Longbow Assault Mech Background
The English longbow has a storied history in the annals of warfare. For centuries, it was the preeminent fire support weapon. Longbow barrages have been described as dark clouds, raining rays of death on soldiers on the battlefield. Longbows kill indiscriminately from a distance. They were not meant to be precision weapons. They worked by delivering a large volley of arrows into a particular area, similar to modern artillery. Anything caught in the volley would be skewered. There was very little defense against the longbow, except prayer and dumb luck. Fully armored knights can easily be taken out by longbow archers before they can pose any threat to friendly forces. Longbows have dominated many medieval battles. The most well known was Agincourt, where English longbowmen almost single-handedly defeated French forces led by knights on horseback. They were such feared and hated weapons that captured longbow archers would often have their draw fingers cut off so that they would never be able to fight again.
The Longbow mech, an assault class (85 tons) Inner Sphere mech, rests on the rich history of its namesake. It has been in service since the days of the Star League. Although its role as the top fire support mech has been lessened by the introduction of the Salamander mech and Catapult mech, the able and trustworthy Longbow mech is still undergoing refitting, modifications, and upgrades. Its service life is not likely to end anytime soon, as more advanced models are still being introduced.
The Longbow has its detractors, who argue that it is too thinly armored and slow, and it doesn’t have enough close quarter weapons. These critics miss the point, because a fire support platform is not supposed to directly engage enemies at close range. Thus, there would be no need for thick armor or powerful defensive weapons. Same goes for speed, because once in position (usually in the rear), a fire support platform is not expected to go anywhere fast. In fact, a fire support mech such as the Longbow that is caught in a close quarter battle is in a world of hurt, because that should only happen when battle formations have been broken and the enemy is behind your lines.
The Longbow Mech Lego Model
Primus designed the Lego model of the Longbow mech. This model is a bit of an anomaly because while it looks good in photos, its real life appearance is actually not impressive. For one, the legs are too long and resemble a frog’s. My overriding impression when I finished assembling the pieces was, “looks like someone stuck frog legs on this mech.” However, I don’t fault Primus for this design, because the Longbow model resembles its archetype in Battletech images. Secondly, from a physical standpoint, I don’t know why anyone would put missile launchers on top of a very tall vehicle. Does Newton’s third law of physics no longer apply in the future? Will missiles stop producing blowback in the 31st Century? In real life, I imagine a Longbow, with its high center of gravity, would crash to the ground each time it fired a volley. This leads to my only real complaint of the model itself—way too unstable. It is top-heavy, with its torso and large missile tubes. A simple extrapolation: if a foot-high model of a vehicle is barely able to stand, I doubt the vehicle itself (which weighs about 85 tons) would be able to do so in real life. Longbow mech fans will no doubt ignore my comments, but I’m okay with that because it’s still a good model of a well known mech.
Build your own LEGO battlemech models like the one featured above! Boost your collection and buy new sets here.