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Ottoman Empire (ETW Faction)

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Ottoman Empire (ETW Faction)
Ottoman flag.jpg
Name: Ottoman Empire
From Game: Empire: Total War
Culture: Middle Eastern

The Ottoman Empire is one of the 11 playable nations in Empire: Total War's Grand Campaign. It is also a major faction in the game.


Monarchy Republic

The history of Europe over the last centuries can be seen as the history of the Ottoman Empire and a few annoying, small nations that thwarted Ottoman ambitions. Ottoman power is unmatched in its extent and grandeur, straddling the traditional trade route between Europe and Asia. The Ottomans also have power over the whole of the Mediterranean coast of North Africa.

This Turkish, Islamic empire supplanted the Orthodox Byzantine Empire in the 15th Century and since then it has had a continuing, if not always whole-hearted, ambition to expand further westwards into the heart of Europe. In living memory, Turkish armies have reached the gates of Vienna, Austria, only to be turned back by the steadfast defenders. Turkish expansionism has always been a part of palace politics: when a Sultan has felt secure at home he has attacked Europe; when a Sultan has felt threatened by his Janissary military commanders, he has sent them to attack.

The Ottomans face challenges but within these are great opportunities. The army and navy look old fashioned compared to those of some states, but the soldiers of the Sultan are numerous indeed. Strategically, the Empire is in a potentially strong position: the Balkans are a natural bastion to defend Istanbul, and a possible springboard for conquest into central Europe. There may even be valuable allies to be found among Austria’s rivals: the authority of the Pope to stop his European flock making treaties with infidels is all but gone. Control of the Mediterranean would allow a Sultan to do as he pleases with the smaller European powers. And to the east, the route to India offers the chance of riches.


The Ottomans share the Maratha Confederacy's affinity of melee infantry. Unlike Maratha, however, the Ottomans also posesses light infantry, and have the ability to fire by rank with their Nizam-I Cedit infantry. In the early game, the Ottomans must rely on Isarelys, who are much inferior to line infantry. Therefore the Ottomans must research European Doctrine so that they can produce the Nizam-I Cedit infantry as early as possible (which are, unfortunately, very far down the military technology tier still). When available, the Nizam-I Cedit infantry are superior to almost all their line infantry counterparts, especially when in a melee. The Ottomans are also able to field some of the game's most powerful artillery, including the Organ Gun, 64-pounder great guns, and bombardment mortars. The Ottomans have rather limited choices when it comes to cavalry; their Deli Horsemen are the rough equivalent of Carabineers, while their Sipahis are relatively strong (but, correspondingly, tire out quickly) for lancer cavalry.

With the DLCs, the Ottomans receive the ability to train a variety of strong irregulars, as well as an expanded selection of cavalry.

The Ottomans are one of only two factions that do not use indiamen as their main trade ships. Instead, the Ottomans can train Dhows, which are cheaper to recruit but marginally more expensive to maintain.

Starting Position

At the beginning of the game, the Ottoman Empire owns 12 regions in the European theater. Its lands range from Egypt in the south to the Balkans in the north and Mesopotamia in the east. In the north, the empire borders Austria, Poland and the Crimea and the east, it shares a long border with the Persian Empire. The Ottomans control two protectorates: the Barbary States and the Crimean Khanate. While these regions strengthen the empire undoubtedly, they also result in new enemies for it. The Russians in the north will try to gain access to the Black Sea so the Ottomans will have to face them sooner or later - unless they want to give up their protectorate. The Barbary States are even worse, with a rather pathetic navy and hostility with the entirety of the European continent. Morocco usually declares war on the Barbary States in the first turn or two, forcing the Ottomans to choose between the Barbary States and unmolested access out of the Mediterranean sea.

