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Due to disagreements over how technology should be controlled in the wasteland, the Brotherhood of Steel waged a long and bloody war against the NCR.Fallout: New Vegas loading screen

The Brotherhood War is a major conflict between the Brotherhood of Steel and the New California Republic taking place in the former American Southwest and the Mojave Wasteland.[1]


As a result of the Brotherhood of Steel's disagreement with the NCR about how technology should be controlled, a series of violent confrontations took place.[1][2][3] The length of the conflict has resulted in NCR commanders such as Colonel Cassandra Moore having completed four tours against the Brotherhood.[4]

In 2274, the NCR moved into the Mojave Desert region to occupy Hoover Dam.[5] A chapter of the Brotherhood was already active in the area and had been for several years, undertaking reclamation missions without opposition.[Non-canon 1] This Brotherhood contingent and NCR forces engaged in minor confrontations for almost two years following the NCR's arrival.[6][Non-canon 1] These conflicts included NCR platoons attacking six Brotherhood bunkers, four of which self-destructed.[7][8]

As part of the ongoing conflict, the NCR attacked and occupied the Brotherhood's fortifications at the HELIOS One power plant, part of "Operation: Sunburst."[Non-canon 2] The plant housed the Brotherhood chapter, where the faction was attempting to refurbish the facility and bring it back online.[9][Non-canon 1] The Brotherhood leaders knew that the location was not defensible and that despite their superior equipment and training, the NCR outnumbered them by a wide margin.[3][10][11][12] Due to these factors, when the NCR began to move in, senior paladins such as Hardin advised the chapter's leader Elder Elijah to fight a retreating action, but he refused.[13] The elder ordered forces to defend the facility, insisting that he just needed "more time".[12]

Despite the efforts to hold the plant, the Brotherhood forces were forced to retreat, suffered a loss of more than half of its paladins and knights, and the disappearance of Elder Elijah.[13][14][Non-canon 2] The NCR consolidated their hold on the location and then set out to pursue any remaining Brotherhood forces, but found none, as the group had retreated to a nearby bunker.[15]

After the loss at HELIOS One, the Mojave Brotherhood's new leader, Elder McNamara, restricted all activity outside of the bunker and forbade engagement with NCR forces.[16][Non-canon 3] Afterward, the NCR left a small fighting force at the plant, sent the rest sent onward to Hoover Dam, and over the next few years, increased its military presence in the Mojave fivefold.[17][18][19]


