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- +5% Discipline
- +3 Tolerance of heathens
- -33% Core-creation cost
- -15% Accepted culture threshold
- +20% Manpower recovery speed
- +15% Cavalry combat ability
- -10% Cost of reducing war exhaustion
- +10% National tax modifier
- +10% National trade income modifier
- -10% Ship costs
- +33% Land force limit modifier
EU IV starts on 11 November 1444, the day after the Ottoman victory over the Christian alliance at Varna.
- 1 Technology
- 2 Missions
- 3 Events
- 4 Decisions
- 5 Strategy
- 6 DLC
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.11.
Refer to the technology page for full information about technology.
- +25% cost to all Technology. - This means Technology is more expensive for the Ottomans than Western nations, but cheaper than other Muslims
- 50% Cavalry Ratio - Cavalry numbers may be up to 50% of a total army size, excluding Artillery, before a support penalty is incurred. Same as Western, less than Muslim
Technology cost modifiers
There are no Ottoman specific Technology Cost modifiers.
- 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 Patriarchate, 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.
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.
Since Ottoman ideas are diverse and unique at the same time and their position allows for nearly every kind of strategy the main consideration is to take a look at the synergies between strategic position, idea groups and their own Ottoman ideas and traditions and from there choose a path to take. The following synergies are especially worth being taken into consideration when picking your approach:
- Humanist ideas combined with Millets give additional religious unity, -65% accepted culture threshold and effectively negate any meaningful negative impact of heathens and heretics, which means full tax and manpower for any given province no matter the religion and a lot of accepted culture provinces for a long time. Reduced unrest combats the drawback of the Ottoman decisions and nationalism reduction as well as a 33% bonus for better relations over time are very favorable for fast conquest which is what most Ottoman players strive to do anyways.
- Administrative ideas combined with Millets give a coring cost of 3.2 admin points per development in a province with a claim (normally 10), while fuelling continuous wars with cheaper mercenaries and scale into lategame with the 10% reduction on admin technology cost. A very early must-have for WC attempts.
- Aristocratic ideas combined with the Timariot system put an emphasis on the main strength of the Ottoman armies (their cavalry) with 25% increased combat strength (30% with the innate discipline bonus) as well as a cost decrease and ultimately decrease military technology costs by 10%. Also the cost for reducing war exhaustion is decreased by 30% together with Autonomous Pashas. A must-have if you plan to skip westernization (which is a solid choice as an Ottoman player)
- Quantity ideas combined with Ghazi give a 40% boost to manpower recovery speed allowing for very fast successive wars on all fronts which is very favorable due to the central position of the Ottoman Empire and its numerous Great Power adversaries. Also with the Ottoman decisions this gives a total bonus of 60% to manpower while enhancing your national army forcelimits by 75% and navy forcelimit by 25% which synergizes well with the cost reductions to fill the ranks that the School of Naval Engineering and the Quantity ideas give you.
- Quality ideas for basically the same reasons as Quantity ideas since the only thing that's better than having good troops or a lot of troops is having a lot of good troops.
- Religious ideas combined with the strategic option to "Unify Islam", constant CB with neighbors so you can strike when it's most feasible without having to take the constant risk to AE due to claiming provinces and the need to deal with unrest in conquered lands (if you did not choose Humanist ideas) as well as the Ottoman missions to convert Asia minor.
- Trade ideas combined with the reduction to ship costs and the 10% bonus to trade income. Since Constantinople is a pretty central trade node that you can effectively monopolize (or you could even aim for the perspective of later conquering the Venice end-node), this has the potential to generate a lot of income.
Early game threats
- The Mamluks - historical rival, no diplomacy feasible, comparable in size and strength, will eventually succumb to your demigod starting ruler and your better troop quality and higher manpower
- The Timurids - potential ally, will either be broken by Persian rebels and cease to be a threat or consolidate, expand and eventually reform into Mughals - best dealt with by allying until outclassed and not needed anymore
- Qara Qoyunlu - Steppe Horde, has one of your cores, will compete with you for the Caucasian lands and Anatolia - get the technological advantage and crush them, possibly with the help of the Timurids
- Venice - big fleet, potentially powerful allies (Austria, France, Hungary), colliding interests - best dealt with picking their raisins (Naxos, Corfu, Negroponte, Crete, The Knights, Ragusa, Dalmatia) until they're completely outscaled
- Austria - bigger army, possible protector of your targets, emperor of the HRE, only gets bigger with time - difficult to deal with but should not be the highest priority since they can be outscaled and crushed decisively in one or two big wars.
