NCR vs. Caesar's Legion : Who Will Win?

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by Ben Soto, May 17, 2017.

  1. Ben Soto

    Ben Soto Professional Salt Shaker

    Jul 7, 2014
    The question is two-fold. Firstly, without the Courier's intervention, who wins The Second Battle of Hoover Dam? Secondly, who wins the war?

    The first one is obvious. The Legion has countless operations in the West that will utterly cripple the NCR's operation in the Mojave, while the NCR is stated to be stuck on the Western side of the river. The Legion will win Hoover Dam.

    But Hoover Dam isn't the whole picture. Hoover Dam is the foothold into the West the Legion needs to wage a proper war against the NCR. Once they punch through the Dam, the Legion's gonna make a beeline for the Long 15 and start spreading into NCR territory. From here, the victor is obvious.

    The NCR.

    The NCR's biggest disadvantage against the Legion is that they're spread far too thin. They don't have nearly the same infrastructure in the Mojave as they do in California. Once the Legion gets into California, though, the kid gloves are off. It's implied in a few spots that the NCR is starting to get back to (or at least significantly close to) Pre-War levels of civilization. Their infrastructure is vastly superior in the far West. The further West the Legion gets, the more their strengths wane and the NCR's weaknesses subside.

    The Legion will get pushed out of California if they ever get close. The NCR might not be able to reclaim the Mojave or the Dam, but the Legion can't take California.
     
  2. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    I would say that as long as Caesar is the head of the legion, they can win. They can not only fight, spy, sabotage, but also gain new allies, by recruiting the NCR enemies. And the NCR has a lot of enemies.

    On the other hand, once Caesar is dead, the legion will go downhill. Lanius won't make new allies, won't absorb new communities, but destroy them and he will most likely get rid of the spies network, judging them unmanly.
     
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  3. Risewild

    Risewild Vault Fossil
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    The NCR loses because without the Courier's influence Ulysses nukes NCR back to the irradiated stone age hell.
     
  4. peadar87

    peadar87 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 4, 2015
    Nope, he just nukes the Long 15. Cuts them off from the Mojave. Sure they'll struggle without the power and water from Hoover Dam, but desalination and solar power are things, and the NCR will survive it.
     
  5. Risewild

    Risewild Vault Fossil
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Nope, he will nuke all the West. He says so himself when we ask him if he will bomb the Mojave:
     
  6. peadar87

    peadar87 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 4, 2015
    I read the entire exchange differently, there's this bit:

    Courier: You can't destroy the West, even with all the missiles here.
    Ulysses: {Scoffs}No need to destroy the Bear, just cut its throat. You taught me that at the Divide - only need to cut off the supply line, the road, to watch something greater die. I'll turn the Long 15 into miles of fire, cut off the Mojave. NCR will fall back, lose Hoover Dam... and leave their throats exposed to the Legion.

    From the Hopeville explosion, the yield of the warheads in the Divide doesn't seem huge. I doubt just 7 missiles in Ulysses' Temple could even come close to destroying all of the West.
     
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  7. Risewild

    Risewild Vault Fossil
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Even with that the NCR is doomed to lose the dam, Ulysses will just keep nuking each new supply line they create and cut them off, he has at his disposal quite a few nukes (seven like you said and that is just in his temple, who knows how many silos still have functional missiles), each time he will destroy another supply line and kill who knows how many NCR troops and equipment. If the NCR can't send any more reinforcements it will lose the second dam battle. And even in that line he believes that the NCR will eventually die if he nukes their supply lines.

    Also Hopeville damage is not close to what the real damage would be since the nukes exploded underground and not on the surface, all of the blasts were contained by being underground.
    As we can see from the Long 15 and Dry Wells ingame one nuke destroys a big area and leaves a wide and deep crater that is very irradiated and will kill the player in around 5 to 10 seconds seconds near the center but also irradiates the player near the crater. That is enough to render that route useless for years due to the radiation and unusable to carry any heavy equipment due to the crater.

    And again, there's that dialogue where Ulysses says he can destroy the whole West with the Nukes that I quoted. Which to be honest just sending one nuke each to the most important settlements in the NCR and they are doomed, target the political capital, the largest military bases and the weapon manufacturing infrastructures or the biggest food producers and the NCR will stop being able to supply their army anywhere and will have several giant radioactive craters in their territory to worry about.
    So he thinks he has enough firepower to destroy the whole West, the one who thinks he doesn't is the Courier.

    Thanks to Ulysses wanting to destroy the NCR by nuking them directly or destroying their supply lines into the Mojave, the NCR will always lose the dam in the second battle without the Courier's intervention.
     
