Lanius's bad reputation is undeserved

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by Apollyon, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    107
    Apr 29, 2017
    This line of thought has already been refuted twice in this same thread. In summary, if repression was all that kept the legionaries bound to the Legion, there'd be a lot more desertion, resentment and rebellious tendencies in the Legion. We see none.

    If you're going to argue the sentiments expressed by Silus under threat of torture and death are sincere, then that same standard should be applied to the sentiments expressed by legionaries. Currently, sentiments that reflect negatively on the Legion are universally accepted, and sentiments that reflect positively on the Legion are quickly dismissed as a result of repression and brainwashing. A double standard.

    No twisting took place. If you're upset that your words were used against you in a discussion, I don't know what to tell you. Pick them more carefully next time.

    I don't see a problem with that. In fact, the combination of fear and courage he instills in the legionaries seems highly effective. Fear is a part of Lanius's act, but only a fool would argue that his courage and martial prowess do not inspire the men of the Legion.

    I don't think there's enough interaction to substantiate such a claim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  2. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    It's not. It's probably better or worse in some perspectives.

    Sorry, but I'm not really going to take it on the word of some self-proclaimed God sitting at the top of a war camp, or a trader that directly benefits from the ongoing conflict. It would have been great if we did see Flagstaff and could draw up the conclusions more accurately.

    For the most part, it's the equivalent to soldiers pillaging a random farming village in Afghanistan because you thought they were bad guys, and simultaneously having your General explain to them that the West is not that bad at all and it's way different, I swear - it was just a prank. First impressions and all that guff.

    Caesar's insistence that it's really not that bad is something you need to see before you believe. Even then it's "believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear."

    We at least witness the ineptitude and corruption of the NCR which gives us an accurate picture of what life is actually like being an NCR goon.

    When Caesar & Lanius die. If Lanius wins we just know he's a despotic prick that butchers people that get in his way. Caesar, to his credit, is slightly more benevolent when he takes over the strip.

    It's not. It's really not that different even today when you have soldiers that are bored 98% of the time and in sheer terror the other 2%. My response was an answer to your original question of how morale is kept up in the Legion so far, though.

    I'm not arguing that it's sincere at all. Only that there was another factor as to why Silus was holding out. He wanted to maintain his power within the Legion while simultaneously preserving his life. He doesn't even express his contempt for Caesar under duress of torture. You literally just poke and prod him with questions that make him snap some spiel about Caesar being an egomaniac - which he is.

    That's a pretty wordy "you mad, bro." If anything I'm annoyed by some prick that tries to call out that Lanius is akin to a benevolent commissar because he leads by example [while not understanding what an actual 40k commissar does to earn that respect]. Lanius just leads by fear and inspires some courage in the heat of the moment (you'd rather fight with him rather than against him). Commissars do both but its layered by the whole interacting with troops and not being grating assholes to them 24/7. With Lanius, after the battle, it's back to puckering your asshole and hoping you don't catch him during a mood swing, doubly so if you're a slave.

    I can take a horse to water but I can't force it to drink. If you actually think a guy that spends 90% of his time with his mask on, and the other 10% in his tent with blinded slaves is a characteristic of inspiration and charm then I don't know what to tell you. At least Caesar hangs out with his Praetorian bros who can then go on to tell the rank-and-file what a "great guy" he is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  3. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    @Apollyon I hate to side with a filthy NCR supporter, but don't condescend to SmallGuyFBI. He's one of the good ones. Worry not, we'll steamroll his arguments in time, brother.

    That being said... @BigGuyCIA I knew that's what you were referring to, that's why I asked: how is that different from any ancient or medieval army in terms of morale keeping?

    As for Caesar & Lanius falling... in that event, Vulpes's frumentarii are still in play. They answer directly to whoever is Caesar, and when both are dead it's likely to be Vulpes's turn, which will most likely ironically bring the Legion into a new era of prosperity.
     
  4. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    Vulpes is like the only actual smart guy in the Legion. He's the Agrippa that Caesar desperately needs.
     
  5. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    I see the analogy, and it makes sense; but the point this whole thread is trying to make is that Lanius is smart too. In his own way, yes, but an articulate man who is more than capable of successfully leading men in combat and outsmarting and outfighting enemies.

    As for leading a government or spy network... I'm actually with you, I'd rather see Vulpes or Caesar in charge.
     
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  6. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    To his credit, Caesar is pretty smart in managing things and recognizing talent. He's the Steve Jobs of Post-apoc warfare.
     
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  7. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    107
    Apr 29, 2017
    I find your addition of "camaraderie" to the commissar's job description questionable at best.

    "Commissars are invariably stern and uncompromising individuals, able to keep even the most anarchic regiments in line through fear, strength and power." - https://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Commissar

    But what do I know.

    Also, keep the tone civil. They say insults are the last resort of the exhausted mind.
     
  8. Veers

    Veers Fire when ready.

