At least here we're in agreement and so the score remains unchanged! - I think force doesn't need to be illusionistic, though often it is.Hahahahaha! I didn't realise we were keeping score!
I don't agree that subterfuge is a required element
(Seriously, not keeping score, just knowing myself.)
On this one, though, I'm still struggling.Anyway, the point I was trying to draw out was that for something to be force it must be deployed at a moment of resolution of something which had hitherto been unresolved through play.
I agree that the GM can plan to deploy force (in all kinds of ways) and adventures can contain all kinds of assumptions and instructions to generate it, but in my view the actual appearance of force is during resolution at a decision point within the gameplay.
The lack of agreed resolution systems (for example, for evading onrushing armies) is how many games help GMs disguise force
In the dragon army case, the moment of resolution doesn't come until after the framing - which itself, as you note, exploits the lack of resolution rules beyond we go that way (ie away form them). So the force seems to be a consequence of the framing, intended to manipulate the players into making a certain sort of input rather than negating or modifying their prior input.