Egypt, one of the oldest civilisations on Earth, had long benefited from its relative isolation from other centres of population, which meant it was naturally well protected and did not require large effective armies. As a result, when a potent threat did appear in the form of the Hyksos, Egypt, or at least Lower Egypt, seems to have crumbled fairly swiftly. However Upper Egypt was not attacked or occupied, and in time they learned the lessons of their enemy and drove the Hyksos out, ushering in the phase known as the New Kingdom, which was to be much more militaristic and imperial in tone, with effective and powerful armies carving out an empire, particularly in Palestine and Syria.
Although this set does not mention a date, it is the New Kingdom, from the 18th dynasty, that these soldiers serve. This would make sense as Caesar have released many other sets for the same time frame, but it is also the clothing and weaponry that dates these figures to so active a period. All but the archers seem to have some form of armour, even if only padded fabric, and they carry a smaller shield as a result. The archers are more lightly attired, with no more than a kilt and a head cloth, again possibly padded, which is entirely reasonable.
In broad terms an Egyptian army consisted of a phalanx of spearmen who advanced with the support of massed archers, possibly equal in number to themselves. Once the spear was thrown the secondary weapon - either a kopesh sword or an axe - was drawn and the fight became hand-to-hand. Half of the figures are archers, and an excellent bunch they are. The usual shooting poses are joined by two where the archer is taking a new arrow. As can be seen above nearly all the other figures are using close-quarter weapons, so there is no scope for recreating the phalanx here. However the poses are very lively and realistic, and would serve well for the final melee at the hopefully successful conclusion of the battle. This set should be seen very much as an extension to the first Caesar set of Egyptian Army, and when reviewing that set we asked for a good marching figure. Well we got one here, and it is a real gem. Wargamers are always asking for marching figures, but they can also be very useful for all modellers and we are happy to see such a pose included - particularly such a good one.
One respect in which this set differs from the earlier one is that every pose comes complete with their weapon and shield, so there is no separate sprue of weapons here. However the style and very high standard of sculpting is certainly maintained, and the two sets mix perfectly together. No flash as always, and some well proportioned and very lifelike figures make this a very attractive set. At least one pose has clearly been achieved by using a multi-part mould, which is an old trick of Caesar which continues to produce fantastic results.
So let's see. What have we said? Accuracy - no problems. Poses - superb. Sculpting - couldn't ask for more. Summing up. Well we could go on about what a great set this is, but we find ourselves doing that with all Caesar's products, and to be honest it gets very hard to find something new to say after a while. The fact that it builds on the first set, and that Caesar have simultaneously released several sets of mercenaries, auxiliaries and enemies for these warriors just leaves you wondering what more could have been done (perhaps an all-phalanx set one day?). In short, we liked it. A lot. So while we try and think up more positive adjectives we will leave it at that.