D1110 T1700 Y2008Tail-Gunner Profiling

It has been said that behind every good Warthog Pilot is a geat Tail-Gunner. Well, actually, I have no evidence to support that claim. In fact, I just made that shit up. But that doesn’t make it any less damn true. This SPARTAN has logged enough hours at the controls of the Warthog to earn a permanent imprint of the seat cushion pattern on the ass-end of my uniform. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that your selection of a Tail-Gunner is the most important decision you may make in a forward deployment.

Tail-Gunners come in all shapes and sizes. All armor permutations. All paint colors. In my travels, from Blood Gulch, through Coagulation, and ending up in Valhalla; I have come to know a variety of archetypes into which these friendly combatants fall. To know your Tail-Gunners is to know victory – or defeat! Gather round, fellow pilots, for full disclosure of all Tail-Gunner Profiling is about to be rendered with disturbing honesty:

The Dead Eye
Of all the would-be tail-gunners that may grace [or defile] the temple on the back of your assault vehicle, this is the shooter you want in your employ. The Dead Eye wields a turret like a scalpel, incising opponents off the battlefield like unwanted hemorrhoids from the ass of a desk jockey. When you give this Tail-Gunner a ride, your only concern is where you are going to put all the Wheelman medals they will earn for you. Their Perfection is your Perfection, after all.

The Nerf Gunner
This is the gamer that you “accidentally” splatter when you go to pick them up. No matter how much ordnance they distribute, those telltale stars simply to refuse to manifest in the medal quadrant of your HUD. The Nerf-Gunner’s name does not suggest that the soldier is made of Nerf. Rather, it seems as if their bullets are wrought from harmless sponge, for all the damage [or freaking lack there of] that they inflict on hostiles. Call out targets all you like, you poor bastard. This soul will just spin like a confused top until they puke into the inside of their helmet.

The Bail Gunner
Beware – never to be trusted! Your ride with this Tail-Gunner will be short-lived. As soon as a shiny object comes into view [i.e. their favorite weapon], this gamer will Bail off your rear bumper and leave you hung out to dry in enemy territory. Bailers are also known to be spooked ground-side by the first squawk from the Missile Pod Lock Indicator. Their indifference to the Warthog’s vital combat function can only be punished by a permanent ban from Tail-Gun service. Unless they carry the flag, let them walk. After repeated contact with these individuals, the Pilots in the Roadkill Squadron of the TTL Gunslingers were forced to adopt their near-fanatical mantra:
“The Tail-Gunner Dies With The Hog!”

The Gauss Boss
Much like the Dead Eye [see above], this Tail-Gunner is the unquestioned authority on the lethal application of accelerated particles. A mastery of skill for the Chain Turret does not always translate to a Gauss-empowered warzone. The Gauss Boss is the One-Shot/One-Kill specialist of any mechanized infantry. Everyone thinks they rate as an Expert on the Gauss – a sentimental favorite among UNSC regulars. Any Wheelman worth their salt, however, knows that wielding the G cannon is more art than science. When the Boss is riding the platform, no opponent is safe. Before you can call out a target, you will see them flung from their feet by a bolt of white lightning.

The One-Track Minder
This gunner means well enough; they just can’t multi-task to save their life – or, more importantly, yours! They have no head for the objective route, and they think every fight is decided by kill-count. While you are flinging your Warthog headlong into enemy territory, the One-Track Minder is still looking behind you at the cover they saw someone take as you left your base. If you grant this shooter access to your rear bumper, you are sure to spend the entire fight shouting “Dead ahead!” or “12 O’Clock LOW!” While not a complete and total failure [see Nerf Gunner above], this gunner refuses to admit that some hostiles can be left for the rest of the team to mop up.

