Warhammer 40k Wiki
Warhammer 40k Wiki

This article concerns the Space Marine Legion rank. For the Space Marine infantry unit, see Centurion.

A Luna Wolves centurion.

A Centurion was the generalised term given to the rank held by a senior Astartes line officer of the Space Marine Legions that was in use during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the late 30th and early 31st Millennia.

A centurion served as a middle-tier battle line officer, as well as taking on more specialised functions which helped give an Astartes Legion its unusual operational depth and strategic flexibility.

The actual name of the rank could vary from Legion to Legion, depending on its particular culture, traditions and the operational specialty of the officer in question.


The ancient Legiones Astartes were composed of tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of Space Marines. As such, each Legion required a substantial core of leaders, champions and line officers.

Whether one of these specialist officers, generically called "consuls," was actually a captain who commanded a company composed of a thousand or more Legionaries on campaign, or a "shield-lieutenant" given charge of a boarding party in a savage void battle, to have risen through the ranks of their Legion meant that they had already demonstrated their worth in the bloody fire of conflict.


Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children Legion Champion and a Master of Signal.

The term "centurion" was often used to represent one of the specialist officers of the Space Marine Legions, who were collectively referred to as consuls, although this covered many different ranks and specialties such as the Chaplains, fleet-captains, blood chieftains, vigilators, legates and even the psykers who became Librarians.

The following are the most common examples of officers of what would be considered centurion rank found in the Space Marine forces of the Great Crusade, although many others existed in particular Legions.

  • Chaplain - Legion Chaplains ensured the spiritual well-being of their Legion and enforced the psyker ban in accordance to the Emperor's Decree Absolute rendered during the Council of Nikaea. These officers were picked from those Space Marines who were the most steadfast in their duties, and who had demonstrated the strongest loyalty to their Primarch and to the Emperor.
  • Legion Champion - A Legion Champion's sworn task was to hunt down and slay the commanders and heroes of an enemy force in single combat. Armed with the finest weapons available, these deadly warriors embodied the honour of their Legion.
  • Legion Praevian - A Legion Praevian was a unique position within a Space Marine Legion who were often assigned to serve as the commander of a cohort of Battle-Automata, the walking engines of death forged by the Legio Cybernetica and bonded in service to an individual Space Marine Legion. These cohorts were comprised of either Castellax or Vorax-class Battle-Automata.
  • Legion Delegatus - A Legion Delegatus was a mid-ranking Legion officer, such as a Centurion, tasked with a specific mission by Legion high command and formally deputised to act in all matters with the full weight of their commander's authority. As such, they could mobilise the Legion's resources to the full, deploy its assets and, if performing a mission of vital strategic worth, assemble a strike force of chosen warriors.
  • Librarian - The Legion Librarians served as battle psykers and the keepers of the Legion's records, battle honours and chronicles. The Legion Librarius departments were disbanded after the Council of Nikaea on the order of the Emperor.
  • Master of Signal - A Master of Signal was commonly attached to the forward elements of a Space Marine assault, providing communications support across the wider warzone, and was capable of calling down a pinpoint bombardment from either orbiting fleet assets or static artillery positions nearby, engulfing the foes of Mankind in flaming destruction.
  • Moritat - A Moritat was an unofficial designation given to certain Astartes of the ancient Legiones Astartes who displayed suicidal urges and a blatant disregard for overall combat doctrine. Operating independently on the battlefield, these individuals were often employed as efficient shock assault troops and assassins. From its earliest days, the Raven Guard Legion employed more Moritats than did many others. The individuals assigned to this duty were often those considered extreme in their methods even by the cold-blooded Xeric (the original Terran members of the XIXth Legion) and they were often used -- willingly -- to undertake missions from which they were not expected to return. This bygone rank no longer exists amongst the Adeptus Astartes of the late 41st Millennium.
  • Vigilator
  • Forge Lord
  • Primus Medicae
  • Siege Breaker


Optional Wargear (For Centurion Terminators)

Optional Wargear


  • The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 190-191
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 134, 137, 153, 280-281
  • Horus Heresy Weekender Pamphlet (2015), pp. 19-20
  • Forge World - Legion Champion and Master of Signal