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Spartan Vs Assault Ram


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#1
RoadRunna

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I can't make up my mind about which of these to get....  Most people seem to run the Spartan but in the few games that I have seen the Ram seems to perform very well in delivering units into an enemy's line. Both start off at the same points value but the Spartan generally gets flareshield and other upgrades that the Ram doesn't need.

 

I guess that the main difference is that with the Spartan it starts on the board whereas you have to wait for your Ram to turn up?

 

For those of you that run Rams tell me why this is the better option.  Thanks



#2
Nomadic Thunder

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I don’t own either model but I’d say for the interest of variation go for the assault ram.
I’ve heard, read and seen people become bored of the spartan dynamic. Because it is....boring. It does the job well but really It’s just a big brick that trundles forward to deliver its payload. Has some decent anti-tank firepower but if your opponent knows one is coming it’s guna die fairly quickly often to graviton fire or a lightning. Boring. A to B box ticking kind of play.

If you can improve your own reserve rolls or have a legion trait (sons of Horus for example) or rite of war which help reserves come in then I think the Ram can be a great follow up strike as long as the rest of your army can achieve its objectives and hold its own before the contents of said assault ram are delivered to the field and rip a swathe through the enemy in a cinematic “death from above” kind of way.

It’s a much cooler and inspiring model in my opinion and as an av13 flyer, really rather resilient. Plus once you’ve dropped off your cargo and end up jinking heavy firepower you can shout “full ahead, ramming speed!” And proceed to ram other enemy vehicles. Great fun!!

#3
Mogsam

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I have a ram and a spartan and hands down, the spartan is better.

It starts on the board, so you can get that turn 2 charge off, it's a pain in the arse to kill without a lightning from the front and here's the real best bit - it's a dedicated transport.

The ram may not turn up till turn 4, you can't charge the turn it does and it can be shot out the sky relatively easily due to its low AV. Plus its a heavy slot and you have to spend another slot to fill it. Its expensive fast.

That said, what unit do I take more? Assault ram hands down. Its a flying spartan, it looks awesome and has a massive melta on it. If they make you jink, ram the buggers.

That said, you should decide what it's purpose is. If you use it to capture last turn objectives with a tough unit, it's great. But if you're taking it to win combats, you're gonna be sad.
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#4
Lord Krungharr

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Would having a Damocles Rhino and Perturabo in the army help out the Caestus Ram?  Of course that's like half of the army right there.  I'm thinking of making or getting the Spartan though, as flyers just aren't my thing.  And it will be easier to use the Lord of Skulls kit for that than a Caestus :D



#5
Mogsam

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Any reserve manipulation helps with fliers, but doesn't remove their main weaknesses.

In heresy, you mostly get 5 turn games. An assault rams best possible charge turn for the unit inside is turn 3, assuming you pass a 66% dive roll to bring it in.

You're not going to be able to use that terminator squad in it for 40% of the game at best. A spartan is on the board turn 1 with effectively AV15 from the front.

If you're using it as a transport, the spartan is better. If you just want a flying ram with a large blast melta that can kill entire squads in one go, go ram.
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#6
Eternal Despair

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Any reserve manipulation helps with fliers, but doesn't remove their main weaknesses.

In heresy, you mostly get 5 turn games. An assault rams best possible charge turn for the unit inside is turn 3, assuming you pass a 66% dive roll to bring it in.

You're not going to be able to use that terminator squad in it for 40% of the game at best. A spartan is on the board turn 1 with effectively AV15 from the front.

If you're using it as a transport, the spartan is better. If you just want a flying ram with a large blast melta that can kill entire squads in one go, go ram.

 

 

While normally true, Perty has a rule that lets his unit roll for reserves from turn one, which means there’s a chance of it rocking up turn one, However I do still agree with you that if you want the better transport take the spartan, if you want the more unique option then take the ram 


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#7
The Ironic Warrior

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The debate between Spartan and Caestus is certainly a regular one, and a very difficult one to decide on so I totally understand and appreciate the desire for clear answers. I have broken down my opinion into the information below, which is built from my experience, rules analysis and general feedback from talking to others about it. It isn't gospel, nor is it unfounded, but it is opinion so take it with a pinch of salt; contents may differ from those on the package and your mileage may vary from the floor model...