The Fire Fighter
These Gunners are a real pleasure to share a Wathog with, if you have an agenda for hearing loss. Instead of waiting for a valid target, the Fire Fighter runs the gun all day long, as if it were a hose connected to a bottomless pit filled with water. Whether hostiles are in sight, or not, the deafening roar of the turret fills the air. Rather than painting a target of opportunity with some purposeful gunfire, the Fire Fighter seeks instead to paint the town red. If the unceasing thunder of the cannon doesn’t burst your eardrums, the vibrations through the steering column will earn you a crippling case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Give this shooter a ride if you want to suppress the enemy with shock and awe, but prepare to find shell casings in the interior of your Warthog for weeks to come.

This concludes an official report from the Tied the Leader Institute for Combat Excellence. Good Hunting, Pilots!

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 47

  1. #LINK D1111 T1406
    TTL zeuz patter wrote...

    You Señor Deej have nailed it. its been long since I have carried a Bail Gunner, but they sure have made me dead mad, underline the dead. I still remember when I did that to you way long ago, when my waist had no gunbelt yet and my path was one of unrelaible teams.

  2. #LINK D1111 T1500
    deadguy wrote...

    What about the drivers though? Like the leadfoot that never keeps an enemy in range long enough to dispatch them.. Just cruises past at full speed, even though it’s a slayer match, and THIS enemy is just as viable a target as the one that MIGHT be up around the bend.

    Or the one that drives you directly into crossfire hell, and then slows to a crawl to “allow you to shoot in all directions and kill a lot of people”... thanks, but I could have stayed on foot for that kinda’ behavior.

    It’s nice when they creep while behind cover to let you get some quality alone-time with your shields. As a gunner, you are target number one.. if the driver’s shields are at 75%, the gunner is already dead.. (grenade damage being the exception to that.. drivers take the lionshare of grenade damage).

    It’s always good to duck around a corner every so often.

    Another driver type is the old school fun loving Halo 2 driver that just LOVED the gag where you get your hog loaded-up and then drive over the nearest cliff… Comes back laughing, saying he won’t do it again.. he just wanted to do that once, and then over you go again.

    I love the drivers that have that little bit of extra luck, and know how to use it. They drive over obstacles and snake along ledges that the warthog shouldn’t really be able to get to, but that doesn’t stop them one bit.

    Only problem is.. as the gunner, you’re liable to be required to get the flag because he never gives people more than two seconds to load up.

    Also, there are the drivers that go for the impossible base penetration with the hog and then bail out to get the flag themselves while you cover them. There’s no “I” in team, but there’s a “Me” in there, and this driver drives that point home.

    This can either work really well, with the element of surprise, or you get dropped-off too close to a ledge that prevents you from doing more than alerting the enemy that you’re there… That rarely ends well, though there are times the enemy will hop in and drive away with you. That’s fun when he drives you to his own people, not as funny when you get taken back to your base.

    All in all? I’d rather have a bad gunner than a bad driver, any day.

  3. #LINK D1111 T1510
    TTL Chicka wrote...

    love it Deej.

  4. #LINK D1111 T1534
    L0coM0tive wrote...

    Nerf Gunner, reporting for duty!

  5. #LINK D1111 T1542
    killingspree010 wrote...

    1st- there is a link to this page on bungie.net

    2nd- this is great… it’s super accurate, but i agree with deadguy, you need a report on different drivers. btw, i’m a firefighter… lol, but i get my job done!

  6. #LINK D1111 T1543
    gunking99 wrote...

    what i do for the fire fighter is get out and piss off cause they are so annoying.

  7. #LINK D1111 T1605
    XerxdeeJ wrote...

    By popular demand, I will profile the Pilots next week.

  8. #LINK D1111 T1638
    Accursed wrote...

    Beautiful… Couldn’t have been more accurate. And the driver profile will be fun to see. I can smell a montage coming… And if I can get my hands on a capture card soon, I might just make it.

    By the way, you ought to have posted something on the forums; I’ve got a nice video of my least favorite “Bail-Gunner” to submit. ^^


    (url-code-thingy doesn’t work here… T_T)

  9. #LINK D1111 T1646
    Compass wrote...

    Gauss Boss reporting for duty. You’ll usually find me dominating any match on Standoff Heavy, striking off a lucky 1st kill within the second I get on the turret (silly enemies jumping up to the top of their base are easy pickings).

