Question about the relationship between NCR/Brotherhood

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by LambentEarache, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. LambentEarache

    LambentEarache First time out of the vault

    Sep 18, 2011
    I've been playing the Fallout series since it was released. I recently started thinking about the Brotherhood of Steel's standing in post-apocalistic America. Something doesn't add up. The Vault is no help in this matter, and appears to have a hole in it's database. I don't want to point fingers at Bethesda, but there's some things they have failed to take into consideration. First off, I remembered that the Brotherhood had a base of operations inside the town of NCR.

    Here's where things start to come apart. The Brotherhood's main base of operations, Lost Hills, is supposedly inside of the NCR state of Maxson. Yet despite being inside NCR territory, Lost Hills is still under Brotherhood control. All of the details about NCR and the Brotherhood of Steel after this are unconfirmed, as the data was created for the cancelled Van Buren. When Fallout: New Vegas begins, the Mojave Brotherhood of Steel had been at war with the NCR and forced out of Helios One, and had fallen back into the Hidden Valley bunker. According to the loading screens, NCR officials, and McNamara, they were fighting over how technology should be used in the wasteland. What is unknown is whether the NCR is at war against the Mojave Brotherhood of Steel, or the entire Brotherhood of Steel.

    The Vault states that the war had lasted since before 2274. In Fallout 3, which takes place in 2277, Three Dog states, after the Following in His Footsteps quest, "The Capital Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel defeated a Super Mutant Behemoth outside GNR. That should give the boys at Lost Hills something to think about." If NCR was at war with the Brotherhood in 2277, wouldn't Lost Hills be isolated due to the fact that it's inside an NCR state? There would be no communication between the branchs unless they have some kind of inter-continental communication device. If NCR was only fighting the Mojave branch, wouldn't Lost Hills sent out reinforcements from all of the major bunkers to defend against NCR? The elders wouldn't stand idly by as one of their main branchs was destroyed. They would combine all of the Brotherhood of Steel's forces and wipe out NCR with vertibirds, "invulnerable" power armor (at least according to canon), and advanced energy technology.

    The official lore states that T-51b is nearly indestructible and was develped to allow soldiers to take on a tank on foot, and win. According to the cancelled data in Van Buren, the hostilities between the two groups started as early as 2231. If they were at war with NCR, they wouldn't send an expedition Washington D.C. in 2254.

    Also, how could NCR overwhelm the Mojave Brotherhood if their power armor is supposed to be nearly indestructible? The Brotherhood could be attacked by thousands of NCR soldiers, and hold them off with only 20 or so paladins. And when talking to Colonel Moore, she addresses the Mojave branch as the "Brotherhood of Steel" not the "Mojave branch Brotherhood of Steel." That makes it pretty obvious that NCR is supposed to be fighting all of the Brotherhood. The High Elder wouldn't allow one of the Brotherhood's branches to wage war alone. There is many more holes in the story that I can think of, and these are only a few. So in short, according to lore, almost none of the details add up. Feel free to debate this, or correct me if I'm wrong anywhere. I just thought I should seek some answers.
  2. DevilTakeMe

    DevilTakeMe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 12, 2011
    The NCR was at war with several chapters of the Brotherhood of Steel, but perhaps not all of them, obviously. Some chapters have survived in the Core region (as shown in some New Vegas endings), while others have been on the run.

    From what we see between the Brotherhood depicted in Fallout 1 and then in sequels, we see an evolution of an isolated Brotherhood with a unified command structure, to a Brotherhood comprised of independent chapters (most likely because of the War with the NCR forcing different chapters to cut ties and minimize communication).

    The Mojave Brotherhood is actually a chapter that was on the run after the war in California. They went to Helios One in an attempt to turn the tide of war back towards the Brotherhood.

    Superior technology isn't an instant "I Win" button, as the Chosen One can attest to. It provides a major advantage, but it isn't the end-all, be-all of the Fallout universe.

    The Enclave certainly had superior technology, even over the Brotherhood. What they don't have, are numbers. Since the Enclave had a strict policy against recruiting wasters, they had to depend entirely on numbers generated by their own genepool.

    By Fallout 2 and further into New Vegas, the Brotherhood is hardly a sizable group, mostly for the same reason - they're members of a family tree that extends to military service in the great war. It does seem that they take in a few wasters once in awhile, but not enough to really ensure the longevity or sustainability of such a group.

