The Legion was doomed from the start

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by Morgan_, Dec 25, 2020.

  1. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    As an unenthusiastic, off/on NCR supporter I would just like to start off by saying that it is a terribly bad sign that the Legion's top military minds combined with some of their best military forces failed to unseat one of the most far flung, under funded, no training having welps of the NCR off of their fancy pre-war toilet. The tip of the Legions mighty spear was dead stopped by a disorganized smattering of some of the NCR's finest worst.

    What would a hypothetical dust up between the Legion and the NCR look like if the NCR were to divert their efforts held up in part by brahmin land barons toward the Dam? We are seeing some of the best the Legion is capable of in NV. Strategy, equipment, top brass, rank and file, morale, momentum and resolve. By comparison it is the opposite with the NCR. Based on these observations who would have an easier time invading the others territory? Who would be more capable of retaking a lost dam? It would also appear that taking the dam is an all, or nothing objective for the legion as opposed to being a very critical one for the NCR. The Legion requires divine intervention to succeed in their manifest destiny where as the NCR requires the courier to not lose an important territory that they want to expand into.

    Also consider that the NCR is capable of manufacturing weaponry and military equipment comparable to ww2 equipment as well as maintaining working vertibirds.

    Oddly though the idea of taking out the legions leadership to win the war is one I'm actually not so eager to act on as it will likely cause the Legion to balkanize along their old tribal lines and collapse into moral crusading, uber zealot, Islamic style caliphates with a penchant for enslaving pregnant women and their unborn children for life. Not to mention that they engage in guerilla tactic, biological warfare via radiation to get their way already.

    This may happen anyways as Caesar will die of a tumor if not for the courier and Lanius is a capable military leader, but I do not think is capable of leading the empire as Caesar has. Given his past how many of Caesar's closest would be bludgeoned to death upon his passing? Vulpes would do a better job although I have my doubts on how an extremely macho, survival of the fittest culture would take to having little finger leading them. My bet is on it not lasting long. Their system is very non flexible.

    A good measure of how strong an empire, or system of government is is how well it handles a crisis of leadership, or any other crisis for that matter. In this I believe we see the NCR's greatest advantage over the legion. They can weather Kimball's death better than the Legion will Caesar's. The Legion is analogous to the Mongols: Elite fighters that conquered much, but failed to hold onto it past a human life span when their god king/key stone died. They may have invaded China successfully (which I doubt the Legion is capable of with the NCR) but who do we all have on our minds today? Which of these groups has a more accomplished history?

    Edward Sallow, his actions and legacy are a great example of why Roman Catholicism's elites believed that certain knowledge should not be available to certain individuals. Not a value I hold myself, but there are always exceptions...

    All roads lead to Rome and Rome's road leads to death.

    Romani ite domum is an unavoidable reality even if Caesar lives and is ultimately replaced. They are mongols with Roman aesthetics and some tactics thrown in.
     
  2. KingArthur

    KingArthur Johnny K deserved better

    Jun 25, 2018
    First off, I’m so happy you made this because we don’t have enough Legion threads. Second, gonna only respond to the Dam comment initially, and we’ll work the others out as we go along (I’m honestly so excited for a civil debate that isn’t just Tam trying to meme).

    So, the Dam IS an all or nothing objective. But it’s not just for the Legion. Whomever controls Hoover Dam controls the Mojave, and as a result it’s all or nothing for the NCR as well. Simply put, even though the Dam at large is a chess piece in the game encompassing the Western US, it’s still an important chess piece by benefit of electrical power ALONE.

    To put it bluntly, if the NCR gets pushed from the Dam, be it by Caesar, House, or the Courier + Yes Man, their leadership is fucked. War hawks like Kimball will be voted out, and the Mojave campaign will likely be abandoned. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in a thread I made awhile ago called The Ticking Of the Clock, but long story short even if the Republic gathers enough fighting spirit to go back to the Dam for a third time, they simply wouldn’t have the morale to fight like they did the first or even second time.

