ASW is fine with or without planes. You’re right that escorting convoys was thier original role. However as the war progressed thier role as a carrier became more important because the Essex class carriers took a long time to build and were far more expensive. The US needed the Casblanca because it was going to take until 1944 to get the Essex class carriers fully produced to needed force requirement.
I don’t know if you ever read this, but that is what my humble research lead me to:
TITLE: More Carriers (revised) in 1942.1/1942.2
This is a list of different carriers unit.
Does it worth it to introduce them in the Atlantic and the Pacific for more historical inspiration?
Does it unbalanced the game against subs (and Germany)?
I think it is the case.
So introducing those sea units AntiSubWeapon (i.e. escort carrier), should be outweighted by a special sub rules Wolfpack attack : when 3 subs or more attack the same sea-zone, the first round is Att@3 per sub, the other round Att@2 per sub. It can be a first strike or not. The presence of an ASW vessel doesn’t cancel the Wolfpack capability since it’s only for the first round of battle. This rule apply for any power, not only Germany.
Is Anti-Sub Weapon too cheap?
Is it better to rise the cost of a CVE to 10 IPCs and of a CVL to 12 IPCs?
Because many will prefer them instead of destroyers?
Cost Move Att Def
Escort carrier CVE
(Casablanca 28 fighters) 9(10?) 2 1 1 Takes 1 hit/ ASW / Carry 1 fighter
Light carrier CVL
(Independence 45 fgts) 11(12?) 2 1 2 Takes 1 hit/ ASW / Carry 1 fighter
Fleet carrier CV
(Yorktown/Big-E 90 fgts) 14 2 1 2 Takes 1 hit/ Carry 2 fighters
Fleet carrier CV
(Essex 100 fgts) 16 2 1 2 Takes 2 hits/ Carry 2 fighters/ if hit once, only 1 fighter can operate and land on it, repaired as BB at the end of the round
(Midway 130 fgts) 22 2 1 3 Takes 2 hits/ Carry 3 fighters/ if hit once, only 2 fighters can operate and land on it, repaired as BB at the end of the round.
Carrier (any) are priority target: for a battleship (BB) to absorb 1 hit, you must allocate one hit to a carrier if their is one present.
If there is more than one carrier, another carrier (any) or an already damaged BB must also take a hit before a second BB soaks 1 hit.
Thus, a fleet with 1CV (2hits) and 2BB have to take 1 hit on the CV before taking the two hits on each BB.
Another fleet with 1CV (2 hits), 1CVL (1 hits) and 2BB have to take 1 hit on the CV, 1 hit on the BB, then either sunk the CV or the CVL before allocate another hit on the second BB. Although, it is possible to sink the BB instead of a carrier.
It is also possible to sink the CVL first, then take 1 hit on a BB, then 1 hit on the CV then 1 hit on the other BB.
Inspiration: Gamers Paradise
About fighters operations on a damaged CV
If we take a look at the initial placement of 1942.2, USA has only 1 CV in Hawaii.
This unit represent actually 1 group of three carriers: CV-5 Yorktown damaged/CV-6 Enterprise fully operational /CV-8 Hornet fully operational).
So, I think it can be acceptable to a damaged CV to still be able to operate 1 aircraft because it is not only 1 carrier but a task force of this kind of unit.
More, if 1 turn is three months long, it is enough time to repair a carrier. For instance, the Yorktown took only 48h at Pearl Harbour before going to Midway.
I use the following rules to determine the cost:
2 IPCs for 1 point Att or Def. 1 IPC for ASW. 2 IPCs for 1 additionnal hit.
CV (1+2)+2xfgts(3+4)= 17 points x2= 34 IPCs: 14 IPCs for the carrier + 2 IPCs for 1 additionnal Hit= total 16 IPCs
CVE (1+1)+fgt(3+4)= 9 points x 2= 18 IPCs: 8 IPCs for the carrier + 1 IPC for AntiSubWeapon = total 9 IPCs
CVL (1+2)+fgt(3+4)= 10 points x 2= 20 IPCs: 10 IPCs for the carrier +1 IPC for AntiSubWeapon= total 11 IPCs
CVB (1+3)+3xfgts(3+4)= 25 points x2 = 50 IPCs: 20 IPCs for the carrier /+ 2 IPCs for 1 additionnal Hit= total 22 IPCs