Captain Ranald F. Sander was an Gear officer in the Coalition of Ordered Governments army and the commander of the Anvil Gate garrison in Anvegad, Kashkur during the initial stages of the Siege of Anvil Gate.
Commander of Anvil Gate
In Charge of the Garrison
- "Is this the new barbarian look?"
- —Sander, to Victor Hoffman about shaving off the rest of his hair
In 17 B.E., Sander was stationed at the Coalition of Ordered Governments garrison of Anvil Gate in Anvegad, Kashkur. During the first week of Rise, he was working in the signals office, trying to raise command to make sure everything got through the previous night, but the channel kept jamming. His second-in-command, Lt.Victor Hoffman, arrived in the office to meet with him. Sander was surprised that Hoffman had shaved off the rest of his hair, and Hoffman joked that he hadn't wanted to look too civilized. Sander handed him a stack of letters for the Gears stationed at the fort to sort through, while he kept trying to raise command. He eventually gave up, and decided to drive around the area outside of town. He invited Hoffman to come with him, and grabbed the keys to an ATV and some of his painting supplies. As they drove, Hoffman asked him how his wife was, and Sander told him that she was due in five weeks. He also told him that they had decided on names: Terrance if it was a boy, Murriell if it was a girl. Hoffman recommended that he put in for compassionate leave to be with her, and Sander decided to do that. He then asked Hoffman about how his wife was, and asked how they met. After Hoffman told him the story, they continued to drive for a bit. Sander had him stop along a cliff, and got out to take several pictures of the scenery for future paintings. After he finished, they completed their drive around the area and returned to the town.
Preparing for Battle
- "As of now, we're on REDCON three. Alert-thirty. We've been authorized to open fire on Vasgari positions when we make enemy contact."
- —Sander, to Hoffman after the UIR invaded Vasgar and Kashkur
As the political situation worsened in the neighboring country of Vasgar, Sander began bringing in large amounts of extra supplies in anticipation of their single supply line being disrupted. As the supplies were brought in, Sander waited in his office for news on the current situation, and spent his time tracing some of the pictures he had taken, preparing to paint them. When Hoffman came into the office to check if there was any news, Sander told him he was waiting on word from Captain Adam Fenix that the Imulsion pipeline to Vasgar had been cut and that the Union of Independent Republics had invaded. He then suggested that as soon as the priority traffic was done, he would let the Gears contact their families, in order to reassure them and keep morale up. Hoffman approved of the plan, and informed him that the delivery of bread that day had been low, and that it would be made up with by the next day's delivery. Sander wasn't worried, since they had a lot of other supplies in case of emergency, except for painting supplies. Hoffman told him he would have their local translator and negotiator, Sheraya Olencu try to find him some. After Hoffman left, Sander was contacted by Fenix, who informed him that the pipeline had been shut down, and that the UIR had invaded Vasgar and Kashkur. He was also given approval to open fire at first sight of any Indie forces. Sander then radioed Hoffman and told him, and had him put the garrison on high alert.
- "That's thousands of tonnes of rubble. I counted three explosions."
- —Sander, as he and Hoffman look at the now blocked Anvegad Pass
Later that day, Sander joined Hoffman up the observation post, and informed him that the refinery near the fort was being shut down. He also told him the acting president of Vasgar was angry with the Chairman, not having actually believed the COG threat to shut the Imulsion supplies down. They discussed how most people and nations had grown too comfortable with the war, but were interrupted by an explosion, followed by loud rumbling sound and two more explosions. They headed to the front of the fort, but saw nothing approaching them, but Sgt.Samuel Byrne contacted them and told them that the explosion had come from the north, along the road. They rushed over to look, and discovered that Anvegad Pass had been blocked off by an explosion that brought down tons of rubble, cutting the town and fort off from the rest of Kashkur. Sander later met with Alderman Buyal Casani, who was making sure that all of the town civilians were accounted for. They were joined by Hoffman, and Sander asked for a status update on the road. Hoffman told him that Carlile, the head sapper, had determined that they needed earth-moving equipment from Lakar to unblock the path. Sander told Casani that he would step up Gear patrols to try and find the Indie special ops teams that had blocked the road, and also told him to activate the civil emergency procedures as a precaution. He and Hoffman then headed back to the garrison, and Sander was surprised at how well the civilians were taking the situation, since most of the time they panicked in situations like this. Hoffman told him it was because Anvegad had never fallen to any army before, giving it a sense of invulnerability. Sander and Hoffman then began helping the other Gears move the ops room to the main gun emplacement, so that Sander could be closer to the front if an attack came. He overheard Hoffman order Byrne to marry his pregnant girlfriend, and told him that he was a sentimental man. He then offered him a chance to contact Margaret, but Hoffman refused since the other Gears would not be able to do so. Sander then began plotting out patrol routs along the Vasgar border.
- "What the hell's that? Oh, shit-"
- —Sander's last words
Sander met with Hoffman again in the observation post, and monitored and Indie vehicle column approaching the Imulsion refinery on the other side of the Vasgar border. He contacted Col.James Choi for permission to take out the refinery, but was denied. He asked Hoffman what he would do if he were the Indie commander, and Hoffman replied it depended on how the battle at Shavad went. He did expect that the refinery would not put up a fight, and Sander didn't blame them, since starting a fight on top of thousands of liters of fuel was a bad idea. He then contacted command at Lakar, in order to try and get some aerial recon. However, all of the air support was currently at Shavad. Hoffman then left to go help set up more observation posts, and Sander told him he was going to ask for Pesanga commandos, who would be able to navigate the rocky terrain better than Gears, and sent in a request for them. When the Indie column reached the refinery, Sander went to the gun floor to monitor them with field glasses. He was joined by Hoffman, and Sander remarked how frustrating it was to have to hold fire while the Indies were on the other side of the border. He asked for an update on the Behemoth from Lakar to clear the path, but Hoffman told him it was being diverted to Shavad. Sander was annoyed that they weren't a priority, and figured he could paint an entire mural before they got help. He sketched the scenery for a while, before he decided to head back to the comms room and try to get the Behemoth redirected back to them. However, as he walked across the gun floor, a shout came from the ramparts, and Sander looked out to see an RPG heading straight for the window. It entered the room and exploded, killing Sander and several members of the gun crew.
Hoffman survived the blast, and took command of the fort. He reported Sander's death to command, and asked for word to be sent to Sander's wife. When the siege of Anvil Gate was broken, Hoffman used the order "Yes, do it for Sander." to signal the ambush. Hoffman took home one of the paintings Sander had made as a gift for his wife, and as a reminder of what had happened at Anvil Gate. Thirty three years later, one of Sander's paintings, the Fifth Dawn at Anvegad, was still hanging on one of the walls in the fort.
Personality and Traits
- "...call me a worrier, but I've had so many shortages with supplies and victualing in other garrisons that I grab as much as I can, when I can."
- —Sander, on why he always stocked up on supplies
Sander loved to make sketches and watercolors, mainly of the surroundings of Anvegad, which he considered to be "magical". He was a long term planer, making sure Anvil Gate had plenty of supplies even when it was unthreatened. Hoffman considered him to be smart, and almost clairvoyant, in his decision to stock up on the supplies. Like Hoffman, Sander felt that most people had grown too complacent with the war. He was a good civilian liaison, and proved to be a reassuring presence to the civilians and Gears of Anvegad during the beginning of the Siege.
Behind the scenes
- In Gears of War 3, Sander's painting titled Fifth Dawn at Anvegad appears as a collectible.
- Anvil Gate (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Gears of War 3 (Indirect mention only)
- Gears 5 (Mentioned only)