    One has to remember that "nearly indestructable" does not mean "completely indestructible" or invincible. As you said, power armor turns its wearer into a walking tank. Tanks themselves were often called "invincible" back in the First World War, because few weapons could penetrate their armor. Of course, that doesn't mean that armor can't be worn down, or that there are not weapons developed to destroy such armor. Just that under normal circumstances, the armor can withstand a good deal of abuse and still remain functional.

    As for the expedition, Fallout Tactics is "partially canon" (or as tvtropes would say "Broad Strokes canon"), mostly the only thing Tactics has in canon is that some Brotherhood members fled east, and some winding up in the Mid-west and then the East Coast (Fallout 3).

    As the details of Operation Sunburst come to light, NCR simply had manpower as a major advantage over the Brotherhood. While a small group of Brotherhood members are truly a force to be reckoned with their technological advantage, the NCR has a massive numerical advantage that more or less wore down the Brotherhood.

    To compare, the First Battle of Hoover Dam lists a little over a hundred casualties in what is considered a major battle with the Legion. Operation Sunburst was fought by over two thousand NCR troopers in assault gear versus maybe 150 Brotherhood members. The NCR lost over 700 soldiers in that one fight, while the Brotherhood lost only one-tenth of the number.
  3. The Enclave 86

    The Enclave 86 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 5, 2010
  4. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    F3 to me is utter garbage so that story really doesn't fly. Like OP stated, even without a war, the Lost Hills folks didn't want to risk technology for anything unless it was minimal risk and for sure. If there was a war then the BoS definitely would have never sent out an expedition nevertheless use supposed "airships", they could have used to airstrike NCR positions.

    I really do not understand how folks could have deserted Lost Hills considering the heavy NCR presence and the not so subtle appearance of power armor. Every NCR patrol from near Lost Hills to the border would have been gunning for desserters.

    As for the Lost Hills folks, I like the F1 BoS ending where they become a R&D tech house. They wisely stay out of active fighting but use their technological leverage to play NCR government factions off one another and in a way maintain a powerful grip on NCR politics.

    In regards to BoS weapons, they can create much of their own ammo from gunsmiths. Most of the miniguns and bazookas (which happened to be their staple weapons in the originals), used ammo that can be easily manufactured. In regards to shit like the vindicator, I don't think I ever ran into a BoS patrol that carried those, which was the only mini-gun to fire rare ammo. Again, I never ran into BoS in the originals that carried Gauss weapons either. I know the enclave carried Gauss weapons but thats a different story.

    Energy cells I believe can be recharged and with a reliable generator (which the BoS have), can keep their energy weapons going in-definitely.
  5. paladin_lord

    paladin_lord It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 12, 2011
    I think there is a great rift in the brotherhood concept before and after Bethesda bought the rights for fallout. Some important aspects of the organization differ from what we find in fallout 1 and 2 lore.

    in fallout 1 & 2
    Bos was a relative chivalrous & benign, organization whose main interests was to acquire and reproduce technological knowledge (primary warfare knowledge) as well to use such knowledge to pacify the wasteland raiding mutant or raider camps and to trade part of this tech with other settlements.

    in fallout 3 & new vegas
    the brotherhood is focused only in acquiring technology at all costs, through all means clearly stepping away from the former chivalry and benign aspects of this organization in f 1&2, even waging war upon other people to acquire what they want. (with the exception of a single branch the capitol wasteland brotherhood of steel)

    I have nothing against the two concepts, and i find that would be possible for an order to actually turn from f1 & 2 concept to f3 & nv. however i fail to see a strong enough reason, i guess there is a gap in the history, because i don't consider the reasons exposed in the later games to be strong enough to bring a war between the two factions. If we follow the end of fallout 1 and 2 the Bos was actually much more inclined to be an ally of nrc than an enemy, they spread bunkers to protect and share supplies with many settlements (including nrc towns).

    The main reason exposed was due a radical change of leadership in the bos over time caused the rifts between bos and nrc that over years would erupt in a war ... but that alone would be enough? don't you think that there is something missing ... a part of the history that no one knows yet, its just my feeling, but i guess that would take more.
  6. White Knight

    White Knight Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Aug 28, 2010
    It wasn't just the leadership, they attacked civillians and caravans who possessed tech like laser rifles or any military technology. The NCR responded by waging war.
  7. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Wrong. So utterly wrong.

