From: MN, USA
Still, you should be awarded minimum victory with that single merchant (the victory condition does specify a subtype that you can't see with the current SE), perhaps the minimum victory condition for NATO was too restrictive. One does not have to join with the port formation, you only need be within the box laid out in the SE (some day we'll be able to do reference points for such things as the scenario designer deems fit, the game has the capability but the Platform Editor doesn't.
If someone wants to take a look at the victory conditions with the HC97 or Winharp scenario editor and report back, it may be interesting to know the specific class of merchant in the VCs and if that is the issue here.
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer HarpGamer.com