-Firepower — With TLed Heavy Bolters, PotMS, and the option to add extra weapons like a Storm Bolter, the Spartan Mirrors the basic Land Raider in many ways. However, whereas the basic Land Raider has 2 x TLed Lascannons, the Spartan sports 2 x Quad Lascannons (i.e. 2 shot, TLed Lascannons), giving it basically DOUBLE the heavy firepower of the Land Raider. Whether shooting at other tanks, infantry, or even Monstrous Creatures, the Spartan’s ability to move and still put out 4 Lascannon shots a turn (at two different targets, due to PotMS) makes it the equivelant of an entire Devastator squad with the Relentless USR. I think one of the best ways to think of the Spartan’s shooting is like a 4 shot, slightly less accurate Vindicare Assassin… what models (or model) do you want to inflict 3-4 wounds on each turn… point the Spartan at it and plink those wounds (or HPs) off.
-Transport — Not much needs to be said here. The Spartan can carry 25 models… that is more than almost any unit can field, even with attached ICs. Even a full squad of 10 Terminators can embark and still have room for 5 more ICs to attach. Alternately, you can load a full 6 man squad of Centurions and still have 7 “seats” available in the Spartan. Add to this the Assault Vehicle Rule and you have one of the most capable assault transports in the game.
-Protection/Mobility — Despite its size, the Spartan is not a Heavy vehicle, meaning it can still move 12″ normally and go Flat Out another 6″, which is quite an advantage if you are looking to set up a turn 2 charge (i.e. move 18″ turn 1, turn 2 move 6″, disembark squad 6″, then assault another 2D6″ for a total threat range of 32-42″ by turn 2). Protection-wise, the Spartan has 5 HPs (so 1 more than Land Raider variants) which, combined with AV14 all around, makes its quite difficult to glance to death (i.e. S7 and below weapons can’t hurt it and even S8/9 weapons struggle to damage it). Most importanly, the Spartan can take the Armoured Ceramite upgrade, which makes it immune to the extra penetration dice from melta weapons, This cannot be overstated…. basically, Armored Ceramite means that the most common weapon that has a chance of damaging or destroying it is regulated to only glancing, and only on rolls of 6+). What that means is that, outside of rare S10 weapons, about the only things that Spartans truly fear are close combat units with S10 (i.e. most MCs, Dreads, etc.), Haywire weapons, Necron Gauss weapons, Eldar/DE Lance weapons, and of course, D weapons. Even these specialist attacks required concentrated effort to destroy a Spartan, due to its 5 HPs. Outside of Heavy Flyers and Super Heavies, the Spartan with Armored Ceramite is hands down one of the toughest units in the game.
Employment — So, best factions to use the Spartan are:
1 – Space Wolves with Ulrik — His PE bubble applies to to vehicles too, so not only does Ulrik buff all the Wolves riding in the Spartan when they charge, but it also make the Spartan’s shooting against non-vehicle targets even more deadly
2 – Iron Hands with Techmarines/Servitors — IH Chapter Tactics means their Spartans get IWND. Combine with a Techmarine and Servitor squad riding in the Spartan and, short of a very lucky penetrating hit, it will be almost impossible to kill. Oh, by the way, like all vehicles, the Spartan is a scoring unit now, so it can calim objectives all game long and absorb ridiculous levels of firepower while doing it, even without a squad embarked.
3 – Dark Angels with Azrael — Put Azrael inside a Spartan and suddenly, on top of all its other durability features, it has a 4++ save against all attacks, basically doubling its survivability. Combine with a squad of DW Knights who can charge out and unleash Smite mode and you have a true juggernaught.