    63
    Jan 3, 2017
    We really don't see much of his other Mojave leadership in the first place. Dead Sea seems to be alright, just very cautious. Aurelius isn't too great, but he's got such a minor role it's hard to tell for sure. It takes the intervention of the Courier to stop the Legion from winning, and if you side with them it's more that you help drive the impact of their victory home rather than cause it. For a bunch of guys with machetes and football padding to tangle with, and defeat, the largest and strongest postwar nation ever seen across the games would require either very good troops, very good leadership, or a very incompetent enemy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  9. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    @Veers or all 3. A perfect storm that allows the Legion to take control of the Dam.

    Also, I dig the Enclave sig.
     
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  10. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    Because I'm not just scraping the information from a wikia and trying to piece together loose justifications. The camaraderie aspect is one of many tools from a commissar's toolbox. Over-reliance on fear and summary executions get you nowhere. Commissar Sobile was one exception where he actively just ka-blammed people that got in his way.

    Gaunt, Cain, and even Yarrick inspire confidence because they're not just one-dimensional Sobile's that get mad and execute you when you fail.

    I would have been less hostile to you in particular if you hadn't engaged with me the way you did earlier. The whole "logical fallacy this" loses its luster quick outside of actual, moderated debates [and even then it rarely comes up as a point of argument] which this isn't.

    When I see someone doing that I immediately think of this:



    Don't be that guy.

    Let's be honest, it takes the intervention of the courier for anything to happen at all in the Mojave.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  11. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    107
    Apr 29, 2017
    Excuse me, but where did I mention a logical fallacy?

    I pointed out that the analogy you made worked in Lanius's favor rather than against him.
     
  12. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    Narrator: You didn't.
     
  13. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    Alrighty, getting us back on track, let’s stop the insults and argument to rather discuss the point @BigGuyCIA just made; fear being the only thing in Lanius’s toolbox.

    I don’t think that’s true. As much as I would be loath to see Lanius take control of the Legion at large, there’s a reason I made the Arch Dornan comparison earlier: something about Lanius is charismatic. Something inspires confidence, and the desire in Legionaries to be like him. Maybe he’s not as soft-handed and kind as, say, Commissar Ciaphas Cain (to use the Warhammer example), but he is charismatic.

    Earlier you said that a man who beats his subordinates to death and blinds his slaves isn’t the height of charisma; you’re right, and I agree. He isn’t the end-all charismatic leader. But to say he has none? Republican Romans used the punishment of decimatio, most notably Crassus. Crassus, if not loved, was respected. Hell, Caius Julius Caesar himself threatened to decimate the 9th Legion during the Roman Civil Wars; and even after he made the threat his men respected, and yes, even revered him.

    Decimatio/decimata (however you wanna say it) doesn’t automatically mean that Legatus Lanius is a bad leader, or that his men secretly hate him, or that he has no charisma whatsoever. Does he have less than the likes of Vulpes and Edward Sallow? Yes, abso-fucking-lutely. But he isn’t a lumbering brute completely devoid of it. He’s harsh, to be sure. Perhaps the harshest man in the entire post-apoc United States. But he has that indefinable quality that draws people to him, makes them respect and die for him. That part is undeniable.
     
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  14. Kadscaner

    Kadscaner NMA’s only mutie

    308
    Feb 4, 2016
    I like the thought of Caesar fearing the full might of Lanius. It seems like Caesar fears anyone who could be more influential/powerful than he is. I mean look at how he treats even the mentioning of Joshua.
     
  15. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    I understand that, and I see your point; but Ulysses seems to think that Caesar fights the NCR not just because he’s afraid of them (and Ulysses does admit that he is), but also because he likes the challenge.

    Much like the historical Caesar, Edward Sallow enjoys the rush of victory. I think even if he is afraid of his Legatus, he also enjoys the victories Lanius brings him.
     
  16. Veers

    Veers Fire when ready.

    63
    Jan 3, 2017
    Joshua's a little overrated. He's cool and all, but the whole reason he was given the boot and the burn was because he failed as a leader. Lanius, for all his lack of strategic abilities, has been more successful than Joshua. I think if anything Caesar doesn't want him mentioned because of either soldiers feeling some kind of old loyalty to their once-Legate, or more likely because if the NCR learned about him they may try to get him on their side, which would pretty much give them access to the whole Legion playbook of tactics and intel. I don't think Caesar fears Joshua, or Lanius either.
     
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  17. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    @Veers that, and it would leave a bad taste in my mouth if Caesar feared his own Legatus. The man he put as the head of his army and his right hand.
     
  18. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    617
    Jul 2, 2016
    Your attributing all that to Lanius even though Vulpes is head Frumentarii. Interesting gambit, or at least a humorous one.

    2 is your headcanon
    3 does not indicate what it's a response to

    4) "Why doesn't any soldier change a strategy they don't agree with?"

    I suppose I didn't overtly state that Lanius doesn't change the plan when he's in charge of the entire Legion, so I apologize for the confuson. I keep forgetting that people even gloss over things that I do specifically mention repeatedly.

    "He cancelled the plan at the last second, fearing any fallout."
    I just want to leave this here so you can't say 'but Lanius didn't have enough time to change things'.

    "Oh, and I know you're probably one of THOSE people"
    I take it you mean people who ask for sources. Kind of a weird thing to be preemptively upset about but whatever.

