Well small ships attacking a larger fleet would mess up a larger fleets organization lol. As the larger fleet would still have to deal with the attack. Also the same applies to air attack as well due to no one being 100% sure of what was going on.
Besides that was the whole purpose of MTB ships. I have played WitP a LOT, mostly as Japan and it is something that you just have to learn to counter. Also, I really do not care as Japan what the Allies do or do not do in the game as WitP is the absolutely the most one sided game in the history of games. lol. Spoiler alert, Japan will lose except in two cases. A very, very, incompetent Allied player or playing against the Allied AI. In the case of the Allied player being so bad, chances are high the game will end long before 1945. So that would be a 'win' (not really, but this is a game and not RL).
One thing that we as gamers tend to lose sight of is that all the actions that we take in theses game would cost real people's lives in the real wars. Plus there was no reloads, do overs, etc. So the majority of actions taken in the real wars that we simulate how to accomplish something with the highest chance of success with the least loss of life. While in games people can try higher rick actions for a greater reward, like invading Russia, earlier/later, invading India, etc. without regard of what failure would have meant in RL. "Oh I lost 5 divisions in that attack, I'll just rebuild them next turn." It does not matter to us that we just lost 100K of people's lives.
So Japan can try all sorts of 'interesting' options that the real planners discarded due to the higher chance of failure and what that would mean for their forces.
So the comment "If a human player did that to me I'd conclude they have no love of history and that would be game over :)" is really interesting, especially in the PTO. Because for as a Japanese player, you really need to do ahistorical stuff at the start because you know you will pay the price come mid-43 as it is ALL downhill from there
As a Japanese player you will ALWAYS lose. Some historians feel that Japan's loss in WWII was set all the way back to their reformation (1870s?) So by the time 1936 rolls around, the seeds for their defeat were too late to be fixed.
I am not sure how WP Pacific's late game works out for Japan, but from my WitP experience, I am not hopeful lol.