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Topic Subject: Rise of Istanbul: A Guide to the Ottomans
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posted 01-18-07 08:00 PM EDT (US)   
NOTE: This is only the partial version, as I don't have 5 hours to type tonight. The rest will be added tomorrow evening.

I've been hesitant to post something like this, seeing as I really don't want a bunch of otto players polluting QS (nor does anyone else for that matter, meh) but since so many people have been asking me questions anyways I thought I might as well just put it all in formal writing. So without further concern....

The Art of the Ottoman

Though one could argue that I only have ~170 games of experience with ottos, they have been some of the most educational games I've played. Each game taught me something new, and my goal here is to pass on that knowledge to you.

For starters, I have to give credit to a few people for either inspiration or just flat out me stealing their strats. So a big thanks to Blender_Fjord (Ender_Ward), Larkyboof (he probably has no idea why, but he'll find out!}, and all the people who I have been owned by for giving me insights about the Ottoman way!

Ok, enough with the formalities, lets get to the point here.

Overview of the Ottomans

I'm sure everyone knows by now that ES' initial description of their strategic capabilities are, to be lenient, retarded. They are by no means meant to be boomers, but show massive potential in the early game. So, naturally, we must find ways to capitalize on this advantage. Fortunately for all of us Ottoman players, there have been many strategies already written that we can take advantage of in our campaign for victory which already show excellent ways to (ab)use otto's early game capabilities. Examples you are all aware of are the classic one TP jan + abus rush and the IOR, or Silk Road Rush. However, these are very general and do not effectively outline the very minor plays that make ottomans so great. Here, I will delve into the very core of the ottoman empire, and provide more detail to their strategies than anyone else has done before!

Get ready for a really friggin long post.

I think we can go straight for the specific strategies this time, as that's what most people are reading this for anyways.

Ottoman Strategies

Most ottoman strategies revolve around the basic principle of rushing. Whether it be no TP, silk road, 1 TP, jan rush, jan + abus rush, abus rush, you name it, they all revolve around attacking the opponent at some point in the early colonial age. Yet each strategy has its subtleties that make them unique from each other, and each has a special purpose meant to take advantage of an opponent's weaknesses. As such, one's strategy must be chosen carefully as to provide the greatest means of success in a given game. Lets start with the basics:

The Janissary Rush

This is by far the easiest rush any ottoman can perform, as it involves only one unit: the janissary. This is most effectively used vs spain and iroquois, as they both lack the ability to create decent amounts of counter-HI early game to stop it.

The Build Order

(Standard) Discovery:

-3 vills unpack crates, 3 vills to hunts
-Build one TP with your explorer
-Build one house
-All vills to hunts
-3 Settlers as first card
-Age up with the quartermaster between 2:10 and 2:30

Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

-4 vills to gold, 9 on hunts
-Send 2 vills forward to some hunts near your opponent's base.
-TC waypoint remains on food


-2 or 3 vills unpack wood crates
-Build forward rax
-Build 2 houses
-Ship 5 Janissaries
*All of this should occur within 8 seconds of reaching colonial. If you cannot do this, practice. Preffered is less than 5 seconds.
-Queue 5 jans at rax


-Time Delay (cue 24 clock ticker)-


-First 10 jans are grouped at enemies base with 5 more on the way. Commense harrassment process. Knock down houses, military buildings, vills, the works.
-Second colonial shipment is 700 food
-Reinforcements have just arrived. Go kill stuff.

*Possible scenarios:

I will assume you are doing this against spain or iroquois, since those are the civs against which this strat is suggested. Against spain, he has reached colonial and his 700 gold shipment has arrived. Your goal is to keep him off food as long as possible and keep him off that gold shipment. The only way he's getting those crates is if he calls MM, in which case you run to your base like a coward for 20 seconds then come back in guns blazing. You should be able to keep a constant flow of janissaries for a good amount of time. Odds are, you'll kill him before he reaches fortress. However, every once in a while your opponent will be smart and time his MM to match his 2 outpost shipment, in which case killing the outposts is a priority, even if it means taking a few rounds from minute men. Once those outposts go up, its that much harder to crack his defenses.

When playing vs a spanish FF, your best course of action is to go for his TC immediately. Don't screw around with houses and starting outpost, just ignore them and siege his TC from the get-go. In doing so, you WILL kill it before his first fortress shipment can arrive, and jans are quite capable of taking a few extra damage points from an outpost. Chances of success: excellent

Now what if he rod + musket rushes? In this case, go for his rax first. Hit and run is your best friend in this match. If you ever see your reloading animation, work harder. Just keep shooting and scooting from his rods and you will wither him down to nothing. Remember to shoot wardogs first, as they do massive damage if left unchecked.

