This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for Vanilla.
- Tolerance of heathens:
- Religious unity:
- Triple manpower increase in religious wars.
- Cavalry combat ability:
- Cost of reducing war exhaustion:
- National tax modifier:
- National trade income modifier:
- Ship costs:
- Manpower recovery speed:
EU IV starts on the 11th November 1444, the date of the Ottoman victory over the Christian alliance at Varna.
- Main article: Ottoman missions
Practically all of the Ottoman missions revolve around expanding their borders. In the early stages of the game, many of the missions revolve around reclaiming the lands of Anatolia, as well as the iconic mission to claim the City of the World's Desire: Constantinople. Further missions will request the Ottoman Empire to expand and conquer the regions of North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, as well as individual provinces - all to increase trading power in the Spice Trade and to unite Sunni lands against Christendom.
- Main article: Ottoman events
Since the Ottoman Empire spanned over a huge area for many years, and experienced intense reforms and changes in governing an empire not seen before in history, it's no wonder that the Ottomans have many dynamic historical events. Many of those historical events are the conclusive aftermath of the expansion and government reforms of the Ottoman Empire - such events can revolve around the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and the trade state of Venice, the left-over Greek Orthodox Patriarchy, enacting reforms that might not be popular with everyone, or suppressing nationalistic rebels. The Ottomans' dynamic historical events show that to lead an impressive empire, impressive decisions must be made.
The glorious city we have recently conquered will make a splendid capital for our nation. Constantinople is the greatest city on earth, and our government would make it so much stronger.
Appointing provincial governors, or 'Beys' can certainly improve administration of taxes and such but with less direct control over our provinces there is also the possibility of ambitious governors spending most of their time caught up in intrigues and internal feuds.
By adopting the Devshirme System we have increased the efficiency of our recruitment process considerably.
As the Ottomans, one of the most defining factors when it comes to planning out a strategy is understanding your position. Constantinople is renowned for being the "center of the world" for almost half an era, having access to the Black and Mediterranean sea by ports and access to Europe, Asia and Africa by land. Expanding and keeping a stable country as the Ottomans is about understanding this position. Once you own the City of the World's Desire, practically every border you have will point in a different direction with different means of expansion. Once you understand this, you will realize that the difficulty in playing the Ottomans does not lie in having difficulty expanding or winning wars, it's paying attention to multiple fronts, and never letting them slip from your attention.
The player should note that there is no easy way move trade value from the New World to Constantinople. Trade from the Chesapeake or Caribbean trade nodes can not enter the Mediterranean. It is possible to send trade from Mexico to Nippon and westward across Asia, but that route is difficult to control. The player should keep this limitation in mind when considering colonial Idea groups.
The player will have to interact through decisions with the Janissaries, who will initially give the Ottomans great military power but over time will demand more and more compensation.
Early game strategy
The Ottomans have an excellent start in 1444. They hold large amount of lands and are surrounded by smaller countries that they have cores on, which guarantees quick and inexpensive expanding for the first couple of years. They start off in a war with Albania (with Ottoman core) that, because of the superior armies, will quickly be won with sieging their single province. After that, the Ottomans should focus on regaining all of their cores, but must be cautious not to draw attention from the Mamluks or any large European power, as their interference could seriously halt the early (usually fast) expansion. The Ottomans also experience a plethora of helpful missions that give solid goals and rewards - whether it's to take over the City of World's Desire or to remove the Knights from the map once and for all, many Ottoman missions will give you free claims and solid rewards. Ottomans can relatively easily grab a lot of Greek lands within a few wars from Venice and its vassals (Crete, Corfu, Naxos), Byzantium and other Greek countries (Athens, Rhodes, Cyprus, Trebizond and Kaffa from Genoa), as some of them tend to ally each another and are definitely weaker in compare with Ottomans. Just keep in mind that Venice has a strong navy, so watch out a navy ledger and keep your galley navy even stronger. Same also with Mamluks' navy. Once Ottomans own Crete, they should be also able to vassalize diplomatically Tripoli and Tunis which is essential to get closer to Sicily Palermo and Messina in Sicily, Cordoba in Spain and Ifni in Morocco in case you are interested in unifying Islam.
Usually it is only matter of time when Timurids empire crash down and split out. Until that, Ottomans should try to avoid a war with them. Once the Turkish and Greek lands are consolidated and Timurids are no more a threat, Ottomans can focus on Mamluks and Arabian peninsula. In case one of the small Arabian states already dominates the southern peninsula (usually Oman or Yemen), it might be a good ally against Mamluks.
It is wise to wait some time until the horde states (mainly Crimea, Golden Horde, Kazan or Nogai) finish their steppe wars and then ally the strongest one. Allying any of them since the beginning of game means that they will call Ottomans into their wars with each another or their neighbors (Muscovy, Lithuania, Poland) which would be unnecessary effort without significant benefit. Later, the big horde ally is helpful in wars against east European countries, mainly in distracting enemy forces however technologically far behind Europe.
