ftl wrote:Speaking of which, I suspect the key insight is going to be something like - they DON'T need to inflict maximum casualties on the enemy. Just survive.
Something like spending the entire time doing evasive maneuvers instead of fighting.
Ooh, here's a crazy plan - Create a bunch of foolamancy dwagons. HOWEVER - have NO DWAGONS EVER ATTACK! Then, the archery on the ground will have no way of seeing which dwagons are real and which aren't, since Jack can happily make it look like some of the fake ones got arrows stuck in them too, or make it look like the real ones didn't. (If the archery successfully croaks some of the Dwagons, decrypt immediately. The decrypted ones, if they get croaked, get dusted and leave no bodies - immediately create a fake dwagon in their spot! Thus, for the duration of the entire battle, the archers will *never* have any idea whether they're firing at the right dwagons, and will never have any idea whether they hit any of them.) (I like this idea, actually! Maybe even possible! And it does take a crucial unusual insight that's worthy of Parson - that you can survive a battle by never firing a single shot, and that sitting there and taking hits is, in fact *preferable* to fighting back if it means you get to keep up the disguise.)
If you had fakes and they were flying in a separate formation the arrows would shoot through the fakes. Also the switch from 8 yellow dwagons to 16 would tip them off that something is wrong. If the dwagons have the option of attacking either the ground or wall spaces then it is crucial that they make the attack so that casualties can be decrypted, both Jetstone and the dwagons.
A slight variation would be to make it look like the stack of 8 yellow dwagons are flying in 4 close pairs. One "pair" would really be 5 dwagons, one of the "pair" would be 4 dwagons in a tetrahedron pointing down with Wanda, Jack, and at least 2 archons in the center of the tetrahedron. The 2 archons would be able to prevent/slow a fall and also block a missile if one slips between the dwagons. It would look like the 4 of them were riding a yellow bobsled with dwagon hips making yellow walls and a dwagon head behind them. The other three "pairs" would have one complete fake, one real pair, and one mixed real/fake. The four "pairs" of dwagons should then fly corkscrews (that would be a quadruple helix) if moving distance or fly cloverleafs and variations if remaining close to one place. That way if anyone sees through the foolamancy they will lose track and also have a hard time communicating the information.
If electricity can cross the boundary it might be good to use blue instead of or in addition to the yellows. If they have brown they should use them for smoke screens but would not need to stack with them.
Other archons should put on Wanda's dance hair/helm and take the red dwagon and take Jack's clothes and dwagon. If they have an archon with foolamancy that should be the one who gets the hairhelm.
I would put Wanda and Jack in the yellow stack in order to maximize the distance from everyone. The yellows always fly higher so it would not look suspicious. The yellows should be able to launch battle crap without breaking formation.