 

Spartan

 

Pros

  • AV14 with 5HP means the Spartan is going to be tough to shift, especially if you take the frankly auto-include holy trinity of Dozer Blade, Ceramite and Flare Shield (If you don't take these then you shouldn't really be using a Spartan, stick to a Land Raider instead).
  • 2x Quad Lascannons kick out a decent amount of firepower with great range, and the twin-linking makes them very reliable for dealing with irritating vehicles, yolo-shooting at fliers fishing for those 6's to hit or killing lone HQ choices who decide to cause problems for you (like Moritats and the like).
  • Fairly good speed if you sacrifice shooting; 18" of movement a turn assuming no immobilization occurs when blitzing through walls and stuff is very good and can get you into prime position by the end of your 2nd movement phase and ready for a good charge if you do it right.
  • When this thing dies, everything inside has a strong chance of surviving as you don't have to recreate that scene from World War Z and engage full Brad Pitt mode to survive the oncoming crash. Spartans just fall apart gracefully and quietly and let you emerge from the wreck in true badass fashion.
  • Getting hold of a Spartan is ezpz - you just go onto Forgeworld, hand over a bag of money and they send you a brick in return. Neat. 

 

Cons

  • First turn alpha strike can delete a Spartan very easily, as Peltasts/Hoplites in Termites or Machine-killer Veterans in pods exist and can deal with a Spartan fairly easily (Peltasts just delete Spartans whereas MC vets need a bit more luck to obliterate one)
  • Spartans are vulnerable to immobilized or stunned results early, and given the 5-turn argument, any turn where it can't move is a real blow to where it can end up in some games. This also applies to unfortunate luck with Difficult Terrain, but Dozer Blades or the right Legion/RoW can mitigate that somewhat.
  • It's really easy to box a Spartan in, as they are quite big so deploying units to minimise its movement is really key. I've seen people do drop lists where they bring down 2 or 3 tactical squads purely to box the Spartan and stop people getting out of it, as the access points are easy to wall-off and you can't disembark if you tank shock your way through the rabble.
  • Everyone runs a Spartan with a deathstar unit in it. Seriously you can almost set your watch with how many you see at events ferrying a Primarch into battle. Don't be one of the herd, be your own special snowflake and run a Primarch in a Land Raider, or a Mastodon, or even a Stormlord if you're feeling fruity. I respect the player who swings a Kharybdis out with a Primarch in, they've paid the iron price for building that thing and most likely have enough of their blood in that model to call it a relative...

Caestus

 

Pros

  • Hard to hit, Jink, Invulnerable save on the front arc and decent AV/HP's for a flier makes this thing surprisingly resilient when in zooming mode. Only the toughest of AA options will threaten this monster when it arrives.
  • Infinitely faster than the Spartan, and can go from one deployment zone to the other in a single turn if it turbo-boosts in the shooting phase rather than firing. Outflanking this or deep striking is a real boon to it as well, giving you lots of options and flexibility.
  • Onboard weaponry is crazy good, a large blast (albeit short-ranged) melta cannon means that you can either go tank hunting with this thing, or (my personal favourite) delete entire units of terminators if you get a good set of rolls. The option for 2 krak missile launchers is really nice as well for supplementing any tank hunting roles you want this thing to do.
  • Machine Spirit is infinitely more useful on the Caestus than the Spartan, as being able to do constant barrel rolls while firing your melta cannon is not only comical, but very effective. Jink all the time unless you really really need to fire those 2 krak missile shots into something as well. On the occasions where you don't jink, fire the missiles at an unlucky rhino and the melta cannon at an even unluckier terminator unit in front of you.

 

Cons

  • Late-game arrival is quite common, unless you're playing a Legion like Sons of Horus (with the reserves bonuses) or have a Damocles on standby.
  • Lower AV than the Spartan means something like a Deredeo can turn you inside out if you roll badly, but to be honest you still shouldn't be mortally afraid; a 4+ jink or 5++ on the front can still do a lot to save your bacon.
  • When you crash in zooming mode, everything inside suffers critical existence failure, as having to tank S10 AP2 hits on each model is really punishing as you'll more often than not have an expensive terminator unit in there so every loss will suck.
  • Good luck getting a model for this unless you have a very generous friend (Josh you're a lifesaver if you're reading this), or have a kidney to spare to go hunting on eBay or you simply wish to embrace the skills from the East and go to a recaster for one. 
  • Primarchs are not allowed onboard; they are too tall to ride. The only exception is Alpharius because he can pretend to be one of the boys and ride shotgun. This needs addressing by Forgeworld (particularly for the Primarchs in Artificer armour).

Conclusion

In my personal opinion, the Caestus is the winner in terms of flexibility and application, but I'm a Sons of Horus player who likes using sneaky outflank and "engage on all fronts" style of play so that may affect my opinion. I'm also in the lucky position of owning 2 good-condition and legit Caestus'/Caestii and not owning a single Spartan so I guess that says more about my style of play than any of my opinions ever could...

 

I hope my summary helps when making your decision on what to field, they're both solid units with upsides and downsides and it really depends on your meta, what army you run and what you want to field. Happy hunting! 


Edited by The Ironic Warrior, 06 April 2021 - 10:30 AM.

