During the time of Rogue Trader, a number of vehicles with accompanying rules were created. They were designed to be either conversions or kitbashed vehicles that fulfilled a specific role, for example the Space Marine Sabre.
Here is a Heresy era Vehicle. Make of it what you will.Spartan Terminator Transport
Based on an article written by Rick Priestley and originally published in White Dwarf #119.
At the height of the Horus Heresy, the traitor forces launched an invasion of the solar system, with Terra as main their target. Before reaching Terra they had to take both the Moon and Mars, so as not to leave an enemy bastion behind their lines.
But Horus and his forces had another reason for taking Mars, it was home to the Adeptus Mechanicus and their munitions and weapons making facilities, as well as where the main manufactory lines and development labs for Space Marine armour were.
During the campaign for Mars, the traitor forces were able to capture the city of Aries Primus whilst it still lay behind Loyalist lines. Aries Primus was at this time the second city of Mars, and the and the largest single source of war munitions in the Imperium. Only by recapturing this important objective could Terra’s hard pressed forces be fully resupplied, and the necessary production facilities transferred to earth.
There was only one problem, the Ring Of Death. Horus had ordered a defensive plasma ring to be constructed around the city and it was this defence that he called the Ring Of Death. The exact nature of this defensive system is lost to the ages. Even Terminators could not penetrate this defence, so the only way to breach this defence was with Terminators carried by adequate transport. Though apparently the few standard Land Raiders that had survived the first battle for Aries Primus were not quite up to the task.
The engineers of the Space Marines and the AdMech brought to bear their ingenuity and inventiveness to deal with this specific tactical need. So, using what spare parts and production facilities were available, a new group of transports were hastily devised, the foremost of them being the Spartan Land Raider variant, a vehicle mainly built around a Land Raider chassis and parts, but with additional parts from the Rhino. The benefits of the design were that the chassis rode higher than the Land Raiders, Terminators could man the pintle mounted weapons, and it had an enlarged passenger compartment.
Although many died attempting to cross the Ring Of Death, it was eventually penetrated and destroyed, and the city was reclaimed thanks to the devotion and sacrifice of the Terminator suicide squads.
The Spartan design proved so successful that not only was it refined and retained as a standard part of Legion equipment, even into the 41st millennium there are Chapters that have one or more Spartan as part of their vehicle pool, but the lessons of it‘s design process were carried into subsequent models of Land Raider..
The Spartan is a variation of the well known Land Raider. The enlarged passenger and crew space with the open-top main hatch are designed to better accommodate the extra bulk of Space Marines wearing Terminator armour. It’s armament is based on the standard Land Raiders, but with additional hull-mounted secondary weapons that are designed to be operated by Terminators standing in the Spartans extra-large Top-Hatch.
The idea behind a Spartan is to have a Land Raider primarily dedicated to the transportation of Terminators in high-risk combat. The design is such that pintle mounted weapons can be manned by Terminators. The expanded cab may also indicate that the marines manning the controls of the Spartan could also wear Terminator armour. Quite obviously this variant of the Land Raider is meant to carry Terminators through especially tough combat zones that normal Land Raiders would have difficulty with, and that doesn’t even cover any Power Armoured marines it would carry.
It should be noted that when the rules for the Spartan were originally published, the standard Land Raider was the Rogue Trader version which only had the Twin Lascannons as its standard weapons. It could have up to two heavy bolters, but they were optional.
For such a model the additional weapons were a forward facing Heavy Bolter, or Heavy Flamer, and rear facing Boltgun, both with a 360o field of fire. The hull was converted using the central hull of a Rogue Trader Rhino, its boarding ramp and doors of the Top-Hatch, as well as plasticard. The Rhino doors being mounted over the main compartment.
The actual number of passengers it could carry was the same as the standard RT Land Raider, 10 Space Marines or 5 Terminators. The enlarged cabin was to accommodate the passengers whilst the pintle weapons are in use.On the MK II or III the standard weapons are a twin-linked hull-mounted Heavy Bolter with two side sponson mounted twin-linked Lascannons, with the option of having a pintle-mounted Stormbolter.
For a Spartan variant there would at least be an additional Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer or even a Multi-Melta akin to that of the Crusader, and possibly a second Stormbolter if permited by hatch space and background practicability.
Such a conversion would need its central cabin extending, but a Rhinos top-hatch doors would have to be mounted over the main passenger compartment, say forward of the main upper hull displacing the the hull piece that mounts the TL HBs forwards. You could also remove the ‘hinges’ for the upper door of the assault ramp so you can mount the front of a Rhino (inspired by the LR Ares), but you would definitely have to extend the floor of the passenger compartment and add sides to this new front.
This is just a preliminary plan and I have to work more details out, but I think it is feasible. The main question I am currently thinking about is whether to keep the Assault Ramp or have a Rhino front?
For the 4th Edition and Apocalypse especially the actual number of passengers it can carry should be along the same lines as the Land Raider Crusader, 15 Space Marines or 8 Terminators. Such an enlarged cabin could not only accommodate the generators for the twin-linked Lascannons, but also the extra number of passengers.
Edit, 9th Nov 2011:
Leonidas, my 'modern' version of a Land Raider Spartan: This post has been edited by Gagoc TheAncient on Nov 9 2011, 08:20 PM