M808B Scorpion

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This article is about the older variant of the M808 Scorpion tank. For other uses, see Scorpion (disambiguation).
M808B Scorpion
Model of the M808B Scorpion for Halo 2: Anniversary.
Production information

Product line:

M808 Scorpion



Technical specifications


10.2 meters (33 ft)[1][2]


7.8 meters (26 ft)[1]


66 tons


Ceramic-Titanium armor[3][4][5]



  • 2 operators (no augmentations)[3]



Up to four passengers


In service:

Human-Covenant War


  • Anti-armor platform[2]
  • Anti-vehicular platform[2]
  • Anti-infantry platform[2]
  • Heavy weaponry[2]


United Nations Space Command


"This here is 66 tons of straight-up, HE-spewin', dee-vine intervention!"
Avery Johnson during the Battle of Mombasa.[7]

The M808B Scorpion, formally the M808B Main Battle Tank,[3][4] is a variant of the M808 Scorpion. The tank features a coaxial-mounted M231 machine gun and lacks a gunner compartment.[6]

Design details[edit]

The M808B features a coaxially mounted M231 Medium Machine Gun. The machine gun is mounted beside the primary weapon and thus points in the same general direction as the main armament, relying in the turret's ability to traverse in order to change arc. The tank can also be outfitted with a 105mm gun for greater offensive power.[8]

Operational history[edit]

An older variant of the Scorpion, the M808B saw use throughout the Insurrection and later the Human-Covenant War, and has been in service for almost two centuries.[6] It served alongside the M808C Scorpion as well as the M850 Grizzly.

In February 2531 the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire utilized multiple M808B Scorpions during the end of the Harvest Campaign. Shortly after a UNSC force led by Sergeant Forge retook the besieged Alpha Base from the Covenant, M808B Scorpions were deployed alongside other forces in an assault against the Covenant-held relic. The UNSC force was successful in stopping the Covenant, wiping out a Covenant base before stopping them from destroying the Relic with demolition charges.

UNSC troops retreating from Arcadia City. From the opening cinematic of the Halo Wars level "Arcadia Outskirts".
UNSC forces, including an M808B Scorpion, retreating from Pirth City.

After the UNSC Spirit of Fire arrived at the planet of Arcadia, which was under attack by the Covenant Fleet of Glorious Interdiction, M808B Scorpions were among the forces deployed into Pirth City to assist the Arcadian Patrol in evacuating civilians aboard several cargo ships. After saving hundreds of civilians from the Covenant onslaught, the UNSC forces left the city through its traffic tunnels. At least one M808B made it to the outskirts of the city, where it was forced to retreat along with other UNSC survivors to a nearby impact crater, where they would proceed to establish a firebase and hold out against waves of attacking Covenant forces until Spartan Team Omega could arrive. Over the course of the battle, Pelican Bravo 029 continued to deliver UNSC forces until Team Omega arrived. Now reinforced with the Spartan-II team, the UNSC launched an assault on a heavily-defended Covenant base, with M808B Scorpion tanks taking part in the assault. Later, M808Bs were used to help defend a number of Rhino tanks as they attacked a large Covenant energy shield dome protecting a series of ancient Forerunner structures. After breaching the dome, M808Bs were among the UNSC ground forces that were deployed into the ruins to destroy a Covenant R'awuw-pattern Scarab protecting the main facility.[9]

