The Centurion Siege Crawler is the epic unit of China primarily meant for siege and supporting their slow but powerful army.
Costing untold amounts of money and with a development period spanning several decades and multiple secret research facilities, the Centurion Siege Crawler is without a doubt the ultimate siege engine. This unit has been built as an artillery with almost none of the flaws of one, sporting some of the heaviest armor of any Soviet unit ever created. Controlled by a simple, but efficient AI, which controls locomotion and targeting, as well as loading and firing the weapons, the walker is utterly loyal to its Chinese generals.
The entire chassis is built around a massive 420mm cannon, firing huge shells at obscene ranges which can decimate buildings with only a few shots and quick-firing missile launchers, which take all sorts of aircraft down with ease. To further increase its already immense firepower and versatility, the Centurion can seat three infantry, with Yunru being one that spends time inside of it the most.
Although it is a nigh impregnable moving fortress, the Centurion on its own can still be swarmed by quick, light units. Coupled with it's absolutely prodigal building costs, the standard war factories on the battlefield are incapable of producing more than one copy at a time on the battlefield, making the Centurion an invaluable asset that should not be wasted. Additionally, none of the largest transports is capable of moving a Centurion over water, so the location of its construction requires some thought as well.
The mighty Centurion Siege Crawler, China's epic unit, is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of a Chinese offensive force. While the Eastern Dragon lacks a dedicated artillery unit that can be mass produced, the Centurion can easily make up for that weakness with its presence alone.
Armed with a massive 420mm Cannon, this mobile citadel can singlehandedly lay waste to entire bases on its own, and very few base defenses (such as the Plasmerizer) can hope to fire back in retaliation due to the tremendous distances the cannon is able to deliver its ordnance at. What the Nuwa Cannon can't crack if defense lines are far too heavy, this gigantic war machine certainly will. The weapon is also relatively effective against vehicles and infantry, but faster ones can evade the incoming shots to avoid the full brunt of the damage inflicted. While one would expect an artillery unit to be a sitting duck to air assaults, this is absolutely not the case. The Centurion is also armed with "Yin-Yang" Missiles, giving it the ability to rapidly take down any airborne threat within range. To finally top off all this firepower are three passenger seats on this walker - a trio of infantry units being transported will be able to lead support fire from the Centurion itself. Most Chinese generals prefer Yunru and two Eradicators as the ideal combination as it grants the Centurion the ability to disable any vehicle trying to mount an offensive on it while providing it with substantial defense against infantry and lightly-armored vehicles.
While its firepower potential is already terrifying, the Centurion is easily one of the heaviest units in the game protection-wise. As an epic and robotic unit, the Centurion is immune to almost all known battlefield hazards: poison, radiation, confusion rays, mind control, hijacking, chrono-based attacks, and even the Foehn Blasticade. However, PsiCorps's arsenal of magnetic weapons can still immobilize the Centurion.
It is important for Chinese generals to remember that while having one on the battlefield for them can be a potential battlefield changer, China's epic unit is by far no means invincible. The Centurion has an astronomical tech requirement and cost, and it is not meant to be sent into the battlefield on its own. While very heavily armored, it can and will fall to substantial amounts of anti-armor weapons - in fact, basic main battle tanks can overwhelm it with enough numbers. Being ponderously slow, it will not be able to retreat efficiently while under heavy attack. The "Yin-Yang" Missiles it carries for anti-air defense does not render it untouchable to aerial dangers, and they are nowhere near as potent as a Sentinel's phosphorous flak cannons. Due to its immense size, they cannot be transported in a Zubr Transport or even teleported by the Chronosphere (if the Chinese general is somehow able to have access to one, whether through stolen Allied construction tech or have an ally that has built one) so careful consideration must be taken prior to building it on a water and/or islands-focused battleground. It is almost guaranteed that once a Centurion makes its entrance, opposing commanders/rogue generals/proselytes will absolutely make it a priority target to destroy before it encroaches onto their bases, so it is necessary to prepare other Chinese units and have a robust economy beforehand in case it falls from battle.
Centurion Siege Crawlers controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 1x targeting structures
- 1x loaded with Yunru and 2 Eradicators targeting structures
- Occasionally the AI will use Invulnerability and Irradiation Gamma on this strike force
- If available, Rage and Shadow Ring will also be applied
- This task force will usually be accompanied by 1 Dragonfly
|“||Good job, the Centurion project we've acquired from the Shanghai base is now a reality. Send 3 soldiers inside the Siege Crawler to increase its firepower and combat potential.||”|
|—Soviet intel during Operation: Earthrise after the Centurion is built|
- The Centurion first appears at the start of Thread of Dread in the Foehn Home base alongside Yunru who immediately enters it; the Soviet General is tasked to destroy the Centurion and kill Yunru. The Centurion's movement can be heard on shrouded areas within the research facility's perimeter, but they are actually played by loudspeakers scattered throughout the battlefield; it turns out that the Centurion along with Yunru have escaped long before the detonation of the MIDAS warhead that obliterates the Home base along with the Confederation, Chinese and Epsilon forces at the end of the mission (see Thread of Dread trivia).
- Continuing from Thread of Dread, the very same Centurion appears in Machinehead as the target of an Epsilon taskforce. Initially the Proselyte was tasked to destroy it with 16 Foxtrots, but this attempt fails when an Iron Curtain Device is used on it. After the Iron Curtain Device is destroyed however, the Centurion is revealed to have its own Iron Curtain generator that makes it permanently invulnerable, forcing the Proselyte to destroy it with Libra's gravity field.
- By the time of Earthrise, the Russians have perfected the design of the Centurion that they stole from China. In this mission, the Centurion can be built from the Soviet War Factory, requiring a Palace.
- In this mission, the Centurion plays a unique sound when it is created. This sound was originally intended as a default global announcement to all players that a Centurion Siege Crawler under the same circumstances.
- In Death's Hand, the Centurion Siege Crawler is unlocked by any Soviet Tier 3 acess structure after a certain amount of time.
Behind the scenes
- The Centurion used to have a global announcement when built, but went unused. It was partially restored in 3.3.5 in Earthrise before it was fully restored in 3.3.6.
- The was originally found in concept art for and , but it never passed the concept stage as such. It was later recycled into the unit in .
- The Centurion Siege Crawler uses the voiceset of the from Red Alert 3.
- The Centurion's main gun shares its firing sound with the Chinese nuke cannon fron Generals Zero Hour.
- Official showcase of the updated Centurion prior to official release of version 3.3, along with other units
- An official video revealing the return of the Centurion Siege Crawler in version 3.0.