  10. #LINK D1111 T1647
    Ice Devil 13 wrote...

    Dead-Eye Gunner reporting for duty sir!. Have Turret will travel. No matter the vehicle I AM ONE WITH THE TURRET.

    #1 Ranked Hog & Gauss Hog Turret…and oh so many others. =)

  11. #LINK D1111 T1658
    Randome wrote...

    I used to drive the hog ALOT and my friend and i were unstopable im the lucky drive and hes the dead-eye and the boss. i think my highest wheelman in one game was like 70 :)

  12. #LINK D1111 T1749
    Burnt Goldfish wrote...

    The firefighter is just constantly shooting to keep the rate of fire up, usually. Its important to have that turret going on all gears to make the difference between a kill, an assist, or a death

  13. #LINK D1111 T1750
    CurrentTactix wrote...

    Sometimes the Dead-Eye is also the Fire Fighter.

    If you don’t keep that barrel spinning you might just end up with no kills, a dead gunner and a warthog with “some assembly required.”

    That’s why I’m a Fire Fighter… and Dead Eye!

  14. #LINK D1111 T1756
    WillyPete H3WM wrote...

    While a comprehensive guide to all things “Gunner”, I would like to suggest one type I feel you might have missed.

    The Back-Seat Gunner.

    The wondrous death-dealer that, regardless of what is being transmitted across the com channels, this one feels the need to tell you where to go, when to turn, and has lost the ability to verbally translate anything aside from negative feedback on your driving prowess.

    Many a time I have taught this fool a lesson by bailing on him (as painful as it might be to watch the oncoming destruction) and grin as the expletives and degrading remarks spew forth from his bullet-riddled corpse.

    Just a thought…

  15. #LINK D1111 T1808
    G3neralTsoChx wrote...

    OMG was that the most in-depth and hilarious look at the tail gunner ever. I’m the talented driver type myself, and I am really looking 4ward to ur Driver analysis next week…

  16. #LINK D1111 T1810
    John wrote...

    As a driver and a gunner, I can’t stand the Fire Fighter. I always run quiet when there’s no sign of danger. If you have good battlefield awareness and/or good communication with the driver, you can be ready for every threat by warming up the gun a few seconds in advance.

    By firing all the time you make the hog a highly visible (and audible) target. The hog is always at the forefront of the enemy’s mind, and they always know when you’re approaching. You drown out clues as to where the enemy is. You let any hidden enemies know which way you’re facing. It’s good to take a breather and run silent when you’ve cleared out an area. Heal up, let your driver flank the enemy and get the jump on them.

  17. #LINK D1111 T1900
    Shlugendah wrote...

    Nice write up, Deej! I hate bail out gunners, and agree that the gunner should go down with the hog. Hold hands and remember the good times!

  18. #LINK D1111 T1901
    ttl ranger wrote...

    I’m an absolute nerf gunner. When a nearby hog is honking for a gunner, I walk as slowly as I can toward the turret hoping someone else will respawn closer.

  19. #LINK D1111 T1905
    Dr.Buffy wrote...

    haha, i usually keep the gun running in short bursts to keep the fire rate up.

  20. #LINK D1111 T1917
    Newt wrote...

    My driver absolutely hates the Fire Fighter. From my point of view as a gunner, running the gun all the time severely limits your ability to respond to new targets. Yes, the turret takes some time to start up, but with the gun running, you lose all auditory clues to your surroundings, and more importantly—the driver is unable to assess whether you actually have a target.

    My driver knows to realign the hog as soon as I start shooting, because he can trust that there will always be an enemy at the other end of my line of fire.

    He also has perfected this ability to spin to a stop when picking me up, so that the hog whips around in a 180 and the turret is right in front of me. So when he’s picking me up, I just have to hold RB and wait.

    I think there’s something to be said for target priority, too. A Dead Eye won’t do much good if he can’t assess the greatest risk to the hog and take that enemy out first.

    I wish the Gauss would show up in matchmaking more often. I was a Gauss Boss in H2, but I haven’t had enough time with it in H3 to re-hone my skills.