The Brotherhood War is mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes
  • The conflict was intended to be content in the canceled Van Buren.[Non-canon 4]
  • Josh Sawyer commented on the design and purpose of the war, stating that the depletion of manpower had severely impacted the Brotherhood's ability to wage war, with fallen veterans replaced by relatively inexperienced soldiers promoted out of necessity.[Non-canon 5] He also mentions the concept ideas regarding the ramifications on the economy, including the NCR suffering on the economic front, with the Brotherhood attacking the gold reserves that backed the New Californian dollar[Non-canon 6][Non-canon 7] and the NCR's ineptitude in handling the currency crisis caused by subsequent inflation.[Non-canon 8][Non-canon 9][Non-canon 10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Aaron Kimball: "Born in a tin shack on the outskirts of One Pine, Jeremy Watson never had it easy. His father worked as a caravan guard on the Short Loop, and his mother, like many Californians, braved the ruins of the Old World as a prospector. They suffered through water shortages, raider attacks, and the Brotherhood War. Like our mighty Sierra Nevadas, they endured. But the time came when they could no longer shoulder the burden alone. Twelve years ago, they called out for help, and the republic heard them.
    (Aaron Kimball's dialogue)
  2. Chosen One: "Let me guess. You want me to infiltrate this base for you."
    Matthew: "The Brotherhood of Steel is not the power that we once were. We believed ourselves to be the sole source of technology left to mankind. Secure in this belief we have let our order decline over the years. Now we don't have the resources at our disposal to deal with the Enclave. We need your help."
    (Matthew's dialogue)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fallout: New Vegas loading screens: "Due to disagreements over how technology should be controlled in the wasteland, the Brotherhood of Steel waged a long and bloody war against the NCR. Despite superior equipment and training, the Brotherhood eventually went into retreat."
  4. The Courier: "Colonel Moore's "way"?"
    Chief Hanlon: "The colonel is an effective commander - one of the best - but she sharpened her claws on the Vipers and the old Jackals. Did four tours against the Brotherhood, too. She used to be ranger until an injury took her out of action. Happens to a lot of us, unfortunately. She's better at making graves than making friends. Bring in Moore and the earth will be razed. Fields will be salted."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "I'd like to know more about the NCR."
    Dennis Crocker: "I can provide a quick history lesson, if that's what you're looking for. In 2274, President Kimball sent the NCR army into the Mojave in force, with the objective of occupying and repairing Hoover Dam."
    (Dennis Crocker's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "Yes, what is the task?"
    Edgar Hardin: "Back when we were stationed at HELIOS, our scouts reported that a group was establishing itself in the area as a distributor of Pre-War weapons. Our Elder at the time, Elijah, was too concerned with getting HELIOS running and fending off the NCR, so he ordered us to leave them alone. It's time that we correct that oversight, and show this region that the Brotherhood is still a force to be reckoned with. I want you to visit these weapons dealers, this Van Graff family, and make an example of them. Leave no one alive. When the job is done, report back and I'll arrange for a team to clean up the site and retrieve the weapons."
    (Edgar Hardin's dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "Any recommendations on how to complete the mission?"
    Robert House: "From time to time, the NCR has assaulted Brotherhood bunkers. In four of the six incidents I know of, the bunkers self-destructed. I surmise it's standard practice for the Brotherhood to install a self-destruct system. It's consistent with their uncompromising nature. You might use that against them. Or kill them another way, it's up to you. Return when it's done."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "The Brotherhood of Steel has been wiped out."
    Robert House: "Singlehandedly destroying a Brotherhood of Steel bunker is quite an accomplishment. Platoons of NCR troops have died, trying to do the same. This welcome news comes just in time, as events in the wider world are coming to a head..."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  9. Courier: "Tell me about what happened at HELIOS."
    Ramos: "I'm sure someone's told you all this before. Several years back, we were running our chapter out the HELIOS One solar power station. Our Elder at the time, Elijah, had some kind of obsession with the place. Which is the only reason we stayed as long as we did. "
    (Ramos' dialogue)
  10. Courier: "Why do you hate the Brotherhood so much?"
    Robert House: "Because they're ridiculous! Because they galavant around the Mojave pretending to be Knights of Yore. Or did, until the NCR showed them that ideological purity and shiny power armor don't count for much when you're outnumbered 15:1. The world has no use for emotionally unstable techno-fetishists. Just wipe them out, will you?"
