I remember in GC-1 when there were no carriers and IIRC they were not wanted by the lead developer.
Cannot remember for sure but I believe it was only in two when popular demand got them introduced.
The above post and carriers being overpowered since they were introduced I would tend to point out that maybe that Developer was right.
I know one of the reasons that Fighters are in most Sci-Fi is, so the hero is not limited to controlling warships or being an SASSealFroceReconGreenBeretCIAImortalSuperHero. The hero can excel at both. I'm looking at you Luke Skywalker.
As a former Infantryman I always laughed at the thought of a highly trained fighter jock lasting more than 24 hours in any combat ground scenario other than SERE operations for which they are trained.
I truly believe that if mankind ever "goes to the stars" small "starships" will be of limited use.
By this I mean any ship that was small enough to be carried by a parentship would be useful only in a ground support role where Kinetic Strikes were not called for.
I love David Weber's Honorverse however I cannot see a 50 kiloton LAC even if supported by dozens of "Wingmen" having any real effect on a 6 megaton Super dreadnought. The Battle of Midway being an example when not a single torpedo bomber scored a hit to the complete destruction of the attacking force. Yes, the Dive Bombers did a number on the Ships later however I shudder to think what the outcome would have been had those three US Carriers attacked even a single Aegis Cruiser today. For that matter any current Air group even F-15s that had to get that close to score hits.
Guess what I am saying is first I agree with OP that "Fighters" are overpowered.
Second, I understand they are only in the game to placate players who love Carrier OPs.
Third, I have a super simple remedy. Make the "Fighters" represent not a single fighter with maybe each module representing 10 or 20 that have the current Graphics but lose attack as they take damage, and they must survive PD just like missiles.
By damage to attack say the gun fighter Wing has an attack of 3 laser if PD gives 30% damage to the Wing then attack is 2.1 they are then required to return to ship and rearm. However, they attack the next round at 70% strength.
Since the battles are auto resolved the only way to "correct" OPs complaint about all or nothing shots would be to design a combat system like MOO2 had where you could assign each weapon a target.