This is a good point, I’d be inclined to focus on the number of mechanics needed, and the South Pacific seems complicated in that you’d likely need air, sea, and land elements, and they’d have to work together, and act differently. I could see that becoming a coding quagmire as a “code to learn” type of developmental project.
I’d be inclined to try something landlocked, perhaps with limited air (or one side has air superiority). And … we can always use more Bulge games! ;) If it goes well, you could add more complicated mechanics like command influences, weather, etc.