BattleTech: Mech Overview: Centurion

Howdy and welcome back to Mech Overview. This week we are taking a look at one of the most iconic 3025 medium mechs that isn’t part of the 55 ton trio. No not the Hunchback; it’s Centurion time. I have always adored the Centurion; it looks sick as hell and several of the coolest characters from the setting drive one. Not one as in a Centurion in general, but like, one as in one specific Centurion. Mech Cool.

Clan Wolf Beta Galaxy Centurion. Credit: Jack Hunter

I love the mohawk and the oddly thin design for a line combat type medium; the general vibes of this mech are fantastic aesthetically. Just a great design overall, and while I like pieces of the MWO design (the big angry claw hand), overall this CGL design is probably my favorite version of the mech that we have gotten so far. The Centurion is pretty damn cool and oozes BattleTech out of every pore.

The Centurion is one of those mechs that is actually a few mechs hiding in a trench coat. You have the basic, 50 ton CN9 series of mechs, an upscaled 55 ton version in the CN10 series, and a 50 ton Omni-Mech remake in the CN11 series. The same model works for all 3 of these mechs with minimal issues, and we will talk about each Centurion separately. So, pour yourself a bowl of Centuri-o’s and let’s get on with things.

CN9 Variants

These mechs have all been reviewed based on a standard F through S scale, which you can find described on our landing page here (along with all of our other ‘mech reviews, the name of the box you can buy to get any of the mechs we have covered, and our general methodology).


The basic CN9-A is a very, very old record sheet. It is one of the earliest mech record sheets in the game and you can tell. Coming in at 945 BV, it carries two medium lasers, one pointing backwards, an AC-10, and an LRM-10 for weapons. It moves 4/6/0, and that is a significant issue as we have really thin armor for a line combat unit with only eight and a half tons, only marginally more than the Loki, an infamously thinly armored mech. The Centurion is described as durable and reliable but it’s only real value in game is how cheap it is. 945 is a bargain bin price to pay for an AC-10 and an LRM-10, but the CN9-A carries a lot of explosive ammo, not a lot of armor, and it can’t outmaneuver anything. As much as it pains me to say it, this is a pretty bad mech. Within its 3025 context it is heavily outcompeted by the Griffin, Vindicator, Hunchback, and Trebuchet. Outside of that context it is hopelessly out of date and kind of bad, but 945 BV is 945 BV and that is enough to save it from the bottom of the barrel. If you can keep a low profile and draw fire away from the CN9-A with something bigger and scarier, it can chip in decent damage for a comically long time with all that ammo it has, but the moment something more expensive notices it it is probably going to die. There are better 3025 Centurions and much better 3025 mediums.



Okay hear me out: I think this one is a lot better. The CN9-AH costs the exact same 945 BV and has the exact same armor and speed, but it trades the guns out for an AC-20 and an LRM-10. In my opinion this changes the equation quite a bit; 945 BV is an extremely cheap price for a 4/6/0 AC-20, with the Hunchback costing around 100 BV more and not having an LRM-10 to defend itself with. I do wish we had lost a ton of LRM-10 ammo for more armor, but honestly this isn’t bad. It can skirmish a bit with the LRM-10 and it can smack the hell out of something with an AC-20 sometimes. The equation has changed quite a bit compared to the CN9-A because the AH is genuinely a threat if left alone while the A really isn’t. Getting access to a 20 damage hit for such a low price is great, and that low price should help it keep a low profile on its way in. It can also see okay use as a bodyguard for a fire support mech, as it has a pretty good close range slap that should ward people off of your fire support mech, it has a long range weapon to chip in with, and as far as escorts go this is a very cheap one. I don’t think this is a fantastic mech – when it comes to AC-20 centric 3025 mechs I like the 3Q Banshee and the Victor quite a bit more – but it is a lot more usable than the CN9-A.