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "Why was the Brotherhood of Steel here?"
    Lt. Haggerty: "Damned if I know. Put up a hell of a fight, though. We had them outnumbered, I don't know, twenty to one, maybe. They held out as long as they could. Lost most of their force before they retreated. Gave us a little parting gift, too. They had some of the plant running, but they shut it all down. Enabled an old security system, too, to keep us away from the controls. Jerkoffs."
    (Haggerty's dialogue)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ramos: "That place was hardly defensible, and we knew the NCR was moving in on us, but the Elder refused to budge, insisting that he just needed "more time". We never found out what he needed the time for. Wave upon wave of NCR troopers hit us from all directions. We held out for a time, but we were grossly outnumbered, and they had more men than we had ammo. Eventually our positions collapsed. Elder Elijah was nowhere to be found, so McNamara took charge and led what remained of us on a counter-offensive west. We lost a lot of men and women, but we broke through and made it here. Make no mistake, McNamara saved this chapter that day."
    (Ramos' dialogue)
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Courier: "Tell me about your last Elder."
    Edgar Hardin: "Elijah was a strange one. His even becoming Elder was highly questionable, seeing as how he was a Scribe. Typically, only Paladins are eligible. But an exception was made in his case, on account of him being a genius. Unfortunately, whatever scientific acumen he had didn't extend to tactics. Trying to defend HELIOS was a blunder of the worst kind, and many brothers lost their lives because of it. Many of the senior paladins, myself included, advised him to fight a retreating action, but he refused to budge. Said he almost "had it working". We never did find out exactly what he was talking about. When the perimeter was finally overrun, the Elder had simply vanished."
    (Edgar Hardin's dialogue)
  14. Nolan McNamara: "Veronica. I hope-"
    Veronica: "I brought you a present. We unlocked the secret of HELIOS One."
    Nolan McNamara: "What? Wonderful news!"
    Veronica: "No. It's not. ARCHIMEDES II is an orbital laser. Effective only outdoors in a limited radius and requiring a long recharge."
    Nolan McNamara: "In the hands of the enemy-"
    Veronica: "They'd be marginally more effective. We lost most of the chapter defending glorified artillery."
    (Veronica and Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
  15. The Courier: "I thought the Brotherhood were all wiped out at HELIOS One. How could they have survived?"
    Cassandra Moore: "After the battle, we consolidated our hold on the plant before pursuing our enemies. It was a mistake, to be sure, but there wasn't really any place for them to go. When we finally gave chase, however, they had simply vanished. Some of our people think they had some means of conveyance, like the vertibirds the Enclave used, and hightailed it out of here. I think that they found someplace to hide close to HELIOS, and never went that far at all. Any other questions?"
    (Cassandra Moore's dialogue)
  16. Cassandra Moore: "I have one last mission for you. Several years ago, we managed to wrest the HELIOS One solar power station from the Brotherhood of Steel chapter local to this area. It was a crushing victory, but no one's heard a peep from the Brotherhood since. Most people assume the Brotherhood is scattered and not a threat. Recently we've had scouts go missing in an area west of HELIOS, and I'm concerned that the Brotherhood is involved. I want you to find them, and once you do, finish them for good. Any questions?"
    (Cassandra Moore's dialogue)
  17. The Courier: "Shouldn't there be more people than this defending a power plant?"
    Haggerty: "There should. But we're not getting much power out of it so none of our enemies have a big interest in it either. Not like Hoover Dam, anyway. We had a real fighting force here just long enough to take it from the Brotherhood of Steel. Then they got sent east to the dam like everybody else. Caesar's Legion sends skirmishers every so often. Prodding for weaknesses, mostly. The reality is, if they really wanted it, we'd all be dead."
    (Haggerty's dialogue)
  18. The Courier: "Tell me about the lockdown."
    Nolan McNamara: "It's a protective measure that was enacted after our defeat at HELIOS. The NCR was hot on our heels, and we wouldn't have survived another encounter. It was decided that we would stay quiet for a time, heal the wounded, and try to come up with a new strategy. However, after we had fully recuperated, our first scouting measures showed that the NCR's presence in this region had only increased in our absence. There are now more than five times the number of NCR troops in the area as when we fought them, and we have half the number we did at HELIOS. And so the lockdown has been extended. To go outside would be the death of us all."
    (Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
  19. Hidden Valley bunker terminal entries; Linda Schuler's terminal, Journal Entry 01


