eras10 wrote:Even if we make that assumption, you've picked on a lot of my points but skipped the part where I outline a more intelligent suggestion, something like this, starting from when Wanda's force bellyflops into the Atrium and Trammenis knows why:
#1. Evacuate (this was right) - leaving GK unable to give chase beyond the garrisson or going after the tower.
#2. Send a force down from the tower to scout. Has a mass decryption happened? Use it to kill anything smaller than itself, like Wanda waiting for you to burn your overwhelming shooting advantage.
#3. At this point, Wanda has two choices: #1. Start decrypting her dragons and available forces to defend herself, or #2. Get killed.
#4. With the dwagons decwypted (or maybe just some of them, if Wanda is smart), pull back the other forces and start area arrow spamming, for a few rounds.
#5. Scout again. Is everything dead? In effect, return to #2.
#6. If siege dwagons start trying to knock down the tower, return to #4. For that matter, the siege dwagons are also vulnerable to being killed in combat by ground forces, kind of like Aretemis' charge, except, you know, actually supported.
Frankly, add pierce to Artemis' stack all by himself and they probably win.
So, even in the worst case scenario, Jetstone had the forces and capabilities required - namely, the ability to kill without enaging in direct hand-to-hand combat, and a massive firepower advantage in doing so - to wipe out GK and kill Wanda - without even having to take on the Decryption gun straight on.
Some of the rest of your counterpoints are fair, but unless you have a counter to the strategy I have mentioned, I still think I'm right.
Here's your strategy from the GK point of view, assuming that Wanda remains in the hex and GK has a conventional chief warlord bonus - which is what Jetstone would reasonably have assumed.
#2 Wanda is forced to decrypt enough units to repel your scouting stack. Any units you lose become her units.
#4 Wanda uses the hobgobwin-grounded live dwagons and the few decrypted non-siege dwagons as umbrellas for any valuable non-dwagons who are not corpses. If she's decrypted more than a few dwagons, it's because Jetstone gave her too many units in the "scouting" force, and her ability to take the dungeon is accelerated.
#2 and #4 repeat while Wanda leads animate non-dwagons to take the dungeon. Wanda collects the Jetstone forces in the dungeon as GK forces. If the atrium is taken back by Jetstone during this process, that's not a big problem for GK.
At this point, as long as Jetstone hasn't attacked the archons, GK only wants to project enough force into the atrium to prevent Jetstone raiders from destroying corpses faster than they themselves croak. Otherwise, GK is primarily sheltered in the dungeon.
If Jetstone starts shooting at the archons with the tower archers, then Wanda would decrypt the siege dwagons so they can threaten the tower. The siege dwagons would be defended by other forces decrypted from the Atrium, led by ex-Jetstone warlords from the dungeon. This would go differently than the Artemis near-success because of the combination of Wanda's bonus, a decent in-hex and perhaps in-stack chief warlord bonus, and most importantly a coordinated effort between Wanda and the commanders of the siege dwagons. Even with the forces we saw, if Sylvia had coordinated with the dungeon forces, the dungeon forces could have ensured that Artemis would need to fight through more than an unled stack of dwagons to get to the siege stack.
Since GK's forces have a higher proportion of heavies, initiating arrow spam while attacking the siege with a more effective strike force would probably croak (convert) more Jetstone units than GK units, not to mention reducing the chances of taking out the archons before the tower fell, so the arrow spam wouldn't happen after GK applied time pressure by starting to knock down the tower in response to Jetstone applying time pressure by attacking the archons.
Perhaps Trammenis figured, "the tower archers have X rounds of ammo and it will take the siege dwagons Y rounds to take down the tower, and X > Y, so let's spend X - Y rounds of tower arrow spam now before the Y countdown starts, and then spend the Y rounds of arrow spam on the archons, if necessary."