Fictional History



A fictional account of the History of the Rancor Raiders

Imperial Regimental History
177th Imperial Armored Assault Regiment
Delta Company, “Rancor Raiders”
501st Legion


Delta Company of the 177th Imperial Armored Assault Regiment was mustered into the service of the Empire in 2 BBY. The Regiment’s formation centered around the concept of a new class of mobile ground weapons known as Compact Assault Vehicles (CAV). The 177th were one of the first units assigned the TIE Mauler.

From the Imperial Military Identification Handbook:

The TIE mauler (TIE ap-1) was built around a standard TIE/ln starfighter cockpit, fixed between a pair of tank treads instead of wings. As with its airborne brethren, the mauler emphasized speed and maneuverability at the expense of the protection of armor and deflector shields. Because of their flimsiness, these vehicles were often deployed in groups of five. However, they often proved to be of optimum effectiveness when attacking in even larger numbers (such as 10-15) simply due to their speed, allowing multiple units to quickly overwhelm a defensive force by all attacking one target at a time, which, because of their weak, but rapid-fire cannons, proved highly effective for quickly decimating lighter enemy resistance one target at a time. Given the right situation, TIE Maulers could end a battle that would normally be expected to be drawn-out by striking before the enemy had a chance to prepare their heavier defenses (assuming that they arrived before they were set up).

Although TIE maulers were armed with three rapid fire blaster cannons, the drivers of these vehicles soon discovered that the vehicles’ treads were also effective (if not more so then the blaster cannons) weapons against enemy troops. Gruesome displays the ap-1 running over Rebel soldiers earned it its nickname. Maulers were also equipped with core overload technology that could be activated in an emergency. This device would overload the engines, causing them to explode after a few moments. Rebel troops tried to use these few seconds to either destroy the mauler or flee.

***


Delta Company was comprised of eight platoons. 5 platoons of TIE Maulers (5 per platoon, 25 total), 2 Stormtrooper platoons and 1 support platoon.

The unit received the military nickname, “The Rancor Raiders”, for their actions in pacifying the Fondor Uprising. General Maximillan Veers, who was in charge of overseeing the ground assault vehicle operation was impressed by the speed and carnage the maulers of D-Company inflicted on the insurgents. Veers is said to have turned to his subordinate and made the remark, “I never put much faith in them, but after such a display perhaps they should have been called Rancors.”

Excerpt from the Imperial Records:

The Fondor Uprising was a battle which began as a riot during the Galactic Civil War.

While Darth Vader’s forces based on Fondor were distracted fighting Rebel forces on Thyferra, the treacherous Moff Kalast had his Rebels take control of many cities on the Imperial factory world. The local citizens began to riot and assisted the Rebels in taking down the factories. Without the planet, construction on many key Imperial ships would be shut down.

Darth Vader’s force on Thyferra had won their battle and quickly found out about the disaster back on Fondor. Led by Vader himself, they penetrated Fondor’s defenses and landed in Fondor City. Routing the local Rebel Alliance troops and supporters, the retrieval force moved through the city.

Destroying civilian buildings claimed by the Alliance, the troops eventually captured an abandoned sensor array, where they were able to get intelligence and targeting information on the city. The main city plaza was raked with fire, where the Imperials bombed and destroyed factories captured by the Alliance. Most rebels were soon destroyed or scattered, leaving the stragglers to be executed.

With the Fondor Uprising put down, Darth Vader could once again concentrate his efforts on getting Kalast. He eventually hired Boba Fett to venture to Ilum, where a pirate organization that supplied Kalast with weapons was found to be based.

Notable members:

Captain Balen Jast
First commander of Delta Company. Jast was one of the first at the Imperial Academy to be trained using CAV units. Assigned to the 177th straight from the academy, he was a by the book officer, which is probably why he earned the name, “Bastard” Balen Jast. He met his end during the Subjugation of Sriluur under foot of an AT-ST. It was rumored this may have been intentional, however there was never a military inquiry.

Captain Junta Krel
It was under Captain Krel’s command that the unit became known as the Rancor Raiders. Unlike Jast, the troopers of D Company were dedicated and loyal to their commanding officer. As the war with the Alliance dragged on, the 177th was re-assigned to hold a supply station on an Outer Rim world known only as MS-6149. Not long after arriving, the Alliance launched strikes against the Imperial base because of its strategic jump point. The 177th dug in deep and awaited re-enforcements. Re-enforcements would never come. While battling on this unexplored world, the second Death Star had been destroyed along with the Emperor and Vader.

