|Siege of Nova Roma|
|Part of the NCR Arizona Offensive|
An artist's impression of a Legion officer overlooking the destroyed ruins of the Nova Roma camp
| New California Republic
|General Lee Oliver||Aurelius of Phoenix (KIA)|
|NCR Defense Force||Legion Military|
|NCR annex territory, residents granted citizenship starting in 2284. City officially renamed to pre-war name of Flagstaff.|
The Siege of Nova Roma, also known as the Siege of Flagstaff, was a pivotal battle in the NCR Arizona Offensive, which, after two weeks of fighting, saw the NCR and Allied forces seize the capital of the Legion, including the death of Aurelius of Phonenix, the Third Caesar of the Legion. In spite of this victory, which threw the Legion ranks into chaos, large Legion contingents would still remain in cities such as Two Sun and Phoenix, lead by Marius, a Legate and provincial governor of Phoenix, who would claim the title of Fourth Caesar of the Legion.
Approach to the CityEdit
From March 25th onwards, NCR and Allied aircraft, including several NCRAF F-80s, an F-108 Rapier, and the B-29 Superfortress controlled by the Boomers launched bombing raids on the city of Nova Roma. Among the targets were defensive positions on the west side of the city, Legion fortifications on the summit of Mount Elden and other surrounding mountains, the central barracks and armory, the Flagstaff Airport, and the the palace of the Caesar of the Legion. On March 26th, the aerial bombardment was joined by Vertibird gunships from the NCRAF and Brotherhood of Steel, which launched precision strikes on Legion troops and strongpoints. On this day, two Vertibirds which the Legion had managed to take off from the airport were shot down by a flight of NCRAF F-80 fighters.
March 26th also saw NCR armored and infantry forces take the old Naval Observatory west of the city, where the first NCR and Boomer artillery batteries set up by the end of the day. Late in the 26th, the artillery, a mixture of pre-war 105mm and 155mm guns, improvised mortars, and similarly improvised multiple launch rocket systems made their first fire mission against the defenses on Mount Elden, and continued firing on various targets through March 27th.
A Legion counterattack, which included a flank attack from the north, as well as direct thrust up I-40 was halted on the 27th, in large part thanks to the support of the Vertibird gunships. Most of the few pre-war armored vehicles that remained in the Legion arsenal were destroyed in the assault, and several hundred Legionaries were killed.
Aerial Assault on Mount EldenEdit
Early in the morning of March 28th, 2282 NCR Airborne and Brotherhood of Steel troops, would launch a Vertibird-borne attack on Mount Elden, a mountain overlooking Nova Roma which held a formidable Legion fortification. While aerial and artillery bombardment had disabled most of the heavy artillery and anti-aircraft weapons, about hundred Legionaries and a few lighter emplaced weapons.
The attack consisted of 20 NCR and Brotherhood Vertibird, with ten gunships leading another ten transports. Transported within were 200 men, including 160 NCR airborne infantry and 40 BoS troops, including power armor units. The gunships attacked the remaining legion AA positions, mostly heavy machine guns aimed skyward, destroying them with salvos of rockets, and suppressing the remaining Legion troops near the summit radio tower with minigun and laser fire. Nonetheless, fire was too intense to land troops on the summit proper of Mount Elden. Instead, the transports deployed their troops by fast rope on a flat area about a kilometer from the radio tower, at an elevation of about 9000 feet above sea level, about 300 feet lower than the summit.
During the dismount, a Legionary armed with a missile launcher fired at one of the Vertibirds, scoring a hit and shooting down the aircraft. Of the two crew and ten passengers, seven were killed, and three more were wounded. Thankfully, the Legionary who fired the missile was killed by NCR First Recon troops, who had already landed from another Vertibird, and the Legion, who had few such weapons, had no other missile gunners in the area. An NCR transport crew who had already offloaded their troops volunteered to undertake the dangerous task of landing under fire and rescuing the wounded survivors of the crash. With the gunships, as well a landed troops providing support, the medivac was successful and the wounded were flown back the NCR rear camp.
