When the Assyrian Empire was at its height, in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, the chariot was gradually being replaced by the horsed warrior, who was much more manoeuvrable and could go places that the chariot could not. Thus the cavalry achieved a predominance on the battlefield which it was not to lose until the later years of the 19th century, and the cavalry of Assyria was a very important component of her armies.
The set of Assyrian infantry from Caesar dates to the 7th century BCE, and from the looks of things this cavalry is of the same period. The dress of the cavalry is quite similar to their dismounted comrades, as by this date they wore an armoured corselet and helmet, which means these figures are accurately done.
Assyrian cavalry were armed with either a bow or a spear (usually handled overarm). In this set only one pose is of an archer, although another has a slung bow on his back. Most of the rest have ring hands into which weapons from the separate weapons sprue can be inserted. There are three of these sprues per box, providing six spears and six swords. Since there are only eight figures with ring hands this is more than sufficient, although the sword is hardly an ideal weapon for mounted troops, and while they were so armed they would usually have had the spear in hand. We would therefore have liked to have seen enough spears for all the figures. The sprues also contain a lot of shields, but there is no evidence for shields being carried by the cavalry at this period. All the figures apart from the bowman have a peg on the left arm to take a shield, but even the box art shows the men without shields, so we suspect the sprue was provided for the weapons, and the shields should be ignored, which merely means trimming the peg from the arm.
The horses are a fair selection of poses, some of which benefit from the multipart mould to allow legs to be next to each other, but we were not impressed by some of the poses chosen. The animals wear a variety of saddlecloths, and some have more extensive fabric trappings which provided some protection from arrows and cuts, while others have simple animal skins - all are correct for the period.
The sculpting of the men is as usual excellent, with good detail that is well defined and accurate. The men fit their horses well, and this is in part thanks to the pegs on the inside of their legs, which artificially help to give a good grip. However unlike some other manufacturers these pegs do not prevent the man sitting on the horse, and there are no holes in the side of the horse. Purists may wish to trim these pegs off, in which case some riders may require gluing to the animal.
In terms of style these are a perfect match for the infantry set, and are a necessary addition to that set for a balanced Assyrian army. Another very good effort from Caesar.