In the ashes of the Southwest arises a conflict over the future of civilization throughout the American Wasteland. Two great powers have arisen, dividing the region between them. At utter odds with each other, the New California Republic and Caesar's Legion careen towards a clash that will decide the fate of hundreds of thousands.
The New California Republic is the largest and most well-established nation of the Wasteland. Established in 2189 through the union of the states of Shady, Los Angeles, Maxson, The Hub, and Dayglow, what hopes that the Wasteland can once again be tamed have been fully vested into this beacon of liberty. Modeling itself off of the pre-war United States, the NCR is an electoral republic that has expanded across the region of "New California", from southern Oregon to the northern Baja California Peninsula. Here can be found a degree of personal liberty scarcely found in any civilized society, with men and women alike granted similar freedoms and even incorporating Ghouls into the population (though the Super Mutants, remnants of the Master's attempt at conquering the Wastes, remain outside this scope).
Despite its progress and the degree to which the NCR has become a fully-functioning republic, problems plague it from top to bottom. Under the direction of President Aaron Kimball the NCR has begun an aggressive push outwards to "civilize" more of the wasteland, stretching its resources thin as its overextended military struggles to maintain control over its periphery. Compounding this is the heavily bureaucratic nature of its government, often held captive to the whims of brahmin barons and other private interests while each state struggles to assert its interests over the others. On top of it all the Republic has also been scarcely democratic in practice, where its presidents can enjoy almost uncontested terms in office for as long as they please. President Tandi, one of the most well-respected and influential presidents, infamously served ten consecutive terms in office, a total of 52 years that only ended with her death and which began with the disappearance of her father, the previous president.
In stark contrast Caesar's Legion presents an aggressive, brutal, and oppressive regime that has expanded at an unprecedented rate, led by a man known to most as Caesar (and to a select few as Edward Sallow). Modeling itself off of the ancient Roman Empire, the Legion has brutally conquered and subjugated all tribes within its territory, destroying their local identities and forcibly assimilating them into the Legion itself. In the space of a single human lifetime Caesar's Legion has expanded across most of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as moving north along the southern shore of the Colorado River. Its economy is built on slave labor and the militaristic conquest of new territories, the newest of which Caesar plans to be the Mojave.
Brutal as it is, Caesar's Legion nonetheless presents its own form of civilization. Because (or perhaps in spite of) its extreme measure to combat crime, dissent, and unrest, the Legion's territory is unusually peaceful, not subject to raiders or petty civil disputes. Under the autocratic rule of Caesar its government is also remarkably effective at mobilizing its resources to combat threats to its existence. It stands opposed to the use of advanced technology (with several glaring exceptions) and intentionally works itself to be as harsh as possible to make its citizens strong enough to survive the Wasteland. While many live in fear of Legion raids, their capture of slaves, and their destruction of all those who oppose them, Caesar is not without his supporters in the Wasteland.
Between the both of them lays New Vegas, an enclave of pre-War glory ruled over by the enigmatic and autocratic Robert House, the President, CEO, and Sole Proprietor. Supposedly having survived the Great War up to the modern day, New Vegas in its present state was founded in 2274 when his Securitron robots detected NCR scouts approaching the Hoover Dam. Harnessing both this and allying himself to three local tribes, he rebuilt the New Vegas Strip in time for the proper arrival of the NCR Military, meeting them in parlay to establish the New Vegas Treaty that gave New Vegas full protection and nominal independence from the NCR, along with opening itself to business with NCR citizens and a guarantee of water and power from the Hoover Dam.
Very few are convinced of whether Mr. House even exists or not, having never been seen in person and holing himself up in the Lucky 38 Casino. Fewer still know what his plans for the Mojave are, though few are convinced that he intends to play nice with the NCR for very long. Indeed, with both the NCR and Caesar's Legion heading for a second clash over the Hoover Dam, many have taken notice of his notable silence on the matter and believe that he is simply biding his time for them both to be exhausted enough to dictate his own, even more favorable terms. Though he rules with absolute power, House seems content to let the Strip run itself, instead focusing on a longer-term strategy.
In the midst of all of this, the Mojave is riddled with intrigues and plots by factions upon factions, all jockeying for power and influence in the chaos. The NCR, the Legion, Mr. House, and smaller forces all struggle to establish presence in the Mojave, to bring civilization of their own kind to the Wasteland. In the midst of it all a lone Courier is ambushed by one of Mr. House's own subordinates, and a Platinum Chip of unknown purpose is stolen. Finally, on 19 October 2281, this Courier has miraculously awakened from death, and begins a journey that will forever change the Mojave...
Kind of funny how Shady sands, the Capital of the NCR is so close to New Vegas. I guess they naturally expanded towards the more fertile coast and where settlements and towns were already in existence to annex them. As far as they knew until their scouts discovered the still empty remains of Vegas ,there was nothing to the East but desert. House only built up Vegas in response to the NCR after all.
It's never officially stated where Shady Sands is, but what little is said tells us that it's east of Vault 12, and Vault 12 is under Mount Whitney. Thus I decided to place it in the Owens Valley, normally way more fertile when Los Angeles isn't sucking its water away. And in a post-LA world, that shouldn't be a problem.
Might have to throw my weight behind Mr House if I honestly had to pick one faction over the other, The Legion is to brutal and cruel for my liking and it's founder is getting on in age without half the the things in place that let the Roman Empire survive and thrive while also having most of the same flaws and potential problems that weakened and brought it down.
Wild Card is utter anarchy, it benefits some and fucks over others but ultimately doesn't really change anything long term in the region beyond repulsing the Legion and pissing off the Republic.
And the Republic itself? I have a soft spot for the NCR but it has a legion of issues many of which are listed in your write up. If it can get it's act together it's not paradise but it's workable and a decent place to live.
House I don't particularly like, he is arrogant as hell and frankly I thought he was an asshole but the man does have a plan.... one hell of a plan!
Really tough choice.
The first time i played NV i joined Caesars's legion and I know they're kind of the bad guys but damn it's fun to play as them ! But it would be a miracle if the legion survive Caesar's death !
Just need to solidify their current holdings. No point in overextending if you can’t even hold the territory.
A good expansive state has the bureaucracy to deal with new territory or the infrastructure for communication or supply, the wasteland does not have these.