The Type-26 Assault Gun Carriage is the primary armored fighting vehicle used by the Covenant. The Covenant deploy the Wraith as a first-strike ground assault vehicle in tactical ground engagements, using it as a weapons platform to bring down structures in the way of ground forces attempting to advance in an area, as well as to destroy enemy armor posing a threat to their own infantry. In addition, the Wraith is used to break the ranks of enemy infantry by both physical and psychological force.
A massive bulbous and thickly armored mortar assault gun, the Wraith is used by the Covenant as their main armored assault vehicle for ground forces. Like all Covenant vehicles the Type-26 AGC's design is a sleek winged vehicle design more akin to an aircraft than a ground vehicle. The Type 26 AGC is composed of four major components: The chassis, is the first and major component and consists of the cockpit, which contains the controls for the pilot, these include the controls that move the vehicle, the controls that align the mortar on-target, and a control in the center that arms and fires the main battery. Holographic control surfaces and displays show the pilot a 360-degree view outside the Wraith. Underneath is its propulsion system consisting of a Boosted gravity propulsion drive, the chassis also contains the necessary systems that power all other systems on the vehicle. Two wide lateral fins are the second major component to the Type-26 AGC, the fins stabilize the vehicle on terrain, as well as provide the vehicle thrust to attain limited boost for enhanced maneuverability. The the third major component is the rudders, which control the turning or yaw-axis of the vehicle. The rudders use two independent propulsion drives to help turn the vehicle. The fourth major component is the gun carriage, this contains the Type-26 AGC's main weapon; the heavy mortar cannon. The huge bulk of the Wraith is well shielded by an armored shell that is nearly two feet (61 cm) thick and made up of a polymer that is not understood by human physicists.
Piloted by a single occupant, who controls all the vehicle and weapons systems, the Type-26 AGC is a highly maneuverable vehicle able to traverse many terrain types. The Type-26 AGC like all Covenant vehicles utilises a form of anti-gravity propulsion drive to cushion and absorb almost all of the recoil caused by the heavy mortar cannon. The Wraith's large size and its ability to provide covering fire from the massive Plasma Mortar makes it an inestimably dangerous vehicle on the battlefield. The Wraith is the third largest Covenant ground force vehicle, after the Locust and Scarab.
The main weapon of the Type-26 AGC is the Heavy Plasma Mortar. The Type-26 AGC's plasma emitter is attached to a fixed mounting, in order to fire in a specific direction the vehicle must rotate to face the target directly. The plasma mortar works by creating a large, compressed, magnetically encapsulated blob of superheated plasma and fired at a high velocity, once fired, the bolt is magnetically guided in a ballistic trajectory until it strikes the ground or target. When the bolt hits, the magnetic bubble collapses and the plasma rapidly expands from its compressed state creating a superheated explosion, that will vaporize everything within twenty meters of impact. Titanium battleplate, concrete, or flesh is instantly obliterated by the superheated white fire. Anything just outside of the kill zone is at risk of injury or death — after the initial impact, the plasma begins to cool and thermal expansion takes over fanning out the resulting flames that can travel away from the initial blast zone, infantry caught in the flame can be burned alive and if not caught in the flames can suffer heat trauma, the concussive force released from the resulting explosion can splinter bones and destroy vital organs. Flammable materials are especially at risk of igniting due to the intense heat release and can cause further damage. As the resulting temperatures cool, the impact zone is nothing but a glass-smooth surface.
The secondary weapon is a medium plasma weapon that is used as a anti-infantry weapon. All Type-26 AGC's in service up to 2549 were equipped with two automated plasma cannons. These plasma cannons mounted on each wing, and are operated autonomously, it is not understood what method the system uses to designate and fire upon an enemy. All Type-26 AGC's in service after 2549 are equipped with a Type-52 Directed Energy Support Weapon fixed to a ring mount that is operated by a gunner, the role of the Type-52 DESW as a anti-infantry weapon means that the firepower produced by this weapon is considerably high, able to penetrate flesh with considerably gruesome results. The Type-52 DESW functions like most plasma based weapons used by the Covenant by rapidly cycling, loading, ignition, and release of plasma at high velocities. The plasma is contained and guided by an electromagnetic bottle which guides the plasma until it either travels too far away from the magnetic source and dissipates, or strikes its intended target. Against infantry, the lethality of the Type-52 DESW is severe as injuries inflicted to infantry with light body armor are severe fourth-degree burns, this level of injury completely chars all flesh, leaving only bone tissue. Body fluids along with moist tissue and flesh would be subjected to flash vaporization, and fluids trapped in organs or arteries in addition to the rapid expansion of heat would cause ruptures or small steam explosions causing additional damage to the body.
