House has made a pretty good plan but its not without flaws. The point is, without someone to do the Courier's job (i.e secure the Chip from Benny, or eventually Caesar if Benny is left to his own devices) House has control of Luck 38 and the Strip, but no way to upgrade his Securitrons to the Mark II programming or extend their control range to the entire Mojave. That's my point. You are correct, the Courier is not Gordon Freeman or the Master Chief in that he isn't a uniquely incredible individual that is the only one that can achieve these things, but my point is that any gunslinger or wanderer can do these jobs, but the same goes for the various errands of the NCR. If you use that argument for House, by logic it also extends to NCR. Complaining or using the Courier's initative as an argument is false, IMO, for this reason. I agree that in a world where the Courier died in Goodsprings, Caesar would likely win Hoover Dam. The difference, IMO, is that the Mojave would be much more of a dustbowl quagmire for the Legion afterwards. The victory would be harder fought, with less chips on their table, and the Mojave itself would be full of massive amounts of unruly factions, tribes, individuals that the Legion will have to deal with in the aftermath of their occupation. It's entirely possible that they would eventually clean up the situation, but it would be a much, much more difficult victory without somebody like the Courier. Keep in mind that without the Courier's unique access to House, he'd still be high and tight in the Strip when Caesar marches over the Colorado. That's an entire premsie of its own. I also don't think Caesar not having an heir is bad writing. Caesar is not an ubersmench leader, there's a reason his voice direction and demeanor is more like a loudmouthed character from the Sopranos rather than a more typical/cliche coldly intellectual overlord. In real life, there have also been poorly-sighted leaders who left their position without naming an heir, and caused subsequent chaos. You say poor writing, but I think Caesar's vision of the Legion and the reality that he's constructed being divergent is entirely intended and IMO makes them more interesting. Although, the Legion has enough flaws as is but if you were to do an overhaul/revision of the faction that particular angle is one I would 100% keep in. But yeah you're right, it's a chat for another time. One I'd like to have though. Huge asteriks there for as long as you're not a woman or a tribal. I don't like a flawed bureaucracy either but I prefer it vastly and unequivocally to mass-enslavement, rape, torture, rule of fear and the institutionalized subjugation of women into literal brood mares. I disagree just from a pure utilitarian/outcome perspective, the massive amount of good achieved in the Mojave after NCR victory is much better and will lay much better roots than the immediate anarchy and instability of Independent Vegas. I still really like Indie Vegas, and whether I prefer it or NCR swaps by the day, but I think a Mojave 30 years into the future where Freeside had a good chunk of time as one of the most stable and productive humanitarian regions of the Wasteland with a well-funded, well-supported and widespread relief effort with the Followers and the Kings is going to just flat-out produce better outcomes than the alternative where they never reach that stage and they're overburdened and failing as an operation from the moment Hoover Dam concludes. Same thing goes for the Brotherhood. A truce agreement between the BoS and NCR even if it's only regional is massive and even moreso a productive/healthy relationship within which the Brotherhood protects the Mojave in a genuinely altruistic fashion. In that 30 year timeframe, that's going to have heavy positive benefits vs letting them dig further into their grave of tech-raiderism or wiping out an entire tribe of people with a BoS-NCR peace never even having a single step achieved. As for Primm and Goodsprings, I agree Primm's ending is a less preferable one but so are the NCR endings where the Khans and BoS are killed to the last. My argument isn't that all NCR endings are better, it's that a specific combination is. As for Goodsprings, I think the negatives are extremely few. Firstly, we are told flat-out Goodsprings prospers, and as for the taxes when your point of comparison is literally no taxation at all, we don't actually know how bad NCR taxation really is, not that bad if the vast majority of the town barring grumbling old cowboys like Easy Pete decides to stay and prosper in the new roadside boom-town. House himself says he doesn't give a shit about the people under him as a selling point as to why he shouldn't be feared as a dictator. I don't think House is bad either. But he is not an altruist and he has no humanitarian intention. His historic actions on the Strip and in Freeside, and his potential actions in wiping out the Kings speaks enough to that. I agree to an extent that NCR certainly has a "Sins of the Father" vibe with Pre-War America, but I think to actually compare the millitary-junta state of Pre-War America to NCR is unfair. To the same degree, House was literally one of the most powerful technocrats of that pre-war world for decades upon decades. He was part of the problem as much as the NCR inherting the mantle of American democracy is. Though at the same time, you obviously can't ascribe to House all of the faults of the Great War. But you also can't do the same for NCR. The same for Caesar and the Legion deliberately imitating the cultures and tactics of societies that not only eventually collapsed but also caused great human suffering. Yes Man could be seen in this vein as stripping back the raw nerve: Anarchy. The primitive state of man killing man in a lawless land. "War Never Changes" is not a prophecy of total annihilation but rather just an observational description of mankind. The Great War was humanity's destructive tendencies taken to its greatest possible excess: The Apocalypse. It doesn't create a destiny of exact repetition in that regard, just that no matter the circumstances mankind will continue to suffer the same struggles, arguments, and fight over resources that it always has, and there is no way out because that is humanity. In fact, part of the point is that the stakes aren't the same, just the bleak core of the why. The NCR isn't a carbon copy. That is part of the point, to my view, is that the NCR is a ship that can be steered. Very difficult to do so, but it's possible. Take Colonel Moore for example, left unchecked you'd be correct. She's an imperialist willing to exterminate tribal peoples that oppose her regime (Standard procedure for Caesar and House, I might add) but with the tempering of people like Hsu, Crocker or the Courier instead there can be made pathways to peace and prosperity. I personally reject any interpretation of Independent Vegas that isn't as the story is boilerplate sold: Anarchy where the communities and tribes of the Mojave govern themselves in a free-state protected by an overall deterrent. But that's a whole argument in and of itself.