So what about iroquois? Supposing they FF, all you need to worry about is keeping him off of food. He can't have resources for age up until 5:50 at the earliest, so if you can starve him of food (really easy on maps without berries) you are golden. The same rule with building targets for Spain applies here as well. Go for the TC first, war huts later. If you can kill his TC before he hits fort, the game is done. If he does manage to get to fortress, you should have an ample supply of abus guns ready to smash some forest prowlers on command, as you will hopefully have delayed his fortress time quite a bit. In this case, shipment order usually runs 3 vills, 5 jans, 700 food, 600 food, 700 wood, 700 gold. The wood is used for a foundry and housing, while the gold will power out abus guns for prowlers.

Eh, so much for basics huh?

The Silk Road Rush

Though there are many versions of this rush, I really only use one. I find it works best against Aztecs, British, and germans. I know, you're all thinking "But what about French/Dutch/Ports/Russians???" Well, there are different options there, though against ports and dutch one could argue that it's the same start with a different colonial agenda. They do use the same build order nonetheless. As for russia and france, you shall see.



Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

-Move 2 vills to gold, 3 to wood, and the rest stay on food
-Set TC waypoint to gold
-Send 2 vills forward (*Not vs Aztecs)


-Collect age up wood crates
-Research Stagecoach
-Build a forward rax
-Ship Silk Road
-Build 2 houses
*Again, this should all happen relatively quickly. Do anything you can to improve your times here.
-Queue 5 jans at rax
-Once you have 4 miners, set TC waypoint to food
-Ship 700 wood
-Queue another 5 jans

The stagecoach upgrade should be completed by now. Set your TP to Food. By this time you should also have 10 janissaries. If your opponent is being aggressive, do your best to keep the jans alive. Vs an aztec opponent, just sit tight in your base for a little while as you establish your economy. When facing brits and germans, raid and tear down buildings with your forces. These two civs are the easiest you will play against, so no worries really.

-700(910) wood arrives, collect it
-Build a foundry *FIRST
-Build 1-2 TPs, depending on the map. Set two to gold and one to food, or just one on gold if map has 2 accessible TPs.
-Build houses

Now the fun starts. With your foundry, start pumping abus guns and continue jan production at your rax. If opponent is aztec, he has a MAJOR wave attacking you now, usually consisting of 9 jag warriors, 19 macehualtin, followed by 6 jaguar pets pretty soon. They will most likely be targeting your TPs, as they can't find your forward base (you dont have one, haha). This is where you need to trust your micro. You have roughly 13-15 jans, and 5 abus on the way. Stall with your jans until the abus arrive, and when they do, wreak utter destruction upon his forces. 2 Abus guns kill a macehualtin in one shot, and you can use your entire force as a hit and run machine to slowly but surely obliterate his army. Don't fret if you only have 1 TP now, as that is still enough to support you for the next few minutes. Continue abus and jan production until your opponent is wiped out.

If they use coyotes and maces instead of the usual jaguar rush, its actually a bit easier to win. Jans in melee own coyotes and totally rape maces. Just keep your abus alive and you'll do fine.

Against brits and germany, your jans are hard enough to keep up with, let alone the sudden abus gun influx. I know its lame, but you pretty much get a freebie win here.

Basic Shipment Order: 3 vills, silk road, 700 wood, 700 gold, 700 food.

So now we've covered two kinds of rushes, but what about the other civs? What do we do against russia and dutch with their pesky skirms in colonial? Here's and idea....let's not fight them in colonial!

The Spahi Fast Fortress

You all know about the spahi fast fortress. It's been around for ages, but it has its (limited) uses. Our main target here is russia, as they have no effective counter to spahi in colonial, and with their slowed colonial time they make a perfect civ to assassinate with this.

The Build Order:



Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

-4 vills to gold (3 if 100 gold start), rest on food


-Collect age up wood
-Ship 700 gold
-Build a second TP (2 total) with explorer
*Aside from the obvious experience benefit, this gives a false impression of silk road, meaning your opponent makes more strelets than he should at the beginning. Great for you, bad for them.
-Click age up to fortress no later than 5:40 using the Scout Politician (or marksman if you dont have scout)
-Second colonial shipment is 700 food
*Not only does this fuel your spahi shipment, it provides a buffer in case your opponent manages to keep you off of food. If he doesn't, you can ship 3 spahi immediately after 5 spahi.

Transition-Colonial to Fortress

-Move 2 vills to gold, 5 to wood, rest stay on food
-Collect 700 food when it arrives.
-Build 2 houses before you age up.


-Ship 5 Spahi immediately
-Run your 4 hussars away from your base as fast as possible. Do NOT engage your enemy with them yet. Use them only to raid until spahi arrive.

Your opponent WILL be attacking you by now. Keep vills garrisoned, whatever you can, just make sure you dont lose too much before spahi arrive.

