Conquest Games Miniatures have done the wargaming world a massive favour by putting out this boxed set of 28mm plastic figures. For £20 you get 28 multi part figures, that's a touch over 70p per figure, but you get so much more than that in this little box of delights!

In the box you get four sprues containing six figures each, each figure representing an archer in a variety of basic shooting, loading and standing poses. To go with the torsos are a plethora of arms to give all sorts of different actions and, best of all, the left arms come in duplicate wielding a choice of short or longbow!

You also get some very nicely designed quivers, although they are all identical, and some sheathed daggers which you can attach to the lovely chunky belts worn by the archers. Each sprue contains lots of heads which can be used to represent any historical period from around the 11th century up to the early part of the 14th century. With a little work with a craft knife, all the heads can easily be converted to suit your own personal taste.  

I found some of the assembly a little odd to begin with and there are no instructions or guidelines contained within the box. The arms appear, at first glance, to be cast the wrong way round to fit in the arm sockets on the torsos, but once you have a go, they actually fit together in a very lifelike way. A definite bonus is the inclusion of a bow being held in the right hand, which gives you the opportunity to have an archer pointing or holding a standard or sword in the left. The torsos are topped off with a flat neck, which I wasn't too keen on to begin with, but, again, when you've played around fitting a few figures together, they do build up very well indeed. 

 One thing to be aware of with these figures is that they are wearing quite a lot of layers and I found it a little perplexing trying to find where each layer began and ended! Having said that, they do have some wonderful details, like the lasing on the wrist guard and the quiver and the tunics have very deep folds which make shading an absolute delight.

Apart from the archer sprues, you also get two 'accessories' sprues, which each contain an extra torso and various additional arms and weapons, and a Norman infantry command sprue, which contains the officer figure above, a standard bearer and a poor unfortunate chap who is a casualty before he even gets off the sprue!

All in all, you get plenty for your money in this box from Conquest Miniatures and there are plenty of opportunities for conversion; my officer figure now has a bow in his left hand to make him into a captain of archers. At 8 figures a unit, I can make 3 longbow units from this box and still have some left over! I've used the officer and standard bearer in my first unit, so I'm going to have to think about using the accessory sprues to build some command for the other two units, but that is all part of the fun of wargaming with figures such as these. You can, of course, purchase separate sprues from the Conquest web site.

If, like me, you have experienced the frustration of trying to find a set of plastic 28mm archers, then this set is the one you want. It could be said that Conquest have tried to cover too many bases by making set useable for such a long period of history, but I suspect that fashions didn't change too rapidly in the middle ages and I think I'm going to use some of the more Scandinavian looking heads in my next longbow unit, to reflect the Nordic influences, which must have prevailed in the north of England long after the last Viking conquerors arrived in the area.

I'm reluctant to give the set ten out of ten, because that gives Conquest Miniatures no incentive to make their next set even better, but nine out of ten would indeed be well earned! This is a brilliant and much needed addition to the Medieval wargames armoury and well done Conquest for seeing the niche in the market and filling it so wonderfully.