Actually, Opening Fire occurs in every round of combat, not just once.
Thus, the confusion.
For Revised OOB rules, you stated that aa guns fire during NCM, our group has played it as it only fires during combat, so if you pass over multiple territories with aa guns, each territory with aa gun fire but not during NCM.
I base this on the OOB rulebook page 25,
“Shoot down air units: Antiaircraft guns can shoot down attacking air units. Whenever an air unit enters a territory containing an enemy antiaircraft gun, the antiaircraft gun fires during the opening fire step of combat. Roll one die for each attacking air unit (but only one antiaircraft gun in the territory can fire, even if they are controlled by different powers). For every roll of 1, one attacking air unit is destroyed.”
Also under defense: 1 (opening fire only).
Based on above, even though it says “whenever an air unit enters a territory containing an enemy antiaircraft gun” (which would imply NCM also) but the second part states that “the antiaircraft gun fires during the opening fire step of combat” (doesn’t combat imply that it only fires during combat and not during NCM?).
Thank you in advance for the clarification, our group has been playing OOB rules and we want to get this rule right.
Yup, the box rules on AA guns are confusing and contradictory. Part of the problem arises from the fact that a combat action (AA fire) occurs during phases other than the Conduct Combat phase*. Even if you exclude NCM, they would still fire during the Combat Move phase, during which no other combat occurs. In fact, the only air unit movement that occurs during the Conduct Combat phase is landing the planes after the battle (yes, it’s true, attacking air units land during the Conduct Combat phase in the box rules, not during NCM - see page 18). So, if you wanted to be completely consistent and have AA guns fire only in the Conduct Combat phase, they’d only fire at planes returning home after battles are over!
As a result of all this, the rules needed to draw clear lines to handle the inherent contradictions. Unfortunately, they didn’t. The fact is that you can quote rules that support AA guns firing in NCM, and you can quote rules that oppose it, as you’ve already shown. As I said, the rules are unclear, and even contradictory. Since the FAQ doesn’t address the subject at all, it’s no help. However, there is one place that we can find a definitive answer. The game comes with an insert called “Revised Orders” that outlines the changes between Classic and Revised (in a rather confusing format). On the third page, the following entry appears:
Then: Antiaircraft guns could fire only on attacking air units on their way into combat.
Now: Now they can fire on air units whenever they are overflown.
Why: It seemed more logical, and it’s easier to administer.
From this entry, we can see that it was the designers’ intent that AA guns always fire when flown over. Unfortunately, the authors of the rulebook didn’t convey that concept clearly, as the rules on this point are so inconclusive that we need to go to a supplemental insert for clarification. I hope this clears things up.
I wanted to know the history/background on this ruling.