In the government, the Ottomans have some very poor ministers and a near-incompetent ruler. However, excellent candidates can quickly improve the quality of the ministers thanks to the Ottoman's initial government type being an absolute monarchy. The Ottomans will be stuck with a poor ruler for quite some time, however (unless they wish to have a revolution). Almost the entirety of the empire has a low public order initially, with some regions in the negatives, so it may be prudent to either shift existing armies there to increase public order or to exempt those regions from taxes. With better ministers and the construction of higher-level governmental buildings, public order will gradually become better throughout the empire.

Politically, the Ottomans have few friends--they begin the campaign at war with Russia and all their neighboring countries are unfriendly to hostile. Persia, Venice, Poland and Austria in particular are likely to cause trouble, while Spain is unfriendly due to historical grievances. The Ottomans do have a powerful advantage politically: whether by design or a glitch, the Ottomans do not receive relationship penalties for expanding. This means that as the game progresses and trade improves relations, the future can look bright for the Ottomans provided that they survive for that long. The Ottomans have two potential friends: Prussia shares many of the Ottoman's enemies (Poland and Austria), and Sweden, Russia's historic enemy, is also historically very friendly with the Ottoman Empire. An alliance with either or both these nations could be a godsend to the militarily weak Ottomans.

While the Ottomans do not own any colonies - neither in the Americas nor in India - this is compensated by their large empire. However, the empire's size also makes the Ottomans vulnerable. As the empire is in full decline, the Turkish navy and army will have a hard time defending the borders against foreign invasions. To cap it all, nearly all of the Ottoman's territories are near-useless in the early game, providing nearly no income whatsoever; it may be wise to tax-exempt them so that they may build up cities and town wealth more quickly.

The Ottomans have perhaps the most challenging campaign. Their poor lands, low-quality armies, and the sheer number of powerful enemies they must face simultaneously are all factors working against them.

Victory Conditions

Short Campaign

Capture and hold 20 regions by the end of the year 1750, including: Austria, Chechenya-Dagestan, Persia, Rumelia, Venetia, Galicia & Podolia, and Hungary.

Long Campaign

Capture and hold 30 regions by the end of the year 1799, including: Austria, Chechenya-Dagestan, Persia, Rumelia, Venetia, Hungary, Galicia & Podolia, Spain, Poland, and Morocco.

World Domination

Capture and hold 45 regions by the end of the year 1799, including: Rumelia.

Basics at start

  • ProtectoratesBarbary States, Crimean Khanate
  • Allies – None
  • Trade PartnersMughal Empire, Venice, Crimean Khanate, Barbary States, Genoa
  • EnemiesPirates, Russia
  • Religion – Islam
  • Government – Absolute Monarchy
  • Ruler – Mustafa II (Sultan)
  • Population – 21,243,292
  • Prosperity – Moderate
  • Prestige – Weak
  • Treasury – 7500
  • Technology – Improved Grenades
  • Imams – Butrus Rauf (Bosnia), Ibrahim Husrev (Moldavia)
  • Hashishins – Damat Baghdadi (Georgia)
  • Scholars – Meshur Dede (Anatolia)