-Build 2 more houses
-Spahi arrive 40 seconds into fortress. Your opponent will likely have retreated to his base until he has a significant musket force if he's smart, otherwise just murder him on the spot. Make sure your hussars get his forces in the back while spahi take him down in front. If he didn't retreat his forces, then it's gg right there. If he did, ship 3 spahi and move 2 of your wood vills to gold.
-Build a rax
-Queue Jan
-Next shipment is 2 falconets
-Queue more Jans

You should have an army of 10 jans, 2 falcs, and remaining spahi/hussars around 10:00-11:00, depending on how many enemy units you killed for XP (that sounds so evil). Tear down houses, Block Houses, whatever you can, just make sure you put pressure on. Don't forget to raid with your cavalry, as spahi make great raiders.

Continue to spam jans and proceed to ship 5 abus, 5 hussars, 5 hussars, etc until your opponent finally gives up. If he turtles massively (sevestapol), ship 1000 wood and boom triple TC. This hardly ever happens though, so I wouldn't worry much.

Basic Card Order: 3 Settlers, 700 gold, 700 food, 5 spahi, 3 spahi, 2 falcs


Ok, so lets recap a bit here. Against Spain and Iroqouis, we Jan Rush, vs germans/brits/aztecs we Silk Road Rush, and vs russia we Spahi FF. So lets get to ports and dutch next shall we?

The Silk Road Semi-Fast Fortress

As said above, this strategy is meant to obliterate portuguesse and dutch opponents. Ports are extremely hard to rush if they turtle heavily, using cards like CM and IB, but if they don't you can just do a normal IOR strat (the one mentioned earlier). However, if you see his TC has 150 attack and 9100 HP, heres what to do:

The Build Order:



Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

(same as IOR, but I'll rewrite it anyways)

-3 vills wood, 2 gold
-2 vills forward, preferably to hunts.
-TC waypoint to gold


-Gather wood crates
-Ship Silk Road
-Build a rax with forward vills
-Build 2 houses
-Research Stagecoach
-Queue 5 jans
-When you have 4 miners, move TC waypoint to food.

Sound familiar so far? That's right, this is exactly the same as the other IOR strategy. But that's the point...your opponent has no clue what you are doing!

-Ship 700 wood
-Continue to queue jans

With your janissaries, start the harrassment process. If against ports, shoot hunting vills. Also try to keep him off of any gold mines so that he doesnt get mamelukes any time soon. Even if this means taking a few shots from the TC, so long as he isn't gathering resources you are doing your job.

Remember, these next steps only apply if you see your opponent has shipped Colonial Militia AND Improved Buildings. If he hasn't shipped both, proceed as you would with the normal IOR!!!

-When 700 wood arrives, build 1-2 more TP's (depending on map) and set them both to food. With kill xp and xp from unit creation, you will now have another shipment.
-Build an artillery foundry
-Build a forward outpost
-Ship 700 gold
-Queue 5 abus guns.

Now, your goal should be to have 15 jans and 5 abus guns by the tme your 700 gold arrives. Once you hit 15 jans, stop making them. This should be well before your abus guns have come out. Just keep harrassing your opponent, making sure you keep him off every resource possible.

Your portuguesse foe has now aged up and is going to start spamming cassadores at you. If you can manage it, around 7:00 try to keep your jan force between his 2 already made TC's so as to catch his TC wagon as it spawns. Only do this if you have your abus guns already on the field however, as the 6 accompanying cassas will own your whole army of jans if they are alone.

-Once you have collected the 700 gold, click the age up to fortress, using the 4 abus gun politician. Yes, you do have enough resources! I know, its amazing, whatever :P

Transition-Colonial to Fortress:

-You should get one shipment during age up. Save it.
-Keep your vill distribution as it is. You should have 4 on gold, 3 on wood, and the rest on food. Feel free to move them around as you need them.
-Switch at least one TP to wood and make a couple houses. Put the rest on gold. Prepare for falconet spam as soon as you reach fort.
-Queu more jans while aging. Keep the pressure constant, and keep those abus alive as long as possible. Even 5 abus guns is a pain for any FF'er.

Fortress (sub-10 minutes):

-Queue falconets
-Ship 2 falconets
-Queue jans

Proceed as you see fit. So long as you maintain a proper janissary meatshield, you are almost guaranteed to win. No port player has an artillery found for culvs this fast, especially when they think you are rushing with jans and abus.

Don't forget to maintain 8-10 abus guns in your army at all times. These are used as LI* killers on the front line while your jans/falcs are sieging and are also great for killing enemy artillery such as culvs or falcs (poor organs, they dont even stand a chance).

Now, you have probably noticed that all the information I have given so far is related to fighting portugal. Well, the exact same BO is used against dutch, just your harrassment measures must change. There are two courses dutch players will take: Mass an army in colonial, or go to fortress himself. If he takes the latter, you WILL reach fortress before him. Also, use your 5 abus guns so much that your opponent will be screaming obscenities at you for the next 10 minutes. 3 Abus kill a skirm in one hit; over 15 skirms are required to have the same effect on your abus guns. Hrm...