Attacking the Balkan states very soon and taking their lands should prevent Hungary to do the same. In case Ottomans will not deal with these weak states, Hungary will probably take them and become stronger and harder to defeat. By this you might also get in touch with some western country very early (essential in case you will want to westernize). Just do not grab too much land at once to avoid coalition from European states. Instead take your time between European wars and expand in the east/south to Egypt and Arabian lands where the possible coalitions would be much lesser dangerous.
Overview and General Principles
Given the Ottomans' position as the dominant Muslim power in Eurasia, their comparatively minimal tech penalty (+25%), and their fantastic military-centric national ideas, they are the ideal nation of choice for unifying Islam. The decision requires you to hold 14 provinces stretching from Córdoba to Lower Sind. A handful of provinces (Córdoba, Messina, Palermo) are held by European nations with potentially powerful allies. Given this fact, and the relative lack of serious threats after removing The Mamluks, you may wish to aim for Westernization by the mid-1500s. The sooner you gain Western tech, the closer you will stay in military tech to Spain and Naples. Arguably the 25% tech penalty makes little difference until the late 1600s, but as you are the aggressor you will want to gain every possible advantage.
Notwithstanding your eastern conquests against technologically overmatched foes like the Timurids and Malwa, most of your work is going to happen in the Mediterranean. With that in mind, you really want to set yourself up as the dominant naval power in the region. The entirety of the Mediterranean and Black Seas are considered inland, so use cheap but effective Galleys as the backbone of your force. Keep an eye on the ledger - Naples and Spain are really the only regional powers with the potential to field worthwhile navies. Having naval dominance will allow you to establish blockades, restrict troop movements, and get easy wargoal points. In addition, a large fleet of trade ships will give you dominance over several lucrative trade nodes in the region.
Ideas to consider include Offensive, Quality, and Aristocratic for military might, Naval to further boost your navy's strength, Religion for faster conversion of Shiite provinces and other benefits, and Innovative for tech cost reduction and a free leader.
Consolidating the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, and eastern Maghreb
Several of these (Constantinople, Iraq-i Arab, Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Aden, Muscat) are within easy range for you in the Arabian Peninsula and Levant. Through your conquests of The Mamluks, Hedjaz, Najd, and the small peninsular states of Oman and Yemen, you will naturally acquire those provinces. Ifni and Córdoba lie far to the west, so begin your push through North Africa by completing the acquisition of Egypt. If the Mamluks have obtained or vassalized Tripoli, the 5-year truce period may slow you down. Eventually though, you should be able to bring them under your banner with little difficulty.
Pushing West and grabbing Sicily
Naples will almost certainly be an independent power by the time you are within striking distance, so continue pushing through North Africa, grabbing Tunisia and Algiers if you can. Though Naples is on Western tech, you can easily overpower them on attrition alone. Use your naval power to blockade the strait into Sicily, and grab both Messina and Palermo in a peace deal. Naples will usually ally Austria, who tend to field pretty large armies. However, between your naval power and a blockade of the strait, it won't even matter.
Dagestan, Samarkand, and Lower Sind
This is by far the most tedious part, and requires continual effort throughout the course of the game. Samarkand is the capital of the Timurids, and is located very far to the east. As often as possible (every 5 years if you can) you want to fabricate claims and DOW the Timurids. Keep chipping away at their holdings, creating a line to Samarkand.
Lower Sind is held by Sind, and if you got to Samarkand by going along the coastline then you should be right up against it when you get close to Samarkand. Spain or another colonial power may make a play for India with the "Get a Presence in India" mission, which gives a free claim on Lower Sind and the other Indian provinces. If Malwa still holds it, they should be several tech levels behind you, making for an easy grab. If a Western power holds it, you'll have to do more planning and take advantage of the distance difference.
Detailed Ottoman WC Guide
Ottoman WC is a hard but possible challenge. Ottomans have some unique ideas which make them extremely suitable to wage constant wars, which is important for a WC.
Ottomans are surrounded by numerous contested cores, which enables a fast early expansion without suffering from AE. "City of World's Desire" mission gives a direct claim to Constantinople. Byzantium has a lot of contested cores as well, so rather than taking Constantinople directly, vassalizing them might be a better option. Venice has three of them: Corfu, Naxos and Crete. It is better to wait them to annex Corfu and Naxos. Rhodes and Athens usually rebel against their rulers and join either to Byzantium or Trebizond, from which these cores can be extracted without any AE. Form a claim against Mamlukes and repair relations with Venice and Poland while obtaining the Anatolian cores. Especially having Poland in a coalition against you would be disastrous, as they lead a union with Lithuania.
After gaining all of the contested cores. Ottomans should focus on Mamlukes. Mamlukes have historical rival tag so it is impossible to maintain proper relations with them. Mamlukes will most probably attack Cyprus and transport half of their troops to Cyprus which leaves the mainland ripe to take. Make sure to get an admiral with good maneuver skills to capture the Byzantium and Anatolian Beylik navies. Ottomans have a solid tax base so that exceeding the naval forcelimits for some time would not be a problem. Adding one or two heavy ships would be helpful as well. Destroy the Mamluke navy and fight off the remainder of their forces. Take Sinai, Gaza, Judea and Aleppo and release Syria as vassal. The extra missionary from Judea will be extremely helpful to convert Balkan provinces. Taking these provinces will also cause the Asian provinces of the Mamlukes to be overseas provinces and scuttle the Mamluke manpower and forcelimits.
