The Ranger is a Recon unit in Industrial Era, which pretty much sums up how useful this unit can be: you do not do scouting during Industrial, and if you do, a Scout should still be able to shoulder it. Before the release of Rise and Fall, since this is the last unit in the Recon tree, it is ignored in every game, unless you are too rich that you do not know what to do with all of your Gold beside upgrading every Scout. After the introduction of Spec Ops in Rise and Fall, the Ranger actually can serve as an XP stepping stone for Spec Ops, since this is a pretty decent unit in combat thanks to its outstanding maneuverability.
Civilopedia entry Edit
“Ranger” has a lot of meanings: a person who roves or ranges; one of a body of armed guards who patrol a region; a soldier trained in commando tactics to make surprise attacks. These days, the common perception of a ranger encompasses all of this. The military use of rangers traces back to the frontier wars between North American colonists and the indigenous natives, who were adept at “irregular” warfare in the trackless forests and swamps. Colonel Benjamin Church, commissioned by the Governor of Plymouth Colony to harry the savages during King Philip's War in 1676, raised a body that was to use the enemy’s own tactics. By the time of the American Revolution, there were several Ranger companies in action against the British, who complained mightily about the methods these colonials used – ambushes, raids, demolitions, sniping, and the like. According to the 'U.S. Army Ranger Handbook,' not much has changed since.