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 43: "Brotherhood of Steel": "The Mojave Brotherhood operated freely amid the Vegas wastes for several years, carrying out many reclamation missions without serious opposition. The balance of power shifted in 2251, when a large contingent of NCR troops entered the region and occupied Hoover Dam. Conflict was inevitable. Nearly two years of guerilla skirmishes culminated in a pitched battle at HELIOS One, a solar energy plant the Brotherhood had been refurbishing for several months with the goals of bringing it back online and activating its hidden offensive capabilities (the ARCHIMEDES II death ray).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 43: "Brotherhood of Steel": "The battle for HELIOS One (Operation: Sunburst) proved a disaster for the Mojave Brotherhood. More than half its Paladins and Knights were killed. The chapter's leader, Elder Elijah, disappeared without a trace. The Brotherhood was driven from the facility, which suffered extensive damage. Survivors retreated to Hidden Valley."
  3. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 43: "Brotherhood of Steel": "Since that defeat, the chapter's leader, Elder McNamara, has restricted activity outside the bunker to occasional reconnaissance missions and high-value raids. All operations take place at night, and engagement of NCR forces is strictly forbidden. Though the Brotherhood's ascetic lifestyle has prepared its members for a sequestered existence better than most, the passivity of their current situation has proved highly stressful."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  4. Maxson bunker design document
  5. Josh Sawyer: "Many years have passed since the events of Fallout 1 and in the time between F2 and F:NV, the western Brotherhood has suffered very heavy losses. Because they are, by nature, insular, replacing their fallen veterans is difficult. Most of the Mojave chapter's paladins are relatively inexperienced. There isn't an army of Rhombuses down there."
    (J.E. Sawyer on forums.bethsoft.com)
  6. Question: "How does the Hub 'back' caps? Can you exchange a certain number of caps for a standard measure of water?
    Josh Sawyer: "Yes."
    (Josh Sawyer on forums.somethingawful.com)
  7. Joshua Sawyer: "It happened during the BoS-NCR war. I believe Alice McLafferty mentions it, but I'm not positive. She doesn't detail the events in this much detail, but here they are: The attacks caused NCR citizens (and others who held NCR currency) to panic, resulting in a rush to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's gold reserves. Inability to do this at several locations (especially near the periphery of NCR territory where reserves were normally low) caused a loss of faith in NCR's ability to back their currency. Though NCR eventually stopped the BoS attacks, they decided to protect against future problems by switching to fiat currency. While this meant that BoS could no longer attack a) reserves or b) the source of production (all NCR bills are made in the Boneyard), some people felt more uneasy about their money not having any "real" (backed) value. This loss of confidence increased with NCR inflation, an ever-looming spectre of fiat currency. Because the Hub links NCR with the Mojave Wasteland and beyond, the merchants there grew frustrated with NCR's handling of the currency crisis. They conspired to re-introduce the bottle cap as a water-backed currency that could "bridge the gap" between NCR and Legion territory. In the time leading up to the re-introduction, they did the footwork to position themselves properly. If some old-timer had a chest full of caps, they didn't care (in fact, they thought that was great, since the old-timers would enthusiastically embrace the return of the cap), but they did seek to control or destroy production facilities and truly large volumes of caps (e.g. Typhon's treasure) whenever possible."
    (Josh Sawyer on forums.somethingawful.com)
  8. [1] Joshua Sawyer: "I wouldn't think so. When USD was gold-backed the value of the dollar didn't change based on proximity to Fort Knox.
    Anyway, I don't actually remember anyone in the game saying that the BoS made NCR's gold radioactive, but that they attacked a reserve and stole a shitload of it."
  9. Josh Sawyer:"And this is discussed in-game: BoS raided NCR's gold reserves until NCR could no longer generate gold coinage nor back their paper money. They abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, which is why its value is inflated over both caps and (especially) Legion coinage. (...) People in eastern NCR and the Mojave Wasteland lost faith in the NCR government's a) ability to back the listed value of paper money and b) stability overall. If you're living in Bakersfield, staring at a piece of paper that says "redeemable for value in gold" and you have no faith in the government's ability or willingness to do that -- or if you see that the government has changed the currency to say that it is not able to be exchanged for a backed good -- you may very well listen to the strong consortium of local merchants offering to exchange that paper note for currency backed by water."
    (Josh Sawyer on forums.somethingawful.com)
  10. Josh Sawyer: "Traders from the Mojave travel the Short Loop into NCR, which means that they have to go through a few hundred miles of solid desert. Carrying enough water to travel from New Vegas to the Boneyard (or vice versa) would undercut cargo capacity significantly. Even the communities around the Mojave Wasteland (other than New Vegas itself) have water brought in and stored in local towers. Of course, the Colorado River is nearby as long as you don't mind walking through an active war zone."
    (Josh Sawyer on forums.somethingawful.com)
FNV NCR Flag.png