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  8. mithrap

    mithrap Ring a ding-ding, baby

    May 17, 2016
    First thing first, how could the NCR ever win the war? That would require them to invade Caesar's territory at some point, and this is simply impossible. It's not imaginable to see the NCR send a lot of troops into a California sized, unknown territory, surrounded by Legion troops with almost infinite supply + manpower, and the whole thing, without clearly secured supply lines from the west. The whole thing, with the threat of the Divide and the Legion's tribal auxiliaries along the way. Oh, and without popular/financial support from home.

    It is simply impossible. I can't see any plausible scenario in which the NCR ever defeats the Legion. They -can- potentially push them back from the Mojave, again and again if they decide to invest the proper manpower & support to it, but nothing more.

    The Legion, on the other hand, could actually make the NCR fall very easily. Once the Mojave has fallen, there is nothing -litteraly nothing- between the Legion and the Hub. A siege could happen fast and easily, and the Legion could make it as long as they want. If the Hub is isolated from the NCR, the government loses all major roads to the Boneyard, Junktown etc.
    Immediate financial crisis. The NCR would have to send a lot of troops south, leaving the north opened for any skirmish from the brotherhood of steel.
    Caesar would find it easy to convince the whole pack of Californian tribes to join him, providing him with guerilla warriors harassing the NCR lines and forming expendables auxiliaries.
    Finally, Shady Sands may be a fortified city, it is still surrounded by mountains mostly unexplored and left to local tribes. In other words, it would be extremely easy for any army to completely isolate Shady Sands, keep the troops safe from any massive counter attacks and keep bombing the city from hidden artillery within the mountains.

    The Shi's are an independent power at this point. It's in their best interest not to interfere and to negociate the guarantees of their independence with the most plausible winner. In this situation, the Legion.

    But to be honest, the most realistic scenario would be a conditional surrender from the NCR as soon as the Hub falls and the president realises that he cannot send troops without risking skirmishes with the BoS and without loosing popular/financial support. The NCR would become a Legion's vassal state in a matter of months, without even needing to besiege Shady Sands.
     
  9. Ben Soto

    Ben Soto Professional Salt Shaker

    Jul 7, 2014
    Without the Courier's influence, the Divide is never destroyed, and Ulysses will have lost his motivation to nuke the NCR. Ulysses is a non-issue at this point.

    Infrastructure, my boy. The further West the Legion pushes, the bigger an advantage the NCR has.
     
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  10. mithrap

    mithrap Ring a ding-ding, baby

    May 17, 2016
    What advantage would the NCR gain, if all Caesar needs to do is... stand his ground and wait? That's all he needs to do once the Hub is besieged, for the NCR to surrender.

    Their southern infrastructure is extremely weak, since litteraly everything is connected to the Hub, including the freaking capital. If the Hub is isolated (easy to do. It's the first town west of Long Pass 15...), the NCR will lose their entire southern half, money, caravan roads, their morale, a good part of their supply of conscripts and their popular support. If the Hub falls, the NCR is in the situation of France in 1940.

    If Caesar stands his ground there long enough, (very plausible, considering his secured supply lines, virtually infinite manpower of auxiliaries and child soldiers + artillery/aerial defense), and if the Brotherhood takes the opportunity to fight back the NCR troops, keeping them from taking back the Hub, then the NCR is check-mated.
    If the Hub falls, Caesar can keep the city's population hostage to prevent any assault from the NCR.

    Caesar doesn't need to move any further at this point. Once the Hub falls, he just needs to wait and make friends. Of course, if Caesar still has his tumor, then the whole plan is flawed, but that's the only possible draw back (and if the Legion took the Mojave, then canon speaking, it's safe to say that Caesar has probably been cured by the courier)
    Even if the NCR managed to kill every single legionary in their soil, the Legion could send even more, again and again, while the NCR would need to conscript and face massive desertion.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  11. Risewild

    Risewild Vault Fossil
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    By that logic then both NCR, Legion and even House are doomed since without the Courier's intervention Father Elijah will eventualy release the cloud and ghost people into the Mojave and beyond (it's the Courier that stops him) and the Big Empty will start leaking into the Mojave (and the rest of the world like one ending says) too with their crazy experiments and with their mind control technology (since the Courier keeps them contained in the future).
     
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  12. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    With corruption rife within that very infrastructure. Did you not paid attention to many of the NCR's ending slides? And the thing with brahmin barons having the politicians and higher-ranking officers within their pockets and stuff like that.
     
