Their strategy involved convincing Degra that Earth had been destroyed – after which the Insectoids had turned on and conquered the other Xindi species – and that he and Archer had been placed in the same cell in a prison camp for over three years. Archer told Degra that only through stealing the Malosian cargo shuttle were he and Degra able to escape; the Malosians were supplying the penal colony few times a month. The simulated ship could travel at warp speeds and had no weaponry. To fight off a simulated attack from other simulated ships, Archer pretended to drop warp plasma into their intake manifolds.
The actual ship had been designed by Enterprise's crew, with various officers commenting on the difficulty of creating not only a physical style of the ship but also a language and ship interfaces. However the whole simulator was constructed in less than three days and the "Malosian shuttle" was placed in a cargo bay on Enterprise, with various systems adding to the simulation deception. Anything that was happening in the interior, were watched and recorded by the crew; whereas entries in the ship's console, such as frequencies or coordinates were also captured. That way the location of Azati Prime was intercepted, while Degra tried to "program" the shuttle.
To simulate attacks on the shuttle and other hazards, the hull was placed on a hydraulic lift, allowing for mild tremors through to wild jolts. At one point, the crew planned on shaking the shuttle so violently that they felt the need to warn Archer.
While the shuttle did have a window, a large screen was placed over its field of vision that depicted the various 'attacks' by other ships or the stars streaming past while traveling at warp. When Enterprise was under attack, Degra momentarily noticed one of these screens flickering. This, combined with other factors, allowed him to see through the simulation. (ENT: "Stratagem")
The Malosian cargo shuttle was similar in size, if slightly smaller, to a shuttlepod from Enterprise.