The M808 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 M808 model of Scorpion tanks first entered service in 2218 and has not changed much over its service.
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. 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 is mounted on a separate pintle-mount depending on the model.
- M808B: A model that has no M247 gunner position, but instead, a driver-operated coaxial M231 medium machine gun, attached to the turret.
- M808B2 "Sun Devil": A variant where the M512 is replaced with two twin-linked 40mm autocannons. It was essentially an anti-aircraft platform, but was even used in an anti-personnel role during the Insurrection.
- M808B3 "Tarantula": A variant that sports two mounted pods that fire clusters of hypervelocity Scimitar rockets, on either side of the M512 cannon. Due to its ineffectiveness against Covenant threats, most of the M808B3 models were converted back to the straight "B" model.
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 reticle 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Legendary map pack features the map "Avalanche," a remake of the classic "Sidewinder." For the remake, the M808 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.
- In Halo 3, there is a Scorpion picture on the left tread cover.
- In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, the Scorpion had the word "MARINES" marked on its armor.
- 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 a reference to Jorge-052.
- In Halo 3: ODST, due to being the same size as marines, players are able to sit on the treads of the Scorpion, which is not possible in Halo 3.
- M808B Main Battle Tank - Another UNSC tank, also colloquially called the Scorpion.
- Rhino - The UNSC's Self-Propelled Artillery Vehicle.
- Wraith - The Covenant equivalent of the Scorpion MBT.
- Grizzly - A UNSC heavy tank based on the Scorpion.