In 31st Century, Captain Wayne Waco of the soon-to-be disbanded 1st Tau Ceti Rangers resigned his commission from House Liao and recruited 15 down-and-out MechWarriors to form a mercenary company called the Waco Rangers. This warriors being of run down and out of work quality. Oddly enough Liao was their first employer, and the Rangers were soon on the front line, attempting to stem a Davion advance.
While on New Aragon in 3008, the Waco Rangers were strung out on picket duty for McCormack's Fusiliers, awaiting the assault of Wolf's Dragoons. Incidently, the attack by Wolf's Dragoon's was unexpectedly quick, and the Dragoons trapped Captain Waco's only son, Lieutenant John Waco, in the El Diablo Pass. With no sustandial eididence, no one is sure what happened next, but some observers later reported that no fewer than a lance BattleMechs surrounded John Waco's Stinger and systematically tore it apart. Then with the Young Waco ejected, but the Dragoon 'Mechs pursued him, and one crushed the MechWarrior under its foot.
Although those reports were never verified after the Liao forces retreated off New Aragon, Wayne Waco and his men swore a Death Oath to show no mercy to any member of Wolf's Dragoons and to refuse to work for an employer that employs that unit. To this day, every recruit of the Waco Rangers must take this oath, and all Ranger contracts specifically state that their contract is null and void if their employer also hires Wolf's Dragoons.
Some years later, the story of this Death Oath would reached Colonel Jaime Wolf, commander of the Dragoons. While denying any outright cruelty to Wayne Waco's son, Wolf reportedly said, "Fine, fine, another merc to test. I just hope we eventually meet up with the Waco Grangers, or Rangers, or whoever they are."
During the next four years, the Waco Rangers grew rapidly and became known as a unit of misfits. MechWarriors who had left their old units could find a new start in the Rangers with few questions asked. Only needing some degree of skill and a BattleMech, regardless of its condition. If a dispossessed MechWarrior was talented enough, Waco would give the mercenary one of the unit's spare Mechs.
With Waco's Tech staff soon developing a reputation as miracle workers for restoring the unit's dilapidated Mechs. By 3010, the Waco Rangers were one of the most reliable mercenary units in the service of House Liao. As such, it was constantly jumping into one trouble spot to another. Notable among these skirmishes was the defense the planet Thomas against House Davion's 42nd Avalon Hussars regiment in 3011. The Avalon Hussars assaulted the planet en masse, making them easy prey for Waco's hit and-run tactics. By the time Liao reinforcements arrived, forcing the Davion regiment to retreat off-planet, Waco's techs had recovered nearly 30 nearly intact enemy BattleMechs.
Soon the unit was battalion sized, and Captain Waco gave himself promotion to Major. After replacing battle losses, the Rangers still had acquired enough BattleMechs to add two companies to their unit. Within a year, the Waco Rangers would reach two full battalions.
Exudos of House LiaoEdit
By mid-3011, Lieutenant Colonel Waco discovered that Maximilian Liao had hired the hated Wolf's Dragoons. Angered by this breach of contract, the Waco Rangers raided Liao's supply bases on Korion and departed Capellan space. Maximilian Liao, feeling justified in hiring any mercenary unit he wished, was outraged. According to the contract, however, Liao was supposed to have given the Rangers advance notice of his intention to hire Wolf's Dragoons so that they could leave Liao's employ officially. Thus, the Waco Rangers gained a large number of spare parts, and Liao was left cursing the peculiarities of mercenaries.
With its fame spreading throughout the Successor States, the Waco Rangers attracted more and more MechWarriors to the unit. As most of its numbers either had no family or were outcasts, the Rangers developed into one big family; As a result they did not mind that some of their pay went toward repairing or rebuilding their rides,it was still in the family.
In 3014, after extensive training and refurbishment, the Rangers negotiated a contract with the Draconis Combine. For its first mission, Kurita ordered the unit to raid the planet Sara, which was defended by the 3rd Ceti Hussars. As soon as the raiders jumped in-system, their air lances diverted the defending fighters away from the descending Dropships. However ,three Davion fighters did delay Noble's Battalion's Overlord Class Dropship, and Keller's company landed without the support of the assault battalion. As a result, the Hussars battered the company until the Unions arrived, bringing five companies to Keller's aid. The Ceti Hussars fell back to higher ground, far away from the Rangers' drop zone. After securing the landing area, the Rangers began a search-and-destroy campaign, which culminated in a Davion retreat into the dense forests of Mara. However, upon hearing reports of Davion reinforcements arriving in the system, Colonel Waco ordered a withdrawal. The Rangers were able to carry out all their disabled Mechs and six assorted vehicles of the Ceti Hussars, in addition to tons of supplies and spare parts. Just within two decades, the Waco Rangers were nearly at regimental strength.
Instead of splintering the unit into companies to several planets at once, Colonel Waco insisted on keeping his unit together. Few planets could repel Waco's regiment, and the Rangers always managed to escape before enemy reinforcements could arrive.House Kurita employed the unit mostly in objective raids and offensive campaigns.
