kamikazes may attack any one Allied combat group unless the attacked Allied naval force consists of only a single Allied combat group, in which case a second wave of kamikazes may attack that Allied combat group immediately after the first kamikaze attack is resolved.
F. SELECTING TARGETS: Each attacking kamikaze targets a category of defending naval units: fast carriers; capital ships (non-carrier named ships); or light ships.
- do not make an air combat dice roll against the defending air units flying air cover and combat air patrol;
- are eliminated if forced to abort by the defender’s air combat result (the number after the “/”).
- disregard air defense abort results (the number after the “/”) and press home their attacks.
G. RESOLVING KAMIKAZE ATTACKS: Once the targets of all attacking kamikazes are determined, each attack is resolved by making a dice roll on the Naval Attack Table for each target. For the purpose of determining kamikaze attack levels on the Naval Attack Table, each kamikaze is equivalent to three air squadrons. If two kamikazes attack the same target, a single attack dice roll is made for that target, using the “6” row on the Naval Attack Table; three kamikazes use the “9” row, and so on.
- If there is a single category of defending ships, that category is attacked.
- If there are two categories of defending ships, the target category is determined by rolling one die: 1-3: the higher category (fast carriers or capital ships); 4-6: the lower category (capital ships or light ships).
- If there are three categories of defending ships, the target category is determined by rolling one die: 1-2: fast carriers; 3-4: capital ships; 5-6: light ships.
- Within each category, the attacker chooses his specific target; light ships are attacked as a group.
H. KAMIKAZE ATTACK MODIFIERS: Kamikazes initially attack with the same Air Nationality DRM as elite Japanese naval air units. Each time Japan increases its kamikaze force pool (17.43B, C), kamikazes receive an additional +1 modifier in their subsequent attacks. This modifier is cumulative. Kamikazes therefore become more effective over time, provided they are fully used.
17.48 DISPOSABILITY: Kamikazes are eliminated after they complete a single air sortie.
17.51 BASING: Jets base in the same manner as army air units. Jets may not operate from fast carriers.
17.52 RANGE: The range of jets is determined by the research result for jets:
A. “9”: two hexes in Europe and one hex in the Pacific.
B. “11”: three hexes in Europe and two hexes in the Pacific.
C. “12+”: four hexes in Europe and three hexes in the Pacific.
17.53 OPERATIONS: Jets may conduct the following air operations:
B. Escort air attacks on enemy naval units in port.
C. Escort the bombing of enemy economic targets.
D. Intercept enemy defensive air support.
E. Escort defensive air support.
F. Oppose enemy bombing.
G. Intercept air transport operations.
H. Counter-intercept defending air which intercept air transports.
17.531 Jets may not provide air cover, attack enemy naval units, escort other air units which attack enemy naval units at sea, bomb, or provide ground support or defensive air support.
17.54 CONSTRUCTION: Each jet factor costs three BRPs to build. Jets may not be built until a “9” research result for jets is achieved.
17.55 AIR COMBAT STRENGTH: For the purpose of determining air attack levels in air combat, each jet factor is equivalent to three AAF. Jets take air combat losses in the same manner as other air units. Jets engaged in air combat involving NAS are converted to squadrons (one jet factor is converted to three jet squadrons, each of which is equivalent to three air squadrons), and are recombined into factors in the same manner as AAF (23.14).
17.56 AIR COMBAT MODIFIERS: Each jet factor or three jet squadrons engaged in air combat generates a favorable +/-1 modifier for air combat dice rolls. If both sides have jets in an air battle, only the net modifier is applied.
17.57 Jets are a distinct type of air unit and may suffer casualties in air combat with non-jets in accordance with 19.6.
17.581 ESCORTING JETS: Jets may escort army air units and strategic bombers up to the limit of their range (26.43B). Escorting jets participate in air combat with defending air units (26.452).
17.582 DEFENDING JETS: Jets within range of an enemy bombing route may engage the bombing force in air combat (26.443B).
17.59 FLYING BOMBS: Jets may be used to defend against flying bombs if they are within range of the hex being attacked (26.66).
