Well, I believe that I have proved one of my assumptions wrong.
I decided to try it 'one more time', and it worked.
Last night I had one esp8266 setup to publish to the 'led' topic, and the other to subscribe.
The idea was that I could change the LED color on webmos01 and it would publish the colour as a message. The other es8266, aka webmos02 would subscribe to the led topic and then change it's LED colour appropriately.
The problem was, when I would turn on the second of the two the first would no longer be able to publish or subscribe. It did not matter which one I powered up first.
So for my one last test I removed the connection options from my code and powered them both up for a test. And now they work as expected. I've done several power cycles on both and cannot get a failure. I don't know what I did right, but I like the result.
I would still like to know how to set a client_id and/or set connection options.
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