    The Second Battle of Hoover Dam is a Hail Mary throw for every single faction, deciding the fate of a massive chunk of the game board we call the post-apoc United States. So, to repeat, is it all or nothing? Yes. But it is for everyone, the NCR included. To say that’s a slight against the Legion is ignoring both how much land Caesar’s Legion controls (more than even the NCR, look it up), and thus how much manpower and materiel they really have to throw at this problem given its vital strategic position.
     
  3. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    117
    Apr 29, 2017
    I think it is clear by what we see in the Mojave that the NCR is in a very bad position there.

    Their ranks are infiltrated, morale is low and they are being dealt defeat after defeat (Camp Folorn Hope, Searchlight, Ranger Station Charlie, Nipton, etc.), not just at the hands of the Legion, but at the hands of pretty much every petty raider group in the Mojave. Even the Wasteland critters themselves started reclaiming their territory from the NCR!

    It should be obvious that nothing short of a miracle would save the NCR from total defeat in the Mojave.
     
  4. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    No problem, I'm starting to get into the lore of the game more and was thinking about comparisons between the Legion and NCR. Basically if either faction loses it will be the end of them as we know it, but I just think that considering the type of system each one uses and the other resources they have that the NCR is in a better position to avoid collapse, or to bounce back from a collapse from losing the dam. They are an American democratic republic and that seems to be the better system as Rome itself was a Republic and weathered major internal and external struggles for a very long time.

    In contrast the Legion is more akin to the previously mentioned Mongols and and I think the Zulu's. Like the Zulu's who were very fit and could travel extreme distances quickly. They captured many British artillery cannons only to be unable to use, or maintain them just as the Legions finest are unable to use the howitzer.

    They will need to capture either NCR scientists, or Followers of the Apocalypse (again like the Mongols did with China) to get the dam working as well.
    And despite all that the Legions purely elite military invasion force that had foreknowledge of the situation via spies were still defeated by an unsuspecting, unprepared, beleaguered NCR. We are seeing the absolute pinnacle of what the Legion can do and keep in mind the NCR also has to farm and provide some measure of protection with what little is at their disposal. This is a major benefit to the Legion as they have no such obligations, or logistics to bother with.

    It just seems to me that the Legion has been on easy mode until encountering a hamstrung NCR frontier territory and as such will not be able to weather or bounce back from a dam loss, or any other major loss, I think. This is in large part due to their governmental system which is more Genghis Kahn and Stalin than the Roman republic they claim to be. If for nothing else, the Legion will hemorrhage it's best minds when it encounters defeats, or setbacks. Just look at what was done to Graham, hence the Stalin comparison.

    I think the situation can be summed up as such: The sleeping bears paw vs the charging bull.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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  5. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    117
    Apr 29, 2017
    Well, yes. The NCR victory at Hoover Dam sure was nice; a great tactical surprise and all that. The man responsible clearly underestimated his adversary and paid dearly for it. However, it does not change the situation the NCR finds itself in at the start of Fallout: New Vegas. Instead of getting stronger as a result of their victory at Hoover Dam, the NCR has gotten weaker.

    Past victories be what they may, in F:NV the Legion is getting the better of the NCR at every step. Notice how every quest involving the conflict between the NCR and the Legion, the Legion is winning decisively. Even when Courier Six chooses to help the Legion, the dialogue suggests that their help is useful, but unnecessary.

    Without any intervention of Courier Six, I think the predictable outcomes of some of the quests/situations in the Mojave are as follows:

    > Nipton, massacred.
    > Ranger Station Charlie, massacred.
    > Searchlight, massacred.
    > Camp Folorn Hope, massacred.
    > Camp Guardian, massacred.
    > Monorail, blown up.
    > President Kimball, assassinated.
    > New Vegas and Camp McCarran permanently cut off from the Mojave Outpost and the west.
    > Chief Hanlon either commits suicide or continues to undermine the NCR Rangers.
    > Fiends and other raiders continue to raid Camp McCarran (their main base, for heaven's sake).