Europe Theatre

Istanbul, Rumelia
  • Starting Buildings – Barracks, Sublime Porte, School of Calligraphers, Ordnance Factory, Settlement Fortifications
  • Infrastructure - Basic Roads
  • Population – 3,266,938
  • Wealth – 1075
  • Religion – Islam 50.0%, Orthodox 50.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsMacedonia Farmland (Peasant Farms), Thrace Farmland (Not Developed), Marmara Groves (Vineyards), Thessaloniki (Trading Port)
  • Later Villages/PortsKozani (Village), Skopje (Village), Adrianople (Village)
Cairo, Egypt
  • Starting Buildings – Cannon Foundry, Governor’s Residence, School of Calligraphers
  • Infrastructure - Basic Roads
  • Population – 4,757,393
  • Wealth – 602
  • Religion – Islam 80.0%, Orthodox 20.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsTanta Farmland (Peasant Farms), Asyut (Craft Workshops Weavers), Luxor (Coffee Homes)
  • Later Villages/PortsSuez (Village), Alexandria (Port), Darnah (Village), Aswan (Village)
  • PlantationsSohag (Small Cotton Plantation)
Ankara, Anatolia
  • Starting Buildings – Provincial Barracks, Cannon Foundry, Governor’s Residence
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 3,006,316
  • Wealth – 2450
  • Religion – Islam 80.0%, Orthodox 20.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsAydin Groves (Vineyards), Adana Farmland (Peasant Farms), Denizli Mines (Iron Mine), Yozgat Farmland (Peasant Farms), Erzurum (Small Madrassa), Izmir (Trading Port), Bursa (Craft Workshops Weavers), Antalya (Shipyard), Konya (School), Trabzon (Craft Workshops Smiths)
  • Later Villages/PortsSinop (Port), Batman (Village), Kayseri (Village)
Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Starting Building – Magistrate, School of Calligraphers, Settlement Fortifications
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 565,764
  • Wealth – 200
  • Religion – Islam 80.0%, Catholicism 10.0%, Orthodox 10.0%,
  • Starting Towns/PortsGaza (Local Fishery)
  • Later Villages/PortsElat (Village)
Damascus, Syria
  • Starting Building – Magistrate, School of Calligraphers
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 1,218,714
  • Wealth – 1761
  • Religion – Islam 70.0%, Orthodox 20.0%, Catholicism 10.0%,
  • Starting Towns/PortsPaphos Mines (Iron Mine), Limassol (Local Fishery), Beirut (Trading Port), Latakia (Local Fishery), Aleppo (Craft Workshops Weavers)
  • Later Villages/Ports – None
  • PlantationsAl Bab (Small Cotton Plantation)
Baghdad, Mesopotamia
  • Starting Buildings – Provincial Barracks, Governor’s Residence, School of Calligraphers
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 2,110,142
  • Wealth – 861
  • Religion – Islam 100.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsAr Rifa Farmland (Peasant Farms), Erbil (Craft Workshops Weavers), Basra (Trading Port), Mosul (Small Madrassa)
  • Later Villages/PortsKut (Village)
  • PlantationsKirkuk (Small Cotton Plantation)
Athens, Greece
  • Starting Buildings – Provincial Barracks, Magistrate, School of Calligraphers
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 1,304,069
  • Wealth – 1600
  • Religion – Orthodox 90.0%, Catholicism 5.0%, Islam 5.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsEpirus Farmland (Peasant Farms), Pleistos Groves (Not Developed), Crete Groves (Vineyards), Ioaninna (Craft Workshops Smiths), Piraeus (Trading Port)
  • Later Villages/PortsLarissa (Village), Heraklion (Port)
Yerevan, Armenia
  • Starting Buildings – Magistrate
  • Infrastructure – Not Developed
  • Population – 1,219,484
  • Wealth – 1200
  • Religion – Islam 10.0%, Orthodox 90.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsOltu Mines (Iron Mine), Agri Farmland (Peasant Farms), Artvin (Craft Workshops Smiths)
  • Later Villages/PortsKars (Village)
Sarajevo, Bosnia
  • Starting Buildings – Magistrate
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 646,344
  • Wealth – 450
  • Religion – Orthodox 35.0%, Catholicism 35.0%, Islam 30.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsZenica Mines (Iron Mine), Prijedor Farmland (Peasant Farms), Ragusa (Trading Port), Podgorica (Coffee House)
  • Later Villages/PortsBijeljina (Village)
Belgrade, Serbia
  • Starting Buildings – Magistrate
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 980,037
  • Wealth – 1000
  • Religion – Islam 15.0%, Orthodox 85.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsTrepca Mines (Silver Mine), Maeva Farmland (Not Developed)
  • Later Villages/PortsTimisoara (Village), Nis (Village)
Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Starting Buildings – Magistrate
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population –1,530,289
  • Wealth – 150
  • Religion – Islam 20.0%, Orthodox 80.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsWallachia Farmland (Peasant Farms), Kjustendil Mines (Not Developed), Razgrad Farmland (Not Developed)
  • Later Villages/PortsCraiova (Village), Bucharest (Village), Burgas (Port), Varna (Port)
Iasi, Moldavia
  • Starting Buildings – Magistrate
  • Infrastructure – Basic Roads
  • Population – 637,801
  • Wealth – 850
  • Religion – Islam 10.0%, Orthodox 60.0%, Catholicism 30.0%
  • Starting Towns/PortsTarakliya Farmland (Peasant Farms), Savinesti Mines (Iron Mine)
  • Later Villages/PortsTighina (Village)