The Type-26 AGC is the Covenant’s most destructive mobile armor. Its huge bulk is well shielded from small arms fire and is resistant to medium explosive weapons, its ability to provide covering fire to infantry and armor alike, in addition to dealing heavy damage to structures, infantry and armor makes it an inestimably dangerous thing to go up against in ground battles. Its ability to be deployed with the aid of dropships makes insertions into battlefield fairly easy — with a boost drive attached the Wraith can temporarily attain a speed boost for fast insertions, or to plow through enemy infantry, armor or obstructions in the way of the vehicle. Its mortar cannon provides devastating damage to anything in its ways and is known for its physiological effects on humans at the mere sight of one.
The Type-26 AGC's main disadvantage is its slow speed, because of the vehicles massive weight. While the boost drive on the vehicle can propel the vehicle to high speed the maneuverability of the vehicle is compromised — because the gravity propulsion drive does not contain anything to counter the vehicles moving mass it is possible for the vehicle to run into anything from friendly vehicles to infantry to even propelling itself off a ledge or into a ditch. Like most assault guns, the Type-26 AGC has a dead area, a zone in which the mortar cannon cannot fire without risking damaging or destroying itself. The slow speed and cumbersome nature of the Wraith makes it prone to boarding action — while the front of the vehicle is harder to board because of the Type-52 DESW, the rear is most susceptible to boarding because of a weak spot in the rear. A small rotating cylinder exhaust port in the back is one of the only vulnerable spots on the Wraith that if hit with a medium explosive device can damage the vehicle severely. The gunner operating the Type-52 DESW is also an easy target for marksman and sniper fire; because of the massive cannon right behind the gunner the turret ring cannot traverse a full 360 degrees.
The Wraith has been in service to the Covenant for over a century, and has served in countless engagements during the Human-Covenant war. After the retaking of Harvest in 2526 by Admiral Cole , the Covenant attempted to scout and later recover an artifact, deploying multiple Wraith's during the assault.
Throughout the war the Covenant deployed Wraiths during ground campaigns against civilian and military targets; Wraiths would target civilian evacuation transports still on the ground and platforms and structures leading to them. They would also fire at and kill groups of civilians, given the chance. In 2531, during the first assault on the colony world Arcadia, multiple Wraiths were used to kill civilians attempting to flee the Covenant invasion. The assault guns took part in destroying structures and platforms holding civilians waiting for evacuation, and attacking UNSC military forces attempting to assist with evacuation efforts.
As the war dragged on, Covenant ground forces usually contained the Wraith as their main heavy armored vehicle. During the assault on Algolis Wraiths were used to weaken military forces attempting to protect, and later destroy valuable data. The UNSC was able to hold off the Covenant just long enough for a Prototype Armor suit constructed in the science facilities to engage the Covenant forces. All living beings within a short distance of the facility were destroyed by a nuclear warhead attached to the armor suit, after the operator initiated the self-destruct, with the code, "BE HUMAN". As the War with humanity was reaching its climax, the Covenant began updating their equipment, and building up their military forces. Which lead to the birth a new model of the Wraith , created to help address some issues with older models. During the invasion of Sigma Octanus IV in July of 2552 the Covenant deployed numerous Wraiths to take out strategic areas on the planet, including military bases and civilian structures. No sooner had that battle finished the Covenant launched a surprise assault on Reach, Humanity's heavily fortified epicenter of military and economic power outside of Earth. Multiple divisions of Wraiths were employed to inflict huge damage on civilian and military forces alike. Their campaign was successful, resulting in the destruction of major military and civilian transports, structures, and the ONI facility, CASTLE Base, killing countless in the process.
When the UNSC Pillar of Autumn escaped, many Covenant ships followed to discover Halo. With its discovery, the Covenant rushed to destroy the human ship as fast as possible. But when the Autumn crash landed on the installation, the Covenant landed on the ring and began to hunt down the humans. During the operations on Halo the Covenant deployed Wraiths to protect structures and destroy human encampments. Their campaign ultimately failed when Halo was destroyed by SPARTAN-117.
