I hear a lot of people on this sub say that the NCR should have no problems with the legion, because the NCR has a modern army while the legion is just a bunch of tribals with pointy sticks. Respectfully, I disagree.
To begin with, the NCR is nowhere near as strong as everyone thinks it is. They do have some advantages; such as there equipment, Special Forces units, and their manpower. While the AR-15 does have reliability issues, and thus wouldn’t be my first choice for a fight in the desert, it’s accuracy is a boon in such an open environment and it
s leaps and bounds above what other factions can wield. Likewise, the leather vest they wear is actually pretty good. I dont think it would fare that well against bullets but against a machete it’s a pretty good match. NCR Rangers are easily the best fighters in the wastes, and the NCR is one of, if not the largest nation in North America.
In spite of these advantages, the NCR has a lot holding it back. Lets start with their officer core. The highest ranking officer, Lee is abysmal. He sidelines his best troops out of sheer avarice for glory, prioritizes the defense of the damn to the detriment of everything else, and his leadership is quite detrimental to morale (I think the nickname “Wait and See” speaks for itself). You can literally use a speech check to convince Lanius that he couldn’t be that stupid and its really a trap. Spoiler alert; it isn’t. He’s really that dumb. Hsu is probably the best of them, but I don’t have that high opinion of his record. He’s unable to locate the spy, and I don’t think losing McCarran to the Fiends reflects well on him. All that being said, he’s the best of the lot at diplomacy and his troops do think highly of him.
Next we arrive at Moore. No other way to put it; she’s a bitch. Aside from being rude, her vindictiveness prevents the NCR from gaining valuable allies and she often bungles how to divert resources because of her temper. All that being said, she is a decent tactician. We see very little of Major Polanski, but the state of Forlorn Hope can not reflect well on him. Finally we get to the ranger commander; Hanlon. He
s a good man and a good solider, but this old dog has seen too much war. His plan to spread misinformation works directly in the interest of the legion; and his messages are far too blatant to not attract attention. I think hes seen too much and this is his way of coping.
Aside from their officers, the NCR has several other factors holding them back. The size of the Mojave stretches their forces thin, and their supply lines are on the verge of collapse. Additionally, their training is quite poor and morale is quite low. Put a man with an AR-15 against someone with a bolt action M-40 and the person with the assault rifle has a clear advantage. If the person with an M-40 is a seasoned veteran with more ammunition and is highly motivated; then odds swing in favor of the man with a bolt action, and that’s not even mentioning superior numbers, and that the NCR trooper can be easily routed. With that entire mind, the one time the legion and the republic met in an open battle the NCR won. So why is the legion kicking the NCR`s ass this time around? Lets take a look of what has happened so far and what will happen if the Courier never wakes up.
If Benny puts in a third shot:
1) McCarran is overrun by Fiends.
2) The misfits bolt and Golf falls.
3) The strip is bombed and machine gunned by the Omeratas.
4) Forlorn hope is on the verge of collapse as it is; one kick and the whole rotten structure collapses.
5) Searchlight is abandoned with heavy casualties because of WMDS.
6) Helios One is taken by the BOS.
7) Kimball pulls a Kennedy; the legion launches a frontal assault but ambushes the NCR from the tunnels. The bull goes over the damn.
8) The garrison at Nelson is routed by a legion charge.
If we examine all of these; a few common patterns emerge (there will be a great deal of overlap). One is that the legion is far better at dealing with the smaller factions than the NCR. The following factions are either directly allied with the legion or working in their interests: the Omeratas, BOS, Fiends, Great Khans, Kings, and Powder Gangers. In comparison, the NCR has the lukewarm support of the Followers and several small settlements (Goodsprings for example). They also have the Van Graffs but none of the NCR
s allies help that much. There are several reasons for this. One is the legions insistence of cultural assimilation; but I think their draconian methods play a larger part. Few factions are willing to tangle with the legion and risk being put on a cross, and anyone the legion conquers wont be getting up to cause trouble anytime soon.
If the legion conquered the powder gangers for example, they
d brutally kill the leaders and anyone deemed to be a threat and put the rest in collars so they would have no choice but to work. Its brutal and morally repugnant, but it works. The same goes for the Great Khans and the Brotherhood; if they had opposed the legion they wouldnt be around to help in the second battle.
This is also amplified by both belligerents Special Forces units. The frumentarii are excellent at and free to recruit auxiliaries; in comparison rangers are combat focused and sidelined because of managerial incompetence.
The second reason is supply lines. One need only to visit Forlorn Hope to see how adversely this has affected the NCR. Some of this is attributable to luck; such as the Death Claws at Sloan, some is attributable to the NCR
s tenuous control on their territory (the aforementioned faction issue exacerbates this) and some of this is attributable to the sheer distance between California and New Vegas. In any case; it has several deleterious impacts on the NCR army. Morale is low enough as it is; I dont think less food is likely to help this. Contrary to public opinion; the legion does use firearms but they are trained to fight without them. The NCR can
t. This is also exacerbated by several interna factors. For example; the Rangers could be used to guard caravans but Lee doesnt allow it just as corruption prevents the Heavy Troopers from doing the same task. I also think Hanlon`s radio message divert resources and worsen this issue.