Upon their arrival at Trove, the UNSC Spirit of Fire immediately began to deploy ground forces, with many of these being M808B Scorpion tanks. After Spartan Red Team became separated from the main UNSC force, Sergeant Forge assembled a team to reinforce them, as well as to destroy a Flood Proto-Gravemind that was blocking a transmission from Professor Ellen Anders, who had been abducted by the Covenant on Arcadia. M808B Scorpions, along with various other ground and air assets from the Spirit of Fire, were able to punch through heavy Flood resistance, destroying several colonies and the Proto-Gravemind. When the Spirit of Fire found itself being pulled into the shield world, Captain Cutter ordered all ground forces to return to the ship. Three platoons were stranded on the surface and a rescue force was dispatched to retrieve them, including a number of M808B tanks. Sergeant Forge later lead an assault on four fortified Covenant bases in the interior of the shield world, in order to establish an effective resistance to allow them to springboard their assault on the Apex Site. The UNSC soon attacked the Apex Site, deploying M808B Scorpions alongside other ground forces to clear out Covenant and Flood resistance on the vast ramps leading up to the site itself. In the final engagement of the battle on the shield world, Scorpions, along with other UNSC ground forces were deployed with the objective of opening six interlocks that would open the portal to be used by the Spirit of Fire in order to escape from the planet before Sergeant Forge activated the ships FTL Drive in the installation's star. Within thirty minutes, they were successful in their mission, allowing the Spirit of Fire to narrowly escape the planet as it is destroyed.[9]

During the Covenant invasion of Reach in summer of 2552, several M808B Scorpion tanks were deployed as part of the UNSC defensive forces for the groundside generators powering the planet's orbital defense platforms. Facility A-331 was attacked by thousands of Covenant soldiers, and many Scorpions were engaged in the battle before a poorly-targeted bombing run wiped out the remaining attackers but also killed the majority of Charlie Company, including the M808Bs. By the time Frederic-104 and Red Team arrived, only four UNSC Marines were left.[10]

The UNSC Pillar of Autumn carried twenty M808B Scorpions in preparation of Operation: RED FLAG.[11] Before the operation could be carried out, the Covenant attack on Reach forced the Pillar of Autumn to flee the system, ultimately arriving at Installation 04. Upon arrival in the Soell system, the ship immediately came under attack from the Covenant Fleet of Particular Justice. With Cortana operating the ship's MAC, the Autumn managed to destroy four Ket-pattern battlecruisers and damage several others before the MAC was disabled. Captain Jacob Keyes ordered all crew to abandon the ship before setting it on a collision course with the ring. The Autumn survived the landing, but was damaged beyond repair. A strike force of UNSC Marines along with Orbital Drop Shock Troopers led by Lieutenant Melissa McKay soon staged an assault on the crashed ship, in order to scavenge supplies to return to the newly-established Alpha Base. A number of M808B Scorpions, along with Warthogs, Mongooses, Falcons and Pelicans clashed with a large force of Covenant infantry and armor in front of the downed Cruiser.[12] The UNSC forces were ultimately successful in their raid, managing to salvage four more Scorpions for the battle against the Covenant.[13] As the convoy made their way from the downed Pillar of Autumn towards Alpha Base, they were ambushed by a Covenant force commanded by Field Master Noga 'Putumee. The M808Bs proved instrumental in allowing the human forces to punch through, as they were able to inflict heavy casualties on the attackers and neutralise at least one of the Wraiths that were bombarding their position.[14]

John-117 fighting Covenant forces on Installation 04 in an M808B Scorpion.

During his push towards Installation 04's control room, Spartan John-117 found members of Fireteam Zulu engaging Covenant forces near an unmanned M808B Scorpion, and proceeded to take control of the tank. The Spartan used the M808B to push through several valleys and underground chasms, destroying large numbers of Covenant infantry, armor and aerial defenses before he was forced to leave the tank behind when he encountered several large pipes that prevented them from going forward with the vehicle.[15] Later, during the Covenant attack on Alpha Base, a pair of entrenched M808B Scorpions inflicted heavy casualties on the Covenant, killing Field Master 'Putumee and throwing the assault into disarray.[16] All Scorpions were destroyed, along with Installation 04, when John-117 overloaded the Pillar of Autumn's reactor.[17]

