- “This here is 66 tons of straight-up, HE-spewin', dee-vine intervention!”
The M808B Main Battle Tank, commonly known as the Scorpion, is the most common armored fighting vehicle employed by the UNSC during the Human-Covenant war, it is used in operations requiring heavy firepower or an anti-vehicular platform. Combining firepower, resilience and mobility, the Scorpion has proven itself formidable and earned the respect of friend and foe alike.
The Scorpion may not be the most powerful or the fastest of the UNSC's fleet of main battle tanks, but for the most part, it represents the best possible balance between mobility and firepower. Indeed the vehicle's prominence among the UNSC armed forces is due to its low production cost, transportability, and overall firepower. Ceramic-Titanium armoring makes it almost invulnerable to small-arms fire and easily shrugs off normal ballistic and plasma weapons, while anti-mine software and electronics provide additional protection. The Scorpion has a range of 750 kilometers and utilizes a four-track design, each mounted on an independent, computer-controlled suspension system, which allow for deft maneuvering around large debris and other battlefield obstacles. The tank also features a small crew size, one operator and one machine gunner, so long as they are equipped with Neural Interfaces; if they are not then an additional gunner is required. While important material and VIPs can be crammed into the main cabin, up to four soldiers can safely be transported on the tread pods, though the use of these "jumpseats" is normally reserved for emergencies.
The Scorpion's main weapon, mounted on a 360° rotating turret, is the M512 Smooth Bore High Velocity Cannon which fires a 90mm tungsten shell, including S1 Canister Shells. Though this weapon can have difficulty penetrating the armor of some heavy vehicles, it is capable of disintegrating most targets in a single shot or gutting a Wraith in two to three, depending on where the shots hit relative to the target's hull. For additional offensive power some Scorpions will instead mount a 105mm cannon. The M247T Medium Machine Gun serves as the tank's secondary weapon, delivering 7.62mm armor-piercing rounds with speed and thoroughness. It can be mounted co-axially or on a separate pintle-mount depending on the model.
As time has progressed, the Scorpion has been modified into more than a half-dozen different versions, however despite these modifications the Scorpion's psychological aspect and versatility remain unchanged.
- M808B: The primary difference with this model is that the M808B can be completely controlled by a single cyborg pilot or a single human equipped with a neural interface. The machine gun is coaxially mounted next to the main cannon, removing the need for a dedicated machine gunner.
- M808B2: Also known as the Sun Devil, it is armed with four 40mm autocannons.
- M808B3: Also known as the Tarantula, this variant features twin Scimitar 4x178mm rocket pods.
Known Scorpion Tanks
The M808B Scorpion Tank makes its first appearance in Halo: Combat Evolved, in the campaign level "Assault on the Control Room"; it is also available in the multiplayer levels "Blood Gulch" and "Sidewinder". The tank is a dull gray, it moves at a decent speed, and it has a lightly protected canopy in multiplayer, although this is not so in Campaign. Because of this, it is easy for a sniper to kill the driver of the tank, effectively disabling it. Players also have the option of riding on the tank's tread covers in multiplayer.
Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2
- The color of the tank has now changed from brownish gray to olive green, and the textures have also been updated.
- Players now cannot ride on the tank's tread covers, called 'hotseats'. Standing on them is much easier with the revamped physics engine.
- The reticule for the tank has also changed and is a lot smaller, for increased accuracy.
- The tank now moves a lot slower, further limiting its movement and its evasive capabilities.
- The tank's canopy has been replaced with a solid metal cover like in Halo: Combat Evolved's Campaign, preventing the driver from being sniped while it is intact. However, vehicle damage has been added to human vehicles, and so the player is in danger of the tank exploding if too much damage is taken.
- The main cannon reloads twice as fast, requiring only a two second delay. The dots during the reload time are now removed. It is also more accurate.
- The machine gun is now much more accurate. Previously, the machine gun fired in a very wide area.
- Driving and aiming controls are now completely divorced allowing for greater maneuverability when firing. Previously the aiming and steering controls were linked, meaning the player had to aim more or less in the same direction they were steering.
Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST
- Though the tank has once again received a graphical overhaul, its color remains unchanged.
- The tank's speed has been increased while moving forward but is still slow while reversing.
- The machine gun has now been moved to the front of the cockpit area, and requires another player or AI ally to operate the gun.
- The splash damage of the main cannon has been reduced slightly.
- The explosion is slightly different than the previous two games due to advances in graphics.