RATING: D+/C-; very dependent on getting in close


This is the good shit. Costing 1057 BV, the AL trades the AC-10 out for a large laser, a small laser for some fucking reason, and a bunch of heat sinks and armor. The AL is a properly durable 50 tonner with 11 tons of armor, and it actually can win slap fights with some contemporary 3025 heavy mechs. Your already mediocre damage has gotten worse and you are more expensive, but the extra durability and smaller amount of explosive ammunition goes a long way. In the modern day the AL is still fine for the price, not incredible, and the slow speed does hurt, but it is super usable and honestly a good floor to compare 4/6/0 mechs against. A lot of IlClan mediums will outmaneuver the hell out of it, but the CN9-AL is pretty cheap and will basically always have numbers on its side. Perfectly decent mech.



The Ar (upsettingly not capitalized) is a Jihad-era refit kit thingy for the old CN9-A and it honestly is such a cool mech. For 1226 BV you get the same defenses and movement as the CN9-A. It also carries double heat sinks, which helps quite a bit with the upgraded weapon load. That weapon load being a heavy PPC, a light PPC, a forwards facing medium laser, a rear facing medium pulse laser which hurts my soul so hard because of how badly this mech wants two more tons of armor, and the old LRM-10. The rear aspect MPL fucking sucks; it’s a total waste of BV and, more importantly in this case, tonnage that could have been armor. That said, it isn’t enough to ruin the mech – 1226 BV is a cheap rate for a long range headchopper. It has plenty of other long range weapons though it has to pick between the LRM and light PPC to stay heat neutral. I’d fire the LRM-10 if you are further than 6 hexes from the target and swap to the light PPC once you are within 6 hexes.

This is a super funky mech and honestly, it rocks. The price is so good here just for the heavy PPC. Little headchopper losers like the Pack Hunter tend to cost more and have way less armor. The Hollander is cheaper, but the Hollander is a meme mech for a reason with how riddled with problems it is. This is just a good, efficient dorkus of a mech that blends into the background radiation of a force and will probably not draw a ton of fire. Having all of these backup weapons and other choices is fun, you can load thunder LRMs or smoke LRMs to get some tactical flexibility, and it makes a great operating partner for basically any IlClan era 4/6/0 assault or heavy. Not a protagonist mech but a great sidekick.



The D series is a pretty radical departure from the CN9-As that we have looked at so far. Costing 1130 BV, the CN9-D carries an XL engine which allows it to move 6/9/0, and upgrades most of the weapons on a base CN9-A to their lostech equivalents, with an LRM-10 with Artemis IV, an LB10-X Autocannon, and a pair of medium lasers, one rear aspect. It has the exact same armor as a CN9-A. This is a fundamentally different mech, changing the role of the Centurion from battle line medium to a fast skirmisher. The CN9-D makes a great operating partner to a Grand Dragon or any number of 6/9/0 Clan mediums and heavies. The speed increase is a huge deal and takes what I would describe as a somewhat mediocre medium mech and makes it pretty good actually. Very useable; very fun. Still a sidekick mech though.



Oh god, this is a weird one. The Da is mostly identical to the CN9-D, but is cheaper at 1035 BV and trades the LB10-X out for an AC-5 and targeting computer. I am unsure how to feel about this; this is basically a heavily uparmored and slightly upgunned Clint, and I do like the Clint. Precision ammo plus targeting computer is a great combo, but god this is a weird tradeoff. I think I like it about the same amount personally, and the extra accuracy is good, but we are hitting pretty low amounts of damage here. I think it is fine, so it really comes down to whether you value basically always hitting or having good damage when you do it. On balance I would have to give this a lower grade though; while I personally like the accuracy quite a bit I don’t know how well it fits with the movement profile on the CN9-Da.



Yeah, we skipped the D2 for some reason. The D3 is 1324 BV and near as I can tell is identical to the D except for having TSM. TSM is great; it means that once the CN9-D3 is at the right heat value it’ll move 7/11/0, which is properly fast. But the extra speed pushes the D3 over a nasty BV breakpoint, that being the potential 10 hex move, and the CN9-D series, despite only having 10 single heat sinks, has such low-heat weapons that it actually struggles to build up the heat to activate TSM. If you want to build up heat by shooting weapons you will have to fire everything, including the rear medium laser, for three consecutive turns to do it. You can do it much easier by shutting off heat sinks, a thing you can do (check Total Warfare) but you have to plan that out in advance and overall this just isn’t a great mech for TSM, it has difficulties micromanaging its heat load and going from 6/9/0 to 7/11/0 is a big increase in BV cost. I would avoid this one.



