Cut Halo Wars units

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A fan-made image of Mister Chief created for use in Template:Realworld.
This article contains information about a non-canonical subject that, while official, is not part of the established Halo universe.
A number of cut Covenant units including the Gargoyle, Hydra and Brute Tank.

During the development of Halo Wars, a number of vehicles were concepted, prototyped and cut from the game.



"The Cougar is a heavily armored anti-infantry support unit used on the battlefield, specifically rough terrain. Equipped with dual M68 gauss cannons and an automated gun with computer targeting. Capable of long range travel and speeds of up to 90MPH."
— Concept art description

The Cougar was designed as a UNSC AFV, equipped with two M68 Gauss cannons. Although anti-heavy armor fire would blow the Cougar away quite easily, this vehicle was highly effective in holding off enemy armored vehicles until slower armored units could arrive at the battlefield. The Cougar had gained infamy in several urban tactical situations prior to the deployments in the war against the Covenant.[1]

It appeared as a somewhat standard armored fighting vehicle with two wheels up front and two pairs in the rear. It bore a small mounted turret armed with two M68 Gauss cannons, as well as a machine gun or grenade launcher on other concept art.[2] There was a windscreen on its forward body, with two side windows to provide a fairly high amount of visibility for the driver, which would have proved useful. It would have been able to reach a top speed of 90mph.[2]

The Cougar was ultimately cut from the game in favor of other vehicle ideas.[3] Its shape may have proved the inspiration of the SP42 Cobra, as its role in Halo Wars was originally an anti-vehicle unit. The Cougar bears a striking resemblance to the World War II armored car, the M8 Greyhound.


"The UNSC Falcon is the primary air attack unit of the UNSC Army. With swift attacks and exceptional maneuverability a small squad of Falcons can be devastating to enemy vessels. Armed with sidewinder missiles and heavy armor piercing guns."
— Concept art description

Not to be confused with a cut vehicle of the same name from Halo 2 or the tiltrotor helicopter that appeared in Halo: Reach, the Falcon was a UNSC aircraft that got so far as having a 3D model made. The Falcon was a twin seater fighter aircraft planned to be used by the UNSC Army. Originally intended to be a usable unit, stored in the UNSC airpad, it filled the role of strike fighter, packing enough firepower to destroy enemy vehicles and infantry with "Sidewinder" missiles and heavy armor-piercing guns. Like several other units, it was cut from the final game before it shipped.[2]

In terms of design, the Falcon uses forward-swept wings (giving it an appearance similar to the 20th Century Sukhoi Su-47), which are used to provide stability during steep dives, indicating an emphasis in air-to-ground combat. Another, smaller set of wing flaps are attached to the ventral hull, possibly to improve stability. It also possesses two inward-angled vertical stabilizers at the rear, and missile pods attached to the base of the wing and the ventral hull. At the rear of the craft are twin jet thrusters, capable of tilting to allow VTOL capability. Retractable landing gear appears to be located at the wing tips.

Fox Cannon[edit]

"The UNSC Fox Cannon is a mobil log[sic] range artillery cannon firing rounds to ranges exceeding 50KM (52.8 maximum). Capable of firing five rounds per minute with satellite targeting. Firing 175mm M197 projectiles with destructive results."
— Concept art description

The Fox Cannon was a UNSC vehicle cut from Halo Wars. It was to be a self-propelled artillery vehicle, capable of firing five shells per minute, and with great accuracy due to satellite targeting over a distance greater than 50 kilometers. The Fox was equipped with a 175mm cannon that shot the M179 projectile. Given its role, it was likely replaced by the SP42 Cobra.

Leviathan Mobile Firebase[edit]

The Leviathan Mobile Firebase is a UNSC vehicle concepted during the development of Halo Wars, but evidently never implemented. The vehicle is similar in size to the Mammoth, being many times the size of an M12 Warthog and serving as a mobile Firebase. The vehicle is seen to have several different configurations such as a "Suicide assault" variant with nose-mounted saw blades and a "Paris gun" variant equipped with a massive artillery cannon. However, the primary variant appears to be a vehicle that would fill a role similar to that fulfilled by the M312 Elephant in the final game, sporting numerous machine gun turrets, a mobile barracks and the ability to tow a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine, like that seen in the mission Reactor.


Early on in the development of Halo Wars, the M274 Mongoose was intended to be included. The vehicle got as far as having a model created and implemented in game, though by the time of the "Sway" alpha, all that remained in the files was a handful of text strings referencing test_pj_mongoose.[4]

To create this Mongoose model, Ensemble 3D artist Jenell Jaquays had to rely on observing screenshots of the Mongoose as seen in Halo 3, as Bungie were unwilling to share the original model file with Ensemble.[5]

Prototype infantry[edit]

This prototype infantry unit was created by artist Gene Kohler. Little is known of it or its purpose in-game.

Tiger Tank[edit]

The Tiger Tank is a unit referenced in the game files. Little is known of it, except for the below icon.


Air Artillery[edit]

"Recently sighted behind several front line battles, it seems that the Covenant have developed an air based artillery unit. With no on board defenses, it can be very vulnerable if dealt with promptly. However, its heavy plasma mortar cannons can lay waste to an entire UNSC base quickly and it is therefore critical that we gain more field information on this vehicle."
— Official description.[1]

The Covenant Air Artillery was a unit cut from Halo Wars some time prior to January 2008.[3] The vehicle was to boast three plasma mortars, and was intended for use in a ground attack role - noted to be especially effective against static bases.[1]

Brute Tank[edit]

The "Brute Tank" is a vehicle cut from the game, notable for its high similarity to the existing Wraith. However, the Brute Tank instead comes equipped with a turret like those found on the Scorpion tank. Text strings in the "Sway" alpha build reference brutetank_power_hack_obstruction, possibly meaning the tank was to have some form of hacking ability.[4] Presumably, this vehicle was intended to be used by the Jiralhanae and their Chieftain.

