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The New Ottoman Way

            By Ender_Ward               1/3/07, TWC v1.0, Author's Rating: 2050+

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Fellow Ottoman players, I am here to lift your spirits, to restore hope and reclaim our rightful place on the foodchain, above the pesky natives that trouble us. And shall trouble us, no more!

Known:

We can't fight Iroquois, Sioux and Aztec (ISA) rushes with Janissaries. We can't fight them (effectively) with Hussars either. There end our options from 200 wood production centers. We require Abus Guns. But, here lies our problem. The production center for this unit is an expensive 300 wood, they train very slowly, require alot of pop space, and cost mostly gold, which is hard to come by early on. To make things even worse, Abus Guns are extremely vulnerable to melee cavalry and even melee infantry units. Early on, when we have so few of them, they even die to other light and heavy infantry that outnumbers our Abus three to one.

The last few days I've struggled with native rushes, particularly Iroquois ones, which hit you before you even trained your first batch of five Janissaries out of the Barracks, far from actually having Abus Guns. I've won some, lost some. I've wrecked my brain as to how to resolve this seemingly hopeless situation. And I've come up with the answer. Stop trying to make Abus Guns.

But we MUST use Abus Guns to survive! Or do we?

Proposed:

Remember my Inexhaustible Ottoman Rush (IOR)? If you don't, look it up, 'cause it's an integral part of this new strategy. IOR's main feature was bypassing the weakness of the Ottoman economy. Circumventing the inability to grow our economy any faster than the slow TC production rate allowed.

Well, let's bypass our reliance on Abus Guns. Let's circumvent the expensive production center. Let's avoid the insane cost. Let's avoid the slow train time. Let's avoid the extreme vulnerability to melee cavalry. Let's remove the population requirement problem entirely.

Ah... yes, that last one is a major clue. Let's fight fire with fire. Let's use Native Allies.

Why? Because Sioux, Iroquois and Aztec don't have Spies. Thus, they lack the very hard counter that makes Native Ally usage useless against other European civs.

Just look at the options that open up to us:

  • Cree Trackers
  • Cherokee Riflemen
  • Klamath Riflemen
  • Tupi Blackwood Archers (aka, Super Cetans)
  • Seminole Bowmen
  • Inca Bolas Warriors
  • Navaho Riflemen
  • Blowgun Warriors/Ambushers
  • Huron Mantlets

Those are the light infantry. Even the worst of these units are more cost effective than Abus Guns. All train faster. All come from a cheaper* production center. And none require pop space. But more importantly, they buy us TIME. Time to get our economy rolling. Time to send our shipments. Time to eventually get our real powerhouse, Abus Guns, out in a much more secure environment and in much greater numbers.

The native trade post that produces these units can (and should be) built before reaching Colonial. That means no Iroquois rush will catch you with your pants down again. Using Advanced Trading Post (on maps with XP trade posts), you reduce the cost of this production center to a mere 150 wood. Half of an artillery foundary. And if ever destroyed, becomes easy and cheap to rebuild.

By using native allies, we can quickly reinforce our locally trained troops by using the Native Treaties card. We get acces to cool techs like -building cost, gather rate improvements, settler shipments/training, unit HP/attack improvements and many more. And by saving on pop space requirement, we are able to pour more wood into troops or Trade Posts (on appropriate maps) and sooner.

Even the non-light infantry natives are good deals (except Maya Spearmen, nerfed into uselessness). Those with good melee attack can overwhelm the weaker native light infantry (Macehualtin/Aenna) in the same manner that Halberds and Rodeleros do. They're stil available earlier than Abus Guns, train faster, and can be reinfored via Native Treaties, and stil do a good job of buying time.

For example, by using cavalry natives, you can kill light infantry while using your TC/5 Jan fire to kill the likes of Tomahawks or War Clubs. And even Huron Mantlets can soak alot of damage (and deal decent damage back), which once again, buys us TIME.

Build Orders

So now that you get the general idea, here are a few example build orders that will demonstrate the plan of action.

Section 1: Maps with a trade route

Game start: Scout with the explorer, you're looking for the native Trade Posts. Try to take easy treasure, but attempt to keep him as high to max HP as possible, and do try to avoid encounters with the native Warchiefs and converted guardians. If under attack by these, run back to your base. It's very important to keep your explorer alive. Build ONE house with your starting wood.

1st card: Advanced Trading Post

Have your explorer in place at an XP trade post by the time Advanced Trading Post arrives. Try for it to be a remote one (unless guarded by an Iroquois War Hut). The one near your base cannot be taken. After you build this XP Trade Post, get your explorer to a native trade post of your choice. If you did not waste wood in the beginning, you'll be able to build a second Advanced Trading Post right away (because Ottomans always start with atleast 400 wood).

