From: Cottesmore, Rutland
I thought the max range a fighter group can be used is twice it's range. If the fighters has a range of 15 then that's 30 hexes, 15 to the staging base, and a further 15 to target. This is not the case.
In this test the staging base started 13 hexes away from target with the fighter base further back, 9 away so both fighter group and base are within 15 hex range, total being 22 hexes. All bases on a supplied rail, target isn't, being off rail range 8 hexes. As you can see fighter escorts were available.
Moving the target one hex further to 14 resulted in no fighters?
Reloaded but this time moved the staging base closer to target. All OK until the range to fightrt group >15 then no fighters. Range to target now 6, 22 total still.
Moved it back to 15 hexes with range to target now 7, total 22 thus making fighters available.
Moved the target 1 hex so total became 23. No fighters
It seems there are two range criteria for excorts.
Max range between figher group and staging base or between staging base and target cannot be greater than the max range of the aircraft. This makes sense with the manual, if not spelling it out, does not say otherwise.
There's also a max mission range for the total distance between fighter group and target as flown via the staging base. It appears to be the one and half times the range rounded down. In this instance 15+7=22. This is not in the mnaual that I can find and does seem to vary
I did try this with a fighter with max range 10 giving max mission range of 15 max. Rules still held but set to 20 I'd wierd inconstistant results based around 18 hexes? Don't ask me, I don't know, but it's safe to say they do roughly follow the one and a half rule.