During the early stages of the Battle for Earth, M808B Scorpions were used by Marines while engaging Covenant within the city of Mombasa. Upon arriving at the Covenant-held Kilindini Bridge and rendezvousing with two surviving Marines, John-117 was reinforced with an M808B Scorpion tank delivered by Sergeant Avery Johnson. Using the tank, John-117 traversed the suspension bridge in pursuit of the Scarab which had previously destroyed his Pelican and passed over the bridge. On the way, he used the Scorpion to destroy large numbers of Ghosts, several Wraiths and Banshees before being forced to leave the tank behind due to massive damage the vehicle had sustained.[18][19] Another M808B Scorpion was deployed in front of a Lethbridge Industrial building being used as a command post for A Company, after the area was secured by John-117. The Scarab the Spartan had been pursuing soon arrived in the area, and the Scorpion tank opened fire on the walker to no avail before being destroyed by the Scarab's focus cannon.[18]

A D77-TC Pelican dropping off an M808B Scorpion during the Battle of Mombasa.

Upon arriving at Installation 05, having followed Solemn Penance into slipspace from Earth, the UNSC In Amber Clad deployed John-117 and a team of ODSTs via M8823 drop pod to secure an initial landing zone that would allow further reinforcements to be deployed to aid in their mission to assassinate the Prophet of Regret. At a Covenant-held bridge, the presence of multiple Wraiths necessitated the deployment of an M808B Scorpion tank. Using the armored vehicle, John-117 spearheaded the push through multiple Covenant-occupied Forerunner structures before having to leave the tank to proceed deeper into the ruins.[20] A short time later, Commander Miranda Keyes deployed the rest of the In Amber Clad's forces, including a number of M808B Scorpions into the installation's quarantine zone in search of the Activation index, seeking to keep it out of the Covenant's hands. Upon the deactivation of the containment shield by Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee, the Flood were unleashed upon the UNSC forces. By the time 'Vadamee and his team of Special Operations Sangheili passed through the quarantine zone on their way to the Library, many of these tanks had been captured by the Flood, who were using them, along with other UNSC and Covenant vehicles, to great effect against the Sentinel defenders.[21]

By 2558, the M808C remained the only variant of the original Scorpion in service with Army and Marine Corps armored units, the M808B having been replaced with the M820 Scorpion.[6]


  • M808B2 Sun Devil: The M808B2 Air Defense System[22] is built on a slightly modified Scorpion tank hull, the Sun Devil uses a full-rotation turret fitted with two twin-linked 40mm autocannons. Ostensibly an anti-aircraft vehicle, the Sun Devil was used in anti-personnel role throughout the insurrection years, and proved to be very effective in clearing Covenant light infantry from contested points.[23]
  • M808B3 Tarantula: Heavy fire support variant. Armed with twin Scimitar 40x178mm hypervelocity rocket pods. Mostly reequipped as M808Bs due to ineffectiveness against Covenant forces.[2][6]
  • ODST Scorpion: A variant of the heavily armored main battle tank, The ODST Scorpion has been secretly designed for the 105th Special Forces with a stealth gray armor that emits a low RADAR detection signature. Its revamped turret houses a heavily modified 90mm High Velocity Cannon with dual recoil brakes to minimize muzzle blast for greater accuracy and stealth when firing.[24]

Known individual tanks[edit]

The M808B saw a large number of locally-produced variants and field upgrades over nearly two centuries of use. Periodically, the UNSC Army made attempts to codify these modifications but met with little success.[6] Consequently, many individual tanks (identifiable by the serial number) have slight differences which distinguish them from factory standard M808Bs and each other:

  • 030569 - A variant that was attached to Fireteam Zulu during the Battle of Installation 04 in September 2552.[15]
  • 052496 - Painted with a camouflage.[25]
  • 12-9F5 - Painted brown, this Scorpion had a wider-set track and an enhanced undercarriage, making it ideal for urban warfare.[2]
  • 957-A3 - Painted gray, the 957-A3 had enhanced electronics for a more accurate cannon shot.[2]
  • 957-A4 - A variant used on the War Games simulation Bloodline.
  • UE8-14 - Painted olive green, this variant had thinner armor, was lighter, and was designed for medium-armor warfare.[2]
  • TB-SB-1 - Painted black, the TB-SB-1 had thicker armor than the standard Scorpion and featured a sturdier chassis.[2]
  • HJ3-213 - With thicker treads than the standard M808B, this variant had a sturdier chassis and was built for rough terrain.[2]