Meeting of the WidowEdit
In February of 3021, Colonel Waco and his men landed on New Wessex, a Kurita forward base and staging area, for a few months' rest and repair. While enjoying thin vacation, Waco heard that Wolf's Dragoons' Black Widow Company, now hirelings of House Steiner, had infiltrated the forest called Harlow Wood on the planet, from where they were harassing an entire regiment of Kurita regulars. As the Rangers were dispersed all over the world, the colonel assembled only a company of available, uninjured, and sober MechWarriors. He immediately led the company in a two-day march to the command post of the 20th Draconis Regiment. When Waco and his men arrived, the regimental commander, Brigadier Jinjo Yamashiga, had split his regiment into lances, which were conducting a massive sweep of the entire woods to find the Black Widows' base camp. Unfortunately, the Widows were decimating the lances. By the time Colonel Waco arrived. 18 out of the 27 Kurita lances had been battered, although the Brigadier forbade the Rangers from participating in the battle. Waco studied topographical maps to find the Widow's most probable dropship rendezvous point, and then led his 'Mechs to that area. His hunch was correct, but came too late. Waco's company could only trade long-range fire with the Black Widows' Dropships as the latter lifted off. Cheated of his revenge, Colonel Waco sent a scathing report of the Brigadier's incompetence to the Draconis Combine High Command. Brigadier Yamashiga committed suicide one month later.
In 3023, House Kurita informed Colonel Waco of its intention to hire Wolf's Dragoons. Accordingly, Colonel Waco let his contract with the Combine expire and signed up with House Steiner, the Successor State recently vacated by Wolf's Dragoons. While conducting objective raids for the Lyran Commonwealth, just as they did for their former clients, Colonel Waco tried to discover the location of the Dragoons, but had no success. Then, in mid-3024, his scouts reported that a battalion of Wolf's Dragoons was stationed on the planet Hyperion. Waco immediately decided to organize an assault on the planet.The Rangers' initial drop and advance went well, and Noble's Assault Battalion seized Ahsiz, the planet's capital, with no opposition. After an unsuccessful search for the Dragoons, Kelly's and Keller's Battalions also entered Ahsiz. However, Wolf's Dragoons soon appeared, and with no fewer than two regiments; the Rangers had stumbled upon one of Wolf's main staging areas. Against these superior numbers, Waco was forced to order a withdrawal, as the Rangers embarked on their Dropships.Colonel Waco joined Yuri's Special Operations Company to defend the unit against the advancing Dragoons. The resulting firefight destroyed over half of Yuri's Company, but also cost the Dragoons ten 'Mechs. Colonel Waco's laser-scarred Battlemaster was the last to board a Dropship, as it was occupied with blasting a Banshee into tin foil.
Still Waco intended to have it out with the Dragoons as soon as possible. Operating as a deep-penetration unit, the Waco Rangers gaveHouse Kurita many headaches. The Draconis Combine was forced to detach both the 4th Benjamin Regulars and the 7th Sword of Light Regiment from the front lines to protect supply bases deep inside Kurita territory. The Rangers' fame spread even more, but it was never be a glamour unit such as Wolf's Dragoons. In some MechWarrior circles, it is known as "The Waco Junkers", a name that has caused many broken jaws in planetside bars.
Structure of the RangersEdit
The Waco Rangers were structured for optimum results while conducting deep-penetration raids, for missions such as picket duty or reconnaissance. Certain 'Mechs were temporarily reassigned to form special lances.
- Noble's Battalion was the Rangers' main striking unit. It usually attacks in a V-formation, with Noble's Company in the front and Henry's and Romy's Companies behind and on either side.
- Kelly's Battalion was the secondary assault force and handles most of the unit's mop-up operations. Occasionally, Colonel Waco uses the battalion as his primary strike force so that no one in the battalion can grumble about always getting the dirty jobs. Presently, Kelly's Battalion is the regiment's weakest unit, as its losses in the Battle of Hyperion have yet to be replaced.
- Keller's Battalion contained the least experienced MechWarriors in the Rangers. Considered the regiments reserve force, it supports the drive of either battalion.
- The Technical Support Group had a long tradition of creating BattleMechs from piles of debris. Although most 'Mechs in the Rangers are not gleaming pieces of machinery, almost all operate with optimum efficiency. Like most mercenary units, they lacked sufficient scare parts, and thus could not field all their 'Mechs. As a result, many of the Rangers' raids centered around capturing equipment rather than attacking enemies. It is not unusual for a tech to weep with joy upon discovering a case of XP32M circuit boards in an enemy supply cache.
The Waco Rangers' standard was made up of an outlined five-pointed star. The inner star is red and blue and is divided by a white band and centered with a white W.
When he first organized the Rangers, Colonel Waco created a new rank, MechWarrior Sergeant. This MechWarrior acts as the lance's second-in-command, and assumes command when the lance commander is injured or unavailable. Thus, the loss of its commander in battle will not totally demoralize a lance.
The Waco Rangers met their end in the opening phases of the Jihad, when they sold out to the Word of Blake and fought as part of a Renegade Merc battlegroup that attacked Harlech. The Rangers took heavy losses, culminating in a final battle between Colonel Wayco and a company of Ranger Mechs, and Jaime Wolf and a lance of Dragoons. The Dragoons carried the day, killing Colonel Wayco, but at the cost of Jaime Wolf's life. This prompted the Dragoons to initiate "Condition Feral," a no-mercy order that led to any surviving Waco Ranger mechwarriors being killed on sight.