17.6 AIR TRANSPORTS:
17.61 BASING: Air transport units base in the same manner as army air units.
17.62 RANGE: Air transport units have a range of four hexes in Europe and three hexes in the Pacific.
17.63 OPERATIONS: Air transport units may conduct the following air operations:
A. Air supply.
B. Air transport.
D. Fly BRPs over the Hump to China.
17.64 CONSTRUCTION: Each air transport factor costs three BRPs to build.
17.65 COMBAT: Whenever air transports engage in air combat with enemy naval air units, they operate as squadrons (23.18). Air transport units are a distinct type of air unit and may suffer casualties in air combat in accordance with 19.6. Air transport units are not counted when determining the number of air factors the owning player uses for air combat (18.521B).
17.7 STRATEGIC BOMBERS:
17.71 BASING: Strategic bombers may only base in an SW box. Each SW box is considered to consist of three parts which correspond to the three different fronts on each mapboard (5.92). Strategic bombers may be deployed from one SW box to another SW box, or from one front to another front (within an SW box), during the redeployment phase, whether or not they were used during the owning player's turn. Strategic bombers may bomb targets on a front in their theater other than the one in which they are based if they have the range to do so.
17.72 RANGE: Strategic bomber range is determined by the number of hexes from any operational air base (26.31) on their assigned front, regardless of the number of other air factors using the base, to their target. Strategic bomber range depends on the research result for Air Range:
A. No results: Four hexes in Europe, three hexes in the Pacific.
B. One result: Eight hexes in Europe, six hexes in the Pacific.
C. Two results: Sixteen hexes in Europe, twelve hexes in the Pacific.
D. Three results: Twenty-four hexes in Europe, eighteen hexes in the Pacific.
17.73 OPERATIONS: The only operation which may be carried out by strategic bombers is bombing.
17.74 CONSTRUCTION: Each strategic bomber costs three BRPs to build.
17.81 BASING: Interceptors may base only in an SW box. Each SW box is considered to consist of three parts which correspond to the three different fronts on each mapboard (5.92). Interceptors may be deployed from one SW box to another SW box, or from one front to another front (within an SW box), during the redeployment phase, whether or not they were used during the owning player's turn, without impairing the ability of the interceptors to conduct SW in the next player turn.
17.82 RANGE: Interceptors may engage enemy strategic bombers whenever they pass through or attack targets on their assigned front and whenever they pass within interceptor range of any controlled, fully-supplied air base on their assigned front, regardless of the number of other air factors using the base. The range for escorting interceptors is determined by the number of hexes from any operational air base (26.31) on their assigned front, regardless of the number of other air factors using the base, to their target. Interceptor range depends on the research result for Air Range:
A. No results: Four hexes in Europe, three hexes in the Pacific.
B. One result: Four hexes in Europe, three hexes in the Pacific.
C. Two results: Eight hexes in Europe, six hexes in the Pacific.
D. Three results: Twelve hexes in Europe, nine hexes in the Pacific.
17.83 OPERATIONS: Interceptors may escort bombing missions during their player turn (26.43) and may oppose enemy bombing and flying bomb attacks during the opposing player turn (26.44, 26.66).
17.84 CONSTRUCTION: Each interceptor costs three BRPs to build.
17.85 AIR NATIONALITY DRM AND COMBAT: Interceptors have an additional +1 Air Nationality DRM, and therefore have an advantage in air combat, unless accompanied by air units with a lower Air Nationality DRM.
17.9 PARTIAL AIR COUNTERS:
17.91 Air counters may be broken down into smaller counters of the same nationality at any time during play, including during an opponent's player turn. Similarly, smaller counters may be recombined into larger ones at any time.
17.92 A player may begin a scenario with his air units broken down into partial air counters.
17.93 Although a player may have as many partial air counters in play as he wishes, air counters in the same hex must be combined at the end of their owner's player turn if the opposing player finds the unnecessary partial air counters distracting.