Time to post this again. You want to look at Prerequisite #4 and Limitation #5
LAND BASED AIR CHECKLIST
Note: this listing is for Land-Based Air units only! Carrier based air units are not subject to many of these conditions.
This listing is for Offensive Missions (p. 122) only. (Airfield attack, Port attack, Naval attack, Ground attack, Sweep, Recon.)
Any page numbers listed are the printed numbers at the bottom of the manual page. Not the .pdf file page count number. FRD means Fractions Rounded Down; FRU means Fractions Rounded Up.
References to 'morale checks', 'experience checks', and 'leadership checks' are assumed to be a d100 roll against the stated attribute. Presumably if the roll is <= the attribute then the unit passes the check. But this is an assumption. How this check is actually carried out is never stated in the documentation.
Prerequisites are conditions that must be met for a mission to be attempted at all. Once all the prerequisites are met, the number of aircraft that will actually fly is determined by subtracting from the number of 'Ready' aircraft in the unit as listed in Limitations. Finally, once you have gone thru all of that, your digital pilots may still not be able to complete the mission for any of the reasons listed under Aborts.
Some Prerequisites and Limitations have the same number. This was done when the condition was the same but the exact effects varied depending on the situation. Prerequisite #1 is an example, the minimum number of aircraft is dependant on it being a day or night mission.
1) (Day missions only) A minimum of two (2) ready aircraft in the unit. (p.124)
1) (Night missions only) A minimum of six (6) ready aircraft AND a minimum unit morale of 50. (p.126)
2) Target must be within unit's extended range. (p.124)
3) If the unit's morale is < 50, unit must pass a morale check to attempt a mission. (p.126)
4) The initiating airfield must be greater than size 1 (except for Recon). (p. 134)
5) The air unit must agree to fly the mission. Some of the factors affecting whether a unit will agree to fly a mission are covered in rule 184.108.40.206 (p.131).
6) Escorting fighters. The reference to this is highly confusing and can be interpreted many ways. A clarification on this is required. It has been stated that there is a maximum number of escorts that can be required. If that max is met, then the ratio of CAP:escorts becomes irrelevant.
7) Airfield damage must be less than 20+(Size*5) (p.165).
8) (Level Bombers Only) For Ground Attack missions only, the number of Ready aircraft in the unit must >= 50% of the unit's maximum strength. Does not apply if unit is joining an already initiated attack. (Undocumented. Confirmed by programmers.)
1) (Level Bombers Only) An experience check. Failure reduces the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.127)
2) (Level Bombers Only) A leadership check. Failure reduces the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.127)
3) (Level Bombers Only) A morale check. Failure reduces the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.127)
4) (Level Bombers Only) Being outside the command radius of a friendly Air HQ will reduce the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.127)
4) (Non-Level Bombers) Being outside the command radius of a friendly Air HQ will reduce the number of aircraft that will fly by 10% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.127)
5) (Level Bombers Only) If the base's airfield is below a minimum size (determined by 4 + (aircraft type's max load/6500) FRD) then Level Bombers :
a) Will fly no farther than Normal Combat Range (no Extended range missions) (p.128)
b) Will carry a payload as though they were flying at Extended Combat Range (p.128)
c) Will suffer increased Operational losses. (p.133)
6) If the number of aircraft at the base exceeds airfield size *50, reduce the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.165)
7) If the number of aircraft at the base exceeds airfield size *100, reduce the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.165) (This is in addition to Limitation #6.)
8) If it is winter in a Cold Zone, reduce the number of aircraft that will fly by 25% of the ready(?) aircraft. (p.173)
9) (Non-Level Bombers) If base supplies are not >= base requirement, a maximum of 75% of the ready aircraft will fly (p.190).
9) (Level Bombers Only) If base supplies are not >= twice base requirement, a maximum of 75% of the ready aircraft will fly (p.190).
10) (Level Bombers Only) From the 1.3 patch: “They will still resist flying against land units, if the range is greater than 10 for the Japanese or 8 for the Allies, but will do so with good rolls.”
Once it has been determined that the unit will fly a mission and how many aircraft will participate, the mission may be aborted by any of the following (note: the turn processing display at the bottom of the screen will show messages if either of these applies):
1) Poor Weather. If either the initiating or target hex is experiencing bad weather (indicated on the map by a cloud symbol if "Show Clouds" has been set in Preferences) there is a chance the mission will not fly at all.
2) Navigation. There is a chance that poor navigation or an inability to find the target will cause the mission to fail. Factors affecting this are listed in rule 220.127.116.11 (p.132). In addition, Level Bombers flying from a too small airfield (see Limitations, above) will have an increased chance of this.
VERY LOW ALTITUDE ATTACKS:
If an air unit's altitude is set to 100 feet, then special rules and considerations come into play. See p.129-130. Among these are:
1) Naval attack missions will attempt "skip bombing" of their targets. Generally, should only be attempted by units with a minimum experience of 60.
2) Heavy known flak at the target may cause the unit to abort and not fly at all.
3) TFs made up of only Barges and/or PT Boats can only be attacked by fighter-bombers OR air units with an altitude set to 100 feet. (Fighter-bombers are not required to have their altitude set to 100 feet to attack these ship types.)
NOTE ON AVIATION (AV) SUPPORT:
AV support is not required to launch a mission. However, it is required to keep planes in a Ready state so they can fly and to repair any planes damaged during a mission. So air units recently moved to a base without AV support can fly a mission but are unlikely to be able to recover from it to effectively fly a second.
HINTS, RUMORS AND INNUENDO:
Some players have concluded or claim knowledge of additional, undocumented, conditions that can limit or prevent offensive missions. None of these are confirmed! If anyone reading this can CONFIRM the condition, please provide the writer with supporting evidence so that this list may be updated. Many of these appear to be based on players' experiences with other games.
a) Ground Attack missions require the target to have an unknown minimum Detection Level.
b) Having too many Limitations apply can cause the unit to not fly, even if the math does not reduce the number of aircraft to zero.
This game does not have a learning curve. It has a learning cliff.
"Bomb early, bomb often, bomb everything." - Niceguy
Any bugs I report are always straight stock games.