For 1369 BV you get a mech that I am unsure how I feel about. You have MASC so you can move 6/9(12)/0, which is pretty fast, and for weapons we have a light gauss rifle, an LRM-10, and an ER medium laser. This is the return of my old friend and enemy, the fast sniper. Fast sniper mechs are terrible from a BV efficiency perspective, as you get a huge BV hike from your speed, and long range sniper weapons are so expensive that the extra whatever% BV you are paying for being fast can quickly add up to be nearly as much as an entire second weapon. The light gauss rifle is a deeply mediocre weapon, with most LGR mechs being mediocre to bad in my opinion.

The other major issue with fast sniper mechs is that kiting in BattleTech is hard. You lose a significant amount of your movement speed while trying to kite enemies, as you need to turn to get front armor facing them and then turn again to continue running away next turn. You also need to have quite a bit of map to run through, and it needs to be more or less devoid of both terrain and enemy mechs that could jump you in the middle of your kiting.

On top of that, a big advantage of high speed is that you can deliver powerful short-ranged weapons into your enemies with far more reliability than a slow mech. A slow mech with an AC-20 or 4 SRM-6s or something will have a lot of trouble reaching the enemy to fire effectively, but a fast one can get up there easily. Long range guns have wider range bands and it is way more likely that Thiccums McGee the assault mech can have an ok shot on something with them. Putting a long ranged weapon on a fast chassis is wasting it’s potential as a delivery system for high efficiency short and mid-range guns, while going all in on a kiting strategy that is hard to execute in practice.

Don’t get me wrong; being able to effectively control the range you fight at by outspeeding the enemy is awesome, but MASC is kinda bad at it compared to walking backwards or jumping. With a Walk of 7 you can back up 7 hexes for a +3 to be hit, but with MASC, accounting for turning to move and then turning to face, you need to be able to MASC 10 to get that +3 to be hit, costing the same BV as a 7/11/0 mech but you can’t do it every turn or your knees explode. You can accomplish the same to be hit numbers with a 5 hex jump, or get the +4 you are getting charged for with MASC or walk 7 every single turn with a 7+ hex jump. MASC is basically always a terrible deal, BV wise, unless you are using it to get 14 MP or more. This is due to the way that mech cost is modified by the maximum TMM it can build.

Rating: D-


Good lord this is even worse! For 1369 BV we downgrade the speed to 5/8(10)/0, one of the actual worst movement values in the entire game when it comes to BV cost. In exchange we upgrade the LRM-10 to an LRM-15 with Artemis IV. This is horrible; you have the same BV hike as the D3D but you are even slower normally and your MASC will basically never get you that +4 TMM that it theoretically can. Any piece of terrain or slight turn will downgrade you to a +3, and you will be charged for that +4 anyway. Add that onto the fact that MASC can’t be practically used every turn and you have one of the shittiest movement breakpoints in the entire game. The upgrade doesn’t make the mech better, they cost nearly the same amount, and I hate these two mechs so much.

Rating: F


The D5 moves 6/9(12)/0 and costs 1738 BV.

For gear we have a RAC/5, two ER medium lasers, a C3 slave, and a targeting computer. This is all theoretically nice but the targeting computer is multiplying your BV, the MASC pushing you over a bad breakpoint is multiplying your BV, and you are still a fast sniper. I hate it here. I want to go back to the good Centurions.

Rating: D


Costing a very hefty 1638 BV, the D9 moves 6/9/6, has a thick armor load for a Centurion, and carries a plasma rifle, two ER medium lasers, and an LRM-10 with Artemis IV. I mean it’s sort of okay, but 1638 BV is a good heavy mech BV. It is cheaper than a lot of Clan 6/9/6 mediums, but you can get a Wraith for less BV that will kick the hell out of this mech and do its exact role better. There are a lot of really quality IS medium mechs in the 1200 to 1400 range that are either 6/9/6, 7/11/7, or some variation on that. I am supremely underwhelmed by the D9; it isn’t offensively bad like the D3D, D4D, or D5, but this is not a good medium mech by any measure.

