A Centurion is a Space Marine that has been outfitted with a powered exoskeleton worn over his normal power armor known as a Centurion warsuit, allowing him to assume a heavy ranged fire support or close support attack role between that of a normal Astartes and a Terminator . A Centurion Warsuit allows a Space Marine to charge into battle with the firepower of a main battle tank.
Protected by thick ablative ceramic plates, a Centurion warsuit renders its pilot immune to all but the most powerful weapons. Named after the ancient leaders of the Space Marine Legion, the Centurion warsuit's design was inspired by the Age of Apostasy in the 36th Chapter.
Centurion warsuits are one of the deadliest and most powerful weapons available to the Adeptus Astartes. They are capable of punching holes through fortress walls with obscene force, obliterating enemies with flames, or cutting off any enemy's advancing lines. They are walking tanks with impressive firepower.
With the Assault Centurion's wall-crushing siege drill and the Devastator Centurion's mass-destroying gravity weapons, numerous Chapters' vehicle pools are well-stocked with both variants of these warsuits.
Centurions are brutal but lumbering specialists, typically deployed as linebreakers and besiegers - where haste is less important than endurance. Centurion warsuits are not linked to a battle brother's black mail; They are exoskeletons that augment the already considerable power of Power Armor, transforming a Space Marine into a walking tank without being surgically implanted into a dreadnought's cybernetic chassis.
Battle Brothers learn to pilot Centurions as part of their vehicle training. Centurion Pilots are not chosen from among the elite 1st Company of a Chapter, but are handpicked from among the Chapter's Assault and Devastator brothers. The most common explanation for this is that the role of a Centurion requires a Space Marine to be fully immersed in a particular style of warfare, while the bulky exosuits lack the level of tactical flexibility that the Order's veterans require.
Into the storm of battle march the Assault Centurions, servos howling in their mighty armor, debris crunching under their heavy tread. Clad in their exoskeleton warsuits, these hulking close-support assault specialists are protected from all but the most overwhelming enemy firepower. Even a direct hit from heavy artillery will do little more than stagger a Centurion, and small arms fire pelts like hail from their armored hides.
Centurion Assault Squads excel at storming enemy fortifications and advancing through the ruined and crumbling terrain of a contested city. They eschew long-range weapons entirely, preferring melee weapons and flamethrowers to knock enemies out of cover. Instead of heavy artillery, they wield siege drills—heavy tools of destruction that can quickly reduce a building to rubble, tear a breach in the adamantium-reinforced walls of a fortress, or turn a living enemy into a bloody mass of broken bones.
The Assault Centurions stalk the enemy, raking their foes with bolt grenades and fiery explosions. Barricades are torn down with contemptible ease, and as the enemy's battlements rise, the Centurions' siege drills spring to life. Capable of turning enemy warriors into a blizzard of flesh and blood with a single blow, these weapons can make short work of even the thickest ferrocrete bulwarks. In moments, the Assault Centurions will force a breach and allow their brethren to pour in around them as they stalk like conquering kings into the heart of the enemy stronghold.
Assault Centurions are typically deployed in fortified combat zones where line of sight is too narrow to deploy siege tanks and advance routes too narrow to deploy an Ironclad Dreadnought. In such circumstances, Assault Centurions lead the charge, using their crushing tools to smash through any obstacles in their path while diverting the defenders' fire from the Tactical Squads that follow them. Once the fortress walls are breached, the Tactical Squads will deploy to secure the area. Meanwhile, the Assault Centurions will attack and pulverize anything foolish enough to stand in their way.