Snipers, marksmen, sharpshooters, chosen men - call them what you will, the individual who displays proficiency in hitting a target with the weapons to hand has always been valued in any army. Films such as Enemy at the Gate (2001) have helped to popularise Soviet snipers in World War II, although the state was not shy of exploiting their successes at the time, particularly when things were going badly for them.
This set is one of many game pieces for the Art of Tactic series, and the four figures can either be based separately as shown above or placed together as shown here to make a game piece. Although intended as just a game piece, such groupings are generally reasonable in themselves, although in this case it would be unlikely for a concentration of snipers like this to be seen in reality. Deployed individually or in pairs these are really excellent figures. We have one sniper firing prone and one kneeling. Another is moving forward and the fourth soldier is observing through binoculars - an important role for successful sniping. All the poses are great and very natural, which is achieved in part by every figure having a fair amount of assembly. Some parts are small and fiddly, or at least fiddly to put together when there is little to grip, but the results are outstanding as usual.
A word of warning here is that what you get in the box is quite a lot different from what you are promised on the box front. The advancing sniper does wear some sort of snow or camouflage suit, but she does not have the textured artificial grass suit pictured. The man with binoculars differs from his picture in many ways - he wears ordinary summer uniform rather than the padded suit shown, a pilotka field cap rather than the ushanka, carries a rifle but no submachine gun, and is holding binoculars rather than a periscope. Our kneeling soldier also wears ordinary summer uniform and helmet rather than the camouflage suit shown, and does not have the binoculars round the neck that the picture includes. Finally the prone sniper wears a camouflage suit including hood, not the helmet depicted, and he/she also has a pack. In all cases either the picture or what we actually get would do, and basically the difference largely boils down to the set being changed from 'winter' dress to 'summer'. However for obvious reasons camouflage suits were popular with snipers at any time of year, so we would have preferred to see more of those. Also, none of the rifles in the set have the camouflage covering which is shown on the artwork and would again be a very useful part of this set had it been there.
This set does not really deliver anything not already made, but the figures are lovely and even if they have changed a lot since the artwork was done, they are still all very worthwhile.