    "5) Legatus Lanius beats his men into shape, sometimes enforcing decimata. He's probably the most brutal drill instructor in the history of the Fallout world, and his men see him as someone to be respected, revered, and emulated. That's not just the work of fear alone."

    I honestly don't think you understand what you just did there. 'He assaults his men, has them kill each other if they fail, and is the most brutal instructor ever...therefore it's not about the fear he inflicts, it's about his charismatic personality.' What is it with people and sinking their own arguments on here?

    "Put it this way; Cannibal Johnson remembers Arch Dornan fondly."

    Nope.
    "He was a drill instructor I knew. He was also the meanest bastard I've ever known. Once, he caught this private out of uniform and old Dornan went off on the most ear-blistering rant known to man. It was inspiring."
    Fondness is about affection or an affection for someone, aka liking them. IE not calling them the meanest bastard you've ever known. At most he felt that one rant was inspiring. He never indicates a fondness for the man, or even for the rant itself. It's basically the same as saying it was impressive or amazing. It's also obviously just a fucking reference to one of the funniest parts of Fo2...

    "6) I will concede this point, to an extent; but Silus is also quoted as saying that he doesn't care whether he lives or dies, because in his eyes the Legion is finished. Naysayers like Silus are what turn great armies into something less; instead of being prepared to pull through, he gives up. Someone like Silus is not what you wanna base a faction on."

    Except for the part where he has every reason to feel that way, after being completely loyal short of having killed himself because Caesar failed to lead repeatedly. Expecting suicide is not the mark of a great military, let alone a great society. So people like Silus don't ruin the Legion. The Legion ruins people.



    Common sense is not a actual thing or a valid argument.

    "If you're going to make the (foolish) point that successful guerilla warfare is easy, make it. Don't beat around the bush with nonsense like this."

    I don't have to beat around the bush to not build it up necessarily being some grand endeavor. Easy is your word. I said it has the lowest entry requirement. That's just it's nature. The concept is very specifically about mobile irregular forces vs regular forces, small groups or a small scale relative to enemy forces. Success only requires the element of surprise. No coordination is required, let alone on multiple levels.

    Equipment, training, doctrine, and 'how terror will be used' was mentioned. I pointed out that "They run around in old sports equipment with machetes, and attack any enemy that is close to them." Their actions simply do not indicate what was suggested when it comes to the application of guerrilla warfare. The best example of their supposed prowess I can come up with is Camp Searchlight, but all they really did was sneak in, release waste, and leave. Ta-da...so much coordination and planning, because they stole uniforms, and watched patrol routes, and happened upon toxic waste that was just sitting there being neglected as a potential hazard.

    "A fair question, but it doesn't detract from the point I was making. The fact that Lanius recognizes that a second Hoover Dam might be a strategic mistake stands. There could be numerous reasons why he still chooses to go ahead with it."

    Talk is cheap. He can criticize other leaders all he wants, but if he doesn't actually do better then he's just taking potshots. As for these "numerous reasons": they're hypothetical, and you didn't even give one.

    "If they wished to desert they would and could, so I don't think your suggestion holds any merit."

    You didn't even try to address my point here...

    "Silus is also under threat of death and torture, so what exactly does he prove?"

    A Legionary with resentment. Specifically the thing you said didn't exist. Also that Legion deserters happen, literally the only time we see a Legion deserter he tells us his only other option was suicide. Kind of hammers home the fact that it's either obey or die. Unless they manage to get captured. In which case they better hope their captors will not only keep them alive but also prevent their assassination by the Legion.

    "You're being selective."

    That's rich.

    "When Silus reflects negatively on the Legion or Caesar under threat of death, you choose to believe it. When legionaries reflect positively on the Legion or Caesar, supposedly also under threat of death (questionable, but that is not the point), you choose to discredit it."

    I never questioned their positivity. I merely disagreed with your 100% acceptance of it over anything else despite the fact that logically if people have to be threatened with torture or death then they aren't all 100% happy about their situation. We also get told numerous times about how anyone who didn't fall in line was executed on the spot or tortured...and how no one simply joins the Legion voluntarily. Even when a tribe says yes, and even when it all seems like they're in (Twisted Hairs), they're still going to see their own people slaughtered. There is no way to suggest that everyone has only pride and conviction, without fear or resentment, when it's functionally impossible for that to be the case...yet here you are.


    Allegedly, and according to unofficial statements made by devs. I'll stick to canon.
     
  19. KingArthur

    KingArthur The John Doe of NMA

    Jun 25, 2018
    Except I’m not saying that it’s impossible for there to be fear or resentment. Simply that that it’s often overruled by pride.

    Maybe it’s how I’m interpreting things, but you are honestly the biggest asshole here. I make an attempt to be nice to literally everyone, but you just act like a complete dickhead then wonder why I’m losing my patience. Like, come on, man. At least make the effort to be civil, rather than treating everyone like they’re less than you simply because they have a different viewpoint.

    Degenerate.
     
  20. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    NCR best empire. They'll have a space program by 2020.