Not to be rude, but I call rubbish.
Why does clearing maps need to be integral to the game? There's no good reason. Back in the day, as I explained in the video, there WAS a reason. But Boom was a different game back in those days, way more limited in scope. There were fewer things to do, so Supercell needed to be able to ensure themselves a profit. But now we have new things like Warships and monthly Crab events, not just PvP & ops. The old rationales for retaining the intel feature no longer apply in the same way they used to.
Even if I granted that PvP is central to the game, which I don't, I don't agree that map clearing needs to be enforced on people. You describe a weird scenario in which the rest of us are being forced to keep getting VP in order that the VP pushers have people to beat. First of all, that doesn't make sense. Global VP is relative. The current leader is over 2200 VP, but in the past the absolute number was much lower. Doesn't matter. Global #1 is still global #1 whether his/her VP is at 1500 or 2200. It only matters that there is a heap and someone is on top of it: you still get your fancy name badge. So there will always be something for the VP crowd to keep on doing. MM will still work just fine.
Second of all, why should the rest of us have to play PvP in order to satisfy the VP crowd? In no other aspect of the game does that hold true. Operations players don't have to play Warships if they (I 😂) don't want and vice versa. VP players don't have to participate in either of those if they don't want. You can do Crab or not do Crab, that's left to your discretion. You can do daily events or not, up to you. Do you see what I'm saying? There is no crossover enforced in these other aspects of the game, but only for operations. So why do the devs continue to torture ops players with map clearing for intel?
And there IS a positive association with map clearing -- among VP pushers. But why are the rest of us being FORCED to care about map clearing if we don't give a shit about VP?
In addition, there are other inducements to clear your map, if you are so inclined. Resources, crystals, etc. Again, beyond those, why should I have to care if I don't want to?!
However, you are completely right that SC could also do other things to alleviate the intel problem, especially introducing a bunch more of it into the game or adding the troop reserve you describe. But that, to me, is missing all of the points I just made.⬆