My PBEM partner and I are playing a CHS 160 game and we're having a minor disagreement and are looking for advice. Specifically I'm looking for people who are "in the know" - designers/developers/playtesters of the original WiTP and AE.
I know the manual is wrong in some (many?) places, but this took me completely by surprise after a long time of playing several games. I was specifically counting hexes and airbase sizes to determine where the 4E bombers could reach. I thought that 4E bombers (load = 6800) could not fly extended range off level 4 airbases and would fly as if extended up to their normal range. This is specifically what the manual says (yes, it is often wrong) and I think it may be the intent of the designers, but is sort of a "bug", or something that had been overlooked. I look at many of the innacuracies in the manual as changes. So I was basing a large degree of my strategy around this (staying 11+ hexes away from as many SPS 1 airfields as possible). My opponent knew that the 4Es would still fly at extended range.
We have house ruled 4Es to a large extent: no naval attack under 15,000 ft etc. If I had known that level bombers could fly off a small airfield to their extended range, I probably would have suggested a house rule against this (and at a minimum played differently). Of course, my opponent would have played differently if we had restricted level bombers in this way.
So my question really comes down to intent. What do the designers/developers/playtesters intend? Are level bombers supposed to be able to fly to their extended range from a small airfield? How is this handled in AE? Is this basically an error/bug that has never been corrected for whatever reason, or is it intentional that the bombers should be able to fly at full range and just wrong in the manual? Was it changed in a patch or update one way or the other?