Krel was contacted by the Rebel commander, relaying what had happened at Endor and offered terms of surrender. Junta Krel took the terms back to his men. The Rancor Raiders refused to surrender and fought to the last man. The incident was later recorded as Krel’s Last Stand.

Sergeant Bron Spurloc
Sgt. Bron Spurloc was assigned to the the Rancor Raiders shortly after the fall of the first Death Star. Previously he had been a member of the 805th Task Force, unofficially known as ‘Tarkin’s Talons’.

Tarkin’s Talons could best be described as an Imperial Death Squad formed by Grand Moff Tarkin during his rise to power as the third most powerful man in the Empire. The 805th was created as a covert ops group seeking out elements of rebellion within the Imperial military structure as well as eliminating his rivals. Tarkin’s Talons gained a ruthless reputation while employing ‘gestapo’-like actions throughout the Empire.

The 805th was quickly disbanded after the death of Grand Moff Tarkin. His former rivals were quick to bring charges of treason against the 805th high ranking officers, most of whom were executed. The rest of the unit were scattered and reassigned. Sgt. Bron Spurloc was placed in the 177th Armored Assault Recon Regiment.



Spurloc became a highly decorated platoon sergeant, even turning down an officer’s commission for his actions at the Battle of Coruscant. He continued to receive citations for bravery under fire during campaigns against the New Republic.
Sgt. Bron Spurloc was listed M.I.A. during the Yuzhong Vong conflict.

***




PART II

Although most of the 177th were killed during Krel’s Last Stand, two companies, Echo and Tango had been temporarily assigned to the 439th Imperial Engineer Corps. Their orders were to help defend against any attacks levied at the Corporate Sector while reconstruction continued from recent rebellion raids.

The death of the Emperor and Lord Vader left a power vacuum. The Imperial High Command scrambled to maintain order within the remaining fleets. Riots and outright insurgence spread across the Empire as the news traveled of the Emperor’s death.

On Coruscant, the Imperial capital, armed uprisings sprang up in the non-human dominated sectors. Imperial patrols were attacked on site and statues and monuments to Palpatine were toppled. All Imperial symbols and references were desecrated. Imperial authorities ordered a massive crackdown on the rebellious activities and gave full power to the local military force to end the uprising and restore order to the system. Grand Vizier Sate Pestage, who assumed control of Imperial Center, called for all Imperial forces within the surrounding star systems to return and defend the capital.

The remainder of the 177th IAAR answered the call, dropping their TIE Maulers from orbit. They showed no mercy as the retaliation was ruthless. The death toll for the insurgents were horrendous as the TIE Maulers helped crush the rebellion under their treads. After the populace was back under control of the local Imperial authorities, the Empire would retain control for two more years, until 7 ABY, when the New Republic launched an all-out assault on the planet.

The Imperial High Command knew that in order to regain control from New Republic worlds, they had to change tactics. Former Echo company commander, former captain now Colonel Shaden Laska, was put in charge of the 177th IAAR. Laska proposed the creation of special units that would implement guerilla style warfare against New Republic targets. This led to the formation of Imperial Recon Assault CAV (IRAC). The designation CAV, no longer applied to the TIE Mauler, but to any mobile unit that could be used for raiding or aiding in hit & run assaults.

The first deployed IRAC unit marked the rebirth of the Rancor Raiders. Christened by Colonel Laska, it was also a personal tribute to his fallen comrades who had died along side his classmate Junta Krel. The dedication and loyalty shown at Krel’s Last Stand ran through the very heart of every Rancor Raider. It was the driving force, the battle cry they used against the murderers and traitors to the Empire.

The Rancor Raiders were made up from a mixture of Imperial troopers. Pilots, biker scouts, stormtroopers, tech/support were all included within their ranks. Colonel Laska knew the importance of having a balanced unit, one that could adjust to any situation. With pilots screaming down over the surface to perform a low level drop, crack stormtrooper commandos led to the strike zone by their scout counterparts would make for a lightning quick strike against any target. Depending on the size of the hostile force, the successor to the Mauler, the TIE Crawler could also be deployed from the air by armored personal carriers.

The Double R’s first test was a mission against a former Mandalorian Merc turned pirate named Calor N’uun. N’uun had been working with the Empire before the Fall of Coruscant, using his warlord status to rally rogue pirates against Rebel trading routes. With the tide shifting against the Empire, the Mandalorian turned his attention toward remaining Imperial supply lines. The Empire could not afford interruption of its now limited resources.

