What exactly is Area Fire? That is, in ASL all infantry fire is area fire as whole hexes are attacked, not specific units (Defenisve Fire excepted). However, Area Fire is defined in the glossary and indicates rule 3.2. The definition only states that Area Fire halves FPs but doesn't say what Area Fire is. Rule 3.2, the main Fire section of the rules, never mentions Area Fire. Area Fire is only very briefly mentioned with respect to MGs towards the end of the rulebook. So, what's Area Fire?
Area fire does not mean that each unit in a hex is attacked, so much as it refers to a general penalty that causes the FP of an attack to be halved.
Area fire (half FP) applies in the following situations:
1. A unit firing its inherent FP at a distance greater than the range printed on its counter, up to and including double that range.
2. Pinned units use area fire.
3. Subsequent First Fire attacks use area fire.
4. A unit marked with a first fire counter firing during the DFPh uses area fire, and can only attack an adjacent hex.
5. Units firing during the AFPh use area fire.
6. SW MG attacks against unbroken infantry at a range greater than 16 hexes (which must be leader directed) use area fire.