I don’t know, I don’t think I would ever risk Taranto. I didn’t mind the term “grow a pair” because it is the perfect phrase, I just don’t have a pair. I have no balls for that raid. If you win decisively, you gain a little bit, if you win “par” (you lose most but kill the battleship) your carrier is dead on Germany 2 and your planes (if Germany didn’t kill them with the carrier) are stranded in Africa or wherever and now you are chasing Italy. If you roll bad, the game is…. over.
Taranto isn’t about “winning” the battle. It’s about mutual destruction and playing the econ game. As the UK you go into that fight knowing that none of your naval units are coming back no matter how well you roll, but you do have a very good chance of saving the planes. It’s the fact that Italy only makes that 10 econ, there is no way for them to gain back what they have lost, especially that battleship. One of the biggest things (assuming you attack Italy’s boats at Malta, which you always should), is that you are leaving Italy with 1 transport instead of 3. Losing that mobility is what hurts Italy the most, because they are forced to buy another transport which is almost all of their buy that round. If you do not attack UK1, Italy will pull their transports into their navy and you lose that chance to sink their transport. I consider it a bonus if Italy scrambles since there is a good chance they lose all of their planes as well, another thing they cannot afford to buy back.
The amount of time it would take Italy to recover any sort of naval units is right around the time America can start send subs into the med.