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Set 8125

Assyrian Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2006
Contents 12 figures and 12 horses
Poses 4 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


The rise and final fall of the Assyrian Empire covered a period when horse warriors were gradually being developed in preference to chariotry. The Assyrians were leaders in this field, as improved training and equipment for both horses and men gave birth to first mounted infantry and then true cavalry. As with all other Assyrian sets so far produced, this set seems focused on the final decades of the Empire, in the seventh century BCE, when something like 10% of the army was probably cavalry.

Cavalry had originally developed as an alternative to chariots, and therefore were in essence mobile archers. By the 7th century BCE mounted archers were still very important, but some cavalry is illustrated armed with spears - particularly useful for picking off a broken and retreating enemy. Two of the figures in this set are archers, and two are armed with the spear, which pretty much covers it. The spears are separate, which is necessary for the man with the raised ring hand but not for the other. This pose with the cupped hand is to allow some of the other weapons and standards from the Assyrian Infantry set to be held, and as such this makes the pose all the more useful and is a good idea. The set includes spare arrow holders for the spearmen, which is a very useful option to offer even though the figures don't have the necessary strap round the body for it.

The men are wearing lamellar armour and helmets much like the infantry, which is fine for the assumed period. The costume and weaponry is properly done and matches the infantry set well.

The two horse poses are also correctly dressed according to the illustrations that have passed down to the modern age. Both wear fairly substantial fabric or animal skin armour, have the tail tightly bound and have the kind of decoration seen in the sources. The pose of the animal with both right legs on the ground and both left legs in the air is not natural, yet is all too common in figure sets because it is easy to mould. That apart we found no issues with the horses.

The sculpting is good with clear detail and absolutely no flash. The weapons fit the hands well, and the men sit on their mounts with equal precision. Again the style is exactly the same as the infantry, so they match very well.

The Assyrians were perhaps the first to systematically use cavalry, and with an Empire of such a size mounted troops were necessary to police it. This is a very creditable set for a period in history that has a fast growing representation in this hobby.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

Further Reading
"Ancient Armies of the Middle East" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.109) - Terence Wise - 9780850453843
"Armies and Enemies of Ancient Egypt and Assyria" - Wargames Research Group - Alan Buttery - 9780904417043
"The Ancient Assyrians" - Osprey (Elite Series No.39) - Mark Healy - 9781855321632

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