- In Halo 3: ODST it is now possible once more to ride on the Tank's tread covers, and passengers can be evicted from their seats on the tread covers.
Changes from Halo 3 to Halo: Reach
- The tank has received a visual upgrade, giving it a grittier, more military look, including a greener paint scheme.
- The cockpit hatch slides back and covers the driver.
- The tank has considerably less armor than its earlier counterparts, making it somewhat more balanced with the Wraith. In Halo: Reach it's possible to destroy a Scorpion with a few well-placed shots from the Sniper Rifle.
- The main gun seems to reload slightly slower.
- The tank visually recoils when firing the main gun. Shell casings are released through a small port beneath and behind the barrel.
- The tank moves faster: splattering with the tank is once again possible.
- The main gun is more powerful, with a larger blast radius; it has the ability to destroy a Wraith in one shot.
- The reticule of the main gun now has vertical bars on its sides that fill as the cannon is reloaded.
- The secondary turret now overheats after continuous fire, much like the Wraith's turret.
- The turret turns slower than in Halo 3, the Scorpion's turn rate is also slower.
- The main gun can also be destroyed with enough damage, showing just the damaged rear of the turret.
- The tread covers may be destroyed, preventing allies from riding on them.
- The main gun has a reloading animation, where the rear of the gun slides back, as though a new shell is being loaded into the barrel.
Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4
- The Scorpion's shots now arc.
- The shot now has a much lower velocity.
- The speed of the Scorpion has been reduced.
- The reload animation now has a sound along with it.
- More accurate machine gun turret.
- Main article: M850 Main Battle Tank
The Scorpion is the UNSC's main land vehicle, a highly reliable and strong unit. It is available inside the Vehicle Depot at a cost of 500 resources per unit and at a minimum tech level of 2. When Sergeant Forge is the selected leader, the Scorpion can be upgraded to the Grizzly. It has two upgrades which greatly increase its effectiveness:
- "Canister Shell": Gives a Special attack ability with blast radius, devastating to infantry units. 400 resources and tech level 3 required.
- "Power Turret": doubles the Scorpion's turret speed, making it more reactive in combat. 900 resources and tech level 4 required.
- "Grizzly": Unique to Sergeant Forge when playing multi-player. It is an extremely upgraded Scorpion with two cannons, that both deal the same damage per-shot but more over time due to its double barrel cannon. 1800 resources and tech level 4 required. Note: The machine gun on the Grizzly seems to do the same amount of damage as a Scorpion tank. Also, its Canister Shell does more damage than a Scorpion's but is more spread out, making it a more effective anti-infantry tank than an anti-armor tank.
- When you first acquire the tank on "Assault on the Control Room", and clear out the Wraith tanks, the best way to take out the Banshee is to turn the tank around, look right up to the structure where it takes off from, and backup until you receive the checkpoint. Once the Banshee takes off, start moving forward and do not open fire until the Banshee has fired its Fuel Rod Cannon; after the round hits the ground, take aim and take it down.
- Later on, after you move into the valley with the second set of Hunters, as soon as you get to the bottom of the slope, quickly turn around and head back up the ice ramp to take out the Covenant dropship attempting to flank you from behind. Be sure to watch out for your Marines, as they will also follow you up the slope.
- In Halo 2, it is advisable to ditch the tank for the Warthog on "Delta Halo" when you proceed into the structures, as your mistakes will be limited - especially when you must take on the Ghosts in the later part of the level. If you do choose to take the tank in, be wary of enemy troops around corners, as well as flanking Ghosts, as they can easily kill you on higher difficulties. The firepower available to you, however, will offset that to some degree.
- Whenever possible, give your riders heavy weapons such as Rocket Launchers, Spartan Lasers and Fuel Rod Guns. This will turn the tank into an unapproachable juggernaut that can deal with infantry (the machine gun turret), vehicles (the main cannon), and aircraft (the rocket launchers).
- The tank's arcing shots and reduced shot velocity in Halo 4 means that extra care has to be taken when aiming. While its firepower still remains, it might be harder to accurately place shots at longer ranges, depending on what the target is. Its reduced speed is less of a factor, and careful players can easily compensate for it.
- A popular tactic in Multiplayer is to use a sniper and/or scout in conjunction with the tank to spot out targets that the tank can't see. Then, the tank bombards the said targets, acting as a sort of "mobile artillery" similar to the Siege Tank from StarCraft II.