Although the Brute Tank icon found in the final release of Halo Wars depicts a Wraith with a Scorpion turret, some models seen in earlier builds have a more distinctive appearance of a Wraith with a more Covenant-style turret; these vehicles bear some resemblance to certain Halo: Combat Evolved concept art, shown below. Another piece of concept art uploaded to ArtStation by Nathan Stefan shows a vehicle very similar to the Brute Tank, though the image itself is named gorgon-005 - this vehicle bears little resemblance to the Gorgon, so the art's status is unclear.

Another icon depicts this vehicle with a dome shield-like ability.


The Chimera was a Covenant unit cut from Halo Wars. It was a four-legged walker bearing slight resemblance to the Type-47A Scarab, though with a more hunched appearance.

Elite Rangers[edit]

Found in some screenshots and an animation reel uploaded by animator Charles Tinney, the Elite Ranger was evidently to be a flying infantry unit. Their design is that of the Elite Rangers found in Halo 2.[6][4]


Named only in game files, the Gargoyle was intended to be a Covenant bomber aircraft. In the final game, a menu icon is still present in the files to represent the unit.


"When we originally spec'd out the Covenant, we gave them a ground-based, antiair unit called the Gorgon (above left) -- a bulbous, biped walker that used heavy Needlers to rip apart thin-skinned aircraft. Once it was in the game, though, we realized that we'd created a recognition problem: was the Gorgon a vehicle or infantry unit? We intended for it to be a vehicle, but the legs were causing problems, since we also said that "anything with two legs that walks is a dude." The final nail in the Gorgon coffin? The Covenant already had too many ground vehicles; we needed more air units."
— Dave Pottinger on the Gorgon.[7]

The Gorgon was a vehicle created for the Covenant and intended for use in the anti-air role. The vehicle was envisioned as a walker equipped with a heavy needle cannon, used to attack air targets. The vehicle's mech-based nature conflicted with Ensemble's philosophy that anything with legs was considered infantry, and the overwhelming abundance of Covenant ground vehicles - combined with the relative lack of aircraft - ultimately led to the Gorgon being scrapped and replaced with the Type-29 Vampire.[7] A very similar vehicle; the Reaver, was later implemented in Halo Wars 2.

Interestingly, a later Artstation upload by Nathan Stefan titled gorgon-005.jpg depicts a vehicle more similar in nature to the Wraith or similarly-cut Brute Tank.[8]


Named in an image upload by artist Don Gagen, the Hydra was intended to be a Covenant aircraft.

Recon Drone[edit]

Present in the "Sway" alpha, the Recon Drone appears on an early version of the map Repository as a unit buildable in the map's central Sentinel factory alongside Aggressor Sentinels. Despite this Forerunner construction and neutral placement, the Recon Drone takes the form of a Yanme'e. The Drone has a complete model and animations, and is able to fly at high speeds around the map. True to its name, the Drone has no attacks, and is instead only intended for scouting.[4]

Scarab (Protos variant)[edit]

"The Scarab has an anti-everything gun, and I'm losing."
— Graeme Devine's remark upon encountering the Scarab in the E3 demo.

Seen in the E3 2007 build and on the box art for Halo Wars, among other promotional screenshots, is the Type-47A "Protos" Scarab - the Scarab variant notably found in the Halo 2 campaign levels Outskirts, Metropolis and The Great Journey. In the final Halo Wars game, the Type-47B Scarab design notably used in Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach is used.

In the E3 2007 demo, the Scarab appears near the end in a short viginette, climbing out of a Forerunner underground shaft. The Scarab proceeds to rampage across the battlefield, destroying several tanks and other units, and must ultimately be destroyed via MAC orbital bombardment.


  1. ^ a b c Official Halo Wars Community Site, Features (Retrieved on Jul 14, 2007) [local archive] [external archive]
  2. ^ a b c, **UPDATE** page 2 (March 10) Halo Wars Concept art dump! (Huge DL) (Retrieved on Jan 12, 2013) [archive]
  3. ^ a b Official Halo Wars Community Site, Halo Wars Monthly Update 02/14/08 (Retrieved on May 9, 2008) [archive]
  4. ^ a b c d YouTube - The Vengeful 'Vadam, Full Analysis of the Halo Wars Alpha "Sway" Build
  5. ^ Facebook, Jennell Jaquays' Halo Wars pre-release overview: "My low poly take on the Mongoose from Halo 3. I was working from screen captures from the XBOX 360 game. Bungie was not giving us game assets from the FPS games to help, so we did everything by observation." (Retrieved on May 1, 2021) [local archive] [external archive]
  6. ^ Vimeo, Halo Wars Show Reel (Retrieved on May 2, 2021) [archive]
  7. ^ a b 1UP, 10 Things You Didn't Know About Halo Wars (Retrieved on Apr 13, 2016) [archive]
  8. ^ ArtStation, Halo Wars Concept art I did for Microsoft at Ensemble Studios (Retrieved on May 1, 2021) [archive]