Minor Air Base COST: 5 SIZE: 4 UPGRADE COST: 5
Major Air Base COST:10 SIZE: 8
Air Bases (AB) are purchased during the Purchase Units phase and are placed on the map during the Mobilise New Units phase, just like regular combat units. ABs must be placed into any territory that your power has controlled since the start of your turn, regardless of IPC value. Unlike Industrial Complexes, ABs can never be destroyed by your own forces.
Air Bases have two sizes which represent how many air units can be based there. Minor ABs can hold up to 4 air units, and Major ABs can hold up to 8 air units (any mixture of Fighters and/or Bombers). An AB can hold one less air unit for every Damage counter on it.
A Minor AB that your power has controlled since the start of your turn can be upgraded to Major AB during the Purchase Units phase, for the cost of 5 IPCs. Pay the cost to the bank and replace the Minor AB token with a Major AB token. The Major AB is now effective immediately. Any Damage counters on the AB prior to the upgrade will remain there until repaired in the normal way.
Damaged ABs can be repaired during the Purchase Units phase for the cost of 1 IPC per Damage counter. Pay the desired amount to the bank and remove that number of Damage counters from the AB. Destroyed ABs cannot be repaired; they must be rebuilt at their normal build cost (replace the Destroyed counter with the relevant AB counter on the map; the AB is now fully functional again).
A Major AB can be downgraded to a Minor AB for no cost, during the Mobilise New Units phase. This is effective immediately - replace the Major AB with a Minor AB. (The German player may downgrade any Major AB in an Axis Minor territory at this time also.)
Air Base Operations
Your air units (Fighters and Bombers) must be based in a territory with an AB in order to be able to conduct attacks or SBRs during your Combat Move phase. The AB in question could be yours or an ally’s. Any air units based in a territory without an AB cannot move during your Combat Move phase; they may still move during your Noncombat Move phase, however.
Friendly Fighters (yours or those allied to your power) based in a territory with an AB may defend in a regular combat in that territory, as normal. They may also defend in a SBR against all installation types, in that territory, if the controlling player so wishes. They may choose to defend in any regular combat or SBR in an adjacent territory (one space away). However, each Fighter may only participate in one engagement, and they must return to the AB they originated from afterwards.
Friendly Fighters based in territories without an AB may only defend in a regular combat or SBR in that territory and they may not engage at all in adjacent territories.
Friendly Bombers (yours and those allied to your power) based in a territory with or without an AB may still defend in a regular battle in that territory as normal; however, they cannot defend in any combats in adjacent territories, in any way. Also, friendly Bombers can never defend against SBR attacks, regardless of installation type.
Strategic Bombing Raids
Air Bases can be damaged and even destroyed by enemy Bombers conducting a SBR. Any Bombers that survive defending Anti Aircraft Gun and Interceptor fire (Fighters) will then roll for damage. The size of the AB determines how many Damage counters it can receive, and it can hold one less air unit for every Damage counter on it. Therefore, after a SBR has been completed, the maximum number of air units based at the target AB must be reconciled with the AB’s diminished size. If the number of air units based there is greater than the current size of the AB, then the extra units must immediately be moved to a friendly adjacent space - either a territory or Aircraft Carrier (in the case of Fighters).
For example: The Soviet Union player controls an undamaged Minor AB (size 4) and there are 4 air units based there (2 Fighters and 2 Bombers). Germany makes a SBR against the AB with 1 Bomber. The German Bomber survives all defending fire from the AA Gun and the 2 Interceptors in the territory, and then rolls for damage, getting a 2. Therefore, 2 Damage counters are placed on the AB; its size is now 2 (size 4 - 2 damage = size 2). The Soviet player must immediately remove 2 air units of his/her choice from the territory, in order to reconcile with its new size.
If an AB ever receives more Damage counters than its size, it is destroyed. For example, a Minor AB has a size of 4 - if it ever receives 5 Damage counters or more, it is destroyed. If this happens, remove all the Damage counters from the AB and replace them with a Destroyed counter.
Any friendly air units based at an AB which is destroyed by a SBR will be automatically destroyed on a one for one basis for each additional point of damage.