    So why does all of this happen? It all relates back to the NCR's overextension, and the way the Legion (and other factions) is able to capitalize on it. The Legion operates flexibly and finds the holes in the NCR's porous defenses. Infiltration tactics, both among the NCR's ranks and on the battlefield is something the slow and unwieldy NCR cannot reply to. It slowly bleeds them dry, of manpower, of morale, and of support among the Mojave's many factions and inside the NCR itself. And with every small defeat, more problems start popping up, so that even the Wasteland critters themselves are reclaiming their territory from the NCR. The status quo seems to greatly favor the Legion.

    To put it in historical terms, the NCR is like the slow, but powerful USA and the Legion is like the smaller, flexible Viet Cong and the NVA. Of course the US won many tactical victories over the Vietnamese, but ultimately no victory on the battlefield could salvage a situation that was strategically lost. So in fact, I would turn the premise of this thread around; it is the NCR that is doomed from the start, at least in the Mojave.
     
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  6. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    Even if the Legion routs the NCR in the Mojave they are still headed for a crisis of leadership with Caesar's death and their governmental system is not capable of withstanding what would be a deliberate part of the republic system. Graham knows it and House wants nothing done to Edward in part for this reason as he is a useful asset in keeping the NCR in check. The legion dies with Edward just as the Mongol horde died with Genghis. The need for a strong Caesarian/ Nietzscheian superman leader is a consequence of not having a robust system.

    Once they capture the dam what then? They will attack and destroy the strip which will smother its technological ambitions simply due to moral crusading. Their ability to wield the dam will rely on who they can capture from the NCR and Followers as they are unable to operate a ww2 howitzer. If they do win a victory it will be a pyrrhic victory that will cost humanity dearly in the long run.

    Outside of combat the legion is unable to test itself against other hurdles as there is no freewill in the Legion, only ideology. Wrong think is both very easy and deadly thing to commit in their society. This is why I compare them to a caliphate. Such a rigid system, from top to bottom, is doomed to crack. Also, Vietnam is state capitalist republic now so ultimately they did lose. The only union is the union ran by the state and there is less of workers owning theirs means of production than there is in the US. We lost the machinegun war, but succeeded in killing of the previous system and its ambitions.

    Summary:
    Even if they did win the dam their actions to follow in the region and loss of Caesar eventually will rob humanity of what House may have been capable of and be the legions doom.

    The legion will divide along its original tribal seams just as the desert splits under the sun. They are not the ones to lead humanity out of the wasteland.
     
  7. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    Assuming this is without the Courier's influence (i.e, they die in Goodsprings) because otherwise the discussion is redundant.

    I agree with the assessment that Legion is pretty well stacked to win Hoover Dam. The NCR just has too much against it. From failures of command chains, internal sabotage and Legion guerilla sabotage and absolutely retarded leadership compared to the first battle. In fact I'd wager the second battle would be something of a slaughter against NCR.

    Problem is, without the courier the Mojave is going to be a bitch to civilize. Between raiders, unruly factions etc. The Legion would do it, but it'd be a drain. Although you could argue that the Legion would swell ranks with the assimilation. Either way, there's a stick in the mud.

    Vegas. Mr House.

    Without the Courier, the Legion can't get to House. In the event of Legion victory, he'd do everything possible to slow and sabotage their occupation. Even if they killed all of Houses forces, they wouldn't get him. He'd prove quite the thorn.

    That makes what was already going to be a troublesome siege of NCR even worse. On top of Caesar likely succumbing to his tumour.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the Legion would be a plague rivalled only by the Master's Army on New California, but I think it would be a war that would easily end in NCR victory, albeit very very bruised
     
  8. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    117
    Apr 29, 2017
    This point gets brought up often, but I'm not so sure what is there to support it.

    When Caesar dies, Lanius takes over. There is no indication in-game that would suggest an immediate crisis.

    I've actually made a thread about Lanius a while ago, underpinning why I believe his reputation as a dumb brute is undeserved. He is perhaps even a better embodiement of the Legion than Caesar is. Lanius is more pragmatic, and less ego-driven than Caesar. I'm open to the idea Lanius would be a superior leader to Caesar, and that Caesar's death is a positive thing for the Legion.