Rating: D


The H is a deeply strange mech. Costing 848 BV, the H is a retro-tech mech, using a weird mix of advanced and primitive technologies. We have primitive armor, a primitive engine, and a primitive cockpit, all of which are terrible. The armor is thin, the engine is heavy, and the cockpit takes up extra space. For weapons, we have an LB10-X, a medium laser, and 5 RL-10s. I love RL-10s and this is a pretty cheap mech but it is so slow and so fragile that it isn’t worth it. Basically no retro-tech mechs are worth it.

Rating: D-


YLW in this case being a shorthand for “Yen Lo Wang”, probably one of the most famous individual mechs in universe and one of my personal favorites. This first version of the Yen Lo Wang comes in at 957 BV, moves 4/6/0, and carries an AC/20, two medium lasers, one rear aspect, and a hatchet. The hatchet does 10 damage, frustratingly a bit short of being a headchopper. This is very similar to an AH model, but trades the ability to protect itself at long range for the ability to sometimes add some extra damage up close. Not a great trade in my opinion. The hatchet being shaped like a set of long nails is cool though.

Rating: D


The second refit of the Yen Lo Wang, the YLW2 costs 1415 BV and trades the weaponry out for three medium pulse lasers, one rear aspect, a gauss rifle, and a hatchet with TSM. jumping up to 5/8/0 when the TSM is rolling is nice, and while it isn’t the best at maintaining and building its heat it is perfectly capable of it if you are careful. The combo of a gauss rifle and a TSM hatchet is odd, and the mech seems to be less of a gauss mech and more of a melee mech that can defend itself with the gauss rifle if it needs to. Weird mech; sorta okay but not incredible.

Rating: C


Costing a mighty 1815 BV, the final form of the Yen Lo Wang is 4/6/0 with TSM bringing it up to 5/8/0. For weapons, we have upgraded to clan components with a gauss rifle, ER medium laser, a clan LRM-20, and the standard hatchet. Armor has been increased and the heat sinks are upgraded to doubles. This mech can’t build heat to trigger TSM without disabling heat sinks, which is interesting. This is way too expensive for what it is. 1815 BV is a level where you can get a pretty solid assault mech or a reasonably decent Clan medium or heavy. YLW3 is good, a Clan LRM-20 plus Gauss is a solid amount of long range damage, but there are better uses of your BV.

Rating: C

Centurion. Credit: Rockfish
Centurion. Credit: Rockfish

CN10 Variants

Moving on to the next mech in the family, the CN10 is a 55 ton rebuild of the Centurion. Being 55 tons is almost always better than being 50 tons; mechs have more internal space at 55 tons and can carry more armor. This is a good thing for the Centurion in particular, as the Centurion tends to be just a little bit of tonnage short of being able to mount all the heavy guns that it wants as well as decent armor.


The B comes in at 1243 BV and carries a lot of armor. For weapons, the CN10-B is super unique, with a rear firing MPL that makes my brain hurt, a medium laser, LB10-X, and an LRM-10 with Artemis IV. It still moves 4/6/0, and honestly this is a perfectly fine mech. It does super suck having rear firing weapons but the regular guns are fine and this has heavy mech grade armor to combine with its decent if not great firepower. Perfectly reasonable mech.

Rating: C


Costing 1260 BV, the D moves 4/6/0 with a light engine, which sucks for durability but could be worse. For weapons the CN10-D is super unique, carrying an LB10-X, a light PPC, a rear firing ER medium laser, and, unexpectedly, an LRM-10 with Artemis IV. This is better than the CN10-B in my eyes, better long range firepower and less investment in the rear firing laser. Not a ton better but it is better.

Rating: C+


Costing 1257 BV, the J carries less armor so that it can move 4/6/4. For weapons, the CN10-B is super unique, with a medium laser, a rear firing MPL, an LRM-10 with Artemis IV, and, surprisingly, an LB10-X. I mean this is fine; the armor is thinner but it is still quite a bit thicker than the armor on a CN9-A. I think your choice between any of the CN10s so far would just come down to personal preference.

Rating: C


Oh god that is a W in the designation! Please god tell me the Wolf’s Dragoons weren’t allowed to get their hands on my beloved Centurion and defile it into some abomination with too many guns and 2 less tons of armor than it should have!