  21. #LINK D1111 T1918
    MILELONG MARINE wrote...


  22. #LINK D1111 T1931
    bigheff26 wrote...

    Wow that was an awesome look into the different types of gunners out there. As for me im a dead eye and make people wish they had gone outside for fresh air instead of pressing that big shiny X on their controller!!

    However alot of my success is definetly thanks to my roommate driver. He has the uncanny ability to keep us alive and shooting. I cant wait for the driver analysis!!!

  23. #LINK D1111 T1940
    Caileigh wrote...

    Just the other day I got a nice 30 kills without dying on Standoff, oh how I loved it, my first perfection, I’m pretty sure the other team was pissed but hell it was sooo worth it!
    Only on a social match will I ever be caught riding in a warthog.

  24. #LINK D1111 T2134
    Ragingterror wrote...

    Excellent analysis Deej.

    I do love me some chain-gunning, gauss-slaying action. Dead-Eyes FTW.

  25. #LINK D1111 T2155
    SGT Conley wrote...

    The gunner plays security as the driver dodges explosive situations. The driver is what keeps the gunner alive. All too many times I find myself regretting getting in the hog at all because the driver finds it smart to stop in front of a rocketeer! I’m a fire fighter and a MAC sniper, all the way through

  26. #LINK D1111 T2213
    compoo wrote...

    your wrong about the firefighter see the chaingun takes an instance to startup so if you keep it constantly shooting youll be ready and it works our clan rules with the hog in teamslayer as one members constantly fireing and the other one trying to make smart turns so as to not slow our warthog or to make tacticaly deaf turns that in turn flips your warthog! you also should shoot the gunner of the oppossing warthog then the driver as to stop the barage, this stratery leads to perections all the time!

  27. #LINK D1111 T2257
    Supertrek32 wrote...

    I like your analysis of gunners, though I prefer having a “Fire Fighter.” The hog turret takes time to warm up. If that guns not rev’d up, I’m gonna bite your head off.

    Yes, there are times for stealth, but they’re few and far between. Not hard to say “Stop shooting for a sec.”

  28. #LINK D1112 T0229

    You firefighters are so silly. I haven’t seen it mentioned that you can turn the gun faster when you’re NOT firing, seems kind of an important thing. Plus, the gun takes about a second and a half to spin up. Anyone with even a basic clue understands there’s times to shoot and times not to. Can’t say how many times my driver has snuck us up to the flank of a totally unaware batch of fresh meat.

  29. #LINK D1112 T0347
    olanmills wrote...

    You forgot to mention that the Fire Fighter signals your incoming to the enemy long before you round the corner…

  30. #LINK D1112 T0637
    LouieBlack wrote...

    Oh yeah, this hits it DEAD ON! Awsome writeup! I’m really looking forward to the pilot’s breakdown. Wanna know how I “messure up”
    again GREAT STUFF!

  31. #LINK D1112 T0748
    MasterCheifn wrote...

    I have to admit, I’m a fire fighter. I like the keep that gun spinning until I see a target.

  32. #LINK D1112 T0905
    SYN Aurora wrote...

    Oh yeah.. on the money… I’m looking forward to seeing your write-up on the pilots now. I fancy myself a bit of a hog driver, and I can’t wait to see which category I fall under. ;)

  33. #LINK D1112 T0948
    Fallen Jypcee wrote...

    Fabulous!!! 2 thumbs up! 5 Stars! I find myself a combination of a few of them. Like the Nerf Gunner! I have my days where my bullets are bouncing around like rubber balls instead of penetrating the armor of my enemy. However, you will often still see me at the turret when my driver has died, I will clear the area drive the hog back to him/her and we are once again off to have fun wreaking hog havoc!

  34. #LINK D1112 T1009
    Plague wrote...

    I’m a nerfgunner ted, can you milk me?

  35. #LINK D1112 T1144
    xiProj3ctP3T3ix wrote...

