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HaT

Set 8044

Alexander's Light Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2001
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

Very little is known about the light troops of Alexander's army, but there is no doubt that such men played an important role and therefore deserve their representation in this set.

The light troops of the day came in several forms, with all the major ones represented in this set. It seems likely that slingers would have accompanied Alexander on his campaign, though virtually no details of these troops have come down to us. Both the slingers in this set use the staff-sling, and while there is no firm evidence of their use it remains a real possibility, and provides some unusual figures.

We can be more certain about the use of peltasts, highly mobile soldiers who used javelins to harass the enemy in an attempt to break up their formations. This set contains two varieties, with two of the figures wearing helmets and carrying a sword. These represent Agrianes, an elite unit that participated in many minor actions as well as the major battles.

Finally there are two archers. Like all missile troops, many of the infantry looked down on these men as dishonourable as they did not engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat, but they certainly made an important contribution to the success of the army as a whole. The most famous of these, and the most highly regarded, were the Cretans, who were originally 500 strong but were later reinforced to total 1,000 men.

In addition to the figures shown, HaT have included 24 shields in this set. Eight of these are plain and round, eight are similar but with a protruding boss and the remaining eight are of the classic crescent 'pelt' type. The slingers would not have carried shields, but we know that the Cretan archers carried the pelt, though the Macedonian archers did not. It seems likely that many or most of the javelin men would also have carried a shield of some description. All the shields have two pegs on the reverse, allowing it to grip the arm and thus be attached. Of course this is not an authentic means of holding the shield, and has been done to allow any figure to be given a shield or not as desired. Those wishing to attach shields may wish to consider more realistic ways of doing so if authenticity is a high priority.

As ever detail is good and the poses are reasonable. This is a very interesting collection of figures, and depicts a necessary type of soldier that is frequently overlooked in accounts and recreations of the battles of Alexander. With only two poses per type there is little room for variety, but no-one is ever likely to produce entire sets of any one of these types. Since these troops are necessary if a campaign or battle is to be accurately recreated, on the basis that two poses are better than none this is a welcome set that all those interested in the wars of Alexander will find essential.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars" - Wargames Research Group - Duncan Head - 9780950029948
"Greece and Rome at War" - Greenhill - Peter Connolly - 9781853673030
"The Ancient Greeks" - Osprey (Elite Series No.7) - Nicholas Sekunda - 9780850456868
"The Army of Alexander the Great" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.148) - Nick Sekunda - 9780850455397

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