Something for you guys to think about--what many of you are advocating for is nearly impossible, and it is nearly impossible for two reasons.
First, there is little evidence that there is even a "loophole" (as ccfoo calls it) to fix. Use of the term "loophole" implies that developer intent has always been to promote flat war rosters (i.e., rosters with a high degree of parity between members). However, there is too much evidence to the contrary to draw that assumption--not only have alliances been using our technique for a long time in this game, but it was a well-known technique in other games. The technique is well-known enough that its use was clearly foreseeable among the developers of this game, who then provided for its use anyway. We should be operating under the assumption that the technique was embraced from the moment that World War was introduced here.
Second, how would such a "fix" be enforceable? In alliances where the disparity between bases on a war roster is arbitrarily decided to be "bad" by the five to ten self-appointed arbiters in this forum, how would alliance intent be determined? Who decides whether this disparity arose from a desire to be manipulative? Who decides how much disparity is too much, and by what standard? Will very strong alliances find themselves flagged whenever a series of new players happen to waltz into their rosters? By what standard should those very strong alliances be compelled to reject those new members? Why should ANY alliance be compelled to reject new members--and then, if keeping new members, why should they be compelled to keep others just to avoid making their roster look TOO unbalanced (whatever that means)? What does "too unbalanced" look like, and how is this decided?
Think about these things carefully before arguing vaguely that "someone needs to fix this."
Phil, have you ever considered a career as a lawyer, or maybe a lobbyist? Lol. You have a very unique way with words, but bundling a bunch of smart ones around an argument full of fallacies doesnt make it any more legitimate. I will absolutely concede that the technique of stacking low level bases to manipulate war matchups has been around since the beginning of war. Its been silly from the start, but thankfully the first several months of war it was not very common. It's taken on a different light now though, when so many more players are exposed to it because of its proliferation. Maybe you are right, the developers do support it, that was actually the first question I asked in the original post - what is there stance and is this working as intended. I really hope there is an answer.
As to comparisons in other games - this used to be a huge problem in other games, and theyve worked very hard to address it. I can't really link patch notes of competing games here, but you can google it yourself, they have made significant changes to help reduce matchmaking manipulation even in the past few months in many different ways, including weighting the more significant upgrades/players more because is was recognized as such a huge, negative impact to the community and game.
I can't speak for everyone but I promise I will do my best not to be vague
I dont know all of the answers, only that it is a problem and creating a very poor experience for those meeting teams choosing to do this. While we have poor experiences, I can only imagine it was never the intention of the developers to match EA players against max global players, but this is for them to clarify as well, and hopefully resolve. Beyond the iron age technique, I would say that there were very clear solutions, no ambiguity whatsoever to the other 4 points in the OP.