  13. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    There's some valid points about the NCR, but as naossano said, the Legion will start breaking down once Caesar is dead. He's already suffering from the tumour and it's not long before he's bedridden because of it and whenever that happens, his men are left standing outside with no orders. Lanius may lead them to victory but it'll fall apart eventually, it could give the NCR an advantage if infighting breaks out.

    Also, if the Courier doesn't intervene (either dead from Benny/something else or just decided "screw this I'm outta here") then would Ulysses be motivated to launch the nukes at anyone? He launches because of the Courier, he blames them for taking away the Divide but if the Courier's dead or not interested in helping the Legion/NCR and then following him to the Divide, how would Ulysses know of the Courier's allegiance?

    Without the Courier Elijah likely wouldn't gain access to the Sierra Madre and the Think Tank would still remain in the Big Empty due to Mobius and the fact no one would get the items they need IIRC.
     
  14. Risewild

    Risewild Vault Fossil
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Without the Courier Elijah will just get someone else. He already managed to get Dean, his assistant Dog/God and Christine to work for him there and they are quite resourceful. It is just a matter of time until they crack Sierra Madre with or without the Courier. Not to mention that Elijah can just keep throwing captives he gets from the Mojave until he gets lucky.
    The world doesn't stop just because the Courier isn't doing things, Elijah's plan never accounted for the Courier to appear there
    and he still thinks his plan will work in the end.

    About the Think Tank, Dr Mobius brain is getting damaged from a Mentats addiction, he is broken and suffers from periods of memory loss not to mention speech errors, he won't last much longer either psychological or mechanical. He also only starts making these new Roboscorpions once the Courier arrives at the Big Empty. If the Courier never arrives then Mobius doesn't make these new robots and pushes the Think Tank into getting the technology parts they think will help them protect themselves.
    They already started to break their illusion of nothingness outside of the force fields because of Elijah and Christine (and Ulysses, but it was Elijah that started to break that illusion).
    Remember the cut ending text that Chris Avellone released?
    I would believe something like that is what will happen in the future if there is no Courier to keep the Think Tank contained.
     
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  15. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Yes but how long has he been there? The Courier was him getting lucky, so who knows how long he'd stay there trying to get in if they never show. It's easy to say he'd get someone else, but I don't think it would be likely nor anytime soon.

    Perhaps. I can see why it was cut, even with the DLC's tone in mind it's way over the top.
     
  16. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Yes, in 3 out of 4 endings the NCR take Hoover dam. Statistically this makes it the most likely outcome. Especially when we consider how canon is determined, and that the NCR and Yes Man endings are the most popular, followed by House, and then the Legion in dead last. On the more technical side of things you don't have to do anything for the NCR to have them take Hoover dam. You can basically outright sabotage them every step of the way, clear your name and complete the game. Or you can just fail every step of the way and they still win in 3 out of the 4 endings. So with or without you is irrelevant.
     
  17. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    As for all this one sided nonsense about the NCR's failings, the Legion is as anti-intellectual, dogmatic, and oppressive as it gets. That's a recipe for collapse and a guarantee of stagnation. It's also smaller in terms of population, has less arable land, and a far worse growth rate (infant mortality w/out medicine). I could go into more detail, but I already did so on that 'Can the NCR survive much longer' thread ad nauseum. The main point is that given these factors it is inevitable that the NCR continues to evolve, while the Legion languishes. New Vegas is the NCR at its worst, not its best like the Legion. So the Legion pressing into its established territory would only mean fighting a much stronger opponent; when in New Vegas all they could manage at their height was a dead heat with a struggling fraction of the NCR. As for post 2nd battle of hoover dam, given my previous reply...with the mojave secured (it's highways included), heaps of new tax revenue, and House no longer bleeding them dry (note that w/out the Courier his plan goes absolutely nowhere) the NCR would gain quite a lot in that victory. Whereas the Legion requires years to repopulate its army enough to make any serious push, while dedicating as much as possible to that one campaign (in detriment to the others) to keep the NCR down. So any conflict following the 2nd battle of Hoover dam is in favor of the NCR.
     