Over the past few decades, the Ottoman Empire has been declining steadily. Therefore, its army can no longer compete with the modern European forces. The technological advance has left the Ottomans behind and Europe's well-trained soldiers are now clearly superior to the Ottoman janissaries. However, the Ottomans have still access to a vast pool of different units and a powerful selection of artillery. While its army might be outdated, it is still a force to be reckoned with. However, in the end an Ottoman general will have to cope with his army's inferior technology. In order to overcome the downsides of the individual units, utilizing their advantages and composing a diverse army is a necessity.

The Ottoman military features limited (although diversified with DLC) cavalry, limited line infantry, an interesting array of melee infantry such as the Cemaat Janissary and Bashi-Bazouks, and a roster of powerful, slow artillery. Unlike other nations, the Ottomans do not have access to horse artillery. This disadvantage is offset by the sheer firepower their other artillery can bring onto the field: bombardment mortars and 64-pounder great guns are the heaviest mortar artillery and foot artillery any army can field, and both are exclusive to the Ottomans! The Ottomans have access to the 18 pounder foot artillery instead of the 12 pounders at the same level of technology relative to other powers, and have access to 24-pounders much earlier than other factions. The Ottomans also have access to grenadiers early, as well as access to hand mortar companies--a strength shared only with their rivals, the Russians.





Special Units

Since the Ottoman Empire is one of the few Muslim nations in the game, it has access to quite a lot of special and unique units which none of the many European factions can build. The Ottomans field several types of swordsmen such as the Bashi-Bazouks, different janissary units and even horse archers. While Persia shares the Ottoman unit roster, the faction is unplayable without modding. As a result, most Ottoman units cannot be trained by any other playable nation.

The Ottoman's also boast the fearsome Organ Gun, which is a stationary artillery piece that has 7 cannon barrels.

Empire: Total War | Factions | Playable Factions:
Austria | France | Great Britain | Marathas | Ottoman Empire | Poland-Lithuania | Prussia | Russia | Spain | Sweden | United Provinces | United States* *Must complete Road to Independence to unlock United States
Non-playable Factions:
Barbary States | Bavaria | Cherokee Nations | Courland | Crimean Khanate | Dagestan | Denmark | Genoa | Georgia | Hannover | Huron Confederacy | Inuit Nations | Iroquois Confederacy | Italian States | Knights of St. John | Morocco | Mughal Empire | Mysore | Plains Nations | Portugal | Pueblo Nations | Persia | Pirates | Savoy | Venice | Westphalia | Wurttemberg
Protectorate Factions:
Barbary States | Courland | Crimean Khanate | Louisiana | New Spain | Saxony | Thirteen Colonies
Emergent Factions:
Afghanistan | Gran Colombia | Greece | Hessen | Hungary | Ireland | Mamelukes | Mexico | Naples & Sicily | Norway | Punjab | Quebec | Scotland | United States
Cancelled Factions:
Khanate of Khiva | Tuscany | Mecklenburg | Schleswig-Holstein | Swiss Confederation
Tutorial Factions:
Virginia Colonists | Powahatan Confederacy
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