From this point on, the player can choose to continue any path they want. If the player aims for world conquest, getting the Exploration Idea as the first idea group is useful. At this stage, the early colonists had to be dealt with. Offer a loan to Portugal and attack them. Let them come and fight in the first years of the war. They are usually accompanied by Castile, England, Aragon and Naples. England suffers from internal turmoil so they will leave the war early. Castile and Aragon will bring troops only with a transport so taking them would be easy. When the war eased, declare war on Mamlukes again to extract the Syrian cores, and since they are now overseas provinces, they require very little war score. Getting Rashid is important for trade control, so it can be added to the peace deal as well. Then return back to Portugal and land on their homeland when they are the only ones left in the war. Take Madeira, Algarve and Alentejo. At the end of this war, you will have a coalition of Castile and Mamlukes against you. Form a claim on the Canaries and attack Castile as soon as possible. Portugal will join the coalition later, so it is vital to keep fighting for five years. Declare war on Portugal before negotiating a peace with Castile. Colonize Majeerteen in this period as well. You need at least 4-5 stacks of troops to fight off the locals.
During the next 30-40 years, your country will be in constant war. Reducing the war exhaustion with MPs is essential. Portugal will be isolated so it during your fights against them, extract Byzantium cores from Venice and Conquer Georgia. Circassia has the closest gold mines to Anatolia. If you have a statesman advisor, annex Byzantium and/or Syria. Take Beira and Combria, Lisboa and Braganca, Porto and Azores in three wars in this order. Take the Canaries, Andalucia and Cadiz from Castile. Get one province at a time from Swahili and force them to give you their trade power. Pretty soon, you will obtain Ivory bonus so that annexing vassals would be easier. After Swahili is conquered, Mutapa can be annexed instantly with colonial conquest CB.
Portugal is completely annihilated and Castile cannot start colonizing soon. During this period Ottoman troops are slightly superior to western tech troops and with Ottoman discipline, these wars should be easy to fight. Use a few mercenaries for the start. When you obtained the x3 manpower increase in religious wars, you can disband the mercenaries. After this point, Ottomans never suffer from lack of manpower. Still keep in mind that fighting against Castile, Aragon a Mamlukes would be tedious but possible, however, if France joins the coalition, it might be impossible.
Moscovy, Qara Qoyunly, Timurid, Arabian Peninsula and the New World
Before 1500, Moscovy annexes Perm and starts to colonize to Asia. Makes sure that either Moscovy stops vassalization of Perm or force them to realese Perm. Otherwise there will be too many Russian cores to handle. After this battle avoid fighting with Moscovy, as long as they do not try to capture Perm. Moscovy is the only nation other than Ottomans with no manpower problem.
Iraq has five cores. Capture one and release them as a vassal, and capture Dagestan as well. Persia has 14 cores. After getting Dagestan, it is possible to claim Timurid lands across Caspian Sea. You can take all Persian cores with no AE. Feed some non-core provinces to Persia as well. Timurids will be extremely weakened and they might not survive Uzbek, Afghan and Chagatai attacks. Make sure to vassalize them, otherwise Timurids loses most of their cores. Samarkand is the hardest province to capture for unifying Islam.
In Arabian Peninsula, wait until one of the powers becomes dominant. Vassalize others and retake their cores. Now, the only thing remains for Unifying Islam is Ifni, Palermo, Messina and Cordoba. Work on your own speed, keeping AE low, capture these provinces. It is essential to get a United Islam before 1560s.
Conquer Aztecs or whichever country prevailed the Mexico region with the colonial conquest CB. Aztecs have five gold mines. Inflation should be kept under control, however higher level advisors can be hired as well.
With the flow of colonial golds from Mexico and East Africa, Ottomans can save upto thousands of ducats. Before westernization, make sure that your ADM MP hits to roof and spend them on buildings. You can later cancel the buildings to get the MP back. Save the capital transfer to Constantinople for westernization as well.
After Westernization, Ottoman WC is pretty much similar to WC attempts of western powers. Make use of existing cores in Austria, France, Lithuania, Russia, Denmark (or Sweden) and England before 1594. It is essential to form a presence in Japan before 1594. Force Japan to release its Daimyos and vassalize Japan to get back to released Daimyos. Conquer China and Steppe hordes in this period. If possible, diplo-annex steppe hordes. It should be easy to diplo-annex North African countries.
For an Ottoman WC, suggested first five idea groups are Exploration, Religion, Offensive, Expansion and Diplomatic ideas. Depending on your monarchs, order might change. Sixth idea could be either Economic or Quality ideas. Ottomans, or and WC attempting nations must keep inflation in check. Economic ideas might be useful for that purpose. The last two ideas are too late to affect the gameplay in general.