The 177th Imperial Recon Assault CAV Regiment, “Rancor Raiders”, had intelligence that placed Calor N’uun’s base of operations on a deserted mining facility on Ergo. Rancor pilots steathfully operated armored personal carriers, deploying troops to surface. The pirates were taken completely by surprise as the 177th rained carnage on all hostiles. Col. Laska had personally led the assault and contronted the Mandalorian Calor N’uun after his capture. N’uun challenged Laska to a duel, a desperate appeal directed at the Colonel’s sense of honor. Laska agreed. The Mandalorian’s bonds were released and as he approached the Rancor leader, Laska shot him point blank through N’uun’s t-visor helmet.

The Rancor Raider’s first mission was hailed as a great success that led to the formation of other IRAC units through the Imperial Remnant. While on Ergo, 177th troopers discovered green chalky minerals scattered through the facility’s tunnels. As a tribute to their fallen comrades at Krel’s Last Stand and to mark their first rebirth victory, Rancor Raiders carved lines across their helmets with the green rocks. Although personal decoration is not accepted in the Empire’s service, from that day foreward, the Rancor Raiders employed the ritual of painting their helmets with green stripes right before being dropped into battle.

The 177th Imperial Recon Assault CAV Regiment, 501st Legion, would continue their guerilla fight against the New Republic until the invasion of the Yuzhong Vong. The Rancor Raiders would use what they learned against the Rebellion to drive the aliens back, even allying themselves with New Republic soldiers from time to time.



***


Somewhere in the Outer Rim…

The armored personal carrier rocked through the atmosphere as shrapnel rained against the hull like buckets of razor blades. The craft dodged, banked and swerved, trying to remain on target.

“Listen up, you boneheads!,” bellowed the dark figure towards the aft bulkhead. “20 seconds until we drop! Check your packs one last time! There’s no such thing as a soft landing!”

Movement echoed across the interior of the transport, as the green striped, white armor clad shapes huddled near the rear exit. If anyone was nervous, no one could tell behind their smokey lenses. The rigid armor not only helped one’s composure, but kept the sweat of fear in check. No man aboard was a coward. They had done this before, many times. But taking that first leap of faith into the unknown never got any easier. They knew most of them probably wouldn’t be coming back, that was just part of the job. It just got harder to deal with the idea of losing comrades after so many through the years.

It wasnt about the war. It wasnt about the Empire. It was about each other, bonds created through bloodshed and battle. There were only a few of them there from the beginning. Looking around, the helmets hid the faces of the young recruits. Soft shells they called them, mostly young boys seduced by romantic visions of glory. Dead men never get to see their own statues.

Sgt. Spurloc began motioning the platoon to line up at the rear of the APC. “10 seconds to drop zone! All you new guys remember, don’t rely on the auto thrusters on your pack! If the green light flashes on your comm and no juice, hit the manual override or we’ll be scooping you off the ground with a spade!”

The carrier came in low, just above the treetops. Three seconds before the drop, a blast of rebel hellfire ripped through the cockpit. An inferno raced through the cargo hold, blowing out the windows as the craft spun, losing its equilibrium. Screams rang out from the bow. Those that were caught by the blaze, twisted and thrashed in the agonizing last moments of their life.

Spurloc reacted as he had so many times, the kind of reactions that meant the difference between life and death. He turned instinctively, pressing the emergency release switch, “RANCORS! NOW!”

The armored clad troopers dashed off the rear plank into the darkness below. Spurloc waited until the surviving platoon made the jump. He glanced down, watching the blue jet thrusters slice through the night sky. He couldn’t help but wonder how many of the soft shells would panic and forget to hit the override. He shook it off. “No sense worrying about that now.,” the grizzled veteran muttered.

The Sergeant took one more look around the cabin. The wounded flailed about the doomed ship, their screams echoed through his brain like a mallet. His duty compelled him to help, but his instincts held him at bay. Grabbing the sides of the doorway, he stared down into the black abyss, taking his own leap of faith…

***

About

"...The 501st is a volunteer club formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts and giving them a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion's aims are to celebrate the Star Wars movies through the wearing of costumes, to promote the quality and improvement of costumes and props, and most importantly to contribute to the local community through charity and volunteer work..."

Contact

For Questions about how to join the 501st please visit www.501st.com