From there, keep below 4 falcs and maintain a SIGNIFICANT jannissary shield. Make sure that his fast halbs dont touch your falcs when the time comes. Dont forget to use your abus contingent to snipe enemy artillery, especially culvs.

If he sticks it out in colonial, prepare to lose your forward base. But do not falter! Switch your TP's to wood and rebuild in your base, it only takes one or two rounds of the trade route to regain all that you lost. In this case, spahi are your friend! Spahi Spahi Spahi! Ship these as fast as you can, as they are extremely hard to deal with in colonial. A combination of abus guns and spahi will push him back to his base, and you can then flood jans and falcs at him. Just remember to switch your TP's off of wood after you rebuild!

Basic Card Order: 3 Settlers, Silk Road, 700 wood, 700 gold, 2 falcs


So now we've seen two fast fortress variants and two rush variants. But we still need a counter to sioux and French! You may be surprised, but it's actually one of the oldest strats in the game.

The One TP Jan + Abus Rush

The Build Order:



Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

-Send 4 vills to gold, the rest stay on hunts
-TC waypoint remains on food
-Send 2 vills forward (not vs sioux)


-Collect 400 wood
-Build a barracks with forward vills
-Ship 700 wood
-Build 2 houses
-Queue 5 jans

-When 700 wood arrives, collect it with 3-4 vills
-Build a foundry
-Build 4 houses
-Queue more jans

Here you have to make a choice. If your opponent is French and he's FF'ing, ship 700 food and continue spamming jans. If he's sioux, or the frenchie is going colonial warefare, ship 700 gold. This will be used for abus production, and we'll temporarily stall jan production.

-Third colonial shipment is the opposite of what you chose above (700 food or 700 gold).
-Ship resource crates as you see fit.

What you do here really relies on what your opponent is doing. Supposing a French FF, you want jans first, abus later. This means spam as many jans as possible and go for houses and military buildings, while making sure you have 8+ abus guns by 7:30, when he will age up. Once he ages, you will need around 10 abus guns and 15+ jans at all times. If you ever drop below this, retreat and regroup. If he pops 5 cuirs and 8 skirms on you, you definitely want to match it with a ready army. And no, 10 jans and 5 abus will not cut it. You want the abus on the front line and jans covering the back when fighting his army, just make sure to move the jans forward when his cuirs come at you of course.

As for sioux, you will want a greater concentration of abus guns to jans. You will have an initial 5 abus and 12-15 jans around 6:00, so you better be prepared to fight off some cetan bows. You must be extremely vigilant with your jan shield. Always keep them behind your abus guns and away from cetan bows, but close enough that he cant rush in with his speed-enhanced axe rider shipment. If you can survive his initial wave, you are pretty much set to win. You will want to stay pretty defensive until you get 10+ abus guns, at which point you can start knocking down warhuts and eventually his town center. After you have shipped 700 gold and food, you can work on setting up a silk road economy if the map allows. This is accomplished by shipping 600 wood, and, of course, silk road. Use the wood on TP's and upgrading the trade route. At some point you will want to move a few vills to wood, usually when you start to break 60 pop it's a good indicator.

Basic Shipment Order: 3 Settlers, 700 wood, 700 food/gold, 700 food/gold, resource crates


Alright, well, I don't think I need a degree in psychology to know that that's a LOT of information for someone who is new to ottos. So, here is a strat that works fairly well against any civ that isn't ottomans, sioux, iroquois, or aztec. The concept is simple: get to fortress quickly and spam shipments until your opponent dies. Sort of like a Spain FF, but with cooler units

The 2 TP Shipment Spam FF

The Build Order:



Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

-Shift 3 vills to gold (100 gold start) or 4 vills to gold (100 wood/food start).
-Keep all other vills on food
-TC waypoint on food


-Collect age up wood
-Send 700 gold
-Build a TP with your explorer (you have 2 total)
-Build a house
-Collect the 700 gold crates when they arrive
-Click up to fortress between 5:00 and 5:20 using the marksman politician. Plan on hitting fortress before 7:15.

Transition-Colonial to Fortress:

-Ship 700 wood
-Shift 2 vills to wood, 5 to gold
-When it arrives, build a barracks, foundry, and as many houses as you can afford
-Queue as many jans as possible.
-TC waypoint on food


-Ship 2 falcs
-Queue more jans at the rax
-Ship 5 abus guns
-Continue to spam jans, and build houses as you need them

Once you have 2 falcs, roughly 10-15 jans, and 5 abus, start pounding your enemy. Begin assaulting his base no later than 8:30. Tear down houses, military buildings, you name it, just destroy whatever you can without getting your falcs killed by his TC.

-Ship another military shipment (8 jans, 5 hussars)

At this point, stop jan production. Start queuing abus, and let your food accumulate. By the time your next shipment is ready you will have nearly 1000 food. You know whats coming now...

