Author: Sparkywarky
Original thread: Guide to Ottoman Glory

Guide to Ottoman Glory
I've been lurking in these forums since MTW2 times and those old guides (how to raise a prince, how to manage royal blood line etc) were really helpful. I've noticed there are not many guides like that for Napoleon so i decided to share some things i know about Ottomans and make my own guide since I've seen some ppl were asking question regarding to ottoman strategy. It's my first guide so go easy on me. I've decided to make it like an open guide as well so if you have any corrections or further ideas PM me please I'll add them to the guide.

First things first, as you've noticed ottoman is not a playable faction in napoleon vanilla so you'll need a mod to unlock it BUT here is the bad news. I've tried few mods but none of them seems to be working proper. You won't have gents (scholar for ottoman in empire) or rakes (hashishin). If anyone can release a mod to fix those I would greatly appreciate it.
EDIT: Balkan mod and NTF is released you'll get hashassin and scholar at start but still won't be able to spawn further scholars.

General info

As you've noticed you start in a very very bad situation which is historically correct as well since ottomans were at their downfall during 1800s. You have two major enemies nearby. Russia and Austria -which happens to be 2 of the 6 major powers of Europe- there is Prussia in a pretty intimidating position.Your potential ally France is far away and busy with his own fight so don't count on them. At start you should work on culling Russia and Austria threat then start building economy. Remember they both start relatively stronger than you are so an open battle would be suicidal. Ottomans also can't produce trade ships (even if there is i couldn't see) but you start with few so use them carefully which will be your only ships for a long while.


-First thing you should focus is your economy. Roads are pretty crucial here. They will boost your economy and also allow you to reach your regions in time. (Ottoman regions are bigger and emptier than central Europe ones so it may take a while to reach where you wanna go)
- Luckily your regions and potential capture regions are rich in supply depot/market slots. I've used Greece ones to turn into market and rest as supply depots that way i could do skirmishes and come back and replenish pretty fast. Once i move further i converted my inner regions supply depots to markets for overall economical boost.
- There are 2 ports you start with turn them both into trading port for more gold. Mediterranean is dominated by Spain, France and England. Your outdated ships are not worthy of battle and you need a strong economy to support your expanding empire. They also are your potential allies so don't wanna ruin your relations with them coz of few silly ships.
-Istanbul and Athens are your jewels take care of them build upgrades to keep cash flowing. While Istanbul has enough slots Athens is lacking a slot i find it more profitable to build museum instead of cannon foundry. Bucharest on the other hand has a industrial slot. I've used that for cannon production. It's close to both fronts and it's income can be ignored. If you are worried about Romania you can liberate them from Transylvania as well so no worries you'll still have your protectorate.
- Black sea and Aegean seas have coffee and fur trade nodes that you can use safely. Balance your trade ships between them so you'll get the maximized output. Both coffee and fur is cheap once you get more trade ships make sure you capture spice node near Sicily.
-Make trade with anyone you can try to focus on major powers of course. You'll be going to war with Austria and Russia pretty often so remember to resort your trades when you have peace going on. Note: Mecklenburg and Portugal are trading with Russia and don't have enough slots to trade with you. Later on the campaign when you wanna isolate Russia try to buy an embargo against Russia from Mecklenburg and you can use that slot to trade with them as well.


Unlike European counterparts your tax building and first barracks allow you to recruit Peasant Levy. While counts as militia they don't have garrison policing bonus. Your garrison force actually comes pretty late in campaign. These levies even thou total worthless they will be your only line troops for a long while. (except the few you start with) By the time you increase your barracks quality you'll be able to make Beylik Janissaries they fall between line infantry and militia but will be your best soldiers for a while again even thou they lack bayonets. In few years you'll be able to train Nizam-ı Cedit you'll be able to compete with proper European powers but there's a high chance by the time you build them your enemies will be training guard units. Basically except few occasions your army will always be under geared compared to your enemies. You'll also be lacking light infantry at the beginning pretty early you'll be able to train Azzars. Even thou they don't have light infantry doctrine they are separated like other lights by default. You won't be able to use them as line but their increased range and relatively better accuracy will come in handy. Make sure you protect them thou their morale is very low and will rout very fast just like other Ottoman units. There's a little twist here thou ottomans have melee. Once used correctly it can re balance the power. Remember they are the only faction to have melee populace units. I've actually won battles with them against proper lines so don't underestimate sheer number of them.

Regarding to melee you'll be able to train bashibozuks (irregular again) and later on Cemaat Janissaries. my tactic to use melee is i usually make my line in a quality order. (will use name of sides to explain easier you can freely swap them) let's say my beyliks (nizam as well if you have them) on left side with some light infantry support. Low quality line (levies and Libyans) towards right side as well as light infantry. Melee units bunch up behind them. Once lines start exchanging fires melee units charge towards their flank with huge numbers and combined charge bonus they usually make enemies rout fast. While horses chase them my melee jumps from one line to another spreading like a plague while my low quality left moves up to engulf the already busy enemies. Reason for my left being strong is they basically will be the force to keep enemies aligned to them while right side maneuvers flanks them. This works perfectly on defence coz computer seems to charge with cav pretty early i soften them with artillery and finish with lines giving me chance to engage line vs line. On attack with some variations can make it work as well but remember important thing here is to use melee together on a single spot once they rout jump from one regiment to another to spread the fear.

You will also be lacking melee cavalry. Towards mid campaign you'll be able to produce Sipahi and Silahtar Guards while they have powerful charge both are lancer cavalry so be careful to watch them prolonged melee and they'll be wasted. At beginning Deli Horseman will be your main light cav and heavy cav at the same time. They also make great stealth units. More on that later.