During the Battle for Earth, the Prophet of Regret's carrier, the Solemn Penance, managed to land in the city of New Mombasa. In the short but bloody action, the Covenant was able to land armor and troops into the city. Wraiths cut off civilian evacuation by destroying the City's rail system. With civilians cut off the Covenant began systematically destroying anything they could, before the Prophet of Regret's ship jumped out of New Mombasa, destroying parts of the city. In the aftermath of Regret's retreat, the full scale invasion of Earth began, the Covenant laid waste to many parts of the planet and Wraiths were on the forefront of the ground assault.
As the Battle for Earth raged on, Master Chief, with the full support of the UNSC In Amber Clad launched a counter-strike against Regret, who had jumped to Installation 05, Wraiths were deployed in the same manner as they were on Installation 04. With the threat of the UNSC attempting to stop Regret, the Covenant relied on more aggressive tactics against their enemy, using Wraiths to stop the advance of SPARTAN-117. The subsequent outbreak of the Flood and internal conflict that consumed the Covenant, left all involved to fend for themselves.
With the uncovering of the Portal the Covenant moved all troops and armor to prevent the UNSC military from getting close to it. They deployed Wraiths to dispatch military forces attempting to break through their formation. After the opening of the portal and the arrival at Installation 00 the Covenant deployed all their assets to stop the Covenant Separatists, who had allied with the UNSC, and activate the remaining Halo installations. Wraiths were front and center in this operation, but all were lost in the destruction of the Ark.
Halo: Combat EvolvedEdit
- Introduced in Halo: Combat Evolved, the Wraith appears on Assault on the Control Room, although they do first appear in Truth and Reconciliation in the cruiser's cargo bay, though inactive. The player is not able to drive it at all in the game.
- This version of the Wraith has no anti-personnel weapons.
- The visual design encompasses a more purple color scheme than later versions.
- The mortar design is different from other games looking more like a tube, rather than the plasma emitter itself.
- On Normal difficulty, the Wraith can survive about two to three direct rocket hits before being destroyed. While formidable, it is not without weaknesses. Wraiths can be flipped, knocking the Sangheili driver out of the vehicle and rendering it useless.
- Just like the Halo: Combat Evolved Ghost, the Wraith floats noticeably higher than its Halo 2 and Halo 3 counterparts.
Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2Edit
- In Halo 2, the Wraith received a graphical overhaul and its color scheme is more of a blueish color and is now drivable by the player.
- The Wraith now has two weapons: the standard plasma mortar and two automated Plasma Cannons. However, the player cannot utilize these turrets themselves, meaning that the Wraith is somewhat less effective in the player's hands — the turrets auto-target any enemy within range, making boarding a Wraith more difficult.
- In Halo 2 when a player boards a Wraith, they must wait a few second delay before being able to fire the Wraith's Plasma Mortar.
- The Halo 2 Wraith includes a boost drive, capable of tripling the vehicle's speed for about one second, and requires five seconds to recharge. Though this can be used to travel faster, it is commonly used to run over enemies who are getting too close, and is extremely effective due to the Wraith's reverse speed being identical to a Spartan or Sangheili's running speed.
Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODSTEdit
- Another version of the Wraith is introduced in Halo 3, the Anti-Air Wraith.
- New features include visible lights, increased speed and a more accurate line of fire. However, the exposed exhaust port represents an extremely vulnerable spot in the armor, making it possible for the first time to destroy a Wraith with melee attacks from behind the vehicle with no direct melee attacks to the driver.
- A strong hit to the core after removing its cover causes a violent chain reaction of explosions.
- It has a subtle greenish shine to it and an embedded latticework that glimmers in the light. The most dramatic design change added an exposed topside gunnery position with a 270° view, allowing for better defense against enemy soldiers and boarders. Boarding is made more difficult in that now boarders have both a pilot, and gunner to kill before gaining control of the vehicle.
- The boost feature is no longer as effective taking longer for the vehicle to achieve its optimum boost speed, although having the same top speed as its Halo 2 counterpart, the Wraith has difficulty traversing high angles and its reversing capability is often inadequate.
- If boarded from behind or on the front of the cockpit, the driver cannot exit the vehicle, another difference from the Halo 2 version.
Changes from Halo 3 to Halo: ReachEdit
- The Wraith has received a visual upgrade and is a much more green-blue in color, with a greater iridescent sheen, and a larger, more electrically charged shot.