- Although you cannot ride on the tread covers like you could in Halo: Combat Evolved, a player who has taken the enemy's flag can still ride the tank by jumping on the tread cover and staying put; they will not fall off the tank like they would in Halo: Combat Evolved and can ride all the way back to the base with extra firepower supporting you. This has its risks though, if the driver is careless (s)he is able to kill the flag carrier if (s)he gets in the way of the cannon.
- Another popular tactic is to use a tank tactic used by modern day tank crews known as "Hull Down". While in Hull Down, the tank is perched behind a hill or an embankment like the many hills on "Sandtrap" and "Valhalla" while the hull is behind the hill and the turret is above the incline allowing it to shoot at targets while not exposing its hull.
- Firing a Rocket Launcher or a Fuel Rod Gun at the Scorpion generally inflicts damage on or kills the driver and gunner. In addition, the Spartan Laser is very effective against a tank. It kills the tank's driver in a single shot if the shot is properly placed, specifically in the driver's canopy, but the slow charging time and the faint red targeting laser may reveal the wielder of the Spartan Laser to the lethal fire of the tank's main gun if the driver isn't killed.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, even small pieces of cover, such as the spires on the top of "Blood Gulch's" bases, can stop players taking damage. Taking cover behind these spires while the cannon fires and firing while it reloads is effective, just watch out for the machine gun, which at close range, is quite lethal.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved where the driver is exposed, it is possible to eliminate the driver with a single shot from the Sniper Rifle. But a player must be very sure that they can do a hit and kill on the driver. Otherwise if a player misses and is in the open, it will result in death. This tactic is suicidal.
- Another tank or anti-tank vehicle is usually the most efficient method of stopping a Scorpion. The Wraith's high accuracy and speed make it ideal for this task. The Gauss Warthog is also quite effective, as long as the driver takes care to avoid the main gun. The Hornet's missiles can easily destroy the tank, but its slow speed and lack of maneuverability make such an undertaking risky, if not suicidal.
- Using a Power Drain, Armor Lock, Plasma Pistol overcharge, or a Grenade Launcher manual detonation will temporarily disable the movement of the tank and will greatly weaken its driver. While the tank's weaponry will still be functional, it will be unable to move and can be easily boarded. In Halo: Reach and Halo 4, this will temporarily shut-down the main cannon and stop it from firing.
- Although risky, it is possible to take out a tank using two Plasma Grenades in Halo: Combat Evolved, as they are significantly stronger than in Halo 2/Halo 3. This tactic is especially useful if you have unlimited grenades.
- The best way to hijack a tank and use it is to grab Active camouflage and wait for the tank to pass by or approach you. If you are clever, you will be able to board it quickly without the enemy having enough time to move out of the way. This is a sound tactic on "Avalanche".
- On "Sandtrap", a good tactic to hijack a Scorpion is to wait for the tank to go into the middle depression and board it from above.
- If you need to take out a Scorpion, drive a Gauss Warthog behind it and get into its dead zone. Hit the radiator and in a few shots you can take it out. A Brute Chopper can be used too. Mongooses with a player wielding a Rocket Launcher can also use this tactic, but it is suicidal if the Mongoose is not moving fast enough and the player cannot score a direct hit on the radiator. Using a Falcon and encircling the tank works well as long as the Falcon keeps out of the tanks cannon sight.
- In Halo 4, a single Incineration Cannon shot will destroy the Scorpion if it hits anywhere.
- In every Halo game to date, the Scorpion's serial number is the birthdate of Marcus R. Lehto, Bungie's senior art director. It does not, however, seem to appear in Halo 4.
- Underneath the turret of the Scorpion, there is a Jack-O-Lantern drawn in blood. This can be found by destroying the turret, then standing on the upside-down turret.
- The Scorpion tank resembles an actual Scorpion with the front body being the pincers, the rear body being the legs and the cannon being the tail and its stinger. However, this may refer to the FV101 Scorpion Light Tank used by the British Army in 1973. Ironically, the real-life British Scorpion tank is a light tank, compared to the Halo Scorpion. However, later variants of the real-life Scorpion also featured a 90mm main weapon.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Scorpion tank's cannon was a solid object, but in Halo 2 and Halo 3, the player will go through if they try to walk on the barrel - and the character's legs will separate from their body.
- The Legendary map pack features the map "Avalanche", a remake of the classic "Sidewinder". For the remake, the M808B is adorned in full snow camouflage, along with all other UNSC vehicles. "Avalanche" is the first Halo 3 multiplayer map to have a Scorpion placed in it by default.
