NCCS has taken a major step forward this morning; further eclipsing its would-be "competition".
Firstly, the Nellis artillery issue has been fixed -- and without touching a single base game reference or script. How I did it would be boring technical minutiae, so I'll spare you all; except to say that in-party companions now exist in a perpetual state of being considered the player's teammate -- save when you talk to them, or during combat if you have XP sharing off. This teammate change will also allow some compatibility with follower-centric perks; but this is mostly untested so I don't know offhand which work without further scripting. The new "teammate" condition has been tested and verified to not affect companions' ability to enter the Lucky 38, or keep their weapons on entering other casinos.
Second, during the companionscript overhaul, I re-wrote the case-spawning code. It is now driven by form lists rather than specific item names. This will allow for plugin-patching of the weapon lists, to allow it to work with mod-added weapons without changing individual scripts or forcing your custom companion to require a weapon mod. It will also allow similar patches to include the DLC weapons in the case-spawning code -- though obviously new ammunition types will require modifying the scripts.
Third... companions will now repair their own weapons. Yeah, you read that right. Companions' weapons will no longer reach 0% condition, break, and be dropped only for you to have to go look for where they dropped the damned thing. NVSE is not required for this feature. Companions' repair ability is linked to their repair skill; and companions who are not using the new repairer class will only be able to maintain their weapons at about 60%. Once a Repairer companion's repair skill tops out, they'll be able to maintain nearer 100%, with their weapons never dropping below 70%. I think this strikes a good balance; since it'll keep their weapons from breaking, but not negate the need for the player to perform periodic repairs if they want companions to do maximum damage.
Fourth: this is mostly a back-end issue and not something you players will ever see, but I managed to shave 65 lines off the companionscripts in the course of the rewrite. This is important because the scripts were getting up near the character limit; and by cutting so many lines off I've preserved the ability to continue expanding the scripts for a moderate part of the future.
Lastly, not a new mod development so much as a testing result: I know a couple players and myself have run into an issue where the companions hesitate before engaging an enemy; reloading their weapon one or more times before entering combat. I got some more testing in, and this seems to be directly related to non-standard ammunition types. When I removed the special ammo from the companions, and added default ammo, the issue went away. It doesn't seem to be a sure-fire issue or fix; but that does seem to be the most common way to fix it. I can't even begin to surmise what's causing it (but I have the nagging suspicion it's an engine issue) so I doubt there'll be an NCCS-specific fix in the foreseeable future.
And of course, here's the new alpha; for those three of you who give half a fuck.