-Ship 5 spahi

With these in play, you should be able to deliver a killing blow to your opponent. If you havent destroyed him yet, these will surely tilt the tide in your favor. Just remember to keep your falconets alive as long as possible, and if they are still alive when your spahi come in, then you have done extremely well.

If your opponent is still able to knock you back after this final push, the odds certainly aren't in your favor. You are stuck at 25 vills, and have most likey run out of military shipments. Should the game last this far, ship 1000 wood and start booming immediately while maintaining a good abus gun population for defense, though I must admit your chance of survival after the initial fortress waves isn't so good. Fortunately, this will not be the case in many games, as most times not even your spahi will get to see little to no action before your opponent throws in the towel.

Basic Card Order: 3 Settlers, 700 gold, 700 wood, 2 falcs, 5 abus, 8 jans/5 hussars, 5 spahi.


And now come the really tricky strategies. If you thought the others were hard, wait until you try to face opponents on maps such as bayou, orinoco, and painted desert. These maps prohibit all of the above strats from being used, and also lack water for boat booming, meaning one thing: you have to use your available army to the absolute best of their ability. Unfortunately, scraping a win vs some civs on these maps is impossible (aka, iroquois and sioux, and to some extent dutch). But if you can do things correctly, you still have a good chance vs other civs.

The No-TP Jan+Abus rush

This strategy is used vs any civ but spain, iroquois, and portuguesse on the afforementioned painted desert/bayou/orinoco maps. Here's how it works:

The Build Order



*Build 2 extra houses with your starting wood in discovery to accelerate your first shipment (3 vills). That 40 xp goes a long way and can shave 5+ seconds off your colonial time.

*Age with the Governor (tower + 200 gold)

Transition-Discovery to Colonial:

-Place 4 vills on gold and the rest on food.
-Send 3 vills forward.


-Collect age up gold
-Place the tower forward, covering opponent's food
-Build a barracks forward, covering another hunt group
-Ship 700 wood
-Queue Janissaries

-When the wood arrives, collect it immediately
-Build a foundry
-Build 3 houses, save the other 100 wood in case you need it later (mosque, market, etc)
-Queue more jans and start abus production

What you do with your units here is extremely important. If your opponent has a good HI counter in colonial, use your jans to harrass until abus come, but do not engage his main base.

Once abus guns are on the field you can start your main assault. Micro is your friend. If he has *LI, move your jans back (or siege something) and the abus forward. Keep all your units allive for as long as possible. Your strategy here is simple: starvation. Even if you cannot siege his base to the ground, just patrol his borders and keep him off every resource. With your tower and forward base, you are already covering two of possible resource centers, and he is probably down to his last few hunts. On orinoco this is especially effective, as hunts are few and there are no berries.

-Continue shipping resource crates as you need them, but remember that they come in much slower as you do not have TPs fueling them
-Maintain unit production, but be warned, you will NOT be able to constantly make 5 jans and 5 abus guns at a time. Your second colonial shipment will either be 700 food or 700 gold, depending on whether you need abus sooner or later. Against dutch, sioux, aztecs, and russia, early abus are a priority, wheras against brits/germans/french this isn't so much of an issue.

Do not expect to keep an opponent from reaching fortress in this situation. If he FF's, keep your cool and continue pressure. The longer the game lasts, the more your opponent will feel the strain of this resource containment. If you can last it out until about 13 minutes in with a decent army, the game is yours.


And now, for the highly anticipated anti-Ottoman guide Ottoman guide! Unfortunately, this matchup does have a bit of a rock-paper-scissors element to it. However, with proper scouting you should be able to tell what your opponent is going to do and counter it effectively, almost as if in a rock-paper-scissors game you could scout your opponent's brain to find out which he is going to use. I know, cheap eh? Scouting ownz.

Here's how it goes: Jan Rush > Spahi FF > Abus Rush > Jan rush. Turn that into an infinite cycle and you have the otto mirror. Of course, there are other strats you can use, but these are simply the most effective.

Strat number one:

The Abus Rush

This rush is pretty self-explanatory, but requires immense micromanagement capabilities, by which I don't mean control groups, I mean the click and drag sort. Keep in mind throughout this that it takes 4 abus to one shot kill an opponent's abus gun. Basically all we want to do here is spam as many abus guns as possible and defeat the opponent through killing his army, not destroying his buildings. As such, it is an excellent counter to the Janissary Rush, which relies on heavy siege to kill an opponent quickly while sacrificing unit-killing capacity. Alright, enough with the overview jargon, strat time.



Transition-Discovery to Colonial

-Shift 2 vills to wood, 4 on food, and the rest on gold
-Send 3 vills forward
-TC waypoint to gold


-Collect 400 age wood
-Build an artillery foundry with your forward vills
-Ship 5 Janissaries
-Build 2 houses
-Queue 3-5 abus guns, depending on treasures

Once your 5 jan shipment arrives, send it to your forward base. Your first group of abus guns will arrive somewhere around 5:15. At this time, your opponent will either attack you with 10 jans, 5 jans and 5 abus (same as your army, d'oh), or start going to fortress. We'll assume he's performing the jan variant, as this is what this strat is supposed to counter.

