Airfields accommodate, repair and resupply air units, and allow the player to launch air strikes. Airfield size has many effects. It is easier to damage and destroy aircraft on the ground at smaller airfields (less dispersion). It is also more likely that planes will suffer operational losses when landing at smaller airfields.
Level bombers require an airfield equal to size 4 + (bomb load / 6500) rounded down. Thus, an A-20A requires a minimum size 4 base, a B17-E requires a minimum size 5 base, and a B29 requires a minimum size 7 base to avoid penalties.
Light bombers require a starting airfield of 2 rather than 4.
- Increased operational losses on takeoff.
- A reduction in their range as air units cannot fly combat Missions at greater than their normal range.
- A diminished (extended range) bomb load.
Overloading and Overstacking
If a base has less Aviation Support than is required, level bomber offensive missions are reduced by 25%.
If an Airfield has too many aircraft (physical space) or groups (administrative) present, then the airfield is deemed overstacked. And is indicated by an ‘*’ next to the airfield.
An overstacked airfield affects how many aircraft can be launched, casualties from attacks and aircraft repairs.
Note that a 9+ airfield does not suffer from overstacking.
An airfield can operate 50 single engine (or 25 two engine, or 12 four engine) planes per AF size or 1 group per AF size. The best Air HQ of the same command as the base which is within range can add its command radius to the number of groups that can be administrated, or if not in the same command, the nearest HQ will add ½ its command radius to the number of groups.
In addition, groups at rest or in training only count as 1/3 for the purposes of counting aircraft at the base, and don’t count at all against the number of groups. Split groups only count as individual groups if they are attached to different HQs.
If the Airfield is overstacked, then a ‘*’ will be shown in front of the “Airfield”.
Airfields can suffer two types of damage: runway and service (both ranging from 0 to 100 percent). It is easier to damage smaller airfields than larger airfields, but once damaged larger airfields take longer to repair. Less damage to the runway is required at smaller airfields in order to prevent aircraft from being able to take off and land than at larger airfields.
The Airfield will be shown in RED if total damage exceeds 49, ORANGE if exceeds 19 or YELLOW if exceeds 10. Airfield service damage in combination with the availability of aviation support determines the number of aircraft that can be repaired and may limit the number of planes that may be operational (ready, not in reserve). Airfield service damage can also impact the morale of pilots.
Runway damage can limit the air operations at a base. A strike Mission may only be launched from a base with runway damage less than 20+(Airfield Size *5). Patrol and CAP Missions may only be launched from bases with runway damage less than 50+(Airfield Size *5).
Damage can also impact the receiving of air replacements and upgrades.
Engineers can be used to increase the size of airfields, ports, and fortifications at bases, and they can also be used to repair damage to airfields and ports. Engineers at a base that have not conducted repairs will, if the base has been given the appropriate order, attempt to increase the size of the airfield and port and increase the amount of fortifications protecting the base.
Limits of Size 1 Airfields
The following Missions will not be flown from airfields with a current size of 1:
- Airfield Attack
- Port Attack
- Naval Attack
- Ground Attack
- (Fighter) Sweep
These airfields were too small to support these kinds of offensive Missions.
An airfield with a size 7+ and 20,000+ supplies is minimally required for an air group to upgrade its planes. (See Plane Management for further details).