From: Iowan in MD/DC
ORIGINAL: von Beanie
I have not identified nor condemned my opponent in any way. Rather, I'm amazed and impressed that some people have enough time to find exploits like these. I could have moved units starting on turn 1 to garrison these towns, but I don't follow the forum closely and I would have never imagined that the temporary occupation of a city without major facilities would eliminate the production of hundreds of ships scheduled to appear 2, 3 or 4 years later. That is a serious game design flaw, and that's what I'm complaining about. In my previous PBEM (of WITE) a few months ago, I ran into an opponent that chose to mass every single Panzer division on a 20-hex frontage between Voronezh and Stalino in the Spring of 1942, and there was nothing I could do to stop the "Panzer Ball" tactic. It didn't matter that the Axis supply network would have never permitted such a tactic in reality. For some reason, my opponent decided to exploit the limitations of that game design to win at all costs.
It would be nice if there was a sticky that lists the exploitative maneuvers each side may encounter (and thus be prepared for). Such a thread may exist, but I'm not aware of it. After this event occurred, when I typed the search keyword "Portland" in this forum, I didn't get any records returned of this specific exploit being discussed previously in this forum.
Ultimately, my problem is that I have a real job and my free time is very limited. I had to invest over a hundred hours of it in each game (WITP-AE and WITE) only to discover that my opponent was taking advantage of game design flaws (and risking the whole game on them working). Like HansBolter, I'm ready to give up on PBEM for a long time again because the rewards don't seem to be worth the risks.
I understand feeling demoralized, and I hope you're not beating yourself up over this.
I also hope that you stick with the game and play it to its conclusion, and if it doesn't end in a victory for you I hope that you play another. The game allows for immense "what if" creativity - but on the flip side, extreme moves like this often (always?) leave extreme vulnerabilities elsewhere. Since he invaded in January 1942, his closest bases that are beyond minimal size would have to be in the Marshall Islands (which are themselves, arguably, minimal). Beyond that, Japan itself. That's a very, very long ways. He almost certainly has no planes here, unless he captured a base already and flew some off of carriers (leaving those carriers more vulnerable).