    The Legion does not need Hoover Dam like the NCR or House do. It is mostly symbolic for them. The Legion could try to harness its power, or it could choose to turn it into a monument to the Legion's triumph.

    The US lost that war. What the Vietnamese people chose to do afterwards by their own volition is to their merit alone.
     
  9. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    117
    Apr 29, 2017
    What forces, though?

    The power House has over the Three Families is limited at best. Alll three are involved in schemes that he knows nothing about, two of which aimed directly at him.

    So what does House have? His Securitrons, if by some miracle he manages to access Fortification Hill? He may be able to protect the Strip with them, however the Legion doesn't need Vegas or the Strip, just like they don't need Hoover Dam.

    If Vegas and the Strip would prove too costly to take in a direct assault, the Legion can occupy the Mojave and wait for Vegas to bleed out. How long would Vegas last in a real siege? I think Vegas and all its little factions would be like a powder keg.
     
  10. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013

    I don't doubt that the Legion would eventually win out against Vegas after winning Hoover Dam. I just don't think they'd be able to get House himself, and I think he'd find ways to slow Legion success from his ivory tower. His dream of Las Vegas reborn is in the grave but he's not going to just lie and rot. What he'd actually do, I don't know. Coordination with NCR in some form the most likely possibility.
     
  11. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Doesn't change much of the points, but the mongols kept expanding their territories a couple of generations after Gengis Khan. It didn't last that long, but it didn't die with him.
     
  12. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    I don't think he is a fool when it comes to military leadership and strategy, but an emperor he does not seem to be. Is there not more information in game that supports Lanius(or any other) being unable to lead the Legion as Caesar did?
    House does not want Caesar harmed so as to keep turmoil down in the Legion.
    Graham was legate and one of the Legion's smartest and he does not think Lanius is capable of it.
    Marcus is another that thinks the Legion will die with Edward.
    I can't even remember what Ulysses says of it honestly.
    These are all some of the smartest and most capable in the Fallout universe and they have seen other groups fail. Not a glowing recommendation of leadership I would think.
    I don't know how this is in response to my points. They could certainly use the victory and if they either were unable to utilize the dam, or even chose not to then that would just further my point that they are not the ones to lead humanity out of the wasteland. It doesn't stop them from the rising issue of a power gap that a despotic system does not seem to be equipped to deal with as well as a republic.


    The Legion is just a reorganization of many tribes under one. They go on murderous moral crusades and enslave women and the unborn lol. They have no equivalent to OSI. They seem to follow the path of least resistance overall as they have no engineering talent like the NCR and just rely on captured slaves for labor and favor a despot system as opposed to a democratic republic system. I guess the roads are safer though. This does not look like much progress to me. If anything the NCR would be closer to Rome with the Legion playing as the invading tribes quite literally.

    General question:
    What is there of value in supporting the Legion?
     
  13. Dayglow Drifter

    Dayglow Drifter Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    353
    Sep 25, 2018
    Yes but in fragmented disparate groups, and many of those groups dropped any trappings on Mongol culture and civilization whatsoever as they became increasingly Turkic and Islamicized
     
  14. Morgan_

    Morgan_ The Fool

    Jul 3, 2020
    The NCR will turn the Legion gay in time with their Vegas catboi fashion.
     
  15. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    117
    Apr 29, 2017
    I would not take the words of enemies of the Legion at face value. Their bias is obvious.

    We don't have to go off second-hand accounts. We have an actual interaction with Lanius near the end of the game. He is well-spoken, pragmatic, reasonable even. Lanius is often called a mindless savage, but from what we actually see of him in-game Caesar compares as little more than a petty mob boss (compare their styles of rhetoric, for example). If anything I struggle to see a leadership quality in which Lanius doesn't surpass Caesar.

    I think instead of trying to escape their post-apocalyptic reality, they are adapting to it.

    Despots have ruled the world for thousands of years.