As you are aging up, gather either food and wood or food and gold, whichever is appropriate to the cost of your native allies. When you've aged to Colonial with the 400 wood politician:

  • 200 wood goes to researching stagecoach on your XP Advanced Trading Post.
  • 200 wood goes to starting native ally production.

  • 2nd card: 700 resource crate (appropriate to the native ally cost, but it is usually going to be wood)

    Now max out on the number of NA units you can train at your single Trade Post. Just as you are about to finish training your last batch:

    3rd card: Native Treaties

    This will put you over the limit of your single trade post, giving you a force that will at the very least hold off or at best utterly destroy any ISA rush.

    4th card: Silk Road

    Because by now your stagecoach has finished researching, and you've set your single Advanced Trading Post to wood. This will allow you to finance the rest of the trade route.

    5th card: 600 wood

    This will allow you to claim any additional native Trade Posts. Either to increase your build limit, or gain additional reinforcements from the Native Treaties card you sent earlier.

    Now that your trade route is up and functioning, and you have an excellent defense force, set your trade route fully to wood and build:

  • Barracks
  • Artillery foundary

    6th card: 600 resource crate or unused 700 crate

    Send either the 600 or 700 food or gold crate that you haven't used yet, and set your trade route to the opposite resource. This will get you to Fortress, fast. You want to do this because after a failed rush, most natives (especially Iroquois) will attempt to hit Fortress and start shipment spamming (especially beware of the Iroquois National Unity based spam).

    Once in Fortress, the card list and actions are up to you. But I recommend sending the -25% cost for native warriors (if you got good ones on the map) and upgrading your survivors.

    NOTE: If your opponent persists in fighting you in Colonial, continue to fight back powered by your trade route and enhanced shipment crates. Even the most expensive, wood heavy natives (think Cree) become affordable thanks to a working, Silk Road enhanced trade route. You will then get Jan/Abus out later.

    Section 2: Maps without a trade route

    There are two options here. Hispanola, where you can do a moderate fish boom to get the food for your Blowgunner spam, and Orinoco/Painted Desert/Bayou.

    On Bayou:

  • 3 villagers
  • 700 wood
  • Native Treaties
  • 4 villagers - (research the Cherokee tech that sends 4 villagers, think of it as stagecoach lite)
  • 600 wood
  • 700 food
  • 700 gold

  • Use the starting wood on two Trade Posts (different tribes por favor!) and a house. Use the 400 age up wood as you see fit. I recommend building a Barracks against Sioux, who have strong cavalry, against which you will likely need some Jan protection (keep the five Jans card in your deck for emergency). This WILL be a tougher fight than on a trade route map, but you do get two very good native allies, one of which has excellent seige capability after an upgrade.

    On Orinoco:

    If stuck with only Lightning Warriors, use them as anti-cav defense against Abus Guns. Yes, you will need to get early Abus. But thankfully, in this case you have the wood.

  • 3 villagers
  • 700 gold
  • Native Treaties
  • 700 wood
  • 600 gold
  • etc
  • On Painted Desert:

  • Capitalism (gold trickle 1.25)
  • 700 wood
  • Native Treaties
  • 4 villagers - (when income allows, research the Apache tech that gives a damage bonus versus villagers, it'll turn them into excellent raiders, and later in Fortress, once you've sent the Irregulars card, will turn them into sheer monster villager killing machines)
  • 600 wood
  • 700 food
  • 700 gold

  • This is actually a very good combination. Not only do you get sturdy (and stealthy) light infantry, but you also get the anti-cav protection for them, thereby avoiding having to build an early Barracks.

    Of course because no strategy is perfect, we have the "trouble maps".
    Rockies - where 99% of the time Commanche appear instead of Chayenne.
    Patagonia - on which are simply are no natives.
    On these maps we have no choice but to employ old defensive techniques. Like I said, no strategy is perfect.

    And there you have it. I hope it helps all the fellow Ottomans out there to finally end the frustration we've been suffering in our dependance on Abus Guns. I set thee free!

    But remember, don't use this against other Europeans. 'Cause... Spies! Also, if the native Trade Post you use is too far away from your base, build a Native Embassy near your base. That way you can train the native allies locally, right where you need them.

    Replay

    Ender_Ward [Ottomans] vs Karu [Iroquois] on Saguenay.

    Credits

    Ender_Ward - Author
    Joe Beatnick for highlighting a major native civ weakness

    (View further discussion about this strategy)

                By Ender_Ward               1/3/07, TWC v1.0, Author's Rating: 2050+

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