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#8
Cadmus Tyro

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What about a Kharbydis.....?
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Alpha legion and Iron hands work in progress:

http://www.bolterand...legion-wip-log/


Blackshield/World eaters log:

http://www.bolterand...omega-complete/

#9
Eternal Despair

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Superior to both however outside the specific scope of the question 


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#10
Cadmus Tyro

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Debatable, superior to the ram for certain.

Sometimes it’s good to think outside the scope of the question...;)
Alpha legion and Iron hands work in progress:

http://www.bolterand...legion-wip-log/


Blackshield/World eaters log:

http://www.bolterand...omega-complete/

#11
Eternal Despair

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Fair point, generally my choice between a spartan or a kharybdis comes down to the theme of my list, but if either would suit then it comes down to whether or not I need the extra 5 transport capacity. At least locally there isn't much skyfire and/or interceptor weaponry, between that and jink kharybdis are durable enough, more often or not, to survive a round of shooting until the unit gets out. As for the transport capacity locally,we don't see many terminator units above 5 guys unless they are siege tyrants so the extra 5 capacity while nice isn't used that often. though the lists I do run with full terminator squads are almost exclusively for my Iron hands tank company or armoured column in which case the spartan is the more thematic choice for me.

 

So to sum it up, whatever fits the theme of my list the most, but if I had to pick the "better" one 9 times out of 10 at least locally its the kharybdis as most lists are geared towards killing spartans rather than a flying drop pod 


 


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#12
SkimaskMohawk

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For the ultimate transport I'd have to argue the big K takes it. You have the advantages of turn 1 arrival and flat out to be in position for your turn 2 transition to skimmer and unloading your death squad. It also has pretty decent light vehicle guns and can split fire, for a cheap price. Downside is two of those guns are usually unable to fire, and unlike the Spartan it isn't dedicated in most cases.

If there's a lot of stuff to burn down spartans then the assault ram would tend to be better (if you're jamming in 10 man squads).
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#13
RoadRunna

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For the ultimate transport I'd have to argue the big K takes it. You have the advantages of turn 1 arrival and flat out to be in position for your turn 2 transition to skimmer and unloading your death squad. It also has pretty decent light vehicle guns and can split fire, for a cheap price. Downside is two of those guns are usually unable to fire, and unlike the Spartan it isn't dedicated in most cases.

If there's a lot of stuff to burn down spartans then the assault ram would tend to be better (if you're jamming in 10 man squads).

 

If you want to include the K in a discussion then you also need to throw in the StormEagle as it too can carry 20... 



#14
Gorgoff

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For the ultimate transport I'd have to argue the big K takes it. You have the advantages of turn 1 arrival and flat out to be in position for your turn 2 transition to skimmer and unloading your death squad. It also has pretty decent light vehicle guns and can split fire, for a cheap price. Downside is two of those guns are usually unable to fire, and unlike the Spartan it isn't dedicated in most cases.

If there's a lot of stuff to burn down spartans then the assault ram would tend to be better (if you're jamming in 10 man squads).

 

If you want to include the K in a discussion then you also need to throw in the StormEagle as it too can carry 20... 

 

Can't arrive turn one except Perturabo says so. ;)


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#15
SkimaskMohawk

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For the ultimate transport I'd have to argue the big K takes it. You have the advantages of turn 1 arrival and flat out to be in position for your turn 2 transition to skimmer and unloading your death squad. It also has pretty decent light vehicle guns and can split fire, for a cheap price. Downside is two of those guns are usually unable to fire, and unlike the Spartan it isn't dedicated in most cases.

If there's a lot of stuff to burn down spartans then the assault ram would tend to be better (if you're jamming in 10 man squads).


If you want to include the K in a discussion then you also need to throw in the StormEagle as it too can carry 20...

Not really, the steagle only enters the conversation when you're doing full aircav. It's beaten in every way by the other flyer transports that can come in turn 1.

#16
The Ironic Warrior

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For the ultimate transport I'd have to argue the big K takes it. You have the advantages of turn 1 arrival and flat out to be in position for your turn 2 transition to skimmer and unloading your death squad. It also has pretty decent light vehicle guns and can split fire, for a cheap price. Downside is two of those guns are usually unable to fire, and unlike the Spartan it isn't dedicated in most cases.

If there's a lot of stuff to burn down spartans then the assault ram would tend to be better (if you're jamming in 10 man squads).

 

You can't flat out the turn you arrive via deep strike don't forget for flyers


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#17
Eternal Despair

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only if they deep strike as a zooming flyer, if they deep strike as a skimmer they can so its a trade off on being hard to hit or getting a flat out move to help reposition 


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#18
SkimaskMohawk

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Yea basically if there's stuff that can punch through cover like a sicaran or caladius you want to come in as a flyer relatively close to the enemy as you cant be charged. If not (or if there's a bunch of mortises), you can come in as a skimmer further out and preposition with the flat out and use jink to mitigate damage.




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