- “[...] We've got to think of plans to leave this forsaken place, maybe reunite with the Western Chapters. [...]”
- —Archived Logs
Fort Searchlight (also known as Camp Searchlight or simply Searchlight) is a former town in the Mojave wasteland which has been converted into a military facility first by the New California Republic and later, by the Brotherhood of Steel.
An unremarkable town in southern Nevada, Searchlight was used as a impromptu storage site for radioactive waste during the outbreak of the Great War. Due to what followed, these materials were sequestered in the local fire station and never removed. In a testament to pre-war engineering, the containers used to store this material maintained their integrity for an intervening period of over 200 years.
At some point prior to the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, The New California Republic occupied Searchlight, converting into a military facility to prevent incursions into the Mojave by Legion forces across the Colorado river. In an effort to rectify the situation, the head of the Legions Frumentarii became aware of the towns ancient secret and dispatched a group of men to infiltrate the town, access the fire station and open as many of the radioactive containers as they could. Unsurprisingly, the Legion saboteurs were killed by radiation poisoning within minutes and Searchlight was heavily contaminated, turning most of the NCR garrison then in Searchlight into Feral Ghouls.
Following the NCR withdrawal from the Mojave Wasteland after The Fall, any attempts to reclaim Searchlight were abandoned along with the town. Due to the passage of time or some outside interference, the radiation levels in Searchlight eventually dropped to normal levels. At roughly this time, a group of disgruntled members of the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel led by Paladin Ramsey fled their bunker at Hidden Valley and took up residence in the town. As fate would have it, the Hidden Valley bunker was attacked by the NCR scant weeks later, killing everyone then inside. Since this time, the inheritors of the Brotherhood mantle have used Searchlight as a base of operations to determine potential roads of egress from the Mojave, often kidnapping and brutalizing Survivors, Tribals and NCR Remnant forces in pursuit of this goal.
Considerations about gaining strategic advantage through air supported reconnaissance in lieu of extended patrols led their leaderships' attention to the remains of Searchlight Airport.
Areas of Interest
- Approaching the fort from the west, an NCR Remnant encampment can be found, with various ammunition and weaponry present in the tent, a campfire and usable beds. The remnants themselves will provide for advanced weaponry, ammunition, the occasional dose of Thorazine and other chems, if neutralized. Non-hostile Survivors can occasionally spawn instead of or grouped with the NCR Remnants.
- Entering the Police Station, Survivors are likely to directly come under fire from very well-equipped members of the BoS, wielding a wide range of weapons from 10mm pistols to Gauss Rifles. The building itself contains lore and an assortment (mostly energy) ammunition. While the toilets are drinkable, they are irradiated to up to 18 RAD, making the few drinkable items in the vending machines a better alternative. The beds in the detention cells can be used.
- The lower level of the Searchlight Fire Station is guarded by two Securitrons and a Turret, and while the Securitrons will open fire, the Turret will not. This level contains two Fire Axes, as well as two RadAway and a Weapon Repair Kit. The upper level is occupied by a number of very well-equipped BoS members (including Tesla Cannons and Gatling Lasers), large amounts of food and drink, two Doctors Bags and other aid items. Beds present can be used, and a terminal holds a good amount of lore.
- The ruined church building contains the Searchlight NCR Storage, now taken over by BoS personnel, with a single Initiate guarding the inside. A good amount of mostly Energy ammunition can be found inside, as well as two RadAway, two pieces of Recon Armor and several more apparel. A Reloading Bench as well as some crafting materials are present.
- The Searchlight Elementary School has a few Bedroll Kits and aid items
- The only Searchlight Home enterable is inhabited by two members of the BoS, with one wearing a suit of T-51b Power Armor in contrast to all other members of the BoS in Searchlight, which have T-45d Power Armor equipped. Two Dressers contain a dose of RadAway, and there is a First Aid Box in the closet.
With NCR Remnants, Ghouls and BoS members present, this location can pose a formidable challenge to Survivors wanting to explore it, but will provide for excellent loot and information.
While taking out the patrolling NCR Remnants originating from their camp west of Searchlight is not strictly necessary, it can considerably ease falling back, and also provides for an opportunity to stock up on ammunition and weaponry.
The BoS members themselves are supported by Turrets, which, as it seems, can not be reprogrammed to attack them. All BoS members encountered are wearing at least T45-d Power Armor, and do wield very considerable fire power, stopping any head on attempt of attacking them with a barrage of fire.
Additionally, Protectrons patrol some areas of the fort. Not as well-armed or armored as the Brotherhood of Steel Initiates and Knights, they still can prove to be quite an annoyance.
Taking out the BoS members securing the north bridge opens a window into the main street of Searchlight, providing the opportunity to further decimate their ranks from a distance, to then proceed to neutralizing any other stray personnel outside of the buildings, including the Turrets.
Entering buildings is a risky endeavor, as many of them are populated by a good amount of heavily armed and well armored members of the BoS, as well. These members can not be lured out of the buildings, as it seems, forcing the Survivor into close quarter combat.
A variety of weaponry can be used to prevail in these fights, but as with any close quarter skirmish, taking out hostiles as quickly as possible is prime, and Survivors not in possession of heavy hitting equipment should consider bringing Flash Bangs, Pulse Grenades or other means to disorient and weaken groups of Power Armor wearers.
Interestingly, members of the Brotherhood of Steel Fort Searchlight forces might occasionally be seen engaged in what almost looks like casual conversation with NCR Remnant troops.
- A dead survivor found in one of the detention cells of the Police Station wears a Kings Jacket, suggesting, that not all members of The Kings were either killed during the Freeside Rebellion or ended up in Boulder City.
- Given the presence of Cannibal corpses in Searchlight, and the fact, that at least one of the fridges contains meals to cannibalistic preference, it may be inferred, that at one point Searchlight was in fact, at least in part, held by Cannibals