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Axis & Allies FAQ v1.4
Section - *7. What are some common rule misconceptions?

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Top Document: Axis & Allies FAQ v1.4
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The purpose of this section is to review some rules issues that are
commonly misinterpreted or misunderstood.  It is necessary to review
several things before getting to rules.

1)  It is important to know where to look for rules.  The manual is of
    course the first place.  And, in many games it is the only place
    to find answers.  But, with Axis and Allies there is another: The
    Rules Clarifications.  This is a four page insert that has come
    with the game (and manuals ordered from MB) since 1991.  These
    have answered a number of issues for many players.

2)  Criterion for judging.  When possible, I will cite the Rules Manual, 
    the Rules Clarifications or responses from letters to Milton Bradley.
    If none of these is feasible, I will make a judgement, which will 
    always be overridden by anything MB prints should we disagree.  If 
    you disagree with a call I make, send me a note and we can discuss it.  
    
3)  Without upsetting any readers, let me make an observation.  Having
    been reading rec.games.board for several years now, as well as
    general A&A experience, I have noticed that *many* of the questions
    that arise could be answered with a good read of the Manual and/or
    Clarifications.  I simply cannot emphasize how much a good reading
    and understanding of the rules is worth.  There are plenty of valid 
    reasons still for not having it all down, and that is why we have this
    section.  But for your benefit, try to find the answers in the rules.

4)  Some advice:  whenever you are looking to answer a question, be as
    objective as possible.  When possible, use direct statements in
    context.  If we all did that, then no questions would arise over
    things that are covered in the rules.  Still, there are a number of
    grey issues that still require attention.  Try to avoid using the
    argument "The Rules don't say I *can't*."  If used at all, this
    should only be used as a last resort.  Remember:  The absence of
    evidence is *NOT* evidence of absence!

5)  Don't forget about house rules!  Many players modify the rules in
    their own group, but then forget which rules are which and argue
    endlessly when they play with someone else.  House rules are fine,
    but do not forget the "official" rules.

6)  In the actual rules citations below, "Manual" refers to the Second
    Edition Rules Manual, "Clarifications" refers to the Rules
    Clarifications (released in 1991), and "Communication with Milton 
    Bradley(date)" refers to a correspondance between me and Milton 
    Bradley.  The date gives date they wrote the letter to me.

Organization of this section:  There are now two sections of rule
discussions.  The first is composed of questions that are clearly
stated in the Manual and or Clarifications.  The second contains more
obscure questions.  The second section will understandably have some
less concrete arguments.

Section 1:  Rules often missed but stated in the Rules

*What constitutes a turn?  A round?

    A turn is a player's six action sequence (Weapons Development/
    Purchase Units, Combat Movement, Combat, Non-Combat Movement,
    Place New Units, Collect Income).  Source:  Manual, page 4.

    A round is the sequence of all 5 players' turns.  Source:  
    Manual, page 4 (first paragraph).

When do AA guns fire?

    AA guns fire during enemy combat movement ONLY.  Source:  Manual,
    page 13 (middle column, under "Antiaircraft Guns").

*Where can aircraft land?

    During the non-combat phase of a player's turn, he may land
    his aircraft in any territory that he or one of his allies
    have controlled since the beginning of his turn, provided the
    remaining movement alotment can get the plane there safely.
    In other words, the state of the board when that player's turn
    started defines all legal landing spaces for that player's
    aircraft during that player's Non-Combat Movement.  Source:
    Manual, page 21 (top section, "Non-Combat Movement").  Note
    the definitions of turn and round above.

What can retreat from an amphibious assault?

    Nothing.  All units involved fight to the death.  Source:
    Clarifications, page 3 (top right).

In an amphibious assault, when can battleships use their one-shot support?

    a) A battleship must be in the same sea zone as the transport(s).
    b) There can *not* have been any combat in the sea zone (and
       you cannot hold battleships back from clearing the sea zone).
    Source:  a) Manual, page 15 (column 3, paragraph 3).
             b) Clarifications, page 3 (middle under "Amphibious
                Assaults"), and Manual, page 15 (right, under
                "Important" under "Note").

How do fighters move when on an ally's carrier?

    If you have any fighters on an ally's carrier and that carrier
    moves during your ally's turn, your fighters just ride along,
    with no loss of movement factors from your planes.  Source:
    Clarifications, page 3 (right, under "Carriers And Fighters").

*How do fighters fight on an ally's carrier?

    If a carrier attacks while carrying an ally's fighter(s), the
    fighters cannot fight, but can be taken as losses, provided the 
    owner of the non-fighting fighter consents to the loss.  
    Source:  Communication with Milton Bradley (dated July 27, 1995).