With the rescue from the downed Vertibird complete, NCR troops prepared to assault the Legion strongpoint on summit proper. A detachment of sniper armed with .50 caliber anti-materiel rifles, as well as one Type 76 Anti-Power Armor Rifle, a pre-war Chinese 20mm weapon originally designed for use against power armor, provided sniper cover. The high-powered rounds easily picking off Legion troops even from the kilometer's distance.
The Allied forces advanced down the gravel road leading to the tower, led by Brotherhood of Steel troops clad in T-60 and T-51 power armor and a few NCR troops in ex-Enclave power armor led the attack, laying down fire with Gatling Lasers and miniguns as they advanced. After about 15 minutes, the NCR and BoS troops reached the Legion positions. The Allied troops suffered about 12 casualties, mostly from a Legion heavy machine gun nest which took out several troops before being silenced by Vertibird-mounted rockets.
Upon the NCR forces reaching the radio tower and improvised fortifications surrounding it, most of the surviving Legionaries launched a final "suicide charge" armed mostly with melee weapons, most of them having run out of ammunition. The charge resulted in utter carnage as the Legionaries were cut down in a hail of fire. Of the roughly 100 Legionaries on the mountain, 87 were killed in action, with ten taken prisoner by the NCR and a few others having fled, presumably into the forests, where they hid from both the NCR and their former masters, who would have executed them for cowardice.
The NCR took control of the summit of Mount Elden by 10:00 AM, gaining control of a commanding view of the city. From their, they held position until reinforcements arrived to hold the mountain from Legion counterattacks. Later that day, the first artillery, a few light 105mm guns, were transported to the summit by Vertibird to being firing down in the city. Some of the NCR snipers climbed down to the ridge of Mount Elden to the lower slopes of the mountain, where they could fire down on the city from concealed positions, taking advantage of the range of the anti-materiel rifles.
Flanking the CityEdit
With the overlooking position on Mount Elden neutralized, NCR and allied forces split into three forces, much like their assault on the city of Kingman, two attacking from the north or south flanks, and the third attacking directly up Interstate 40. The northern and southern forces advanced to the north and south through a number of old dirt roads through the forest. The northern flanking force reached Flagstaff city reservoir, with NCR armor and infantry quickly overwhelming the Legion defenders. The southern flank attack was similarly successful, quickly seizing the remains of the Flagstaff Airport. After taking the airport, the forces continued to the northeast along a side road until reaching Interstate 40 and bypassing most of the Legion defenses located at the crossroads of I-40 and I-17. The NCR southern force continued east to the old Butler Avenue Exit, blocking off the Interstate. A smaller unit led by NCR armor pushed up the road to the top of a mesa that separated east and west Flagstaff, catching a Legion fort on top by surprise and hitting them from the rear, most of the guns of the fort facing the opposite direction. By 1350 hours, the fort and mesatop were secured. With this maneuver completed, the NCR and allied forces had effectively boxed in the Legion forces in the west side of town, including Aurelius, Caesar of the Legion.
The central attack force, however, encountered heavy resistance as they reached the crossroads of Interstates 40 and 17. At about 11:30 AM on March 28th, the NCR forces engaged a Legion roadblock at the crossroads, including a number of the few remaining artillery guns and pre-war armored vehicles still in Legion possession. Five NCR tanks were destroyed and about 60 NCR infantry were lost to the guns, as well as Legionaries who attacked from the residential areas to either side of the Interstate. In spite of the NCR losses, the remaining forces pushed through, NCR tanks and APCs, as well as a supporting Vertibird Gunships destroying the Legion vehicles and positions. While the Legion heavy armor and artillery were quickly destroyed, it would take until the end of the day for the former residential areas, as well as the Nova Roma Market, located one the site of pre-war commercial area near the crossroads of I-40 and I-17. After hours of heavy house-to-house fighting, the crossroads and Market were declared clear of Legion presence.
While the NCR had made a significant foothold in the city of Nova Roma and effectively boxed in the Legion forces in the university and downtown districts by the end of March 28th, some of the heaviest fighting would be yet to come.