The W costs 1112 BV and is an upgunned variant of the Centurion with two less tons of armor. It has a PPC, an LBX10-X, and get this, it has an LRM-10 with Artemis IV! This is bad; trading off armor for guns is usually a bad deal unless you are very fast.

The CN10-W moves 4/6/0 and yeah this is a typical W variant. Trading armor away for guns is very often a bad deal, and W variants are usually bad. Something about being in the Wolf’s Dragoons turns your mech design brain to soup. I am fully convinced everyone in the Wolf’s Dragoons has the sort of brainrot that makes them completely lose their mind and create the Leopard 1. I have no idea what is going on in there and it scares me.

Yeah the mech is ok. Not great, not terrible.

Rating: Mid. C.

CN11 Variants

The CN11 series is unique amidst the other variants as it is an Omni-Mech. This honestly matters a fairly small amount, but the base Omni-Chassis is pretty good. It’s a 50 tonner that moves 5/8/0, adequate but not great, and has nine and a bit tons of armor, which is a reasonable if unexciting amount for a 50 tonner. It doesn’t have any hard mounted equipment and has 24 tons of pod space, so I am sure we will get nothing but the most unique, varied, and cool variants.


The CN11-O is super unique. For 1236 BV you get an LB10-X autocannon, two ER medium lasers, and get this, one is rear aspect, and you also have an LRM-10 with Artemis, an unexpected addition to the Centurion formulae. It’s a 5/8/0 CN9-D, what do you want from me, the mech is fine.

Rating: C


The CN11-OA is 1398 BV and carries a RAC/5, an MML-9, and an ER medium laser. This is cool, big fan of both MMLs and RAC/5s, RAC/5s are amongst the most BV efficient weapons in the game and MMLs are very flexible, and this is honestly a reasonable amount to pay. Not a thrilling or fantastic mech, but solid.

Rating: C


The OB here sucks and I hate him. For 1430 BV you get a heavy PPC, an MML-7, and a guardian ECM which might as well actually do nothing. You also get a targeting computer, which is cool, but the Ar is honestly better. It is only 41 BV more expensive upgraded to 3/5 which gives the same density of heavy PPC hits while also boosting the accuracy of the LRMs. You do go from 5/8/0 to 4/6/0, which sucks, but honestly on a heavy PPC mech it shouldn’t be a huge deal. Mech is fine but I have other preferences within the Centurion chassis for the same role.

Rating: C+


Costing 1628 BV, the Original Character carries a plasma rifle, and the rest of the weapons are super unique. We have an LRM-10 Artemis IV and two ER medium lasers, one rear aspect. It also carries a C3 slave and ECM, if that matters. Yeah this sucks horribly, it costs a ton, and it isn’t meaningfully better than any other Centurion. Skip this.

Rating: D


The OD costs 1177 BV. It moves 5/8/4 for some fucking reason. For weapons we have two ER medium lasers. We also have an MML-9 with Artemis IV, an ER small laser which fires in the rear aspect, a rarity among other Centurions. The main spice is the hatchet and shield. Shields are complicated and not worth getting into, they protect a section of the mech at the cost of making weapons unable to fire behind it. This is a pretty slow, somewhat low damage melee mech. Pass.

Rating: D


The CN11-OE costs 1515 BV, a funny and repeating number. The primary weapon is a gauss rifle, and for secondary weapons it is super unique, with 2 ER medium lasers, one of which is rear aspect, which might be the only rear aspect medium laser on any Centurion. It has an Angel ECM for doing Angel ECM things, and a boosted C3 slave. This mech in general is pretty boosted, with meh stats for the BV and just, god this is so unexciting compared to the CN9-Ar. Skippable and mediocre.

Rating: C-

Centurion Conclusion

The Centurion is a super unique mech, with a blend of direct fire and indirect fire on most variants. Most of them are sorta ok and very few of them are actively bad, but I am honestly very whelmed by this mech. It is fine, it does what it is supposed to, but few variants are exciting or varied. I honestly don’t have a ton to say here; the mech will serve you well and having a few bumping around a force is rarely a bad thing, but there are often better options available, you just need to look.


Next week is the Banshee by the way.