The Ticking of the Clock

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by KingArthur, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    There are indeed a lot of capable individuals in the Legion's leadership, but they all lack Caesar's vision. Lanius is a fierce warrior and a good general, in a sense the embodiment of the Ideal of strength of the Legion, Vulpes a cunning spymaster and so on, but they're all just mechanismso the same machine. The way the Legion is geared is to cope with the post-apocalyptic world and act as Caesar's war machine. However this very setup doesn't really allow for critical thinkers or reformers: Caesar himself is a product of the democratic NCR and he couldn't have understood the issues of the Republic without being able to think freely and study.
    I doubt there Is anyone in the Legion who knows Hegel or Roman history except for Caesar himself.
    At the end of the day, however, I'd say we don't know enough about Legion's society to really say with certainty.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  2. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    I certainly understand what you're saying, and chances are you're right; though my counterpoint would be that the Legion higher-ups do have visions, just not Sallow's vision. I would say that someone like Vulpes would have one closest to Caesar, but unless he appoints an Octavian, no-one would ever know for sure if his view would die with him completely. The thing that always bugged me about Caesar's Legion (aside from all of their cut content) was that for all his clear genius, his ability to build a covert network, recognize and exploit talent in the likes of Antony and Lanius, build a literally legendary cult of personality, etc., he acts like he'll live forever. He doesn't (as far as we know) have a clear-cut chain of succession and that grinds my gears in ways I can't even adequately extrapolate.

    That, admittedly, is a major argument for the Republic. They have a clear line of succession should Kimball be assassinated and while painfully inefficient and at times completely useless (looks at Primm, prosecution of Crimson Caravan corruption, NCRCF, etc.), they are exceedingly adaptable simply because the democratic republic structure allows them to be.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  3. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    118
    Apr 29, 2017
    What chances do we really get to uncover the vision of the Legion's leadership? Very few. The only one we have an in-depth conversation with is Caesar.
    Though, we can consult other examples that indirectly link to the possible intellectual merit of the Legion's leaders.
    We meet Ulysses and Joshua Graham. They're ex-Legion and I would consider them both capable of visionary leadership. Then there's Lanius. He has very little dialogue, but he clearly is no dummy either. Vulpes, Lucius and Aurelius of Phoenix all seem capable in their own right, but share very little in terms of personal vision. Who is to say they have none, though?

    Ultimately, what binds people to the Legion? Is it personal gain? Doubtful. They give themselves to the Legion. A lot of people would argue legionaries are forced, but I find that unlikely, considering their unwavering morale and dedication. Then what? I'd say the main factor is ideology. Ideology is in fact one of the few reasons people will sacrifice themselves willingly. To stand behind a cause requires some vision of what that cause entails and why it is worth fighting for. So I wouldn't say "the Legion lacks vision" is an argument that should simply be accepted without scrutiny.

    Apologies in advance for this side-track.
     
  4. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    Yes, Vulpes is probably the closest to Caesar among Legion ranks. However, if you talk to him you realize that despite his knowledge as spymaster and even political cunning, he still fits perfectly into a dogmatic ideological framework - Caesar's. Now of course openly disagreeing with a dictator in a totalitarian State rarely yields results, so he could hide his real ideas behind the disguise of an obedient soldier - that's what spies do, after all. However I'm not sure he would have got so far without Caesar seeing his game.

    I'm not sure whether this is Obsidian's fault or they kept it purposly vague for the future (?) or It Is meant as a part of Caesar's megalomania. He thought he would create an empire in his life time after all.
     
  5. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
     
  6. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    Eh, idgaf, I like discussing NV with you guys.

    And @Sublime, I think Caesar already created an empire; if you look at the sheer amount of land Caesar's Legion is said to hold, it's as much as the Republic. The thing that is questionable is whether the reforms Caesar says he wished to implement (less reliance on slaves, reintroduction of tech into the Legion, peacetime reforms and less gender discrimination, to name a few) are going to be put in place in said lifetime, or indeed at all, should Caesar be killed by the Courier or his tumor.
     
  7. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    The discussion with Caesar gives a brief history of the Legion and Caesar's grand plan. Plus his education and origins. I think that's enough to get a general idea.

    Indeed, but they're both Castouts

    I think I have exhausted my argument about them. They're all capable in their own field of expertise, but none of them could be a real stateman or ideologue and above all a reformer. For instance, Lanius despises Vulpes' deceptive methods, because he is a honorable warrior and general. That's as much disagreement there can be in the Legion.