    I was convinced this was teh case until I reexamined both games. The Brotherhood is a xenophobic, reclusive order of technofetishists that doesn't give a damn about the wasteland or its inhabitants.

    Do you see Brotherhood patrols raiding raider camps in Fallout 1? No, they sit in Lost Hills and patrol the immediate area, defending their territory.
    Do you see Brotherhood scribes helping the Hub/Junktown/Adytum restore old technology to working order? No, they sit in Lost Hills and research technology for Brotherhood's own use.
    Do you see Brotherhood elders cooperating with the outside to form strong alliances? No, when you want to join, they send you to a radioactive hellhole to die.

    The BoS doesn't care about the wastelands. All their interaction with the outside is limited to campaigns of extermination against those who wronged them (Vipers), training exercises (Knight patrols, eg. the one that recovered the dead supermutant) or exchanging low tech weapons and ammunition for water, food and supplies.

    A lot of players had the mistaken impression that the Brotherhood is a noble, chivalrous organization, when in truth, they're marginally better than the insane Guardians from Wasteland.

    It's even more obvious in Fallout 2. The Brotherhood could've aided the Den townsfolk by exterminating Metzger and his slavers, at night, using NV optics. They never would've seen them coming.

    But the Brotherhood doesn't care. As long as the slavers don't bother the Paladin stationed in the Den, they can kill, enslave, rape and pillage to their heart's content.

    There isn't anything missing. The Brotherhood, due to its xenophobic, isolationist policies, did not adapt to the ever changing political and socioeconomical landscape of the wastelands. They are a relic of the mid 22nd century and have been doomed to die a slow death ever since Maxson founded them.

    The Outcasts and the Mojave chapter are the real Brotherhood from Fo1/Fo2.
  8. Eternauta

    Eternauta It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 8, 2010
    I might be forgetting something, but it seems that all BoS branches outside of California are run by guys who disagree with the Lost Hills leadership:

    -Chicago: this branch was formed by an internal faction that wanted to allow outsiders get into the Brotherhood. The went sent East in a mission which looked a lot more like an exile, at least in my opinion.

    -Capital Wasteland: the leader of this branch had no problem in forgetting about their main mission and start helping locals against Super Mutants, raiders and other threats.

    -Mojave: a branch formerly lead by Elijah, an obsessed man who wanted to push all limits and develop new things, not just gathering all the remaining tech for the Brotherhood and wait for the rest of humanity to die while they're chillin' in a bunker.

    Something tells the leaders at Lost Hills like to say they're sending people out on "epic missions" when they're actually telling them to walk away and settle someplace else. If they stick to their "rebellious" inclination, fuck them. If they change their minds and/or actually do something helpful for the people back at Lost Hills, jackpot. Even sending the Vault Dweller to the Glow "on a quest" seems to work like that: (s)he'll most probably die and not bother us anymore, but if (s)he survives, a tape from a patrol that never came back will be recovered.

    Anyway what I am trying to say is that "BoS branches" are probably more independent than they even think they are, especially if they get into serious trouble.
  9. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    The Brotherhood operates in a decentralized way, with a strict, hierarchic chain of command. Individual variations are to be expected in a world with no instant long range communications.
  10. JackBurton

    JackBurton First time out of the vault

    Dec 14, 2011
    Well, maybe all depends from which Fallout you look at the matter. I don't like very much how the NCR and Brothehood have changed from the first Fallout. Too many differences and nonsenses from 1 to 2, just to put the things as they began, so they can rewrite their relationship. I think Fallout painted a picture that worked perfectly for the first, but has been since that worse and worse, well, not worse, just nonsense.

    The whole NCR-Brotherhood war is itself poorly explained and argued from the point of the "canon"ical ending of F1. I've tried, and still do, reading and reading about the "war". Search the wiki, play the old games (actually again on F2 after finishing 1... again :)), play NV (for 2nd time), etc... Yeah, i don't work so i have lot of time :( and nonetheless, thats my point.
  11. paladin_lord

    paladin_lord It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 12, 2011
    well when i said that the brotherhood is relatively a benign and chivalrous i didn't mean they are a noble and altruist organization. they are relatively benign because they respect the authority of other communities and are inclined to peacefully deal with them, perhaps even offer resourceful aid if the order is not put in jeopardy (see below). Now the chivalrous aspect is merely related to the structure of their organization, titles, ranks, codex ... etc (internal aspects, not external)

    this is a copy of fallout 1 ending, considered by f2 and f3 as canon.

