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Moving into Mojave
NCR expansion towards the Mojave Wasteland was slowed by the presence of raiders (Vipers, Jackals, Great Khans, and small other groups fleeing east) and Super Mutants (with the first wave fleeing east after the fall of the Master). However, the main obstacles were Death Valley and the Big MT (and later the Divide). The NCR maintained the Long 15 as the only effective route heading east, with the local NCR military camp and the Mojave Outpost serving as major checkpoints.
While it was possible to travel from California to the Four States (with Harold and Tycho being notable examples), it was uncommon and did not happen on a large scale until theTreaty of New Vegas was signed between the NCR and Robert House.
As the NCR started to expand into the Mojave Wasteland and after bringing Hoover Dam back to working order, the NCR sent scouts over the Dam to map out new areas for annexation. However, most scouts never came back and were presumed MIA.
In 2277, the Legion traveled into the Mojave to assimilate the area. To their surprise, the NCR had taken a hold of the area six years earlier. Angry at the 'profligates' invasion of the Mojave, Caesar readied the Legion to destroy the NCR and conquer the Mojave.
Establishing their main Mojave base at Fortification Hill, Caesar ordered the Malpais Legate to storm Hoover Dam. The NCR fended off the attack well, but they could not afford the Legion to set up positions near the Dam, so, NCR sharpshooters targeted the officers from the ridge. The Malpais legate then ordered the veterans to push forward to take the ridge and to avoid anymore veteran casualties. The younger legionaries were confused with the veterans upfront and fell behind. The ground forces then started retreating into Boulder City with the veterans charging blindly after them. When the Legion stormed the city they were unaware that the NCR had rigged explosives and C4 across the entire town. When the NCR detonated the explosives it killed a large portion of the Legion. The NCR then mopped up what was left of the attacking forces.
Caesar was furious at Malpais' humiliating defeat at the Dam. At the Grand Canyon, he ordered his Praetorians to cover Malpais with pitch, burn him alive, and toss his flaming body into the canyon. Caesar then bestowed the rank of Legate on to Lanius, a tribal from the then newly assimilated Hidebarks.
Disaster in the Divide became a blessing in disguise for the Legion: cutting off NCR supply lines along Death Valley Road, it granted Caesar's Legion time to recover after their loss in the First Battle of Hoover Dam. Subsequent attempts to reestablish an NCR route through the Divide proved impossible, as the twisted terrain and extreme radiation levels made passage impossible, not to mention the natives.
From then on, the Legion – mostly – kept to themselves on the eastern side of the Colorado River. However this is only part of the overall strategy of Caesar, gathering men, and materiel, while harassing NCR forces where possible. First came the Fall of Nelson, when two contubernia under the command of Decanus Dead Sea attacked, surprising the under-equipped soldiers stationed there. Although outnumbered two to one, the legionaries swiftly overran the defenses, killed most of the NCR troopers and executing the rest by hurling them into the Colorado River. All except for some they kept crucified within the camp.
Next came the Sabotage of Camp Searchlight. Wherein Legion Frumentarii learned of a just post-War cache of nuclear waste stored in the firehouse. Then opening the containers, those whom didn't die immediately suffered ghoulification. With the vast majority of those troopers becoming ferals.
With the loss of Camp Searchlight came a gap in the NCR patrols along the Colorado, especially at Cottonwood Cove where the crossing was shallow. This cove became a small outpost and staging area for Legion activity across the southeastern Mojave. Sending out raiding parties to capture slaves and harass NCR patrols in the vicinity.
Ceasing upon their momentum they have established a presence in the rolling hills to the east of Highway 95. Their plain uniformed scouts go as far north as the highway across from Novac. While this was going on the Frumentarii was not idle, striking an independent town off the map while continuing to send spies west.
It is from this camp that the Legion launched their attack on ranger station Charlie. Situated in the middle of a depression south of Novac this ranger station couldn't see their attackers until it was too late. They also chocked up the lateness of their patrol rangers as nothing significant. It was during this time that the Courier may have visited the location. Upon the Courier's return they will find that all inside were slaughtered, the station boobie trapped, and a message from the Legion. Taking pride in the female ranger captured, and forced to fight in the area in The Fort.