    There are two kinds of people in the Legion: those Who were born into it and those who weren't. The first are easily indoctrinated; to the others, the Legion offers better conditions than their tribal origins and they're kept in check through indoctrination and punishment.

    perhaps future games will prove me wrong
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  8. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    Perhaps, though truth be told I don't trust Beth to handle the Legion well at all.
     
  9. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    I agree that the Legion's already as vast as an empire - but not for Caesar it seems. I suppose only time will tell. Doubt that Bethesda will ever make a game on the West Coast.

    PS I was always thought that the fact you can just blast in and kill Caesar was simply dumb, even at high levels.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  10. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    Well, Edward Sallow is in many ways like the historical Caius Julius Caesar; he's unstoppably ambitious. Though, it not being enough (according to Ulysses at least) is likely because of the very existence of the NCR; he sees an opponent large and strong enough to challenge him, and is swept up in the thrill of matching arms and wits with such a rival.

    And yes, that was by far the dumbest part of NV. I applaud the creators for giving us the choice, but simply blowing up Fortification Hill would've felt less moronic.
     
  11. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    118
    Apr 29, 2017
    There is no room in the Legion for diverging opinions, at least not while Caesar is still alive. It is only when out of Caesar's grasp do we get to hear the full extent of their personal vision of the Legion. So I think its fair to say that a lot of these men have personal vision, however don't share it out out of fear. With the infamous 100 Barter/Speech check at the end of the game we can even hear Lanius give us a small bit of his personal vision, which differs from Caesar's.

    This is too much of a short-cut. How are they easily indoctrinated? And how is it possible that they are always successful? That is certainly not how indoctrination works in real life, as it is just as likely to create heavy skepticism and revulsion, as it is likely to create obedience. Just look at how many religious people break from their religion when they grow up. We see indoctrination elsewhere in the Fallout universe, like in the vaults. There nobody buys it.



    So do they indoctrinate people through questionnaires or more like they do in A Clockwork Orange?



    I think it is at least fair to say that a 100% success rate in indoctrination, even with modern methods, is impossible, so where are all the dissidents and deserters?
     
  12. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    Lanius' "vision" is more of a strategic evaluation and he explicitly says "Caesar's will Is the will of the Legion" even after his death.

    I'll use history to answer to this one.

    Both the fascist and nazi regime used to put a lot of attention on the indoctrination of the youth. For instance, during the fascist regime children were raised in paramilitary institutions collateral to school, starting at age 0 (in the very moment of civil registration) and ending at age 21, when they would become fully fledged soldiers. Propaganda was of course very effective on young people's minds, especially on the ones from uneducated families.

    The reason why fascism gained so much popularity is that offers the idea of people united under one charismatic leader for a purpose. That's the kind of fascination it generates. Of course not everyone was attracted, especially as they knew there were alternatives to fascism, but dissidents were jailed, sent in exile, sent to confinment - the latter a fascist favourite, inspired by ancient Rome.

    The difference with modern fascism regimes is tribal origins:

    1) Tribals don't really know something different other than the Legion ( because they never experienced It)

    2) Tribals are easily fascinated by the ideals of the Legion: the Ideal of strength is something close enough they can understand, yet the Legion is just much more than any of their tribes

    If these two aren't enough and you still want to be a tribal, you get brutally murdered. That's how Caesar built the Legion.

    Lastly I want to quote the burned man, when asked about the Legion after Caesar's death:

    "I don't know Lanius, but from what I've heard, he' only interested in leading people into battle"

    "I think only Caesar can lead the Legion. I've never met anyone who could. I couldn't"

    "The Legion dies with Caesar"
     
  13. Apollyon

    Apollyon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    118
    Apr 29, 2017
    Potatoe - potatoe.

    Even in Nazi-Germany there were dissidents. Hell, there have been numerous murder plots on Hitler's life precisely because indoctrination couldn't cover everyone. Of course it can be effective, but the complete and utter dedication we see in the Legion cannot be a product of just indoctrination, which is something I often see argued here.

    Well, I am no expert on the effects of tribal origins on receptiveness to indoctrination.

    Joshua Graham is an interesting one. Ironically he's 'pulling a Sallow' in Honest Hearts. He clearly has vision and a ruthless nature. Humble he may be, but I don't see why he couldn't lead the Legion. Of course, not that he'd want to anymore, but hypothetically.
     