    "The Brotherhood of Steel (1) helps the other human outposts drive the mutant armies away with minimal loss of life, on both sides of the conflict. (2) The advanced technology of the Brotherhood is slowly reintroduced into New California, with little disruption or chaos. (3)The Brotherhood wisely remains out of the power structure, and becomes a major research and development house."

    1 = bos helping other human outposts to fend off mutants shows that they are not only interested in their own protection, but with the protections of other settlements as well (its one of the reasons f2 has a bos outpost in every town in the game)

    2 = they shared their advanced technology with the New California Republic, a clear friendly approach between NRC - Bos politic relationship. Nrc leader was aradesh and Bos leader was (after jhon maxon) rhombus, both reasonable and honorable leaders, i guess its right to expect that under their ruling both settlements would come into a peaceful understanding, perhaps even an alliance.

    3 = If the brotherhood respects local, official governments, share their technological findings, had decades of reasonable leadership, and aid with military defense of many human outposts ... i would consider them relatively benign and with strong, friendly diplomatic ties with NRC.

    I think that Bethesda kind ignored that background, when they decided that a radical leadership change alone would be enough to send the order into all those changes (attacking people for tech), in my view there would be complaints, revolt perhaps even uprisings against this new leadership.
  12. Nave Senrag

    Nave Senrag First time out of the vault

    Aug 2, 2011
    Is there some reason that you are ignoring that the BOS and NCR fought a war because the BOS decided that NCR had too much technology? The Brotherhood is sworn to protect humanity by preventing advanced technology from falling into humanity's hands. After the events of Fallout, those who felt that tech should be shared with humanity were exiled to the midwest, and those who felt that it should be hoarded gained control of the Brotherhood. Most, if not all of the good things that were referenced in the ending of Fallout were reversed in a few decades. They retreated to their bunkers, and only left them to acquire tech from ruins and to harass those who had it.
  13. paladin_lord

    paladin_lord It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 12, 2011
    I just think the reasons behind bos-nrc war in f3 to be kind "lame" ...

    but the Bos was a major responsible for the tech upgrade in the New California Republic. After the end of f1 and during f2 they reintroduced advanced tech into NCR, why later on f3 they would try to reacquire what they freely offered?

    The Midwest branch of the brotherhood was exiled because they wanted to grant membership to people outside the brotherhood (and thus share top secret knowledge and grant access to power armor, energy weapons ... etc) not because they wanted to share tech with outsiders, because as the lost hill bunker bos becomes a major research and development house (before the fot exile event) they begin to share advanced (not top secret) tech with nrc.

    the bos elders were in favor of technological secrecy for their most valuable crafts but were willing to share regular to advanced tech as long as the order was not put in jeopardy. that in my view would be the bos background for f1 & f2. F3 changed that for good, but the reasons exposed for f3 to me are poorly explained ... but again that is just my opinion as player.
  14. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    p_l, the Brotherhood is not a stereotypical one-way organization. It is quite common for nations and states to change radically over time. While the Brotherhood-NCR alliance worked for them in the 22nd century and given them wealth and power, by mid-23rd century, the NCR has diversified its sources of technology and resources, independent of the Brotherhood.

    The Brotherhood did not adapt to the changing wastelands and lost. They were content to be a major research and development house outside of wasteland politics (ie. happy to sell technology to the NCR, while ignoring its bigger problems) and when the Republic found better sources of tech than the Brotherhood, the BoS suddenly became the underdog and fell into decline. While in the 2240s they attempted to find peaceful ways of regaining their position (or at least prevent further decline), new leadership in the 2270s apparently concluded that the only way to preserve the Brotherhood's way of life and prevent the organization from imploding was to make war against the NCR.

    Problem is, the NCR was at this point far too wealthy, powerful and organized. Tactics and equipment that worked against disorganized raider bands and fleeing supermutant squads did not work against a regimented army equipped with standardized armor, weapons and equipment, under the command of competent military commanders.

    For examples of such radical changes in state policies, compare the reigns of Otto III and Henry II between the 10th and 11th century. While the former prized Poland and aimed to include it in his plans for the reestabilishment of a pan-European empire, the latter attempted to conquer Poland and beat it into submission, shortly after Otto's death in 1002 (moar).

