@Cornwallis After years of waffling, Taranto is a must do in the alignment of the OOB game. Italy is crippled 90% of the time you do it, which turns them into a liability for the Germans. When you dont do it, they RAGE. Dave suggested splitting the Adriatic into two sea zones to mix up the convoy/movement such that the bomber and the extra fighters cant come.
But, when you do that, the Allies just attack the other Italian navy and kill that instead.
So, to keep the CV, you have to dramatically increase the chance and costs of failing by not bringing it into the battle, though it would be committed to come if any 0 move planes survive, which makes the order of casualties much more fraught.
Probably a better approach is to hope that some of the planes survive to land on Crete, or Syria, then rebuild the carrier later. (As I mentioned, the BBR rules add Shipyards such that you can’t build CV or BB. This is a fun choice but it limits what you can do in this regard for both Johannesburg and Sydney). The UK cant really determine whether they live or not–but part of the Taranto Gambit is to force Italy to sack most of the rest of its forces in the counterattack.
So, to create the British Pacific Fleet Strategy we can onlyrely on having 2 DD, 1 CA, and 1-2 Fig 1 Tac to start. It only needs 1 CV–it cant stand up against an IJN force. What it really needs are transports, because the USA will have to defeat the IJN, the BPF fleet is mostly to keep Japan honest, augment the US effort, and shred the Japanese money/keep the Indian Ocean Rim safe.