  14. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    @Sublime you seem to forget that of course Joshua is going to have a negative view of the Legion; the fact of the matter is that Lanius is a better general than he, and the Legion in its current state is as a result different from how he remembers it.

    Put it this way; the current Legatus performs decimatio with Legionaries who show cowardice. That alone is going to change the entire culture of the Legion’s military. And honestly, saying that the Legion dies with Caesar sounds like salt on his part; Caesar makes a good leader, but at the end of the day, the tribals, indoctrinated or not, are what make the Legion, well, the Legion. Without his army Edward Sallow wouldn’t have the empire he currently does, and the men of that army are the heart and soul of Caesar’s Legion. Everyone says NCR troopers are cogs in a well-oiled machine or something to that effect; but the NCR relies more on diplomats and politicians than the Legion does. In Caesar’s Legion, Caesar’s cult of personality isn’t the be-all end-all, because the Legion is more akin to a machine. If one soldier or frumentarii doesn’t do their job, literally everything goes to shit. But it hasn’t. Even after Caesar’s death, the Legion’s military functions as a cohesive, efficient (absolute) unit.

    Ulysses also seems to think that overexpansion is a bigger issue for the Legion than Caesar dying, but I’ll argue that when we get to it.
     
  15. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    Running an empire is no easy task
     
  16. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    Dismissing Graham's opinion as just salt seems a little too simplistic to me. He was the closest to Caesar and the one who helped him build the Legion in the first place. He certainly has authority on the matter. Besides, if it was just resentment towards his former partner, why would he hold him so high to think that Legion couldn't survive without him? The only possible explanation is that he is giving a neutral and non-biased opinion.

    Lanius' methods are probably a result of the Legion's first defeat at Hoover Dam.

    I admit that the Legion was designed to be solid, just like any army after all. However, once you cut the head all the body will start to shake. Imagine the Nazi Party without Hitler's charisma. Could it work? Perhaps, but not as effectively. But let's stop with history and let's analyze the Legion.

    We don't really know the canonical ending so let's employ logics and mathematics. Caesar has brain cancer and it's quite clear that even in his vast empire there isn't anyone capable of handling such task. Why would he rely on you, an outsider, otherwise? So he is most likely to die sooner rather than later. (Not considering the possibility of being assassinated by the player). It doesn't seem like he has any heir, but we know that in case of his death Lanius would take his place.

    Now, the Legion is technically in a better condition to win, compared to the others factions...not considering the player character however. There are 3 out of 4 endings where the Legion loses (they're the primary enemy, after all)

    And there are only two outcomes where Lanius lives: if the player has maximized speech or barter.

    So at the end of New Vegas, the most likely out come for the Legion is defeat + death of its most prominent members. Now, the Legion is meant to respect the chain of command, but who should be the successor? Lucius?
    With all due respect, he could be a great Praetorian and soldier, but do you see him leading the Legion? Especially when you consider that praetorians can be challanged by anyone in the Legion, he would walk on thin ice. Given that high ranking officials have enough of a mind of their own, as we agreed, there's plenty of room for conflict.
     
  17. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    Certainly makes sense, but Lucius also states that he is to remain a praetorian; in the aftermath of both Lanius and Caesar's respective deaths, chances are there will be infighting, with Legionaries choosing sides and fighting for whomever they think would make the best leader. Without Lanius or Caesar, that leader is likely to be Vulpes, someone who has both the capacity and the skill to make the Legion better than it's ever been.

    And, assuming Caesar isn't assassinated but Lanius dies, the appointing of a new Legatus would likely result in something Lucius could do; and while we never hear Lucius's opinion on military stratagems, etc. we do know that he's a capable warrior, and humble enough to keep his own ambition in check out of loyalty to the Caesar, whomever they may be. During Sallow's final days, months, weeks, years of life before succumbing to his tumor, Lucius is likely to be given a chance as a general, if not named successor, due to his loyalty to Caesar's ideals.

    Were I to hazard a guess, Caesar was planning on appointing his Octavian once the second Battle of Hoover Dam took place. The unfortunate thing is that his time is running out, and with it the wasteland at large will lose a great visionary whether he appoints a successor or not.
     
  18. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    Imagine a bunch of American football gear wearing, wannabe Roman slavers being led by a furry.
     
  19. KingArthur

    KingArthur All we have now is a life so ordinary

    Jun 25, 2018
    upload_2019-7-30_14-10-36.jpeg
     
  20. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    265
    Jun 5, 2018
    *Masturbate furiously*