  18. Risewild

    Risewild Vault Fossil
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    If the Courier doesn't intervene it doesn't change the fact that the Divide happened. It happened because the Courier took a job to take a package into the Divide which set off some of the nukes and exploded the Divide. If this Courier doesn't do that it is still a job he accepted so someone else would have made that job. It would still have happened just not caused by this Courier.
    Ulysses launches the Nukes not as a revenge but because he saw that one man can change history, so he decides to change history himself. He attracted the Courier to the Divide so the Courier dies there (he still respects Caesar order of not killing any couriers, so he tries to have the Courier killed but not in a direct way), if the Courier died before reaching Ulysses or something, Ulysses will still launch the Nukes into NCR because he considers that the act of his conviction (he even says it is not about revenge, but conviction) because he wants to be able to erase the NCR history just like the Divide history was erased.
    This is because the Legion got most of it's content not implemented because of the short time Obsidian had to make the game. The Legion would have gotten at least the same amount of content as the NCR or even more since we would be able to visit a real Legion settlements, as J.E. Sawyer said:
    Unfortunately the game never tells us how long he has been there or even an approximation.
    Elijah have managed to follow up with his plans all this time, he didn't account for the Courier so it is only logical that he has other plans not involving the Courier. Maybe because of the Courier his plans will advance a couple of months earlier, who knows. But he is extremely intelligent and resourceful, he managed to reach the depths of the casino with a previous team of captives (without needing the Courier) and he still has Christine, God/Dog and Dean around, he only needs the vault open to succeed right now and that is what the Courier does for him. Elijah already completed 95-99% of his plan without the Courier, it will take a while but I have no doubt he will succeed sooner or later.
    I would say that without the Courier House would achieve his objectives. Without the Courier, Ulysses would be the one taking the Chip to House and he is way tougher, experienced, trained and careful than the Courier (would probably avoid the main roads), I don't think he would be ambushed as easily and even so he would be able to take care of the ones who ambush him since he is the toughest character in the entire game and DLCs, is 15% faster in movement and action times than other humans, is the only human in the game and DLCs with more than 1000 HP and has all SPECIAL values maxed.
    But the DLC is still cannon, so we can't just hand-wave it to suit our needs.
    There is also the over the top not cut ending of Father Elijah releasing the cloud and killing everything.
    The NCR will not last long, it is being attacked by all sides without even knowing. Elijah wants to destroy the NCR, the Legion wants to conquer it, the Think Tank would enslave it with mind control, without the Courier the White Legs will join Caesar's Legion, the remaining Khans will join too, the monorail will be destroyed, NCR camps will not get any supplies they need (the Courier is the one that helps several camps with the supplies they need), and so on.

    PS: Remember that Chris Avellone thinks that both the Legion and NCR will destroy themselves and should be "cleansed by fire". I have no doubt that he helped make FNV take that direction, everything we see without the Courier's intervention shows that both would end up destroyed (Caesar has a tumor he is not aware of and the NCR has all of these powerful forces that can destroy or enslave it in the end without the Courier stopping them).
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  19. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    I'm not talking about a scenario where the Courier never visited the Divide, I'm talking about if the Courier didn't return there after having recovered from Goodsprings.

    It's been quite a while since I've played Lonesome Road, so I thought he only launched against the nation you support. Looking through his text file though NCR gets nuked and as a result the Legion will kill itself and Vegas won't have anything to sustain it.

    The sickness of the Bear already lies within you, even if you uphold the East. If there were time, I would let you kill the Legion. But no, the Legion will burn as well. Without the West to challenge it... its shore will be closer than before. It will feed on itself, die.

    Without NCR to support it, Vegas will fall to the Legion. That grave of lights, back to dust and ghosts, as was meant.

    After this, only one flag will remain over the Mojave. Let that one fly, or destroy itself.


    On a somewhat unrelated note, isn't it strange how the Divide has a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons? Shouldn't they have been launched in 2077 (maybe it's explained, I can't remember)?

    Maybe. I personally don't reckon it would happen given how resourceful and tough the Courier is, but I see your point.

    I'm not hand-waving anything. Yes the DLC is canon, cut endings are not.

    Yes I'm quite aware of Chris' stance on this and, like several others, I personally don't agree with the whole "reset to zero" thing. If he meant that nations fall and others rise up, I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with civilization going up in nuclear fire again just for the sake of resetting everything.
     
  20. peadar87

    peadar87 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 4, 2015
    I'd tend to go the other way with that. We see seven missiles in Ulysses' Temple. We have no idea how many of those are still functional. The one you launch while entering the Ashton silo pretty much instantly malfunctions and crashes. In either way it's impossible to say with any certainty. Ulysses' Temple is the only launch complex we see still in working order, and we know for sure that two missiles can launch from there. Nothing is launching from the Hopeville silo anyway.

    Sorry, I was talking about the blast that created the Courier's Mile, not the underground detonations.

    Aye, but ruining a chokepoint on a supply route and glassing all of California are very different kettles of fish.

    I always read that as Ulysses agreeing with the Courier. If he had enough firepower to destroy the West directly, he wouldn't have talked about cutting throats, he would just have said "yes I do".