Keep your jans behind your abus and out of range of the battle field. You need them alive in case he ships 3 hussars.

-Build a 4th house (50 pop)
-Ship 700 gold

This will provide you with enough resources to continue pumping abus guns until your next shipment arrives. You should have roughly 8 or 9 vills on gold now. Once you reach 10, switch the TC waypoint to food.

Continue abus spam. If your opponent decided to go silk road, aim for his TP's and keep an eye out for a foundry going up. You will easily overrun his initial jan army, which is why silk road is not a very viable otto mirror option. If he's going jans, push him back and take the offense. Try to prevent him from getting a foundry for as long as possible.

-Ship 700 wood

The timing of this shipment will depend on what you have been doing militarily. You should get it inside 7:00 if you've played aggressively enough or if you managed to get some XP treasures. When it arrives, collect it ASAP.

-Build a barracks.
-Build a TP
-Build a house
-Upgrade the trade route

A lot to do with 700 wood eh? Well, thats cuz it's more than 700 wood. Hmmmmm, moving along then...

By now you will have been owning his poor Jan army, and he will most likely have built a foundry. Once your barracks is up, switch some gold vills to food so that you have them roughly half and half. Start making Jans for siege, and keep your abus guns around his foundry to limit his abus making capabilities.

Once the stagecoach is upgraded, the game is yours. Not only are you up 6-8 vills on him, but you've (hopefully) been keeping him contained, not allowing him to mass a significant force for escape. Once your jan flood begins, the game is over.

The tricky part comes when you face a Fast Fortress. You're force will consist of roughly 15 abus guns and 5 jans when he hits fortress at 7:10-20. Scout his TC 30 seconds after he reaches colonial age to see if he shipped 700 gold. If so, knock down his TP's as fast as you can. If you can starve him of shipments, you have a much higher chance of success. Once this is accomplished, go for housing immediately. You will NOT kill his TC before he reaches fortress, don't even bother trying. Just kill as many houses as you can and run away after you kill his age up troops.

Regroup at your forward and start Jan production. He's going to hit you hard and fast with 5 spahi at 8:00, so be ready with your forces. Unfortunately, all you have is a mere 10 jans and 12-15 abus (dumb TC fire and age up troops). You must stall him for as long as possible while building up your jan force. This means running around the map, hiding your army in a small corner, whatever you can. Just find a place to hide until you have 20 jans. Once you have aquired these, just stick it out in your base, temporarily fighting on his terms. Remember, you have the trade route running for you, so your economy is much better than his. Once his shipments run out, he's finished. If you can win the initial fortress engagement, victory is assured. Otherwise, you're kinda screwed, but meh, not my fault you picked paper to beat scissors .

So you have the Abus rush. You already know how to perform the Spahi FF and Jan rush, but I find the Abus Rush to be much more secure than either of those in an otto mirror. The Jan rush is a hard counter to the Spahi FF, and the Abus Rush is a hard counter to the Jan rush, but the Spahi FF is really only a soft counter to the Abus Rush, as you still have a chance of victory if you use your units well.

Hope you like this segment. With the new QS I think it should help a lot with those pesky mirrors.

[This message has been edited by xMatt the Greatx (edited 02-06-2007 @ 12:38 PM).]

posted 01-18-07 08:56 PM EDT (US)     1 / 97  
like TWC guide i never wrote :P xD
But from an expert and not an inter xD
Anyways in the Jann rush I personally think that 700 wood should be followed after 5 janns to build another TP/stagecoach and/or art foundry/rax then follow up by 700 coin/food, always works for me.
spahi FF is nice, im curios on times, if he takes out your houses before you get to fortress it could be a problem, so wats your idea on that? build houses away from base?

other than that, good guide, a little short though but when you add more stuff it should be good

posted 01-18-07 10:04 PM EDT (US)     2 / 97  
^a little short? if u have ever typed a post that long, it sure doesnt seem short.

anway great guide.

u have influenced me to play otto, just like u did when u put out the french guide :P

one mistake, u said Jags counter coyotes instead of Jans in the silk road rush. otherwise great guide.

*two thumbs up*

[This message has been edited by steve09 (edited 01-18-2007 @ 10:09 PM).]

posted 01-18-07 10:15 PM EDT (US)     3 / 97  
Oops, jags and jans are only one letter off :P

And don't forget, the post is going to double in size by tomorrow

posted 01-18-07 10:40 PM EDT (US)     4 / 97  
Great! Thanks for the guide, just one question in the standard rush.

You say to ship 5 jans as second card, but when you recap shipment order, it is not in there, unless I am misreading it.


-Ship 5 Janissaries


In this case, shipment order usually runs 3 vills, 700 food, 600 food, 700 wood, 700 gold.

