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Does the UNSC need Spartans?

OP total war1402

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Spartans regardless of generation are the sword and shield of humanity.

Contrary to Musa's belief that Spartans should be seen as heroes, Spartans are made out to be weapons. Once a human is augmented, their is no going back and you could say that their humanity is being thrown away. Spartan IV's may be human volunteers, but as stated just a moment ago, they can never go back to be an average human until humanity on a whole accepts augmentations.
Yes. To achieve parity with known combatant factions, the SPARTAN program still represents the finest warfighting force humanity has fielded, against the Covenant, Forerunners, and even the Flood. Even in intraspecies hostilities, SPARTANs unbeaten combat record and training make them a viable and vital force.
Speed is also an overlooked factor of Spartans - Lone Wolf elicits how Linda can diligently avoid every single pellet from an 8-gauge shotgun at near point-blank range, disarm 5 trained settlers before they can fire a single round at one another, and catch up to speeding Ghosts.

This is further given light in Legacy of Onyx, where Tom-B292 is described as running "Faster than a Warthog", as well as how John paired with Cortana was capable of outrunning the brunt of a napalm grenade's blast radius (Which exceeds speeds of 110KPH by modern standards) in Halo: The Fall of Reach. The aforementioned scene also has John slap aside air-to-ground Scorpion Missile, which again, with some modern examples can achieve velocities faster than the speed of sound.

Hell, in John's first time donning the Mjolnir, his arm motion was effectively imperceptible to even his unarmoured, super-humanly quick Spartan teammates.

Once you consider the acceleration of said speeds they can muster, then you could notice Spartans like John in Palace Hotel disintegrating the concrete pavement beneath him after crossing a 10-meter distance in "barely half a second". Said acceleration achieved with this feat is sufficient to kill most humans from the change in velocity alone.
So I've been reading quite a few replies stating that the only reason Elites are winning is due to numbers on the ground. And that is absolutely correct. Halo uses similar "lore balancing" to that of Starwars between the two main factions.

The UNSC Is beyond capable of holding their own against the Covenant Ground forces. Most Marines are more skilled, disciplined then the Covenant Grunt or Jackal. Combine that with a complete arsenal of projectile hand weapons that (with a few minor exceptions), can't be traced visually by the enemy as well as a more straight forward armored division and you got yourself a winning team.

The point where the UNSC start losing is in both Intimidation factor, and Air Superiority (Space Superiority). Mac cannons CAN be effective, but it generally takes multiple shots by the smaller frigates to puncture the ships hull and shields, larger Mac Cannons like the Pillar of Autumn had were actually pretty rare, to top off and to quote Halo 3 Quote "They Outnumber us 3 to 1"

The Intimidation factor comes in when you got Hunters, Brutes charging in the front lines. Both are HUGE compared to a standard human, and then you have the Elites, which are also quite large compared to marines. While size doesnt mean much in our gameplay experience, imagine yourself as a UNSC Space Marine, who has been fighting Rebel Soldiers your entire life to then suddenly come across the alien forms of the Elites, Grunts, Brutes and then Massive Hunters. I dont care what kind of training you have, you are prob going to have a moment of pause. And that is another reason why Covenent won a lot of early ground engagements such as the initial takeover of Harvest.

Spartan's equally level the playing field then when they show up, adding a Moral boost to the UNSC Marine forces, as they are equally intimadating as elites, brutes and to a lesser degree , Hunters. Hunters can still be a massive threat even to Spartans, and this is expressed through gameplay. (At least until you learn 1 shot from a pistol can somehow kill one in Halo CE) But then, this can also be expressed as "Spartans are skilled, and trained to learn weakspots in the enemy and to exploit it" More lore expressed through gameplay.

So do I belive the UNSC "NEED" spartans, on the ground, in general "EVEN" engagements? No. The UNSC is fine without them. When it comes to the Flood, and Coveneant Numbers, and now with the "Promethean's" spartans just have it in spades over them. This isn't to say they are godly, but they are just THAT much more capable, and there are only a few Covenant races that can equal the spartans in their strength.

Halo Wars shows what the difference between Spartans and Marines are.

Yes, A single marine can take on a single Elite, and it almost took everything that marine had to win. (Sgt Forge VS Arbiter), but 3 Spartans can take on a entire arrmy of elites...without breaking much of a sweat.
I am not exactly sure how or why Spartans are so effective.

Firepower - A Spartan has no more fire power than can be given to any UNSC Marine. They use exactly the same guns.

Protection - A Spartans energy shield offer a fraction of a second of protection from small arms fire in gameplay. In lore I think this is even less since an Elites shield only protect from 3 bullets. (Incidentally what exactly is the point of those shields if they only protect you from three bullets?)

Mobility - Spartans are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

So basically the Spartans only really exceed in the final category. Which is pretty much reflected in the books and in the games. If you just try to wade through enemies like a Space Marine from 40k even Grunts can and would kill you. The vast bulk of fighting relies on you quickly and efficiently taking down the enemy before they can respond with accurate fire and rapid movements. In the books, even the Spartan 2's get injured and killed by mundane weapons like Plasma Pistols and Plasma Rifles. This suggests that their armour and shields are mostly ineffective.

Incidentally, if you compare this to the advantages of a Space Marine:

Firepower - Armed with a boltgun that is vastly superior to a lasgun in every single way.
Protection - Power Armor that makes the wielder immune to most smallarms with solid protection even against heavy weapons.
Mobility - Marines are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

Basically Spartans are a problem because the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to hit them. But they don't actually provide an increase in firepower or protection.

So why exactly does the UNSC invest huge amounts of money and material in this project if one Spartan is essentially just another Assault Rifle? You could probably train and equip a division of ODST's instead of one Spartan; they killed the same amount of Covenant in Halo: ODST as the Chief. So unless you argue the entire game wasn't canon, then Spartans are a bit of a waste of money.
I see where you are coming from, and to an extent I've also been thinking about this.
The thing with spartans isn't just how much damage they can put out, but what kind of operations can they pull of, how reliably and at what rate, both in success and frequency.
A highly classified operation, take First Strike or Red Flag, for example, has many requirements:
1. Minimum unprofessional motivations. Meaning no family etc which could compromise units efficiency... Spartans where kidnapped as children.
2. Has to know more about warfare than just how to point and shoot, extensive knowledge of tactics fighting on land, sea, air, space and in both non gravity and heavy gravity enviroments.
3. Spartans have to actually get to places which are restricted in ways no mere strenght can get through. This is where the AI step in.
4. The augmentations on top of extecive training since childhood... And a super armor on top of this... You can find every single detail about these with a bit of research in more detail than I'd ever be able to muster in 7500 words...

At the end of the day it does't just come down to how good one kills... it comes down to how much tactical value can be achieved with an asset. This manifests for example in high risk missions such as First Strike and in more indirect effects, such as in morale boost.

Hope this answers your questons.
Yes Spartans are needed in the UNSC because there built for the Job no questions asked.
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