As artillery side things are not very bright as well you won't have access to horse cavalry or rockets. You have 9,12,18 lb cannons thou while they lack accuracy they can be deployed outside the reach of opponents artillery. You'll also able to build howitzers and mortars after a while but that's pretty much it.

on Navy side things are even worse, your beginning navy will be consisting of galleys and bomb ketch's only. There is no point to build a navy as well since your enemies will be stronger from you. Only reason you'll be building navy will be to steal trade ships. Since you can't build them your only production is to board them. Once you get a strong position and have your enemies/allies settled you can swap few of trade ports to dockyards and build some ships. Best ship you can build is 80 gun SoL which in good numbers is enough to capture trading fleets. At this point being allies with Spain might work since you don't wanna engage naval warfare with them. They will make short work of your petty ships with their big SoLs you can raid Denmark or Batavian republic ships on southwest of the map thou. Attack them capture as many ships as you can and retreat back to your safe waters and hope Spain/France deal with your enemies.


On research side things are doggier than ever. Luckily your capital can easily handle 2 schools and reforms caused by them. Since you won't have any access to any other universities for a while upgrade these two when you have the chance. Focus on economical and happiness related researches. Since you are a Muslim faction regions you capture will have high amount of religious unrest and since you won't have garrison troops for a while well do the math. It's a good idea to focus on civic tree at first. National consensus and public schooling will allow you to upgrade your tech building as well as repression bonuses. Once you got your factory up and running (Bucharest) go for some industrial ones. Poverty control law being the first target. You can never get enough of repression. Delay techs like fire and advance or diamond formation. Levies can't fire and advance and Deli Horses are sacrifice able anyway. By the time you need them they'll either be a common knowledge or you can buy it from other very cheaply. Skip naval upgrades totally you don't need %5 upkeep discount on your ships pay 200 more gold but get another tech instead. Balance researches between unlocking proper barracks and faster research rate. You don't have gents remember. Get as many techs as you can when negotiating for peace.


As i stated earlier both Austria and Russia are kinda your mortal enemies. Austria is busy on his western front and won't bother you unless you provoke him. Delay his wrath as much as possible. On the other hand Russia will declare war on you very early on. (turn 2 or something) Getting Little Odessa is a good idea, capture it once you push initial Russian back and liberate it. Crimean Khanate will pay you tribute, will trade with you and will act as a buffer zone between Russia. Reason for Hungary and Crimean being so important is, you don't wanna declare war on Russia that means going to war with Prussia and Austria as well BUT if Russia declares war on Crimean you can reopen your war with Russia without endangering your relations with Prussia or Austria. Hungary does the same job for Austrian front.
What i usually did was focus on few regions and capture it as fast as i can then force them to peace. You may need to loot few zones to boost your treasury. I usually looted them and let them turn to rebel while i was in war with Russia that way you'll get money to fund your armies and weaken your enemy a bit. Once peace was engaged i used that time to recapture the rebel settlements. You will need time between wars coz of religious unrest once you capture a region you'll need to settle there for a while to quell the uprising.

While France and Spain seems to be good choice of allies I personally didn't see any benefit. They are too far away to cause any danger to Russia and you already are closer to Austria's center so you'll get the powerful Austria on you not France. Prussia on the other hand seems to be both your best friend and your worst enemy. (in every campaign i play Prussia seems to capture regions quite fast. They are at Belgium in my Ottoman campaign already) Once you start getting some regions you'll be neighbours with Prussia eventually and you don't want his attention. Bribe, trade, be ally basically do anything to be on their good side you'll need them eventually.

While doing these isolating Russia or Austria from coalition is a must. Buy trade embargo's against Russians as much as possible, Sweden can be persuaded to join Ottoman side and they now are hostiles with Russia giving Russians another front to worry about. Break Prussian - Russian alliances as much as you can they will automatically redo it next turn but after a while distrust will begin to erupt and they will stop being allies. You will need him alone to be able to declare war whenever you feel like it.

Basically isolate your target as much as you can, you don't want a full scale war with Prussia while dealing with 2 major powers and don't count on your diplomacy. Alliance is overrated, your "allies" are too far away to help you. Know you are on your own and act accordingly.

Some general play tips

- Deli horseman while being your only cavalry for a while they also have "paths seldom trod" this will be your lifesaver. While fighting on one front with big armies send small groups of deli horseman's around the map in opposite direction. Be on the look out for none garrisoned regions which you can capture with 3-4 Deli you can also use these unseen troops to destroy his farms,markets. Damage his economy as much as possible. They also make good ambush force the balance of power shows otherwise but 2 deli can easily destroy one line infantry just make sure you attack them from both sides. With both charges their number drops to 60ish unless they make square right away they go below 50 easily and rout right away. Try to pick his reinforcement moving on their own to support his army and cut them off.

- Make sure you have supply depots that will give you chance to replenish between raids.

- Playing ottoman requires almost no auto resolve policy. Since balance of power shows otherwise you'll lose your cities and armies. Make sure you do those crucial battles on your own and make a good use of melee.

- When you feel you have the power aim for bigger cities like Kiev they will have better income and more slots to recruit eventually.

- Avoid unnecessary factories and musket production. Recruitment bonus or region wealth seems to be good but you already are having problems with population happiness. Only upgrade them once you get the population under control.

- Your ministers are not so bright but try to find the best ones you can for treasury and justice. Try to avoid -happiness things (Jug head) no happiness bonus is better then minus ones, single plus without side effect is better than both.

Final Note: With outdated troops, religious unrest, mediocre cabinet, almost no navy ottoman is surely a challenging and fun faction to play with. Make sure you pick your wars carefully. Unnecessary war will damage your economy and your already bad relations.