"Speedy Halberdiers just own things" ~TarsTarkas
posted 01-18-07 11:07 PM EDT (US)     5 / 97  
Haha, i'm not perfect like ender at posting I guess. Thanks for catching the mistakes!
posted 01-18-07 11:36 PM EDT (US)     6 / 97  
This is turning into an Ottos forum Great Guide (Y)

[][][][][][][][][][] Stonewall J [][][][][][][][][][][]
posted 01-19-07 02:14 AM EDT (US)     7 / 97  
Great job, now I won't have to bother you on ESO

...Just amp will >.>

Bill: Bob, I see troops advancing.
Bob: Damn, I can't get my grenades to light. Get over here and block the wind.
Bill: Do you hear gunshots?
Bob: I'm running out of matches. Hurry up.
bill: They just shanked john.
bob: He'll be dearly missed. Now help me ligh-
posted 01-19-07 08:10 AM EDT (US)     8 / 97  
As someone who is extremely confused as to which civs to play, this has tipped me towards Ottos. Great job!

Chocolate Time Bombs are delicious upon detonation
posted 01-19-07 08:34 AM EDT (US)     9 / 97  
No Seph! You shall increase the Otto laming on QS, and we can't cancel vs Ottos! You have created a monstah! No, no!

Still, nice job, very well-written... despite your lameness.

posted 01-19-07 08:48 AM EDT (US)     10 / 97  
Very interesting reading. Well done! I played Otto a while back and did okay with them. I never had the insight that you possess. Rather than annihilate opponents, I had a general strategy that seemed to work. Of course, the small details enable victory against similarly skilled opponents. How do you remember the small details like what to do on a given map vs. a specific civ and the rest. When you're playing, do you keep a crib sheet nearby to consult as the game progresses?
posted 01-19-07 11:27 AM EDT (US)     11 / 97  
Great job,- well done
Do not be afraid,- the topic is not too long. If the infornations are informative, it can never be too long.
I am looking forward to see the second (long) part!
posted 01-19-07 03:31 PM EDT (US)     12 / 97  
wow ive just scanned through this at the points which i think i can help me and i have to say good job!
this will help nearly all otto players and u obviously put a lot of work into this
ur a great contribution to age heaven ;-)
*pats on back*

"The better at AoE, the worse at RL" - Doppel
After someone suggesting to make a meatshield to fight off petards..."Where can I find this meatshield? Is it in the TC?" - Sjalle

"That last comment has earned you a ban Musk" - Solus
On realising I was on a 2nd account:"Quinarvy ehhh" - Solus

Mine and Micky's OPness
posted 01-19-07 05:03 PM EDT (US)     13 / 97  
Excellent work, Matt.
Looking forward to the next part (including the reveal on the Larkyboof connection ). And I hope that nickname doesn't catch on.

"One wants to be loved, failing that admired, failing that feared, failing that hated and despised. One wants to instill in other people some form of emotion. The soul shudders before emptiness and wants contact, no matter the cost."
posted 01-19-07 05:43 PM EDT (US)     14 / 97  
Excellent guide Matt, glad that I could be of some help.
posted 01-19-07 05:57 PM EDT (US)     15 / 97  
I find sending 700 wood instead of Silk road to be more effective.

P.S In the next part, could you include what to do with maps without TP( Bayou, Orinco, Hispanilo, Painted desert), Texas, and maps where you start off with lots of crates( Carolina and Hispanilo)

posted 01-19-07 06:39 PM EDT (US)     16 / 97  

Quoted from Blender_Fjord:

Excellent guide Matt, glad that I could be of some help.


ESO : Pcfreak8
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is." -Jan L. A. van de Snepscheu
A pessimist is usually right and never disappointed.
Any history buff knows that nothing stops a cannon like a good uppercut. - BeatnikJoe
posted 01-19-07 07:46 PM EDT (US)     17 / 97  
Blender_Fjord > Ender_Ward

But at the guide, thanks, haven't wanted to play as Dutch and have been experimenting with Portugal and Otto.

"Speedy Halberdiers just own things" ~TarsTarkas
posted 01-19-07 09:14 PM EDT (US)     18 / 97  
I added two more strategies, but it's taking longer than expected (average of 30 mins per strat O.o). I'll keep adding more as I get the time.

Oh yeah, and Larky's contributions included how to beat iroquois, and the best way to handle frenchies :P

Wouldn't it be great if everyone said Blender_Fjord now?

And no, I don't have a sheet next to my comp to remind me of strats :P. I usually made them up as I went along anyways, these are just the finalized versions that I've churned out after almost 200 games of studying. Once you play that many games using a civ, you get pretty familiarized with how they work

[This message has been edited by xMatt the Greatx (edited 01-19-2007 @ 09:24 PM).]

posted 01-20-07 03:05 AM EDT (US)     19 / 97  


spahi FF is nice, im curios on times, if he takes out your houses before you get to fortress it could be a problem, so wats your idea on that? build houses away from base?

i dont think thatd turn out well. if hes scouting for vils and comes upon a house in the middle of nowhere, he'll kill it easy and think he caught a break, ottos can be pretty wood-heavy and losing houses means losing vils. if he comes upon ANOTHER one and still hasnt received much opposition to his army when he expected an otto rush, he'll probably realize what you're doing and then FF with you while kiling your outlying houses and have anti-cav ready.

isnt it amazing how something as simple as house placement can swing the game ?