- It is possible to perform the Turretless Vehicle Glitch on a Scorpion. It is not possible, however, to then attach another weapon and still be able to drive; for some reason, the Scorpion automatically applies the parking brake.
- In Halo 3, there is a Scorpion picture on the left tread cover, however, when damaged enough, it disappears.
- In Halo 3, if you melee off the machine gun turret, it will still fire with the bullets appearing to be coming out of where the turret barrel would have been.
- In all Halo games, when getting into the driver seat, before the character is actually in the seat you will be able to move the tank and turret.
- In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta the Scorpion had the word "MARINES" marked on its armor. This is odd considering that the UNSC Army is the main faction of the game. This is not present in the full game.
- In Halo: Reach, the achievement "Tank Beats Everything " is earned by keeping the tank intact through the The Package on Legendary difficulty. This is an obvious reference to the Halo 3 quote "Tank beats Ghost, tank beats Hunter, tank beats everything!" Heard on the level "The Ark," after you have secured the Frigate's landing zone.
- In Halo: Reach, after spawning a Scorpion in Monitor Mode, it is possible to zoom in on the topside of the turret and see the inscription "S-052." This is obviously a reference to Jorge-052.
- Despite being referred to as the "M808B" throughout the Halo series, the tanks featured in Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach are obviously different variants than those featured in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. Even stranger is the fact that they are encountered in opposite spectrums of the continuity, chronologically. This is somewhat rectified in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, because the M808B in that game still features a turret gunner seat, although without the machine gun.
- In Halo: Reach, on the left of the cockpit hatch there is a small emblem of a Knight chess piece, possibly a reference to the tank's ability to quickly take action across a battlefield.
- The Scorpion's main cannon seems to operate in a similar fashion to the Maxim machine gun where the rounds are fed from one side, loaded by a sliding breech, and ejected through a port below the barrel of the weapon. The sliding breech can easily be seen in Halo: Reach, when the player fires the main gun, a portion of the turret slides back, stops, and returns forward, completing the loading cycle.
- In Halo: Reach, it is possible to blow the turret off completely and still drive the Scorpion, albeit severely damaged.
- This can happen if the Scorpion takes a lot of damage or if it is hit by a Spartan Laser.
- Megabloks has released an ODST variant of the Scorpion Tank in Canada and various parts of the United States. Although the Megabloks Scorpion Tank was released after Halo 3, it was based on the Halo 1 and Halo 2 design, in which there is not a special hatch for the turret gunner; just a turret near the cannon that the driver also has control of.
- On Halo PC, the Double Vehicle Driving Glitch can be done using this vehicle other than the Warthog.
- Up until the introduction of the Mantis as a drivable vehicle in Halo 4, the Scorpion was the only UNSC ground vehicle that allowed usage of a weapon in the driver's seat. It is also the first overall, the others being the Hornet and the Mantis.
- In the web-series Red vs. Blue, there is a Scorpion Battle Tank with an AI called Shiela inside of it. The AI's purpose is to help any driver pilot the tank. She is first seen in the first Season of Red vs. Blue. When Caboose uses her for the first time, she instructs him on how to work the tank. However, during he accidentally turns on the Auto-Targeting Systems after regarding the Red team as a threat and ends up destroying their Warthog. The Auto- Targeting System proceeds to targets Church, one of Caboose's fellow soldiers on the Blue Team, and blows him up.
- Even if projectiles ping off the Scorpion's angled armor plating, they will still do damage to the tank.
- In Halo: Reach and Halo 4 the Scorpion boasts an unusable co-axial machine gun mount on the main turret, and is likely unusable in-game as two machine guns would slaughter most close range infantry, and would unbalance multiplayer matches featuring the tank.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 164
- ↑ Halo Waypoint - Halo 4 Intel - Vehicles: SCORPION
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Halo Encyclopedia: page 238
- ↑ 2.5 m/s x 3600 (seconds in a minute) = 9km/h
- ↑ Halo: The Flood, page 137
- ↑ Halo Game Manual
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Bungie.net: Scorpion
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Halo Wars: Scorpion
- ↑ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Library, Scorpion
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Halo 2 Game Manual, page 17
- ↑ Halo: The Flood, page 153
- Rhino - The UNSC's Self-Propelled Artillery Vehicle.
- Wraith - The Covenant equivalent of the Scorpion MBT.
- Grizzly - A UNSC heavy tank based off of the Scorpion.