- Hungary - weaker than you but might blob the Balkans if you don't, often ends up in a PU with Austria which is a major pain - best dealt with by very slowly eating into their territory (unless they ally France) so they don't go into a coalition against you together with half of Europe.
Late game threats
- France - a.k.a. the big blue blob, fields massive armies of very decent quality, massive amounts of manpower, can practically take on the rest of Europe and win, will require all of your resources to beat if left unchecked - best dealt with early, a possible strategy would be to claim a province of Naples when they're still in a PU under Aragon, declare war, beat Aragon and Naples and take Roussillon in the peace deal, using it as a foothold for the early breaking of France
- HRE - same as France, only even later and even worse - best dealt with by crushing Austria and dissolving it in mid-game
- Spain - fragile colossus, vast colonial empire, lot of money, not a lot of punch, big fleet, requires a lot of micromanagement to completely beat - best dealt with by matching their expansion with footholds and taking a lot of their stuff for yourself throughout the game
- Great Britain - same as Spain but with ridiculous naval power - best dealt with having footholds everywhere they tread and attacking them from these footholds before they can use their navy to block off your invasion routes
- Russia - third big blob, vast empire with a lot of winter and attrition, will probably never run out of manpower ever - best dealt with by blocking off their colonization route early or cutting their empire in half late (reducing their money and manpower from the eastern colonies to 25%)
- Portugal - not so much a threat as a nuisance unless lucky and unchecked, third big colonizer, same as Spain, can possibly be kept from colonizing through fast exploration idea and taking their island holdings in a war.
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, Hejaz, 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 World Conqueror Guide
Ottoman World Conqueror (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. Taking Constantinople directly, annexing Byzantium might be a better option. Form a claim against Mamluks 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 can lead a union with Lithuania.
After gaining all of the contested cores. Ottomans should focus on Mamluks. Mamluks have historical rival tag so it is impossible to maintain proper relations with them. Mamluks will most probably vassalize and annex 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 Mamluk navy and fight off the remainder of their forces. Take Sinai, Rashid, 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 Mamluks to be overseas provinces and scuttle the Mamluk 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 Influence Ideas as the first idea group is useful as it will allow you to demand more provinces without pissing off your neighbors. Declare war on Mamluks to extract the Syrian cores. Getting Alexandria is important for trade control, so it can be added to the peace deal as well.
Muscovy, Qara Qoyunlu, Timurid, Arabian Peninsula and the New World
Before 1500, Muscovy annexes Perm and starts to colonize to Asia. Makes sure that either Muscovy stops vassalization of Perm or force them to release Perm. Otherwise there will be too many Russian cores to handle. After this battle avoid fighting with Muscovy, as long as they do not try to capture Perm. Muscovy 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.
The Ottomans can Westernize by decision. Doing that requires Vienna, Prague, or Danzig. So you would have to absorb Hungary first. Don't let Poland or Austria take too much from Hungary or they will be too strong to fight. Vienna is the closest city but is quite hard to core. So one should try to reach Prague instead but to do that. You have to bring down Austria but forcing them to release Burgundy and Styria. After that, Austria will become to weak to fight you but now you have another nuisance, POLAND! You could however ally Russia as they often rival Poland and not Ottomans. Once you bring don Poland, you can safely invade Bohemia when they're only protected by a weak emperor.
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.
For an Ottoman WC, suggested first five idea groups are Influence, Religion, Exploration, Offensive, and Expansion 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.
Converting to Orthodox early on opens some interesting doors, as well as closing others. This gambit is well suited to a run as (un)Holy Roman Emperor.
After taking Constantinople via mission CB, send a missionary to convert it to Sunni. Do not take the decision to make it the new capital.
After the religious rebels spawn, but before they occupy the province, take the decision. This will provide all the nice bonuses (+6 base tax), flip the culture to Turkic and the religion to Sunni.
Now, wait until they siege down the province. This will convert the province back to Orthodox. Accept their demands to make Orthodox the new state religion.
UnOrthodox Opening 1.9
This opening is still possible in 1.9, but you need to proceed differently. Fabricate on Athens and Kosovo. Take mission CB. When the first diplomat is done, declare. Serbia will be dragged into the war. Take Athens, Kosovo and Constantinople in the peace and vassalize Byzantium. Send your missionary to Uksup with 0% upkeep. Move capital to Constantinople. When the rebels spawn, sortie troops to surrender siege. The rebels will siege their way to your capital. After taking Edirne, they will siege Constantinople, when they win they change the religion, making Orthodox dominant. Now you can accept their demands and voila! You are Orthodox.
