’Mech Manual: Longbow LGB-0W

The original Longbow LGB-0C was introduced in 2480 as the Free Worlds League’s answer to the Terran Hegemony’s Archer. Almost five decades later, the League introduced the LGB-0W that upgraded the design to make use of more advanced components.

While the LGB-0W was created for the Free Worlds League, it did not remain exclusive to their military. It started to reach other nations during the Star League, and from the Succession Wars through the Early Republic era it could be found in use throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery. Later in the Republic era, the venerable LGB-0W started to fade from use, and in 3152 it is only mercenaries and Periphery nations still fielding the design.

Read This First

  • Yes, you’re in an assault ’Mech, but you have the armor protection of a medium
  • Find a defensive spot about 14 hexes away from where you expect the enemy to be, and then fire away
  • When a target is lighter or harder to hit, use your smaller launchers to avoid wasting big salvos
  • You carry a lot of ammunition which is bad because its explosive, but it does give you the option of stocking some special munitions

Longbow LGB-0W

  • Role: Missile Boat
  • Tech Base: Inner Sphere (2529)
  • Chassis: 85 tons
  • Movement: 4 / 6
  • Armor: 144
  • Heat Sinks: 13 (13)
  • Weapons:
    • LRM 20 × 2 (ammo: 24)
    • LRM 5 × 2 (ammo: 48)
    • Small Laser
  • Design Quirks:
    • Anti-Aircraft Targeting
    • Searchlight
    • No/Minimal Arms
    • Ubiquitous
  • Cost: 8,647,671 C-Bills
  • Battle Value: 1,337


The LGB-0W is fast on its feet for a ’Mech of its size. With 4 walking MP and 6 running MP, it is able to keep pace with many heavies and some battleline mediums. Defensively, that is still only enough to gain a +1 target movement modifier when walking or a +2 when running in clear terrain. Rather than staying mobile for evasive maneuvering, a MechWarrior in this Longbow variant should use their speed to get into a good defensive firing position and then reposition only as needed to keep enemies at a good engagement range.


The Longbow LGB-0W is not built for taking enemy fire. Its 144 armor points are in line with ’Mechs that are half its weight, so despite being in the assault class, it cannot survive under sustained attack. The armor on its arms is especially thin with a single PPC or AC/10 hit capable of blasting away all of their protective plating. To make matters worse, its internals are full of explosive missiles to feed its launchers. Both side torsos have 67% of their critical slots as explosive ammo, and the center torso has 17% of its slots as more missiles. Without CASE, any of those slots taking a critical hit will destroy the Longbow.


The Longbow LGB-0W was designed around delivering LRMs. It carries a total of 50 missile tubes split between two LRM 20s and two LRM 5s. That gives it the ability to deal 50 points of damage out to 21 hexes even if it lacks direct line of sight. The realities of the cluster table mean that actual damage dealt will be much lower though. Its only backup weapon is a single small laser. Having a target to target with that laser should be a big warning sign to the MechWarrior that something has gone horribly wrong.

Maximum and Expected Damage

While the LRMs are most accurate at a range of 7 hexes, the Longbow’s pilot should generally prefer ranges closer to 14 hexes in order to minimize return fire.

The Longbow benefits from the Anti-Aircraft Targeting quirk which means it is well-suited to take care of aerospace fighters or VTOLs in the enemy force.

The LGB-0W enjoys the ability to fire most of its weapons in wide arcs. The two large LRM launchers are arm-mounted, and its arms can be flipped to fire behind it. The smaller launchers and small laser are limited to the forward arc though.

Maximum Damage for Firing Arcs

With practically all of its firepower dependent on missiles, the LGB-0W requires solid logistics in the field. Thankfully, its ammo bins are large enough to allow it to last through most engagements without running out of missiles. The LRM 20s can be fired 12 times each, and the LRM 5s have 24 shots each. That means that even if a target is harder to hit, a MechWarrior can still feel free to fire the smaller launchers at it since they have plenty of missiles.

Since it has multiple tons of each ammo type, the LGB-0W is also well-suited for utilizing special munitions. Smoke missiles can give the ability for the Longbow to provide its own concealment when operating in more open terrain, and thunder warheads can be used to restrict enemy options for closing with the Longbow’s firing position.

Heat Management

The LGB-0W struggles with heat. Firing its four launchers will generate 16 points of heat, but it only carries 13 single heat sinks. That means that just two rounds of full salvos will cause it to start suffering heat penalties even if it is standing still. A MechWarrior can cool off slightly if they stand still and fire only the larger pair of launchers, but in many battles, they’ll need to occasionally hold fire with one of the LRM 20s in order to mitigate heat buildup.

Heat-Adjusted Maximum and Expected Damage


A MechWarrior should never willingly take their Longbow into a melee. It cannot punch due to its No/Minimal Arms quirk, and its durability is low enough that it can’t really throw its own weight around. In the unfortunate situation that it is stuck at point blank range, it can kick for a respectable 17 damage. A MechWarrior should be careful about missing a kick and falling over though since its thin armor make the damage from a fall a bigger problem and it will have a harder time standing up without arms.

Cost & Upkeep

The LGB-0W has a reasonably priced chassis, but it suffers from a fairly high upkeep cost. The design uses only introductory technology, so the main factor driving its price is just its fairly large fusion engine. The Longbow can easily go through 4-5 tons of missiles each time it sees battle, so a commander should be prepared to spend a lot on ammunition.

When using the Warchest Point system, these are the expected costs for the Longbow LGB-0W:

Purchase850 SP
Armor Repair85 SP
Structure Repair170 SP
Reload20-25 SP


A new plastic Longbow is included in the Inner Sphere Fire Lance force pack. It is modeled after the later LGB-7Q variant, but it still works great to represent the LGB-0W or any other Longbow variant.


More ’Mech Manuals

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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