How many *new* industrial complexes can be built during a game?

    Four.  There are eight on the board at the start of the game, and
    there are twelve complex pieces.  The number of locations that
    have a specific unit type is always dependent of the number provided.  
    This also means that any country could only have bombers in three 
    places, carriers in two, subs in six, etc.  The number of units in 
    each place is unlimited, but the number of locations is not.  
    Source: Clarifications, page 4 (bottom right, "More Markers?").
    
Section 2:    Situations not covered clearly in the rules.

What defines a legal sea zone for withdrawing subs?

    For attacking subs, this is more clear.  Attacking subs must
    withdraw to an adjacent sea zone from which any attacking
    naval vessels came (Source:  Manual, page 17, under "Where:").
    For defending subs, this is more complex.  Defending subs must
    withdraw to any friendly or unoccupied adjacent sea zone (Source: 
    Manual, page 17, under "Where:".  But, what is unoccupied?

    A sea zone becomes unoccupied when the attacker vacates it.  
    Source:  Communication with Milton Bradley (dated July 27, 1995).
   
    So, during the combat phase of a turn, a defending sub can withdraw
    into a sea zone that the enemy had left during that same turn's
    combat movement phase.  Thus, it does not matter if the attacking
    units that left the zone might or might not retreat.  
   
    Note: I personally disagree with this statement from MB, as it
    violates a principal that I have noted the spirit of throughout
    the rules.  The principal is that "the state of the board at the
    beginning of the present turn defines what is legal."  This idea
    applies to legal landing spaces and use of canals, even to the point
    that, for example, if during the first turn Egypt falls to Germany 
    and *then* the UK sub south of Turkey is attacked and missed, it
    can go through the canal even though Germany has already captured
    Egypt.  However, I recognize MB as the experts and thus will accept 
    it, pending further questions -- Dewey Barich.

How do transports unload units into two territories?

    This is by far one of the most complicated issues in the rules.

    There is an example in the Manual that shows a UK transport
    dropping into Finland and Western Europe during the same
    turn.  There are two observations that must be made here:

       1)  The infantry are being dropped from the same sea zone

       2)  The UK controls both territories

    A question then arises:  Can a transport drop into two 
    territories *only* during non-combat?  Or can they be dropped
    to two territories in combat movement as well?

    Due to the example *specifically* stating that the UK can drop
    into both Finland *and* Western Europe, the interpretation here
    is that "split landings" are legal only during the non-combat phase.

    In a situation where a transport with two infantry moves 1 or 2
    spaces, and is adjacent to two countries, a question arises whether
    the infantry can unload one to each of those two countries, and
    whether it is allowed in both combat and non-combat portions.  Let
    us take the manual's example of a tranport that bridges two
    infantry from Britain to Norway and Western Europe.  Now, the
    example on page 16, 2nd column says that the transport can drop
    one infantry in Norway and one in Western Europe, *if the UK
    controlled these territories*.  This states that the UK must own
    the territories, which means that either (1) bridging is only 
    allowed during non-combat movement, or (2) that unloading to two
    territories is only permitted during non-combat movement.  Which
    is it?  

    The definition of a transport is that they are "...naval units
    that transport land units from *one* coastal territory or
    island to *another*."  Yet the example clearly shows a transport
    moving land units from *one* coastal territory to *two*, during
    non-combat movement.  Since a transport could, in the example
    given, load two UK infantry, move to an adjacent sea zone,
    then move back, unloading units to those two territories 
    legally on its *combat* movement phase, then the premise that
    bridging is only allowed during the non-combat phase can be
    easily circumvented.  The second premise, that unloading to two
    territories is only permitted during non-combat movement, has
    no such work-around, and is clearly stated in the same example.

    If an example in a rule book does not correspond explicitly to
    a rule in that same rulebook, does that make it illegal?  Or 
    does the inclusion of the example in the rulebook automatically
    give it validity as a rule?  Most would agree with the latter,
    since the former creates is contradiction and the latter does
    not.  So then, if you believe that the example in the book is
    valid, it appears that unloading to two territories is only
    allowed during non-combat.

    In the combat phase, unloading is only possible in an amphibious
    assault situation (after all, you cannot attack ships with the
    transport and unload the units at sea).  In an amphibious
    assault, the rules give no clues as to whether a transport
    can amphibiously assault 2 territories in the same turn.  It
    would be wrong to assume that it could, because the absence of
    evidence is not evidence.  So unless an example or the rules
    state or even imply something, the best course of action is to
    assume that such an action cannot be done.  Source: Manual,
    page 16, bottom of second column, and page 15, right column.

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