    I am surprised that people think the NCR-Brotherhood War is unlikely because over a century earlier they were best buddies.
  15. Nave Senrag

    Nave Senrag First time out of the vault

    Aug 2, 2011
    The point is that the parts of the Brotherhood which would have supported the ending of Fallouts 1 and 2 were sent out East. The remaining parts supported isolationism, except to acquire new technology, and steal it from others. By the time of the Brotherhood-NCR war, the Brotherhood of Steel saw the NCR as an upstart child, using technology that it didn't understand to become powerful. So the Brotherhood decided that it was time to restore its power, and it attacked NCR to take its technology back.
  16. Hetalia Fanboy

    Hetalia Fanboy First time out of the vault

    Jan 16, 2013
    Well lets look at the tech The NCR had on their side. Their veteren rangers with their black armor and night vision scopes had a tremendious advantage of the bos optics for the tb51 and tb45s. Lets also remember after fallout 2 the ncr attacked navarro outpost not the brotherhood. So the ncr got ahold of some pretty good tech. their organized tatics and emp grenades and the fact that the power armor units in the deserts were far more likely to suffer from the elements ment that the ncr had clear advantagesover them. When it came to snipers the ncr had legendary veterens trained with .50 caliber sniper rifles a mile and half away waiting to pick off a bos paladin. Lastly the Bos steels numbers werenot sufficiant and were suffering a civil war at that time due to midwestern chapter and the loss of the lyons chapter fo3 bos chapters as well.
  17. mvm900

    mvm900 First time out of the vault

    Feb 1, 2013
    Sorry if the quote came out wrong, I'm somewhat new to this. But in Fallout 1, I believe, when talking to people in the Brotherhood, they don't say it's indestructible. They say that 'heathens aren't allowed to wear the armor' and that 'if they do manage to kill a paladin the armor is useless'. I am paraphrasing obviously. But that definitely says that paladins can be killed. And just because the /armor/ is indestructible, doesn't mean I can just survive everything. Grenades, for example, can easily cause 'shock waves' that just flow through the armor and can easily kill the wearer without damaging the armor. Using guns would probably be a lot harder to do but still possible. As, no matter the armor, you'll still get the kinetic energy from the bullet/bullets. A shotgun blast from point blank could possibly knock a paladin down. To the point, the NCR may not have used guns, but explosives. Or maybe they found some weapons that are... effective vs power armor?
  18. DevilTakeMe

    DevilTakeMe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 12, 2011
    HetaliaFanboy: there was no civil war within the Brotherhood of Steel on the West Coast, just one chapter of the BoS. This may have occurred on the East Coast with Lyons' group (referring to the Brotherhood of Steel there and the outcasts).

    The NCR simply outnumbered the Brotherhood of Steel and essentially wore them down.

    One has to remember that the war was fairly prolonged, at least long enough for Col. Moore to have served Four Tours of Duty during the NCR-BoS war.

    The last major battle between the NCR and the BOS was at Helios One during Operation Sunburst, where the NCR routed the BoS simply through sheer numbers (20:1 ratio, helped by the fact that Helios-One is not a very good position to hold).
  19. Axolotl

    Axolotl First time out of the vault

    Feb 2, 2013
    Too much comic books/hollywood movies I think. Ever heard of phrase "nature hates a vacuum"? BoS is very small group, they don't have enough manpower to act as wasteland police in every city at all times.

    What would be better: freeing dozen or two tribals every few weeks, or devoting their time and technology to slowly and methodically benefit entire wasteland? From what we saw all kinds of raiders outnumber BoS what, 30:1? And even if they somehow could act every single time, what about bigger threads, like Enclave? I'm not saying BoS are saints, but they clearly care more about bigger picture.

    Or maybe they just realize it would be dangerous to share their technology with tribals and such? You wouldn't give keys to sport car to 15 years-old, so why would you share laser guns and power armours with some random people? How can you be sure they won't use it against you at first opportunity? All we know for sure from F2 is that BoS is short staffed and thinks globally (Enclave threat) rather than locally (one of many, many groups of slavers).
  20. Languorous_Maiar

    Languorous_Maiar A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 25, 2011
    You're wroing in each case.

    They care about Enclave, simply because Enclave can kill all of them and have better technology. There is nothing like globally thinking and never was, in Fallout 1 BoS only helped to destroy Master's Army because it was threat to them, hell, council still was in majority against taking any actions towards mutants.

    And there is difference beetwen giving advanced technology to random people with stealing every high technology because only they can hold it, what is at the end BoS politic towards everyone.