I agree with the AI having no inherent advantage. I think there are a couple of design issues that make this feel like a problem when it is not inherent to AI abilities:
Spotting is not relative and many scenarios pit you in a small number of ships against a more numerous enemy. If even a single enemy ship of any type spots you, every enemy ship in range instantly opens fire. This can lead to you accumulating hits much faster than you can deal with your current single target, which in turn degrades your accuracy. Devs have mentioned that ships that don’t see the target themselves will in the future have an accuracy malus, bu this doesn’t adequately address the problem for a number of reasons:
This is mostly nonsense. Ships were not sent forward to act as remote gunnery directors for other ships. The only examples I can think of this occurring are with shore bombardments, which is a much simpler gunnery problem. Ships in this era should need to see their target to engage with a few exceptions:
Second Generation Fire Control Radar (early radar was search only)
Very advanced fire control computers and complex fire control rooms could allow for a ship within a division sailing together to control fire for other ships in the division, and / or incorporate their data in its own solution. This is mostly predicated on ships within a division knowing their exact relative distances and bearings to each other.
dedicated aerial spotters with radios, probably only able to correct fire for a single ship at a time
Even with an accuracy malus, it will still feel off when a mostly unseen fleet is all firing on your ship unseen.
IMO, spotting should be relative and should take cues from the Combat Mission series:
When a ship is selected, you see only enemy ships it can see itself (with exceptions above). When no ship is selected, you see all enemies that any ship in your fleet can currently see.
Differences in towers between ships of a broad class can lead to significant differences in spotting range, which gives the AI an absolute advantage if your are on the disadvantaged end rather than the marginal boost you would expect where if one ship can see and fire on another it should in very short order be able to see and fire in return, but there might be significant differences in the technology carried to deliver accurate fire. Save for radar, primary means of spotting was Mark I eyeball with the assistance of binoculars. The distance at which ships can see and target each other should be governed primarily by conditions.