So one day I was bored and I decided to add a Sopwith Pup to my Akagi class carrier to sort of act as a recognisance airplane... I spawned in my Enterprise which carries one or two more fighter and just started a dogfight, then I realised something strange - THERE ARE 6 ZERO LEFT.
Usually before adding the pups the wildcat wins by number and there are never such a landslide victory to either the Akagi or the Enterprise; most the time there is only one aircraft left for one of the two carrier force.
After adding a pup to the Akagi the fighter performance improved as after a head on confrontation there are 5 - 8 Zero remaining. When I add a pup to the Enterprise, again the fighter performance improves winning with 10 - 13 wildcats left.
To the right are the 2 carrier fighter loadout, note there is two pup as I tested to see if the effect stacks, it does not.
Note the pups are not the first pair of plane to take off, after 2 sets of zero launched the pups launch.
What I think is going on is the wildcats are targeting the pups first as during the confrontation, one or two wildcats remain going straight as if they are going for the pups whilst the zero shoot the two/one wildcat down then gets onto the tail of rest of the Wilscars which turned away.
Interestingly the Zero Force splits in two when a pup is added to the Enterprise.
Sometimes the fight can get a bit messy with fighter everywhere in the sky aiming for either fighter or bombers especially when the 2 carrier are parallel to each other.
As seen here the planes have turned away and started a chase. none of the zero here are damage and all the smoke are from the wildcats
Normally the wildcat and the zero will fight in a straight line, nothing interesting.
Here, the wildcats have gone down as shown in the picture with quite a few zeros left. Probably not a good photo
Whilst on the topic of Sopwith Pup they are so slow when a whole carrier is full of them the enemy fighters (pure Pupless) sometimes don't bother to engage the pup and instead focus on bombers which produces opportunity for the pup... if they can catch up...
I hope this is the case with your carrier force too. And this will come in handy in the future.