First idea: religious. You need it to convert all your Muslim provinces, and now you can use Holy War CB on any Muslim nation. Holy War CB allows you to demand half of Iraq from QQ for free.
Recreating the historical Ottoman Empire for 1.11.4
First off, in order to do that, you need to be extremely quick, otherwise, your target nations will become too strong to fight.
Annex Albania. Then choose "City of World's Desire" mission and declare on Byzantium with the CB. Demand full annexation of Byzantium. As you reduce your over-extension, find out which Turkish countries (other than you) are allied to each other and no one else (except for Aq Qoyunlu). To avoid losing piety, declare on a Turkish nation (or Aq Qoyunlu) that has more allies and follows the prerequisites. Following this, you should be able to gain all Turkish cores (except for the core within Qara Qoyunlu and maybe Aq Qoyunlu). This is due to their tendency not to ally Mamluks or Qara Qoyunlu.
Crimea by now would have vassalized Theodoro, which is one province you require to complete this non-steam achievement. Don't worry about it though, just make sure Crimea doesn't get any bigger, still ally them though, because GENOA will eventually declare on them. Since it would be offensive, Austria wouldn't support them, siege Chios and Caffa and sign a separate peace for those provinces. You need fast expansion here to ensure Hungary doesn't get any stronger. Attack Serbia, or Bosnia depending on which Serbian nation borders you and full annex them (don't do that if they own all Serbian provinces). Attack Wallachia and annex them. And too bad for them, Catholic countries won't give a crap about you destroying Serbia, Bosnia or Wallachia. Failure to do that and Hungary may invade them and become to strong to fight. Wage war at least once against Mamluks within this time period, and ally rivals of the Mamluks except for Qara Qoyunlu (you will need to attack them later). Qara Qoyunlu usually vassalizes Trezibond by now, if they didn't attack Trezibond and annex them.
This part is the hardest because you'll need to take all of Mamluk's territory. You need to declare war right after each truce to take all of Egypt if you finished the last step at 1479.
Cyprus may have became a vassal of the Mamluks by now. If they did, attack the Mamluks and demand Cyprus along with other provinces. Slowly absorb provinces until Mamluks is nearly dead. Now with your new strength, attack Qara Qoyunlu and demand Ezurum and both Syrian provinces controlled by Qara Qoyunlu (if they vassalized or annexed Aq Qoyunlu). While you have a truce with the Mamluks, you want to invade Hungary. For these reasons:
1. To prevent Austria from getting too powerful, they usually attack other HRE states though, if the Burgundian Succession fired (which it does 99% of the time), Austria would be too powerful already. 2. To prevent Poland from getting too powerful, once they destroy the Tuetonic Order, they'll be going after Hungary because they're not in the HRE. 3. You will need extra strength to finish off Mamluks and then Qara Qoyunlu. 4. Hungary is economically smaller than the Mamluks and therefore is more easier to destroy than the Mamluks 5. Hungary won't have very strong allies due to them rivaling their neighbors.
If you managed to absorb all of Hungary before 1520, consider trying to ally Russia, so you can declare war on Poland. You also want to make sure Crimea doesn't go over 40 base tax so that you can eventually vassalize them. If you border Georgia and they aren't a vassal of Qara Qoyunlu, then attack them and take provinces west of their capital. By 1520 though, you should have been able to destroy Mamluks to the point where they are no match for you. You should have been able to take Alexandria by now.
Finish off Mamluks and Qara Qoyunlu.
If you allied Tunis when you destroyed Mamluks, you should break alliance with them and attack them.
Invading Italy to reach Algeria may be an option.
Please note that you would also require Hassan lands, Shirvan, Circassia, and Persian lands in the east to complete this non-steam achievement.
You still have a choice though of what to do here you have a choice of what to do:
- Eradicate Tunis
- Take lands in Haasa
- March into Persia
- Take lands around the Caucasus region.
- Invade Ethiopia and the surrounding nations
- Invade Yemen or the nation controlling the region
1683 (Largest Extent)
By then you should have
- Eradicated Tunis
- Taken lands in Haasa
- Marched into Persia
- Taken lands around the Caucasus region.
- Invaded Ethiopia and the surrounding nations and taken their land
- Invaded Yemen or the nation controlling the region and their land
Map Source: Ottoman Empire Map Source.
The following DLC affect the Ottomans.
- Conquest of Constantinople - Adds three songs for Byzantium and the Ottomans.