- It appears to be much stronger in terms of firepower and armor, being able to destroy Scorpions in a single accurate hit, and the arc of its shot is greatly reduced and is slightly faster, making it a far more deadly opponent.
- Its turret now overheats like all turrets, and can be blown off without the vehicle's total destruction.
- Unggoy are now able to operate the turret. This makes it simpler for players as the Grunts are much easier to kill than Halo 3's Brute gunners.
- The Wraith, like most Covenant vehicles in Halo: Reach, now has a scale-like pattern on its hull.
- The Wraith's Mortar can now be destroyed itself, leaving the chassis less-than-intact as well as losing the driver's main offense.
Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4Edit
- The Wraith is now much more blue in coloration.
- The bolts shot by the Wraith's mortar are now smaller, and a lot harder to see.
- The trail left by the bolt is now a pinkish-bluish color.
- The impact of the bolt on a surface does not leave a black spot, as the impact starts from something orange and then turns to a light grey.
- The bolts from the mortar travel faster.
- The Wraith's boost time is significantly longer.
- If the Wraith rams into a smaller vehicle with its boost, it will destroy the vehicle rather than pushing or flipping the vehicle like it did in earlier games.
- The Wraith's mortar is extremely powerful and will severely damage any person or vehicle it hits. However, it is slow to reload, so you do have time between shots to score some hits.
- In Halo 2, two small automatic weapons on the Wraith’s hood offer additional protection against nearby infantry. If, however, you manage to evade these and jump on the vehicle, you can assault the driver with melee attacks.
- A way to take out the Wraith if no heavy weapons are available and you are unwilling to try to board it is to get in a warthog and drive in a circle around it; your gunner, AI or otherwise, will do the work for you.
- While boosting, you can press A to have the front wings pull up into a wheelie. This is really effective at splattering hijackers and running over smaller vehicles.
- Because of the Wraith’s thick armor, the Spartan Laser, the Rocket Launcher, the Plasma Launcher, or the Fuel Rod Gun are ideal weapons against the massive assault gun. If you don't have any of these, jump in a Covenant Banshee, Ghost or Revenant, and fire away. Riskier methods are also available, one can destroy a Wraith with a few well-thrown Plasma Grenades, or by rushing the Wraith and meleeing the driver out, placing a grenade, or by going to the rear, and meleeing the rear engine compartment, or also placing a live grenade there.
- Keep your distance; the mortar shots are easier to avoid when they're lobbed at far-away targets, but watch out for the massive splash damage.
- In Halo:Reach, If you are able to get on top of a Wraith, you can actually take control of the Plasma Cannon, at which point the AI driver will bail out, allowing you to mow him down with the cannon and taking the wraith, all without needing to board it and damage it by meleeing the driver out. Blowing off the cockpit hatch and shooting the driver to death is also an option, especially effective with the Sniper Rifle's anti-material qualities in Halo: Reach.
- The whining noise that the Wraith's Plasma Mortar will often betray its presence even before the Wraith can be seen. Use this to your advantage to both locate the Wraith and avoid its attacks.
- If you are in a Mongoose, use its speed and maneuverability to get into the Wraith's dead zone, and board it. If an attack from the front seems too risky, circle around back to attack the rear. However, be wary of the Wraith's boost, since it can easily knock away or destroy you if you're not careful.
- When combating a Wraith, the method varies depending on your intents and your current position. If you are in a light vehicle (ex. Warthog, Ghost) and you want to destroy the Wraith, simply evade the massive shots. On your priority list, however, watch out for the plasma turrets-these will chip away your health and in Legendary, are more dangerous than the main mortar, as it can actually hit you. When dealing with a pair or more of enemy Wraiths, such as the entrance to the tunnel in Metropolis, you may wish to use the Ghost instead of the Warthog, because it lacks the equal amount of evasiveness and also does not have the boost feature. For the Ghost, concentrate on one vehicle at a time. If you are in a heavy vehicle and also wish to take them out, simply fire with the main cannon (ex. Mortar for the Wraith and the 90mm High velocity Main gun for the Scorpion Tank) from a distance, where you can easily move if you see them fire.
- If you manage to get close to it you can board the Wraith and throw a grenade in the cockpit or engine structure, which will completely destroy the Wraith. An alternative is to beat the driver out without destroying the Wraith, which instead renders it operational.