A third reason is morale; the best example of this is Nelson; where a legion force took a town from a garrison that outnumbered it to one by running in kicking and screaming; the NCR was routed instantly. This is a brilliant instance of what must be a common problem, as soldiers choosing to engage in melee charges often routies their opponents. Legionaries are as fanatical as the armies of imperial Japan, troopers are ill disciplined conscripts. Poor training, supply lines, equipment shortages, and incompetent commanders all aggravate this issue along with my fourth reason; terror tactics.
The legion routinely engages in several tactics designed to lower their opponents will to fight (this would be placed under morale if not for the impact on Searchlight). They routinely use weapons of mass destruction, use child soldiers, assassinate NCR VIPs and brutally crucify or otherwise mutilate pows.
Reason five is the legions excellent intelligence network. They actually had a mole in the NCR before the republic even knew they existed. This also helps with the terror tactics; it probably took a great deal of intelligence to assassinate Kimball.
Put it all together and you get the NCR defending strongpoint at the outer edges of their supply lines through territory they no longer fully control (and they`d struggle to reach even if they did).
Virtually every faction with warriors attacks the NCR or supports the legion; either by raiding their already outstretched supplies, joining the assault on the damn, or by attacking the NCR for their own reasons. This creates several quagmires which tie the ncr down; meanwhile the legion creates strongpoints on the west side of the Colorado and wipe out isolated positions such as searchlight or station Charlie. As the NCR diverts resources, it makes several other problems a powder keg such as the powder gangers or forlorn hope. Rather than seek allies, push back the legion strongholds, try and secure their supply lines or even train their troops Oliver Lee waits and sees. Because of corruption and inter service rivalries the NCRs best soldiers are sent to where its politically viable; such as Rangers in Baja; or power armored soliders protecting brahim. Eventually; the legion kills Kimball and takes both the damn and the Mojave in a coordinated assault.
So without the Courier is the Legions victory inevitable? No; but from a military standpoint I think the best option might be to withdraw from the Mojave and fight from positions closer to their supply lines. As this option is not politically viable (the NCR is too dependent on Hoover Dam and Lake Meade) we will focus on how to defend the Mojave. First we will focus on foreign policy. The obvious first step is to reassign Moore; she is far to aggressive to be trusted to deal with other factions. She should be assigned to deal with the Fiends or defend forlorn hope; but she should be kept on a tight leash. House is a lost cause; but he probably can
t be killed without the courier so he will be left alone; although he should be informed about the Omeratas. I think he and the NCR can agree to settle that problem. Minor settlements such as Primm will be largely be left alone; as I think the cost to annex them outweighs the tax benefit but it might be worth spreading propaganda to encourage both recruits and for them to buff their defenses. As I dont think the boomers can be recruited without the couriter; they too will be left alone. The brotherhood should be contacted; given the state of their forces I think they could be given minor concessions for a non aggression pact; although getting them to fight the legion might be difficult. Fuck the fiends; they`re a lost cause. The followers should be given incentives to support the NCR; even if their help is miniscule. They could be used to tell the Khans the truth about the legion; although getting them to ally with the NCR is probably too hard without the courier. If resources permit first recon could be deployed to kill papa covertly. I think the Kings can be persuaded or bribed to protect the NCR settlers. The most important faction to convert is the Van Graffs; as they are the most powerful faction to lend support against Casear. It shouldn’t be too hard to get them to do more.
Secondly; the NCR should divert resources away from barons and recall the rangers from the stations (the second part is obvious; if the first option was easy they would have already done so). Ideally; the rangers should be used to clear obstructions (such as the NCR prison). They could also be used to kill fiend leaders, train troops, or prevent legion crossings; but they should focus on clearing the supply lines first. On that note; extreme measures should be taken against raiders; such as the death penalty.
Third; the NCR really needs to upgrade their intelligence network. This could help with the Omeratas and the mole. I
d divert some resources to this, but not much because I cant think of an officer to lead this to who can compete with Vulpes.
Fourth is; with the exception of Helios One (shoot Fantastic for incompetence and the guy who hired him) cancel small projects such as the Vault 22 expedition. The tools the ncr has should be up to the job; and the legion will probably arrive before the ncr has a food shortage.
Fifth: The damn itself should have its defenses beefed up. There is no excuse for the legion infilitrating the tunnels; the ncr should know the damn better than that. It also might be worth it to set up some machine gun nests. And for gods sakes cancel Kimballs speech.
Six: Use time waiting for the assult to clear Legion strongpoints. If you`re waiting for the guys on the other hands to clear the supply lines; then at least train your soliders. Clear out the legion strongholds on this side of the Colorado, moniter the river and maybe launch raids into their territory.
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