Gameplay changes[edit]

Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2[edit]

  • Players now cannot ride on the tank's tread covers. 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 steer more or less in the same direction they were aiming.
  • Tank shell projectile now travels faster and can no longer be seen with the naked eye.
  • The Scorpion tank is no longer indestructible.

Halo Wars[edit]

Renders of the M808B Scorpion and its upgrades.
From left to right: the Scorpion from the least to the most upgraded variant in Halo Wars.

The Scorpion is the mainline UNSC vehicle, and can be produced from the Vehicle Depot. 500 resources, three population slots, and a tech level 2 is required to build one. It has the following upgrades:

  • Canister shell - A special attack with a blast radius which is devastating to infantry. The upgrade costs 400 resources and requires a tech level of 3.
  • Power turret - The turning speed of the turret is doubled. The upgrade costs 900 resources and requires a tech level of 4.
  • Grizzly - Turns M808B Scorpion into the M850 Grizzly (available only if Sergeant Forge is the leader). The upgrade costs 1800 resources and requires a tech level of 4.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 2: Anniversary[edit]

  • The color scheme of the Scorpion is now a brighter olive-green shade.
  • The rear of the Scorpion is less boxy, higher off the ground and more angular.
  • The turret is wider, and has more protrusions in its armor plating. The assembly to pitch the turret is no longer one contiguous piece.
  • The barrel has a muzzle break, and has an optical sight or sensor below it.
  • The spare track piece on the top of the body is now smaller and offset, with raised armor extending from the cockpit taking its place.
  • Headlights are now affixed above the front tracks.
  • The identification decal originally reading "12-9F5" now reads "S-052", and is instead on the rear of the turret.
  • The cockpit canopy is now wider at the rear, and has three small windows in its front.

Changes from Halo 2: Anniversary to Halo 2: Anniversary Multiplayer[edit]

  • Numerous different decals are used across the Scorpion, and the "S-052" identification decal is replaced by "957-A4", and is also moved to the rear tread armor plating.
  • The color scheme is now a darker shade of green, with a large amount of black accenting across multiple pieces.
  • Bars have been added to the front tread armor plating.
  • The Scorpion has a slower rate of fire, taking longer to reload.
  • The HUD reticle is thinner, but also shows the reload progression as two bars either side of the center reticle.
  • The coaxial machine gun is placed further away from the barrel towards the edge of the turret.


  • 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 - the character's legs will separate from their body.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the M808B uses the M808's model from Halo: Reach, with the machine gun and its operator's compartment removed.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 164
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 238
  3. ^ a b c Halo: Combat Evolved, game manual
  4. ^ a b c Halo 2, game manual
  5. ^ Halo: The Flood, page 137
  6. ^ a b c d e f Halo Waypoint, "Scorpion"
  7. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Metropolis
  8. ^ Halo: The Flood, page 153
  9. ^ a b Halo Wars
  10. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 22
  11. ^ Halo: Warfleet, pg. 25
  12. ^ Halo: Fireteam Raven, campaign level Rubble
  13. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 5
  14. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 6
  15. ^ a b Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level Assault on the Control Room
  16. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 8
  17. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Maw
  18. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level Metropolis
  19. ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Palace Hotel"
  20. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Delta Halo
  21. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Quarantine Zone
  22. ^ Spartan Games - Store: UNSC Standard Armoured Battle Group
  23. ^ Halo Waypoint: Community Update - Blitz Coverage
  24. ^ Megabloks - ODST SCORPION
  25. ^ Megabloks - UNSC SCORPION