- A common, yet very effective tactic used in matchmaking invasion mode is when the elite team passes the first tier a person will use the Wraith, get to the Spartan's vehicle depot, and when an enemy player gets in the scorpion the Wraith driver will aim it's cross-hair directly above the main gun, wait for the gun barrel to leave the shield wall, and fire. This causes the mortar's AOE damage (when hit against the shield wall) to go completely into the enemy tank's main gun, causing it to be destroyed and "unfireable" leaving the enemy opposition to be completely exposed to enemy fire. Therefore, making the spartan's greatest asset in the match, wait for more spawn time, if not repeated over and over again.
- The Wraith has different armor strengths at different points on their body. Aim the rocket launcher high up at the face of the Wraith near the mortar cannon. The bottom-front section of the Wraith is the strongest point. The Wraith's back is also the weakest point on the entire vehicle. If you aim at the right spot you'll save a rocket or two.
- When using the Wraith, it fires better on a vantage point rather than upwards. It does best at closer range eliminating smaller vehicles.
- If you have a Spartan Laser, and you encounter an enemy Wraith, it would be unwise to blast its front armour, since it can survive 2 direct laser hits. (draining ½ or of your laser's charge) Instead, aim for it's main cannon. It will survive the hit, but it's cannon will be destroyed, rendering it unable to shoot. This works well both ways, since the wraith wasn't technically "destroyed", meaning it won't respawn. (The enemy team will have a broken Wraith until they destroy it)
- At the beginning of a match a player in a wraith may fire indiscriminately at the enemy's side of the map, however this is not advisable once your team advances since you could just as easily kill a team mate.
- It is wrongly stated in the Halo 3 manual that the Wraith has dual-auto firing cannons. It only has them in Halo 2.
- It is also wrongly stated in the Halo 2 manual that the player can shoot the Wraith's plasma cannons while driving.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, it is possible to snipe the driver out of it during the level Two Betrayals, but you still cannot drive it. Also, the same applies for the Wraith after the player leaves the tunnel in Assault on the Control Room, if the player steals a Ghost and heads out to the lake area where the Wraith normally is (all of course while ignoring the enemies), he can see a Sangheili making a mad dash for the Wraith.
- If a player boosts the Wraith by tapping the left trigger and then uses the main gun by tapping the right trigger the plasma mortar will go a longer distance than it normally would. This is known as the "Boost Shot."
- In Halo 2, Rtas 'Vadum is shown driving a Wraith without the main cannon in the firing position, meaning it can be folded into the Wraith at the driver's discretion.
- In Halo: Reach, the Wraith can briefly reach 130 km/h while using the boost, making it the third fastest vehicle in the game after the Falcon and Banshee.
- In Halo: Reach multiplayer, it is unwise to board a Wraith from the front. Even if the gunner turret is unoccupied, the driver can still kill you with the Wraith's main cannon. This will nearly always kill the boarder with one hit, although both the Wraith and the driver will be heavily damaged at best.
- In Halo: Reach Firefight mode, it's possible to drive a Wraith when solo playing. This, however is very rare for you need to kill its driver without destroying the Wraith. This can be easier with a long-distance weapon, shoot at the place the driver sits until the driver is dead (the protective cap will come off). This can be done with a Sniper Rifle or a DMR from greater distance so you are not in harms way.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, it is the only vehicle that can be destroyed without an occupant.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, if the player mods the Wraith to be drivable, it will share the same targeting reticule as the Rocket Launcher.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, since the Wraith uses the model from Halo: Reach, it has a plasma turret mounted on the top, but the turret is unusable.
- In more recent games, Wraiths have a tendency to ram a player trying to board them.
List of AppearancesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 206
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Halo Encyclopedia, page 257
- ↑ Halo 2: Special Collector's Edition Manual, page 17
- ↑ Bungie.net Halo: Reach Ordinance Page
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Halo 2: Special Collector's Edition Manual page 17
- ↑ Halo: First Strike page113
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Halo 2 Manual page 19
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Halo: First Strike page 112
- ↑ Halo: Evolutions Palace Hotel page 351
- ↑ Halo: Reach Career Stats
- ↑ Halo: The Flood page 184
- ↑ Halo Legends The Duel
- Scorpion Tank - UNSC equivalent of the Wraith
- Type-52 Anti Aircraft Artillery - An anti-air variant of the Wraith