And yet, its true the covenant plasma weapons are not the same as warhammer 40K weapons. Temperature for one. Compare plasma weapon overheating to warhammer 40K plasma weapon overheating. One doesn't do anything. Doesn't even harm the shields. The other has the possibility of injuring or killing the wielder. Put it into a spartans hands. He would be annihilated by the overheating plasma gun from warhammer. A charged shot from a plasma pistol only damages shields of a spartan. Put him up against a suit of power armor. It would melt the portion it hit, but it wouldn't do anything to the skin underneat. Charged shot from a warhammer plasma weapon. It can go through tank armor. Adamantium armor (harder than the armor they use in halo) A plasma weapon from halo would not be able to achieve that. It would melt the portion slightly. That is about it.
Space Marines can survive wounds that would kill a spartan several times over. That is how much more augmented they are. A spartan can lose a limb, but he'd be in shock (evidence from Fall of Reach). A Space Marine can lose an arm and continue fighting. He could lose a leg and keep fighting. He can lose a heart and keep fighting, because he has a second there to pick up the slack. I'd like to see a spartan come close to this. Space Marine wounds clot almost instantly. Not a spartans wounds.
Really the only fundamental problem that hampers these comparisons is the fact that they are from two different universes. One is set further in the future than the other. The thing that makes these two comparisons so prevalent is the fact that they are both augmented super warriors. They both have plenty of fluff behind them to easily make these comparisons. By mere fluff alone we can see who is better. Gameplay isn't a basis to say who is better. Besides, those of us who support the Space Marines can cite Space Marine the game as proof to the contrary.
We all know that actual named, important characters like gaunt are uber badasses with much experience fighting on the front lines. Hell, if you make it that long as a guardsmen, then you'd definitely be a defined bad ass. It'd be no surprise if they could take out a squad of chaos marines.
I disagree that spartans are better. They are not. You can believe what you want though. Its your opinion after all.
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R.I.P. Uncle Lee. You will be greatly missed by us all. We will see each other again some day.
Remember kids: Violence isn't the answer, its the question. The answer is yes.