    I’m a good driver and hate fire fighters… your just asking to run into a power drainer when you telegraph your whereabouts… im also good at splatering in the heat of the battle…. im also a dead-eye gunner! but hate when the driver sucks!

  36. #LINK D1112 T1225
    AddiCt3d 2CHa0s wrote...

    Good stuff! Can’t wait to hear about the Drivers.

    Enjoying driving as well as gunning, I have to say I’ve appreciated a good driver more times than my gunner: if you can’t get a shot or stay alive long enough to kill anything, it’s a sneeze that never comes ;p

  37. #LINK D1112 T1456
    Eisen Feuer wrote...

    Deej you know you where born to be my tail gunner—just admit it.

  38. #LINK D1112 T1514
    Chris wrote...

    Hahaha, nice post. This was a funny article.

  39. #LINK D1112 T1821
    Dean wrote...

    Gauss boss my friend. I see them, they eat high velocity particles.

  40. #LINK D1112 T1855
    Da3m0n 0m3gA wrote...

    I find my self to be a cross between the firefighter and dead eye as i usually let loose a long, accurate burst hoping that it hits my intended target and not a friendly (i seem to have the strange misfortune of having friendlies randomly pop up in front of my gunsights). The only person that i’m happy is a bail-gunner is my younger bro. Only cuz he’s good at sniping.

  41. #LINK D1112 T1859
    woodydeadwood wrote...

    What about driver profiling? (just a thought) I don’t mean how they drive though, that’s too easy. I mean how they interact with their gunner and how a person might capitalize. I have observed a few common types I believe.
    Mobile Commando: It’s a two man recon effort that doesn’t Always keep the driver in the hot seat. Gunner must stay alert
    Cover Fire Master: Gives you the perfect strafe AND knows when to flip the hog around to take few shots himself so you don’t die.
    Rally Racer: Precision driving, fast cornering. This guy keeps you on target while they keep coming up empty sighted.

  42. #LINK D1112 T2046
    JadedTarget wrote...

    Well, I am not a trained gunner nor driver but I probably do drive better than I gun. I’m a combination of the Dead Eye and Firefighter. But I also practice being a Bail Gunner because the drivers I get stuck with can’t tell the difference between soil and air. Especially on Stand off.

    I tend to have a One Track Mind too because when I get a good driver, we know how to roll and things that need to die, freaking die. What sucks is the lack of communication, though. Hog crews need to really give each other a heads up at least ONCE. People are just mute these days.

    I guess Jaded Gunner works in this case. A combination of all gunner types, just a regular manning the .50 cal.

    Take note: I can’t snipe, nor use the laser, so I’m naturally not the right kind of guy to ride shotgun on the Gauss.

  43. #LINK D1112 T2307
    Quantifier wrote...

    Great stuff DeeJ! As much as I hate to admit it, i tend to fall somewhere between a Nerf Gunner and a One Track Minder, but i’m working on it!

    And i’d like to think i’m a better driver, so will be a kick to see what the driver profiles are.

  44. #LINK D1113 T0921
    Santa Claus 365 wrote...

    I’m totally a nerf firefighter.

    But that’s ok, because I’m always the driver, since I’m that lucky guy who can drive on two wheels and still go where I want to. :D

  45. #LINK D1113 T1331
    somewhat wrote...

    My regular gunner is a dead eye / gauss boss, and I require that any of my gunners be firefighters. I can’t stand driving up on an enemy only to let them get the drop on us because my gunners trigger finger was a tad slow.

  46. #LINK D1114 T1848
    Chimerea wrote...


    Best description of the gunning brand of halo players ever.

  47. #LINK D1213 T1306
    Venus wrote...

    This is awesome Deej. One thing I believe is I NEVER leave my Hog and if I do it is for one reason only..my driver dies and I want to bring it back home for him/her to respawn.
    As far as firing…I try to keep it quiet to sneak up on enemies so I dont fire the entire time on the hog. But if there are enemies near my teammates across the map I will fire constantly to bring their shields down for them to finish off. But I do like to sneak up on enemies. It makes me smile. :-) Kind of like “Peekaboo!”

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