I think I remember something way back about this, but I tend to agree with you. If there is any code, it has to be pretty minor. BB/CV's seem to be weighted equally as targets. Then CA's. Of course detection has a lot to do with it … mistakes (poor target selection) is far more common at low detection in my experience.
I don't think that is correct, I think it is a factor of DL and also perhaps from the commander of the carrier task forces. I know from personal experience when DL are low my planes attack BBs far more often than CVs, and when DL is high, they attack CVs almost exclusively.
Also, I think if they can be spotted at night prior, that helps with a morning and afternoon attack.
But putting in slower battleships, does mean the task force is a little easier to be hit I think. Always a tradeoff somewhere...
Target selection inside of a TF doesn't have anything to do with DL, I don't think. We've never had any suggestions of that.
Target selection of TFs themselves, however - we do know that planes will attack (and I think this is the correct order): (1) CVs (of any type), (2) APA/AKA types, (3) BBs, (4) other surface forces in descending order of ship size, ("7") merchants. I might have 2 and 3 flipped, maybe. But that's for target selection of TFs if those types are spotted (or your guys think they're spotted) in a given TF.
Once the strike is over the TF itself? They seem to go after the biggest ships, for the most part, unless the strike is very large and then sometimes you'll see planes breaking off to drop bombs on random DDs in a CV TF, for example.
1. In descending order of priority for aircraft to target ships in a TF:
2. Within the surface naval combat algorithm, individual ships have their own "visibility" level known to the enemy. This visibility level is dynamic. Only identified ships can be targeted.
In short, visibility is factored into the combat algorithms. The term "visibility" may have, or maybe not, have exactly the same meaning as that of "detection" which is covered in chapter 10 of the manual.