Meanwhile the Legion at Nelson and the NCR at Forlorn Hope continually skirmish, neither side having the advantage to finish off the other. This however could easily change once troops are reallocated. All the while both sides see the next battle of Hoover Dam as the main objective of the war. A final battle to break each others force.
When the Courier entered the Lucky 38, Vulpes Inculta noticed this. He informed Caesar, who then asked him to extend an invitation to the Courier. When the Courier arrived, Caesar ordered him to enter the underground bunker and destroy it, and execute Robert House. If the Courier accepts this, he will be asked to receive alliances from factions such as the Boomers, the White Glove Society, and the Omertas. The outcome of the alliance missions are unknown. They then destroyed the Brotherhood of Steel, and even assassinated President Kimball himself.
Ambassador Crocker noted the Courier's entry into the Lucky 38, Crocker invites the Courier over and asks them to work for him. When the Courier arrived, Crocker asked them to receive alliances from the Boomers and ease the tension between NCR and the Kings. It is unknown if the alliance missions were successful. Colonel Moore asks the Courier to gain support of the Great Khans or destroy them, then destroy the Brotherhood of Steel, but a truce can be signed too (player choice). They then required assistance protecting Kimball during the visit (player choice).
The Mojave Campaign ends with the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, and the outcome of said campaign ultimately depends on the side championed by the Courier. If NCR is supported, it secures Hoover Dam, all major Mojave territories (including the Strip and excluding Freeside), and Fortification Hill. If Caesar's Legion is supported, it conquers Hoover Dam and the entire Mojave Region up to the Mojave Outpost. Both sides make plans to continue the war and entirely conquer the other faction once the Mojave Campaign is over.
Alternatively, the war is brought to an abrupt halt if the Courier either supports Mr House, or works with Yes Man to take over the Mojave for their own use. NCR initially defeats Caesar's Legion at Hoover Dam while Mr. House's Securitron army destroys Fortification Hill. After this, the Securitron army ejects all NCR military presence from the region, the violence of this forced withdrawal depending on the Courier's negotiation with General Oliver. Now separated from each other by the independent New Vegas, the Legion and NCR's four year conflict is ended.
In the case the Courier chooses to join forces with Father Elijah, the war ends years later as they unleash The Cloud and the ghost people upon the Mojave Desert, rendering the region uninhabitable. Both the NCR and Legion make attempts at retaking the area, but are ultimately forced out for good when a modified REPCONN rocket strikes Hoover Dam, releasing a concentrated dose of The Could, killing all stationed there.
- The Courier: "What will you do if I don't turn you in?"
Hanlon: "Oliver can't stand that rangers got credit for victory at Hoover. Whatever I recommend, he does the opposite. I said I wanted them on the ridge. He put them right on the western part of the dam itself. We don't have enough firepower to hold that spot. If the troopers fall back, and they will, the rangers will advance to cover Oliver's retreat. We lose the dam, Oliver and the senate are ruined."
The Courier: "That's crazy."
Hanlon: "Maybe fifty rangers will die on that dam. We lose over a thousand troopers every year. Being here is crazy. Getting out's the only sane thing to do."
- The Courier: "I'm guessing you don't like Caesar very much."
Joshua Graham: "Love the sinner, hate the sin. With Caesar, it's often very difficult to see through all of that sin to the person inside. I can say that we were both lucky that NCR's supply lines and land routes north of Mojave Outpost were destroyed before the Battle of Hoover Dam. Something bad happened near Death Valley, at a place called the Divide. NCR couldn't cut across anymore and it slowed down their reinforcements. Terrible storms ripped entire companies apart before they even got to Nevada soil. The aftermath of Hoover Dam could have been even worse for Caesar."
(Joshua Graham's dialogue)
- The Courier: "The Divide blocked all of their northern land routes?"
Joshua Graham: "Not all of them. But they couldn't take 127 north to get around the mountains. As if Death Valley weren't enough, they had the Divide and Big Empty to deal with. From what the Legion's explorers reported, the Big Empty may as well have been a wall to any living thing approaching it."
(Joshua Graham's dialogue)
- NCR Ranger action reports: "I don't think this will be a suitable route for bringing troops to Hoover Dam. The terrain is a nightmare, we've seen evidence of hostile indigenous life, and the Geiger counters are ticking like a grandfather clock on turbo. Full report when the advance scouts come back at 2300, but as of now I'm recommending we abandon this mission."
- Dead Money alternative endings