The Fall of AureliusEdit
With NCR forces closing in, a group of Legion slaves decided to make an attempt to flee and escape to the NCR forces. This quickly led to a full-scale uprising in the slave holding facilities surrounding the Nova Roma Amphitheater, a former sports stadium associated with the Northern Arizona University, which was used by the Legion for gladiatorial combat. The slave rebels, many of whom were condemned to gladiatorial combat as punishment for failures in battle, managed to overpower the Legion guards during the night of March 28th. Some Legion soldiers, mostly Recruits who were only recently inducted and still remembered their past lives, even joined the rebels. At 0700 hours on March 29th, a group of ten representatives arrived at the NCR roadblocks under a white flag.
General Lee Oliver gave the approval for NCR support of the rebellion, and by 1000 hours, NCR tanks and APCs advanced into the rebel-held territory. With the heavy fire support of the NCR armor, the rebels managed to clear out most of the remaining Legion strongpoints in former NAU campus.
In response to the slave uprising, the Caesar of the Legion, Aurelius, ordered all over 200 slaves executed in retaliation. At the same time, Aurelius commanded his remaining troops to break out of the NCR encirclement in a last ditch assault on the NCR roadblock on I-40. The attack was led by Caesar himself and his elite Praetorian Guards, who, in addition to their ballistic fists, had armed themselves with anti-materiel rifles, assault carbines, and missile launchers in an attempt to counter the NCR's firepower. The assault commenced at 1300 hours on March 28th, when the Legion forces advanced along US 180, a pre-war highway running parallel to I-40.
The column was hit by fire from the NCR tanks and infantry at the roadblock. Among the first Legion vehicles hit was an M51 Infantry Fighting Vehicle with a large Legion bull insignia painted on the sides. This was Aurelius' personal vehicle, and one of the last pre-war vehicles the Legion had in Nova Roma. The APC was destroyed, killing Aurelius as well as the rest of the crew. The rest of the Legion forces were either cut down by fire from the NCR roadblock or fled in a disorganized retreat.
In spite of the death of Aurelius, there remained a number of pockets of Legion resistance that stubbornly refused to surrender, perhaps unaware of the demise of their leader given the limited use of radio communications by the Legion. From March 29th through 31st, NCR forces engaged in brutal house-to-house, street-to-street fighting in the downtown of Nova Roma. This combat would be some of the bloodiest of the battle, with over 150 NCR and allied casualties and 30 vehicles of various types (including five tanks and seven APCs) destroyed. By April 2nd, most of the eastern half of Flagstaff was cleared of Legion resistance.
While the battle of Flagstaff is generally considered to have ended with the clearing of a pocket of Legion resistance hiding out in Walnut Canyon, located to the southeast of Flagstaff on April 5th, it can be argued that the April 9th Battle of the San Francisco Peaks is an extension of the battle, in which NCR forces attacked an eliminated a group of about 100 ex-Legion raiders hiding out in the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks who had been attacking NCR patrols and convoys in the area.
The battle ended in another victory for the NCR and was the most strategically important battle nad victory in the Arizona Offensive. With Nova Roma gone and Aurelius of Phoenix dead, the Legion began to break apart and further collapse as their holdings in Arizona fell apart from constant siege from the NCR and their allies on one end and deserting soldiers on the other end. The battle was costly for the NCR and their allies as a total of 399 NCR and Allied soldiers were killed during the battle while suffering light vehicle losses. The battle however, was a strategic, military, and political disaster for Caesar's Legion as without their capital, they had to flee to another safe haven and there was no time as they were left leaderless in the aftermath of the battle. The battle was the worst for the legion as they lost over 2,000 soldiers and almost all of their vehicles in the process and their camp in Nova Roma was destroyed.
Nova Roma was later placed under NCR military occupation in the aftermath of the battle and would later be renamed back to Flagstaff, the original pre-war name of the city. The survivng slaves were later freed and later became official citizens of the NCR while others who were skilled at fighting enlsited in the NCR Defese Force and fought against the legion during the later stages of the Arizona Offensive. Legate Marius took over as the fourth Casaer of the legion and would lead the final battles against the NCR, despite the defeats that they suffered and the low chances of victory. By 2284, Flagstaff was rebuilt and became the capital for Arizona which was also annexed into the NCR.