As for 3 boms vs. 1 ac + 2 ftrs.
Yes bombers are great, but people sailing around an AC/2 ftrs with no fodder deserve to get them sunk. There is really no reason that person shouldn’t have a 1-2 dd for fodder. I don’t see this as a particularly likely scenerio. Maybe you catch someone napping but I wouldn’t count on running across this scenerio a lot. I guess with the Italian ships but that’s part of the setup.
Yes you can add fodders units to the AC + fighters. But then, to be fair you add them to the battleships as well.
Attack Fleet #1: 2 fighters/AC/3 DDs or
attack Fleet#2: 2 BBs/3 DDs with bombers?
Id still be more wary of the Battleship fleet. Lets say our opponent hits us with 6 bombers. Thats an average of 4 hits. Fleet #1 loses 3 destroyers, and 1 fighter (cant take the AC, as that would auto kill remaining fighters). After 1 round, they are left with 1 AC and 1 fighter. -34 ipcs. Defensive punch remaining: 6 – Fleet #2 takes those 4 hits and loses only two destoyers. left with 2 BBs and 1 DD. -16 ipcs. D-Punch remaining: 10. True, fleet #1 had a 33% better chance of taking out an extra bomber on round 1, but fleet #2 has a 66% better chance to take out an extra bomber on r2.
The greater Punch left after round 1 of combat, as well as the IPCs saved, make the battelship fleet alot less prone to strafe attacks. And make a better than average first round of dice by the defending battelship fleet much more scary to the attacker.