"he will have a hard getting banks up"

"I accidently drop kicked someone once"

[This message has been edited by exc4libulz1022 (edited 01-20-2007 @ 03:07 AM).]

posted 01-20-07 10:12 AM EDT (US)     20 / 97  
nice second half

what about an otto mirror? :P

what do u suggest there?

posted 01-20-07 03:47 PM EDT (US)     21 / 97  
Love the second part. Infact, the anti-Dutch and Port section made me realise that it's exactly what I've been doing up until about 3 weeks ago, when I for some reason decide to alter my ways of fighting them. Think I'll go back to the "old reliable".
I used to go heavier on the Abus Guns, though. I would normally have a minumum of 10 with me, 15 preferably, so that I would guarantee taking out any and all Culverins/Falconets my opponent had, even if I lose half the Abus.

Also, I think I disagree alittle with the counter-Sioux idea. You can IOR against them (and against French). Just as you said, with the emphasis on Abus Guns, instead of flooding with pure Jans.
You just have to send Silk Road after 700 wood. You need that foundary up faster, so it's more important than getting another 210 wood out of that 700 wood shipment. Silk Road can be sent after it (or even later). You'll get very good resource generation from the normal Stagecoach trade route anyway.
I like using Silk Road against Sioux though because of the 910 and 780 gold crates, which allow me to pump Abus without a significant amount of villagers mining.

One last thing, I think you shouldn't go heavy on Abus vs Sioux, but stick to a force that's heavier on Janissaries, just as against French. Sioux Colonial cavalry can be simply devastating if you don't have enough Jans. With both upgrade cards + the Dog Sodlier shipment, they can even cut right through your Jans, especially with assisting Cetans, or War Clubs to confuse Janissary AI.
You stil need ~10 Abus Guns to annihilate Cetans, but you need a BIG Janissary meatshield to keep the Abus alive from their super fast, heavy attack cavalry.

Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Nice work, Matt.

"One wants to be loved, failing that admired, failing that feared, failing that hated and despised. One wants to instill in other people some form of emotion. The soul shudders before emptiness and wants contact, no matter the cost."
posted 01-20-07 05:50 PM EDT (US)     22 / 97  
Criminal. You are ruthless Seph...

I'm sure your comp looks like that

posted 01-20-07 05:59 PM EDT (US)     23 / 97  
Matt: your strategies are really nice and well presented. Cool collection of all an Ottoman player should know.

What you say about doing strategy XY vs civ VZ is kind of true which I found out the hard way today.

I played unrated as ottos vs an iro player (he wasnt that good) and I did IOR. The map was gr lakes so I was a bit defensive to get all the TPs and amass an army of abus/jans, thinking that it would work vs his FPs and whatnot.

But I was horribly wrong. His FPs, few mantlets and some kanyas crushed my jan/abus army horribly although I had CIR researched and pumped units all the time. I was like wtf?

I had 5 ATPs, some market tecs researched, was age3, had spahi, jans, abus, some AA tecs researched and couldnt beat his poopie shipment FP army?!? His micro even suxed but I lost, him having 70% of his FPs left.

Omg the game became even more imba during the time I was gone...

Okies so pure, quik, hard jan rush vs those fvcking iroquois FP FFers!!

Rush the b1tches!!

posted 01-20-07 08:50 PM EDT (US)     24 / 97  
Second half? More like second third

I still have to add:

No TP rushes
Hispaniola strats
2 TP Shipment Spam FF
General Tips
Carolina strat

And probably more that I'll randomly think of along the way


Well, I used to silk road against sioux, until that fateful day where I lost my 15 jans to 9 axe riders and a warchief, which then proceeded to kill my explorer before he could get up any TP's. From then on, I decided to delay silk road until I dealt with the initial threats.

As for french, you definitely can silk road, and it works well, but I find a normal rush to be more effective. Every time I IOR vs french they seem to immediately put me on the backfoot, and I have to REALLY work to get back in the game when they attack my jan force with xbows and muskets in vastly superior numbers (double rax). Using the above build, you can apply enough early pressure to nullify any advantage they have had you used silk road.

Of course, in every game with at trade route I set up a silk road eventually. It usually just occurs much later in the game.

posted 01-21-07 11:54 AM EDT (US)     25 / 97  
Sweet guide! Packed with content and well worth the length. I found the Dutch and Portuguese counters especially illuminating. I don't play Ottoman anymore, but this is a huge boon for anyone that does. You did a really good job here...

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